Looking For God

This is a piece I wrote while in the airplane…

 

Looking for God

By: Yasmin Mogahed

 

I’ve been looking for God my whole life. I just didn’t know it.

When we study those things that we all seek—in life, in a companion, in everything—we’ll find that both the believer and the atheist are actually just seeking God. See, God is the designer. Whether you’re an atheist or a believer, God is the designer of your needs, your affinities, your inclinations. And He has designed these inner drives to fit the natural order: tawheed (to seek, recognize and submit to one single higher power).

Think for a moment about what you and I seek. What do you look for in a companion, for example? What are we running after and willing to give anything just to hear?

“I’m taking care of you.”

“It’s going to be okay.”

“I love you. Always. That will never diminish or change.”

“You can hold on to me.”

“I will never let you down.”

“I will never hurt you.”

“I will never leave you.”

“I will always be there for you.”

“I appreciate you.”

“I see you.”

“I understand you.”

“I know who you are.”

“I’m close to you.”

“I will forgive you.”

“You don’t have to be perfect.”

“I will never abandon you.”

“I will never betray you.”

“I got your back.”

“I’ll take care of it.”

“I’m listening. I’m really listening.”

“I’ll never let them hurt you.”

“I’ll always protect you.”

“I’ll never leave you.”

“You are never alone.”

“I will never leave you alone.”

“When everything around you is falling apart, I’ll hold you up.”

“I truly only want what’s best for you.”

“Even when you’re messing up, I will still forgive you.”

“Even when you’re unable to give, I will always give you.”

“Even when you’re fighting me, I’ll still be kind. I still won’t abandon you.”

“No matter what you do, I can always forgive you.”

“I love you despite your weaknesses and your faults.”

“I will give you peace.”

“I will make you happy.”

“I will give you stability.”

“I will give you strength and power.”

“I will cure you.”

“I will give you status and respect.”

“I will always comfort you.”

“No matter how tiny the gesture is, if you do it for me, I’ll appreciate and reward you for it.”

“If you turn to me, I’ll be there for you, no matter what.”

“No matter what you’ve done to me, I can always forgive you.”

 

The truth is, when we thought we were looking for a good husband or a good wife or a good job or a lot of money or a lot of fame, we were really just looking for God. So it’s no wonder that we got disappointed when the husband, the wife, the job, the money or the fame didn’t fill our need—or our emptiness.

Even that emptiness itself was created for a purpose: To drive us to fill it. The problem is we try to fill it with the wrong things. Everything inside us was created to enable our journey to find the true fill, to find Him. Ironically even shaytan and the nafs—if reacted to correctly—can become a means to reach Him.  Shaytan and the nafs are our enemies. True. But how can we protect ourselves from them? Can the people help? Can money help? Can worldly power or weapons help protect us from our greatest enemies? Where is the *only* shelter from both shaytan and our nafs? The only shelter is in Allah. It’s like sending a storm to push us to the only refuge. To push us to Him (azza wa jal).

Even your sins can be used to push you to God. After all, who else can forgive you for them? Where else can you find shelter from the storm and horror of your own sins? Who else can take care of them and erase them and even transform them into good deeds?

Your fears can also be a means. When you’re scared, who else can protect you? Who else can give you comfort and safety, when you’re stranded in the middle of an ocean? When you’re poor, who else can provide? When you’re sad, who else can pull you up? When you’re broken, who else can mend your heart and your life? Who else can give life to what’s dead? Who else can cure you? Who else can save you? When you’re lost, who else can guide you?

Who else?

You thought the storm, the ocean, the fear, the sadness, the mistakes, the loss, the brokenness was all bad for you. But really it was only a means. It was all a vehicle to make you seek Him. To bring you back. To bring you back to completion, to happiness, to life. To bring you back to where you began. To bring you back to all that you really seek.

To bring you back to Him.

 

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45 Comments

  1. Alhamdulillah. jazakkAllah, TQ sis Yasmin for this truly beautiful words.

    Salam and love from Malaysia

  2. Subhanallah…this is a really a good article…that’s answered all my questions in my mind… Jazakallahukhairan sis yasmin… Keep it up..may Allah bless u. Amin

  3. Amazing piece sister. Thank you soooo much. May Allah bless you!

  4. Subhanallah may u continue to inspire us and may allah swt grant you his barakah in everything you do

  5. Subhanallah this actually is so true all we are doing is looking for that love that fulfillment and the only way will will ever be able to achieve that is by Allah.

  6. Masha Allaah, if only they whose always feel in misery fully understand their misery just like what you said.

  7. Al-Mu’min,
    For every situation we face in our life, There is a certain Name of Allah(SWT) for it.
    We should learn n live by Allah’s name n Try to acquire what we can from these Names n In order to be better Muslims n human beings.

  8. What purpose should a spouse serve us then?

    • To answer that, we should look in the Quran. How does Allah describe that relationship?
      Coolness of the eyes, a garment, love and mercy…another means to get closer to what mankind ultimately seeks: God.

