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An Unequal Exchange.

Imagine the following scenario. Imagine you had a friend whom you cared for very deeply. However, that friend did not seem to feel the same way. Imagine this friend rarely ever picked up your phone calls. He or she never responded to your text messages. This friend never wanted to make plans to see you, and if you were to have an unexpected encounter, he or she may or may not briefly acknowledge your presence, but will then continue on with his or her day  as though the encounter had never taken place. How long do you think this friendship will last? Eventually you will not be interested in this friend, and if he or she is ever in a desperate situation and asks you for a favor, what is the likelihood of you helping? For most of us, the answer is simple: we would not help this friend, and eventually we would want nothing to do with him or her. After all, he or she never acknowledged us previous to his or her state of desperation. Without even realizing it, this is exactly what some of us are doing. However, in our daily situations, we are the ones doing the ignoring, except instead of ignoring our friends, we are ignoring our Creator.

Our connection with Allah (swt) should be strong and firm. He should be someone we love, who is always on our mind, close to our heart, and someone we are constantly striving to please. Yet the reality does not always prove to be this way. A lot of times we find ourselves substituting His love for the love of worldly things, we keep our friends closer to our hearts than Him, and when it comes to pleasing others, society is at the top of our list. We cannot expect the mercy of the Most Merciful if we do nothing to deserve it. In Surat Al-Ma’arij, after Allah (swt) lists the characteristics and lifestyle of those who will enter His paradise, He moves on to talking about those who will not. When talking about the people who did not strive for His sake, Allah (swt) asks a rhetorical question, He says, “Does every person among them hope to enter a Paradise of pleasure?” [70:38]. We cannot be a people who does little but asks for much in return.

May Allah (swt) give us all the strength and will power we need to strive for His sake in our every waking moment. May He give us the power we need to overcome our evil inclinations and may all of our efforts be for Him and Him alone. May He bless us with His eternal Mercy and make us of those that live the lifestyle of true Muslims and have the characteristics of our beloved prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

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