03 Nov Sūratu’l-A‘rāf [The Heights]: (7:189–190).Part1
هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَجَعَلَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا لِيَسْكُنَ إِلَيْهَا ۖ فَلَمَّا تَغَشَّاهَا حَمَلَتْ حَمْلًا خَفِيفًا فَمَرَّتْ بِهِ ۖ فَلَمَّا أَثْقَلَت دَّعَوَا اللَّهَ رَبَّهُمَا لَئِنْ آتَيْتَنَا صَالِحًا لَّنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الشَّاكِرِينَ ۞ فَلَمَّا آتَاهُمَا صَالِحًا جَعَلَا لَهُ شُرَكَاءَ فِيمَا آتَاهُمَا ۚ فَتَعَالَى اللَّهُ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ
“It is He Who created you from a single human self, and made from it its mate, so that he (inclining with love towards his mate) may find rest in her. And so, when he has covered her, she conceives a light burden, and continues to bear it. Then, when she grows heavy (with child), both (feel the need to) turn to God, their Lord, with prayer: “If You indeed grant us a righteous child, we will most certainly be among the thankful.” Then when He grants the couple a righteous child, they begin to associate partners with God in respect of what He has granted them. Infinitely is He exalted above their association of partners with Him and whatever they associate with Him as partners.” (Al-A‘rāf 7:189–190)
It is a fact that although they do not do so as clearly as polytheists do, people of faith can also commit the sin of “associating partners with God.” As mentioned in the verse under discussion, excessive love of child is one of the different ways of “associating partners with God.”
Today, instead of considering our children as God’s trust to and gifts or bounties on us, we think and behave as if we were the true owners of our children and grandchildren. Moreover, we can sometimes neglect our prescribed Prayers for the sake of them. It is as if our love for them was greater than our love of God.
While we must consider them as trust to us and love them in the name of God and for His sake, we are attached to them so deeply without thinking of God that we are probably involved in implicit association of partners with God Almighty. Therefore, we must behave according to the principle,
“There cannot be two genuine loves in a heart,”
and have a firm stand against association of partners with God. I admit that it is easy to say, but it is extremely difficult to put it into practice. Even so, we should strive to purify ourselves of “associating partners with God” and keep distant from the cases which include even a slight sign of it.
Added to these efforts, the following prayer of God’s Messenger may be considered as a prescription:
“My God! I take refuge in You from being involved in any kind of associating partners with You knowingly, and I ask for Your forgiveness for the things that I do unknowingly.”
Love for children can be approached from another perspective:
Human beings may not be accountable for their uncontrollable emotions. However, they are charged with balancing their natural feelings with religious principles and attitudes. For instance, people may feel the desire of over-eating and drinking, or they may desire an aristocratic lifestyle. Even becoming so passionate, they may behave without thinking of the end. Human beings are created stingy, hasty, and addicted to their desires. In other words, these characteristics exist in human nature. In addition, other contrasting characteristics such as vengeance, hatred, and enmity as well as love, affection, and humanity exist in human nature as well. These two kinds of feelings and tendencies are two different hallways leading to goodness and evil. Therefore, human beings should close the doors to the evil in their nature and control their evil thoughts and passions through religious thoughts and feelings so that they are able to attain the perfection for which they are created in accordance with their endowed capacity or potential to attain it.
This is called “attaining the second nature” in religious terminology. In other words, human beings can direct their nature—which is potentially capable of being the lowest of the low—towards having a towering character (or a second nature) with all the good characteristics and thus have closer relationship with God.