Love For the Sake of Allah (s.w.t)

أُحِبُّكِ فِي اللَّهِ

I had last night what I call one of my ‘wow’ moments of Ramadan.
As we started to make the suff for esha salah at our masjid, and I, concentrating only on joining feet to feet and shoulder to shoulder, was taking my place next to this lady, she turned around, looked me full in the face with a beautiful big organic smile, eyes shining, and said: ‘Sister, I love you!’

For a second there I was totally nonplussed, as my automatic response system searched frantically for the correct Arabic reply to this taught by the Prophet saw….the imam was reaching the end of his iqama…the sister was still smiling at me expectantly….(my mind was racing: Did she know me? Did she recognize me from somewhere? Did it matter??!!!)

Then Alhamdulillah some good instinct kicked in…my arm went round her shoulders to give her a warm squeeze and I was able to mumble something about loving each other for the sake of Allah, and Allah accepting all our good deeds and intentions in this blessed month, on this powerful night…..hoping my gesture would convey what I couldn’t put in words very coherently…..phew!!!

But it was an incredible moment in terms of the sheer warmth it inspired in me and I still feel the glow…..That in itself is something to reflect on when I think about our hearts usually so numbed and dead that deaths of fellow Muslims elsewhere in the world are mere statistics for us and their suffering don’t even move our lips to utter a few words of genuine dua.

I thought of the “Simple Good Deeds in Ramadan: Smile – It’s a Charity” tip I had given to my kids and was humbled to realize that this woman had taught me so simply that we need to take these eternal bits of wisdom, personalize them, and make them “our own”….not just turn them into meaningless acts done on auto-pilot.

When I got home, I took out my basket of dua cards and booklets to refresh my memory about what my fuzzy brain couldn’t recall on the spot. Ah! there it was….the card from so many years ago when our little caravan of 5 students had made that memorable trip up to Canada for our Convocation at Alhuda back in the summer of 2008….and I had delved into the subject of Friendship and Love for the Sake of Allah azza wa jal……