I have always felt odd talking about my mom in a neutral or positive light, maybe because I’ve always focused on her negative qualities. Over time, I’ve alienated myself from her deliberately, and not all of my reasons for doing so were wrong. But now that I am able to handle what I know will come my way (inshaAllah), I think I should stop pretending to be a vulnerable victim and start doing what I know is right.
My aunt told me a few days back how much my mom praises me and loves me. I don’t need anyone to tell me that my mom loves me-that’s a given with *every* mom, but when she told me that my mom is proud of me, my world changed. Before this, I mostly used to hear complaints and sometimes I cared while at other times not necessarily.
I remember how miserable I used to be in high school; and I know for a fact that one of the main causes of my misery was my failure to treat my parents the way Allah had obligated.
One of my main du’as used to be: “O Allah, make my parents pleased with me because Your Pleasure lies in their pleasure.”
Then, I started the journey of trying to fix my behavior with my parents. I remember first verbalizing my intention to do so to my friend on the last day of school when I was in 11th grade.
Even two years after that, I still felt as if I was lost, as if my efforts were in vain. But SubhanAllah, as with all things, Allah gave me victory with patience. I know for a fact that my parents will never be 100% pleased with me and nor will one of them probably ever say it to my face if they are, but at least I know that they are right now and that Allah is consequently pleased with me too, at least in this arena (inshaAllah).
This is an extremely personal bit of my life that I decided to share because I think there are lessons to learn from it (apart from the fact that I feel kind of at ease right now).
1) Allah is the Turner of the Hearts, so ask Him to turn your heart to His deen and His obedience. If you feel constricted by any relationship factor that is not in your control, ask Allah to help you. Beg Him to fix your situation and to grant you sabr and istiqamah, because without patience and steadfastness, you will fail.
2) Dedication is the key to attaining anything in life. Wanting something but ignoring it or not working towards it diligently will not gain you anything.
3) Your mom loves you more than anyone else, just short of your Creator Himself, Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala). You need to make time for her and validate her concerns instead of brushing them off. There is an incredible amount of love that goes into her nagging, scolding and disciplining.
4) If you love one parent more than the other, that’s not your fault; it’s a matter of the heart. But your treatment of them should be according to what the Qur’an and Sunnah dictated, i.e. a mother is 3x higher in degree than a father.
5) Learn to overlook peoples’ mistakes, esp. those of your parents. When you seek to understand people and they notice that, they will automatically let their guard down and trust and respect you. In the case of parents, when you obey them, they love you more and they become more lenient towards your shortcomings.
6) Victory comes slowwwwly. Really, really slowly. Like a wave that comes in to shore, you must come and carry the bad sand away into the ocean and purify it. You must wait and work until what you want to become is what you are.
7) The road to improvement never ends. When you have one negative thing in your life, get rid of it, revel in the joy of doing so and then move on to other things that need improvement. InshaAllah one day you’ll be able to stand before Allah telling Him all about your journey of Tazkiyah (purification).
May Allah grant us all the ability to fulfill our obligations to our parents and to treat them with love and respect. May Allah open their hearts to understanding us better and ours to do the same. Ameen.