Tying our camels

Listening to a recent talk by Ustadh Yahya Rhodus, I was taken back to our recent visit to Mauritania. Ustadh Yahya, when talking about raising a family, mentioned a cure to anxiety that most parents feel. He mentioned that we should place our “trust in Allah as it pertains to our children.” In his words, “we have to leave this world and place our children in His care, so why not place our children in His trust now?” This sounds so simplistic yet so complex, but the Mauritanian mothers have this down.
On our trip I was blessed to meet mothers of scholars, wives of scholars, and daughters of scholars, none of whom seemed to have the look of worries we modern world moms do! We asked them for Nasihah (advice) on how to raise our children and the looks we got said, “why question something so simple?” Yet they obliged us. The wife of Murabit Ahmad Fa’al said this to us: “Teach them the quran and trust in Allah.” Simple, succinct, sufficient- and so unlike us. We all know parents who worry about their children from the day their child enters this world to the day they themselves leave it.
In our family, I am the one whose shoulders touch the ears in worry on a daily basis and eyebrows develop a permanent arch out of concern and whose mind races in all directions the minute a child is out of sight! The terms “Trust in Allah” has not entered my soul like it has for the Mauritanian women. It's hard not to worry when we live in a society as problematic as ours. We read about the horrific things happening to children in today’s society and it’s impossible not to be slightly paranoid about who is around your child. As a homeschooler, it’s hard not to worry about all that there is to teach and how we may not be teaching enough. It’s hard to not worry if our children are getting enough exposure or not enough exposure to the outside world. It’s hard not to worry if our child is learning well and showing good Adab/Suluk (comportment) and will remember it all the time. It is hard not to worry about giving our children the correct tarbiyya (upbringing) and worry about the final outcome. My biggest worry is that if I’m not doing something right with my children now, I won’t find out until it's too late!
But the words of Ustadh Yahya and the wife of the murabit resonate in my mind and I feel the weight of those words. “Trust in Allah” means so much- it means knowing in my bones, like the birds do, that the Creator will feed and house us all. It means believing the ayahs of tawakkul that I recite in my prayers multiple times a day. It means I need to hand over my affairs to my Lord and do my part. Perhaps it’s my arrogance and a feeling of self-importance that pushes me to think I’m in charge of their lives and education. I have to learn that it’s not so much about letting go, but about focusing on my actions. Going through an education system which taught me to question everything, trust nothing and tried to ignore God in most aspects of my life, it is not surprising that I tie my camel and still worry about it!

Sometimes I forget that the journey is just as important as the destination and the trip is already destined by God- all I have to do is move on with faith and conviction. How easy it is to focus on the scorching heat of life and miss the shade of the merciful only because we are too preoccupied with worry!