Finding Comfort In Knowing Allah
Many of us will take our time to get to know their favourite celebrity, influencer or what have you. But how much effort do we put into getting to know God?
We are still in the month of Rajab and this is my second post in conjunction with this beautiful month which the Prophet says is Allāh’s month. It’s only appropriate that I write about Allāh and who He says He is. All Muslims worship Allāh but many of them also live life not really getting to know who He truly is.
We cannot truly love Allāh if we do not know Him.
This is problematic not just on the level of aqidah (creed) but it is problematic because when we don’t know how someone or something is, our perception of who they are can be heavily influenced by the wrong information paired with our deepest insecurities.
As Muslims, Allāh is who we centre our whole lives around therefore to have the wrong understanding of who He is can be detrimental to our worldview which in turn, affects the way we see ourselves and the way we understand life as a whole.
I’ve received many messages from people who tell me they struggle to find peace in their relationship with God. When life gets tough, instead of clinging onto the hope that the Almighty will grant relief and open a way out of their difficulty, they become angry with themselves. That anger then grows into something bigger: resentment or disappointment with Allāh’s decree.
We may not realise it but when we are angry with Allāh, in actuality we are just angry with ourselves and looking for someone else to blame. We are directing all of our frustration towards something outside of us because it’s easier to blame someone else than it is to realise that it is our job to cultivate our own happiness and when bad things happen, instead of being angry with God, it is more appropriate to self-reflect and seek help and guidance from Him, instead.
I once attended a talk on forgiveness by Shaykh Muhammad al-Ninowy. A person from the audience said he has repented for his sins but he still feels that Allāh is angry at him and has not forgiven him for his wrongdoings. Shaykh Ninowy replied: “You’ve not forgiven yourself which is why you think Allāh has not forgiven YOU.”
Although it is hard, it’s important to learn to separate how we feel about ourselves and how we think He perceives us. In reality, we do not truly know what Allāh thinks of us but we can rely on His Mercy to forgive us and guide us because we are imperfect beings who need to make mistakes in order to learn and mature.
A Bedouin once urinated in the Prophet ﷺ’s masjid and it angered some of the sahabat who initially planned to attack him but was stopped by Rasulullah ﷺ himself. He advised the Bedouin gently and the man apologised.
The Bedouin was touched by the kindness of Muhammad ﷺ but was upset with the harshness of some of his sahabat so he cried: “O God, forgive me and Muhammad and no one else.” The Prophet ﷺ laughed and said: “You are limiting the vast mercy of God.”
This hadith made me realise that when we do not know Allāh for who He truly is, we impose our limitations onto Him. Believing that Allāh has limits to His Mercy is insulting because only the creation have limitations.
It is commonly known that Allāh is Al-Rahman (Most Merciful) and Al-Rahim (Most Compassionate) but those are just 2 out of the 99 names of His that are known to us. When we take our time to reflect on His Names and Attributes, only then can our love and appreciation for Allāh deepen.
Other names and attributes of allah:
Al-Shakur (Most Appreciative). He appreciates every good that we do no matter how little it seems to our eyes and even when it is hidden from the world. People often overlook the little things we do for them but their time and attention are divided among many things, Allāh is not constrained by anything so His Appreciation is not affected.
Al-Karim (Most Bountiful). He gives not because He has to but because He wants to out of His limitless generosity. Unfortunately, we often limit his bounties to what is visible to the eye. Blessings also come in the form of love, good health, knowledge (especially of the deen) and hidayah (guidance).
Al-Latif (The All Subtle, Most Gentle). Allāh guides and gives His servants what they need in the most subtle of ways which means when He helps us or rewards us, we may not even realise it. We may be asking for things which could invite harm into our lives so when we are denied what we want, it is a subtle way to protect us and give us what is more appropriate and useful for us.
Al-Wadud (Most Loving). In a world where many people are looking for love in all the wrong places, know that Allāh is the source of ALL love. The love you receive from the people in your life are but a small portion of His Infinite love. It’s important to love His creation but it’s even more important to love the Creator for His Love sustains and heals us.
Al-Ghafur (The Most Forgiving). Allāh does not tire from forgiving; He is not human. Humans run out of patience and mercy but Allāh does not. Many people find it hard to believe that Allāh could forgive the worst of sinners but they forget that He is Compassionate and He is fair in His Judgment.
In my experience, not knowing Allāh is one of the reasons we struggle to find peace in our faith. Happiness comes with the certainty of knowing who God is and certainty is built upon knowledge, not ignorance. Seeking knowledge is a lifelong journey and for as long as there’s air in our lungs, there is always an opportunity to learn biidhnillah. ♥️