Where do we draw our purpose from?
Like the nutrients and energy that flows from the roots of a tree all the way to the tip of the top-most leaf, or the gushing waters of the river that seeks to quickly reach its destination in the wider sea, purpose can define our entire existence. It drives us and motivates us in every moment of our life. However, we get to decide where we draw our purpose from.
As Muslims, we constantly hear about strengthening our relationship with Allah (SWT) and how we need to build our connection with Him and place Him at the forefront of our words and actions. Why? Because our success in this world and the next is dependent on this connection with our Creator. This connection drives our every action and moulds our very being. It is what gives us purpose.
Not just purpose for the sake of purpose, or for feeling a sense of belonging, but because we believe that this is our true purpose: strengthening our relationship with our Creator. The One who loves us more than our mother does. The One who loves His Creation so much so, that He blessed us with messenger after messenger, prophet after prophet – all with the knowledge of His Oneness, His Love and His Existence.
The road to creating a strong and vibrant connection with the Almighty is that we can use all the tools at our disposal to do so – such as mindfulness. In knowing Our Lord, even if our knowledge is just a fraction of the reality, we are a huge step closer to Him.
This knowledge can be in the form of reciting the Holy Quran, which are the words of Allah (SWT), and understanding it by reading the tafseer (commentary) or pondering over the verses – on what He is trying to say or explain. It can also be in the form of learning about Allah (SWT)’s many names and characteristics (99 of which have been relayed to us), and trying to understand the nature of our Creator.
Sometimes we can achieve this by just talking with Allah (SWT). Communication is the key to any relationship, and this one is no different. Whether it’s by making duaa (supplication) or just conversing under our breath, Allah (SWT) is always listening. He is Al-Waasi, All-Embracing and Omnipresent, and Al-Sami’, the All-Hearing. So, just talk to Him and you’ll be surprised at how often He replies, in unusual, surprising but effective ways.
As our knowledge of the Almighty increases, so will our love for Him and in turn so will our faith. It is this faith that will strengthen our purpose and make our love unflinching and loyal. It is this faith that our Prophet (ﷺ) exhibited, and hopefully we can all aim towards this.
“And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah/ But those who believe, love Allah more (thank anything else).”
This will not always be the case, since every relationship has its ups and downs – just like every connection can be super-fast at certain times and really slow at others. There are things that can weaken this connection, like bad weather or faulty equipment. Sometimes we can become overwhelmed with our daily lives or bogged down with struggles, causing us to miss our communication time with Allah (SWT) or forget about Him for a while. Alternatively, we can sometimes encounter difficult people and allow ourselves to think and behave poorly as a result of that (a common part of human nature).
By recognising that these things can weaken our connection with our Creator, we can try to avoid these situations as much as possible or try to think twice about the way we react or respond (for those instances that we cannot avoid). Being prepared for what life can throw our way is a great mindset that we can have, because then we are in the best position to catch it rather than be slapped in the face.
Achieving mindfulness in prayer and in life is not easy. It is a habit that needs to be cultivated and consistently practiced until it comes instinctively. Until it becomes second nature. Well, just like mindfulness, strengthening our connection with our Creator is easier said than done. And, just like mindfulness, it takes a conscious effort and dedicated practice to cultivate.
How have you tried to strengthen your relationship with Allah (SWT)?