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).”
Quran [2:165]

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)?

Sarah Gulamhusein

Sarah Gulamhusein

Sarah is a Master’s graduate in Psychology, having completed an undergraduate degree in Medical Biochemistry. She is passionate about mental health and has attained a good knowledge of mental illnesses from both a scientific and psychological perspective. From her early years, she has been a keen writer and has consistently used her words to raise awareness and battle the stigma of mental health in society, highlight the challenges faced by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities within the UK – especially for an organisation called 1000women. She hopes to use her skills and motivation to inspire others, promote co-existence and help others.

9 Comments

  • Nour El Souri says:

    Salam,
    It is Allah Almighty who increases ones Imaan. You just have to be a seeker. If you seek to be closer to Him and genuinely ask Him to accept you as His slave, knowing that nothing you do is enough to show your gratitude to Him… surely He will not let you down. And if you seek any other than Him, you are telling Him that you have found another source for you happiness. Never give up on your dua “oh turner of hearts, make my heart steadfast on your faith” for He alone is the granter of Imaan.

    Imagine a child who is crying for a sweet. Every day the child goes to his mother crying that she gives him a sweet… hoping that in any moment his mother will finally say yes! Every time she says no, the child returns to her (the same source). Once the child discovers a new source (the corner shop) he exits the fold of his mother’s power and becomes independent from the need to rely on her mercy. Likewise, a believer!

  • Inna Khazan, PhD Clinical Psychologist Instructor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School wrote this excellent book: http://bit.ly/1axuHOv “The Clinical Handbook of Biofeedback: A Step-by-Step Guide for Training and Practice with Mindfulness” A practical guide to the clinical use of biofeedback, integrating powerful mindfulness techniques.

  • Sarah Gulamhusein says:

    Wa Alaykum Salaam Nour,

    Thank you for the lovely comment! It is so logical and heartwarming, mashAllah! We’re always looking for people to be guest authors on our blog, so if you would like to share a story or write a longer post (which could be about anything) please do get in touch here: https://inspiritedminds.org.uk/get-involved/share-your-story/.

    JazakAllah Khayr,
    Sarah

  • Sana says:

    ASA, thanks so much for the message. I especially related to the bit about letting our thoughts and behaviour slip when we meet difficult people or have to deal with a difficult relationship in our lives. That happens to me and to be honest with myself it’s frequently my own impatience that’s to blame. But somehow I keep resolving to improve and then even successfully try for a few days but then slip again. I think as women we also have mood changes related to our biological cycles which, at least for myself, makes me more irritable and I “mess up” at such low points. This is practically a constant in my life since my teens and I used to get miserable and hopeless but I’ve learnt (or am learning) to keep trying and also not to magnify the situation in my own head- one has to balance the guilt as well and not let it become self-destructive- if the other person isn’t particularly hurt don’t torture yourself for hours over what u said- just stay positive because Allah values ur endeavour-and that’s what I try to tell myself almost every day!
    Salam.

    • Sarah Gulamhusein says:

      Wasalaam Sana,

      Thank you very much for your comment and adding to the discussion.

      I agree, it is very difficult to keep staying positive and control our reactions when it comes to dealing with other people. And yes, as you pointed out, our monthly cycles and hormonal states can influence how we feel and react in these situations. But this is all part of life, and sometimes the best that we can do is just to try – plain and simple.

      Trying is a good place to be in because when we are trying, we are pushing our energy to keep moving and keep being motivated. Additionally, we are also unknowingly cultivating new habits when we try, and before you know it things like balancing your emotions, staying on the positive side and keeping Allah (SWT) at the forefront will become an intricate part of life. Its abit like staying away from oily foods or very sweet foods for a long time – there comes a point when if you eat the oily or extra-sweet food item then you actually feel unsettled or uncomfortable. This is because its become a habit to stay away from it, and when you re-introduce it to your system then your not used to it.

      I pray to the Almighty to bless you with positivity and strength to continue trying in His way, and inshAllah succeed. Ameen.

      JazakAllah,
      Sarah

  • Sana Mahmud says:

    Ameen. JZK u Khair for your prayers and kind words.

  • Hira Tariq says:

    Doing conscious effort to be nice with His people along with the daily worship can be a way to strengthen our relationship with Allah Almighty.

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