With the holidays almost at an end, ‘back2’ season has arrived. ‘Back2work’ and ‘back2school’ promotions are aplenty as most people are mobilizing for their return to daily routine.

At this time, it’s not uncommon to see a person with the typical stationery checklist in hand, ticking off items as they peruse through the aisles of the stationery store. Similarly, parents sit with pen to paper as they arrange for their children’s lift clubs and plan for their extracurricular activities.

With the return to the general daily routine, the parents have to accordingly plan their own schedules as well so that they manage to attend to all their duties and fulfil all their responsibilities timeously.

As the arrangements are made and the schedules are chalked out, however, we need to sit back for a moment and seriously consider our routines. Many of us take out time for leisure in its various forms, and similarly, many of us take out time to take care of our health and bodies. Likewise, we all have time for our friends. Be it a phone call, a chat via WhatsApp, Instagram, etc., or even a casual meet to catch up, our friends are almost always catered for in our busy schedules.

The question that we need to urgently ask ourselves is, “Where is Allah Ta‘ala in my schedule?” If I have time for my friends, my exercise, my leisure and everything else, have I taken out time for Allah Ta‘ala?

Similarly, where is Allah Ta‘ala in my children’s schedule? They have school time, sport time, time for ‘cultural’ activities, time for their own friends and time for leisure as well. However, is there any time at all set aside for them to connect with Allah Ta‘ala?

The five daily salaah are a basic obligation on every Muslim. In other words, it’s what we all have to do. Fulfilling what you are obliged to do, although vitally important and necessary, does not bring about deep love and devotion in a relationship. After all, if a wife has to place only a few slices of buttered bread on her husband’s supper plate, then technically, it cannot be said that she did not feed him. However, as fresh as the bread may be, this approach will cause the relationship to become very stale, very fast.

If we wish to acquire the true love of Allah Ta‘ala, and we want to become the special friends of Allah Ta‘ala, we have to ‘go the extra mile’ to show and prove our love. It is in the same spirit that a wife, to show her love to her husband, will serve his favourite meal, complete with his favourite dessert, while dressed in a manner pleasing to him. In the same light, we should take out special time for Allah Ta‘ala, just as we normally take out time for everything else that matters to us, as Allah Ta‘ala’s love is what matters the most.

We need time for ta’leem in the home as a family, where the Fazaail kitaabs will be read and the family will make du‘aa together. We need time to recite the Quraan Majeed and we need time to engage in zikr. All these special times, set aside exclusively for Allah Ta‘ala, MUST be included in our routines and must be strictly adhered to in order for us to develop the love in our relationship with Allah Ta‘ala.

Let us design our schedule in such a way that the main priority is to bring us ‘back2Allah’, and may Allah Ta‘ala bless us all with His love, aameen.