We are preparing to bring our newborn baby into the world. Part of that means announcing the adhan in the baby’s right ear and the iqamah in the left ear. My husband carries the responsibility for this as we’ve decided he will be in a better position to calmly ensure this tradition is carried on, as we had with our first born also.
The purpose of announcing the call to prayer to the baby is so that the first words he or she hears are the invitation to Allah. Also, whenever Allah is mentioned, Satan will retreat as he fears the name of Allah. So in that sense, it is a protection for the baby also to be surrounded by Allah and the call to prayer.
I remember living in the city and hearing the call to prayer from the loudspeakers at the masjid. There is nothing more compelling than to hear this throughout the neighborhood. It draws you in with its tone and always made me feel like I was part of something greater. The beauty of the call to prayer is that all over the world, millions of Muslims just like yourself are all gathering to bow down in prayer facing the same direction, bowing down in the exact same manner, using the exact same words, all at exactly the same time, all over the world. Sometimes I would think of this when I would feel alone in Islam, when I would feel like I stood out when I would excuse myself for prayers or praying in front of others at work. I would remember that an entire world of other muslims exist out there.
So in that respect, I invite my newborn into this world, into this community of muslims and invite him or her to adhere their prayers and join the beautiful faith of Islam. I feel so blessed to have been given the gift of Islam in my life. Alhumdulilla.
How many new muslims have thrown themselves into Islam with passion and enthusiasm, and then without intention, start to move farther from the closeness we had developed during our initiation? I know that for myself, going to the masjid was such a moving event for me and so inspiring. When I had time to myself, I was praying, visiting the masjid, and feeling powerful in my faith, strengthened each day by my prayers. I was staying on the right path and felt close to Allah.
After my child was born, I stopped praying so often and once returning to work, the life of this world consumed me. All I had time to focus on was being efficient at work, getting home on time to spend time with my son, and taking care of the household. My prayers went to the sidelines as everything else but Allah made up my daily routine. I prayed only intermittently, family and friends fell to the wayside. I thought of Allah in my commute to work when the amazing colors of the sunrise were right in front of me, but I soon forgot as soon as I walked into the office. I no longer lived in the present.
Since then bad habits and negativity have essentially replaced what I once filled with my faith. Care for others, compassion, and a desire to please Allah took a back seat to the hustle and bustle of the here and now. I criticized, back-bit others, and had a general all-about-me attitude. Ramadan came and went – never before have I felt so far from Allah.
Allah has blessed me with so much – I have another child on the way. I am beginning to feel a strong pull back to where I once was – time spent contemplating the words of the Qur’an, meaningful prayers spoken and felt in my heart again.
While it took me a long time to reach this point, I don’t fear it will take me long to reach back to where I was, because I know that with each step I take towards Allah, Allah will cover twice the distance. All I can do is show my appreciation that Allah is always there to guide us and bring us back. And although I may have wavered from the straight path, Allah knows what is in my heart and will reach out to bring me back to the right way. All I must do is open my heart and my mind to the true meaning of this life – praising Allah in all that we say and do.
Today I will thank Allah for the water I drink, for the food I eat. I will pray and ask Allah to guide me.