  9. Allaho Akbar, what you said sister Yasmin your are right. despite my weak English I really affected of this useful statement. keep it up and Allah save all muslims sis and bro. ameen

  10. mashallah sister…i can’t believe i’m tearing!! May Allah swt reward you with FIRDAWS AL A3LA.. AMEEN

  11. I found these words in a time of great need. Jazakallah Khair.

  12. سبحان الله you always come out with the right post in the right time … i have been thinking in this same subject for weeks now ,,

    جزاك الله خير

    • Me too.

      • Me three :)

  13. This is amazing! One of the best articles I’ve ever read. Or infact THE best.

  14. Assalamoe alaikoum Yasmin, barakallahoefiek for sharing your knowledge, may Allah bless you! I would like to send you an email because of a question I want to ask in name of a organisation, is that possible?

  15. Beautifully written, Jazaakallahu Kheyr. This is a great Eman booster…

  16. Jazaakillahu khairan ukhtee!!

  17. Assalamuailaikum Yasmin. Masha Allah. That was beautiful. Alhamdulillah…

  18. Fire purifies gold. In this matter we could somewhat understand why the devils are made from fire. For everytime they come to us, to deviate us, we turn to Allah with all our heart to protect ourselves from them. And by turning to Allah, remembering Allah, it will purify our heart.

    Thank you for sharing. You have been such an inspiration to me.

  19. Sister Yasmin I just love the way you write masha’Allah! It’s so simple yet it touches the heart!

  20. Love this article, Yasmin <3

  21. Awesome words of wisdom. Sister may Allah bless you for guiding the ummah. Ameen.

  22. Absolutely wonderful! Reminds me of: Only in the rememberance of their Lord do hearts find rest.

  23. jazakumAllahu khairan! May Allah bless you now and forever.

  24. Im a very spiritual person pray everyday listen to Surah Rehman aalmost 40 times a day and all the other surahs for prosperity and good luck .I ve an open question for all Muslamins I m an skin care expert i train in different spas and salons
    In one salon a pakistani girl Sehar would call me apa and would tell me im her best friend and all if she wouldnt butter me still i would have taught her my trade then she now works in a salon in the mall ,before i go further lemme tell you with her sweet buttery words she really made me spent lot of money to get her all expensive skin care products to henna cones to threads for eyebrow threading from india so much so that she would invite me for her daughters birthday but as im a professional photographer i had to do the photo session so all the time while other guests enjoy i was all the time on my toes taking pictures with my heavy zoom camera NOW she knew being totally good hearted i supply products to the other salon where first she became my best friend the owners of that salon learnt the complete trade of companies dealing and distributorship well the owners were also Pakistanis sweet talkers and then they kicked me out of the picture after learning everything i learnt my lesson never trust pakistani’s they lie and make false promise as they will always deal with me but anyways most of you will obviously think im dumb but as im God fearing and i live in usa where after working for so long with alll english speaking people when you meet people well they speak urdu im indian but still same language so i felt at home…so here at new place in mall she invited me to meet her new indian owners from chicage to sell my products i trained all the pakistani girls here at new location and they bought the kit to do facials on clients as i saw they were not very good in threading and mostly all non english speaking and Sehar complained APa plz help our salon i said fine im already busy with my clients but ill come and work for 2 days a week and bring in my clients too SHukaralhamdolilah im blessed with my following then she said no never mind the owners said No we cant hire no more girls though the owners when i had met them were so impressed by my knowledge of skin that they wanted me to work there but it was saturday and i had just gone to meet the owners as they were going back to CHicago we are in miami NOw this week she called me apa how much woudl you charge for the kit i quoted my price and then she said i got so expensive price from the old owners the pakistanis owners we both had met initially I said what she goes apa sorry i contacted Andy sir but i made a mistake i said than buy from him she goes no my owners will not like it as Andy sir is our rival in business and she would always criticize Andy for being an abuser and user etc now my friends i come to know through Andy Sir that Sehar is not comfortable with me and she is doing business with Andy SIr,,im feeling very used by Sehar because when i confronted her she is telling me ANdy SIr himself came to me and said iwill give you better price then Rox ….blah blah blah because remember she herself accepted that she called them first and asked for pricing and found them too expensive im not hurt for losing business the trust the way she used me my husband and my children as if she was best friend almost family infact when she didnt allow me to work at the mall ,Andy Sir himself told me Rox you are honest hardworking will pick their business with your talent since 2 years this salon is doing loss and once you enter the owners will realize wow we are paying Sehar so much for her nonsensical talk Sehar knows to sell herself as a receptionist at the first salon she would do so much account mistake but Andy Sir had to put up with her as she was doing henna but never mind my question here is WHY she gave business to Andy SIr instead of me …Sehar knew Andy SIr had stolen all my contacts from me and even my graphics for my own product line …Sehar would always tell me My GOd this men is such a liar lanat padi hai ALLah ki iskei muh per infact when i text msg her that u knew the whole story from begining till end you are same like Andy SIr her nerve she is texting me back dont you dare compare me to Andy im very clear hearted and Andy sir has forced me to buy from him as my owners dont come to miami they will not know im buying from Andy ….MY question is she seems like a pathological liar or what because sehar knows that i ve huge clientelle expertise in chemical peels and facials as im laser tech and eletrologists my license comes from health department Im hurt because i really thought i had this best friend and now Andy Sir was laughing at me when he came to buy from me because for some products( Andy SIr) they still rely upon me ….he said Sehar is crazy and good in giving loss to her bosses for her ego and she feels very illiterate in your presence Answer me people this girl i thought was my friend and now im just thinking wow everytime she made sure she used me she wrote in her text ofcourse Rox you forced me to get estheticians license taught me threading but dont expect me to shout from tree tops you helped me prosper i had no expectation from her but i left my work and clients waiting while i went to her workplace to help Answer me people im shocked and hurt bacause i feel all pakistani’s talk sweetly just to use your knowledge and money and kick you when they are contented Every American client who are close to me i ask them the same question and they all say Pakis ars very bad people low souls
    What prayer should i do for fast healing my heart im really really hurt if Sehar would have bought products from some other distributor then me would be fine but same product which i had researched she bought from people who already stole from me :(((

