Khalid Latif Profile picture
Jun 11, 2018 22 tweets 4 min read
I've come home at all kinds of late hours during this Ramadan to find my wife Priya sleeping. Sometimes I watch her in that deep sleep and whether she is on our couch or in our bed, any noise that I make doesn't seem to phase her. (Thread)
What always breaks it though is when she hears a sound from either our son or daughter and instinctively gets up to see if they are ok. Aside from realizing how blessed I am to be married to the woman that I am married to, it reminds me of a day from a few years ago.
Priya and I were in California with our daughter and on that day my understanding of God changed a lot after seeing my wife be a mother to our child.
We were taking a walk up a small hill overlooking the San Francisco Bay with some of our friends who live there and the scene was remarkably serene. The setting sun glistened over the water and the view of the city behind it was breathtaking.
Our daughter, a year and a half old at that time, was enjoying it most of all as she ran and jumped over and over again. It was a real beautiful moment, until she slipped and fell.
Everything seemed to stop as our baby girl's cries pierced through our insides. We all ran towards her and as she lifted her head, we saw the blood gushing out excessively. Nothing else seemed to matter as we moved to help in whatever way we could.
Amidst it all, my wife's face is something that stuck with me the most. Although we all love our daughter so much, you could tell Priya felt her pain in a different way and if she could do anything to take it away she would.
Even if Priya had to be the one who got hurt instead over and over, no part of me doubted that she would take it.
Priya took our baby girl close to her and held her til the tears stopped. She made funny noises and changed the tone of her voice knowing that it would get her to laugh. She cleaned up the cut, put on bandaids, and soothed her with a quiet voice to make it all hurt less.
She forwent eating her dinner to hold her until she was asleep in her arms. She rocked her gently to sleep again once we were back in the hotel and, hours later, woke up and held her some more when she started to cry again around fajr time. The love of a mother is remarkable.
"God is more merciful to His servants than a mother is to her child." ~ The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
The Prophet Muhammad on numerous occasions utilized the love and affection of a mother towards her child to illustrate to his companions how much God loves and is merciful towards His creation.
Once in the aftermath of a battle, he and his companions saw a mother looking for her son and witnessed her reaction after finding him. He asked them if they think this woman would ever hurt this child, literally "Do you think this woman would ever throw her child into the fire?"
Their response is no, not if she has the authority and power to keep him from it. The Prophet responded that God is more merciful to His servants than a mother is to her child.
Growing up, my understanding of God was always tainted by a negative framing. Through Sunday schools and Friday sermons, I learned that God was watching me, but only later on in life I understood that God was watching over me -- two very different things.
A fundamental value in Islam is Ihsaan and a definition of the word is given by the Prophet Muhammad when he is engaged by the Angel Gabriel, peace be upon him, on one instance. Amongst other questions, he asks the Prophet what is Ihsaan.
In response the Prophet Muhammad says, "[Ihsaan] is to worship God as if you can see Him because although you cannot see Him, He can see you."
When I was younger, my understanding of God made me understand this concept as one that told me to be careful because God is watching you. Now that I am older I understand it moreso as "Be strong and courageous, God is with you and watching over you."
My understanding of God has begun to be shaped more by how He describes Himself.

In a hadith qudsi, God says "I am as My servant thinks I am." Do you conceptualize God as being the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy, even more merciful than a mother is to her child?
As being the Most Gentle and the Most Compassionate? Or do you see Him as an angry, old man looking for a reason to punish? It's an important question because how you conceptualize God will dictate so many things in your life.
I personally prefer the former rather than the latter and I am lucky to have a wife who is a great mother that reminds me of it all the time. You will have to decide for yourself how you approach it. I hope it will be through a prism of love inshallah.
Keep me in your prayers, especially in these last blessed nights of #Ramadan. You and your loved ones are in mine as always. <3

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