There was once a man who was suffering from several infections. First, he had an eye infection, then he had an ear infection, and then a skin infection, and finally, he even had a nail infection! Initially, he attempted to treat the infection by applying medication directly to the site of infection, as he reasoned that localiszd treatment would be most beneficial. However, this proved tedious and ineffective, for as soon as the infection would subside in one area, it would rapidly flare up in another.
Eventually, the man went to a doctor and complained of his condition. To his surprise, the doctor ignored all the sites of infection, and instead administered a potent injection into his behind! Then, to his even-greater surprise, he found that the infection disappeared within mere days!
Unable to understand the hidden connection between his behind and all the sites of infection, he enquired from the doctor, who explained to him that though it was administered into the behind, the powerful medication was able to permeate throughout the body via the bloodstream, thus eradicating the infection from the root and healing the entire body all at once. This was the ‘concealed connection’.
In the very same way, many of us have ‘infections’ plaguing our lives. ‘Infections’ in our marriages… ‘Infections’ in our relationship with our own children… ‘Infections’ in our interaction with neighbours, in-laws and others… ‘Infections’ in our work lives… The crux is that many of us have problems in various aspects of our lives and simply cannot seem to find peace and happiness.
Generally, people view these ‘infections’ on the surface level and thus attempt ‘localized’ treatment. Many may visit marriage counsellors, take their children to see psychologists and try other similar avenues to solve their problems. However, together with these remedies, we should not neglect the most effective approach – to treat the problem at the root by administering such a solution that will fix a person’s entire life all at once. This solution is called ‘repairing the relationship with Allah Ta‘ala.”
It was the habit of the ‘Ulama and the righteous of the early centuries of Islam, that when they would meet one another, they would share three advices. In fact, these three advices are so valuable that if they did not meet each other for some time, they would send them in letters to one another (as a beneficial reminder). These three advices are:
“The one who corrects his private life (i.e. he remains obedient to Allah Ta‘ala even when no one is watching him), Allah Ta‘ala will correct his public life (i.e. Allah Ta‘ala will bless him with a good reputation and honour). The one who corrects his relationship with Allah Ta‘ala, Allah Ta‘ala will correct his relationship with people. The one who (primarily) works for the Hereafter, Allah Ta‘ala will suffice him for his needs in this world.” (Musannaf Ibni Abi Shaibah #36135 and Siyaru Aa’laamin Nubalaa vol. 19, pg. 141)
It is for this reason that when people complain of various problems to the ‘Ulama, then even though the complaints are varied, from difficulty in earning livelihood, to disobedient children or an unhappy marriage, the prescription is approximately the same – sincerely repent from all sins, abstain from all evil, fulfil all outstanding rights owed to other people, establish the five daily salaah, take out time daily for zikr, du‘aa and recitation of the Quraan Majeed, and commence daily ta’leem of Fazaail-e-Aa’maal at home. In other words – fix your relationship with Allah Ta‘ala.
Often, in our naivety, short-sightedness and ignorance, we disregard this invaluable advice and discard it wondering, “How will this help my marriage? How will this make my children obedient? What does this have to do with my problem?” The hidden reality, however, is that a breakdown in our relationship with Allah Ta‘ala leads to a breakdown in all other departments of our lives.
It is narrated that Allah Ta‘ala instructed a certain Nabi of the Banu Israaeel to convey the following message to his people, “There are no inhabitants of a village or even of a house who are obedient to Allah Ta‘ala, but thereafter turn to the disobedience of Allah Ta‘ala, except that Allah Ta‘ala will transform that which they love into that which they detest.” (Tafseer Ibni Katheer vol. 4, pg. 561)
How true indeed, as the once-beloved spouse now becomes the greatest source of misery, and the child who was once the ‘apple of the eye’ now becomes the cause of countless sleepless nights…
In essence, there is a ‘concealed connection’ between our relationship with Allah Ta‘ala and our relationship with people. If we repair our relationship with Allah Ta‘ala, He will repair our relationships with people.