  25. بارك الله فيك و جزاك الله خير…..زادك الله إيمانا و هدى ورزقك العلم النافع و العمل الصالح و الحرص على الخير….شكرا على هذا المقال الرائع

  26. Salaams sister Yasmin what’s the best way to all you a question directly? Via email?

  27. Basically my situation is such that my mother feels that i wronged her by marrying the person of my choice. I feel she has not forgiven me even though she says she has. Our relationship has not been the same since and i worry about Allah swt view of me if my own mother is upset with me. Will He accept my pleas for forgiveness, for guidance, for a happy Islamic marriage?

    • Dear Zara,

      My advice to you would be to:

      1. Sincerely ask your mother to forgive you for any wrong you did to her or any of her rights that you did not fulfill. Tell her that you desperately seek her blessing in your marriage.

      2. Sincerely ask Allah for forgiveness for any possible wrong you did against Him and/or against your mother.

      If your mother has said she forgives you, then alhamdulilah. You have done your part. And if you are sincere, insha Allah, Allah will also forgive you.

      Your sister,
      Yasmin

  28. mashallah sister yasmin i really love u for the sake of allah thanks for all this reminder. if not in this life may we meet in jannah inshallah

  29. this is beautiful..touched me deeply. may Allah forgive my sins..

  30. amazing, really amazing

  31. thank you for this :’)

  32. Simply beautiful mashAllah. Reading all the phrases in between brought tears to my eyes. We can’t get any of that except from Allah (SWT).

  33. Why is it so hard to get close to our creator? I pray and wear hijab but I don’t feel any closer to God..Planning to change for the better is constantly on my mind; i know because my mind is always occupied with questions such as “am i doing things right?”"what is it that god want from me” “who am i exactly” .I like to make random conversations with people but i won’t go on and on and on about random things that we encounter everyday. My mind would start to wander if people keep telling me that they’re too concerned about worldly things and all that. I mean don’t get me wrong im concerned too but it’s just thati dont wanna talk abt it 24/7. But of course, i won’t tell them this because im not strong enough to accept criticism if people think im just trying to be different.I’m more worried if everyday would be the same for me…like no progress has been made and everything…i mean….we wanted to have sth, not just a peace of mind but some kind of truth…it’s like we want to praise God when we look at people/ things but all these things don’t come naturally…i mean it all comes from God but it’s hard for me to realise that…even when we see people’s weaknesses, it’s really not up to us to condemn or criticize us…i mean, how do we really seek God?

    • Call upon him. He will answer your call. Make sure you call with a sincere and humble heart.

    • As-salam alikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu Nur Mira,

      I read your post and I just wanted to offer some advice because I somehow understand what you’re going through~ I just wanted to let you know that by already wearing the hijab you are opening the door to understanding~ People who don’t know about Islam or the fact that you’re Muslim will always be curious as to why you wear the hijab~ And so when you’re around these people, and they start speaking on and on of “worldly things”, you can excuse yourself and make it the perfect time to declare that you’re a Muslim~ I think this is a good opportunity to educate others, but in a good-mannered way and not: “oh you guys im sick of you talking about dunya because im muslim”…that would not work out well I think~
      Also, hanging around with people who are more religious, who contemplate more on the Akhira and what they can do to please Allah (azza wa jal) is an excellent way for you to find the blessings of Allah in those people~ Because He has guided you and them to speak things that please Him, to do things that please Him, and live life to please Him~

      May Allah(SWT) continue to guide you to the path of righteousness~
      - Aisha

  34. this was perfectly written mashaallah :)

  35. Masha Allah, Alhamdulillaah by the qadr of Allah your talks really help me to sort my heart out. May Allah reward you ameen.

  36. MasyaAllaaah.. Alhamdulillah for sister Yasmin.. May Allah grant you JANNAH.. and May He be Please with you.. Syukran ya Allah.. syukran sister Yasmin

  37. سبحان الله..very heart touching

  38. subhan ALLAH :)

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