I thought about you this week when I was struggling. I thought about you again this week when I was reading a verse of the Qur’an. I thought about you again this week when reading an explanation of a verse in the Qur’an.
I thought about you this week.
I made a prayer for you this week.
I sent you loving thoughts this week.
You may be truly alone, or you may have no verbal explanation for this deep down ache that you constantly feel. You may be surrounded by people, everywhere you go. You may never get a moment to yourself, to be physically alone…yet still, you are a lonely soul.
And with that being said, I wanted to reach out today and tell you that YOU may be a special friend of God. Even if it feels like God has not given you all that you feel you need, believe me: He has given you more. And YOU may be a special friend of God.
Because when I think of you, dear lonely soul, I can’t help but remember the Prophet ﷺ (peace be unto him)—who was born, quite lonely. From the start he was born an orphan, and soon after his birth his mother passed away. No human can fully replace the presence of a loving mother and father in a child’s life. Yet this was not a sign that God did not love him. On the contrary, he is the most beloved of all creation to the Lord of the worlds. And he was born, lonely.
And when I think of you, dear lonely soul, I can’t help but remember the companions. Stranded. They were a small group, compared to the disbelievers at one time. When they accepted Islam they were promised that they would have khair maqaam, the best of states—in this world and the next. But their beginning did not seem this way. After their spiritual birth, they were pushed away and cursed by the people. They were made fun of and cut off. They were made to feel like they were outcasts, within their own tribe and people (and this was originally their support system in life). Not only that, but the disbelievers knew exactly how to dig the dagger deep: they called them out on this promise that God had made them. They looked to the Muslims and reminded them that God had told them they would have the best of states, yet this was not what was apparent.
And anyone who knows what being lonely feels like, knows this is not a small claim to say. Anyone who knows what being lonely feels like, knows that this statement itself could cause a lonely soul to, well, break.
What was the response to this? Was this claim ignored, leaving the seeds of doubt to be planted into the hearts of the people? Were the believers warned that if they would even dare to feel pain from such a statement they would have committed shirk/kufr/bidah (polytheism/disbelief/religious innovation)—or whatever other words we like to throw around so easily today?
The response was a divine revelation—a verse of the Holy Qur’an came down upon our beloved Prophet ﷺ, a verse of Divine comfort.
“On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness will (Allah) Most Gracious bestow Love.” (Qur’an, 19:96)
This verse came down to comfort and reassure the companions and the Prophet ﷺ that God would place love for them in the hearts of the people. They would have a safe, strong and comforting community. They would have their high status.
And here is where I thought of you even more, dear lonely soul. In his commentary, Ibn Ajiba radi Allahu `anhu (may Allah be pleased with him) adds a few gems to warm the heart and soul. A dose of hope. He says that it is the custom of God (sunnah of God), when dealing with His special friends of the creation, to allow creation to be against them or distant from them. He allows even this special friend’s close circles to feel distant from them or sometimes worse. And contrary to our first assumption, this is all out of God’s mercy for His special friend. Why? So that this special friend of God comes closer and closer to Him. So that this special friend finds his or her internal home only in God. And once his or her heart is fully attached to God, and purified from seeking a home in anyone else, God opens the proverbial floodgates of love in the hearts of others for him or her. Suddenly, the once lonely soul is surrounded by more people they could imagine. But by this time, the once lonely soul is no longer lonely anyway, because that lonely spot in their heart, that was once aching and screaming, has already been filled with a beautiful relationship between God and this very special friend.
And so, dear lonely soul, I pray that this is the case for you. I pray that God takes your situation and causes it to be a means for you to return to Him in heart and soul, and that you truly do fulfill your potential of being His special friend.
And you can pray for that too. Ask Him to take your pain and make it a healing. Take your pain and make it of ultimate benefit for your relationship with Him. And when you ask Him, know He will respond. He will answer your plea. He has already promised that.