I love him for the sake of Allah
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In this post I want to talk about someone who I love. I don’t just love him, I love him dearly. The emotion I feel towards him is a very special type of love: I love him for the sake of Allah. As a Muslim, this for me is the highest form of love with which I can love another human being.
Maybe you’re thinking the ‘him’ I am referring to is my father or husband, or some other special person in my life.
Yet I’m not.
This individual who is so beloved to me is someone who I have never met and never will- or at least in this dunya as I pray to Allah that He will allow me to meet this beautiful boy in Paradise.
I have only seen him, heard him and glimpsed briefly into his amazing life through YouTube, but what I saw, heard and glimpsed profoundly touched me and made me love him instantly and deeply fillah (for the sake of Allah). Maybe it would help if I explained what I mean by that term before I tell you about him.
Think of the different people in your life who you love.
Some you might love because of ties of kinship, others because of ties of friendship.
For some your love might have grown from gratitude due to the good they have done towards you.
For others it may be because you love the way they live and wish you could live such a life.
Muslims probably love people in all the different ways non-Muslims do, but they also have a space in their hearts reserved for an extra type of love. This is love for the sake of Allah.
I can’t say I can speak for all Muslims and explain what it means to them, but when I personally love someone in this way it is because they remind me of Allah and my love stems from their piety, faith and closeness to Allah. These are people who I am sure Allah loves, so I cannot help but love them too. I love them for the faithful servants of Allah they strive to be and I aspire to learn from their beautiful example.
Amongst this special group in my heart are the wonderful sisters who have helped shape the Muslimah that I am today and many others who were and remain an important part of my life. Yet this post is not about them, but one who I have never personally laid eyes on or conversed with, never smiled or ever cried with, but despite this who I maybe love even more than those I know.
I love my dear brother Sanel, a Bosnian-American Muslim youth barely in his early teens. Sanel suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy, but from seeing his smile and hearing his words you would think he is the healthiest and happiest boy in the world without the smallest of concerns let alone such a devastating medical condition.
If anyone was looking for an excuse to complain to Allah, surely it could be him! Wheelchair bound, dependent on others, suffering from an array of difficulties from muscular weakness to respiratory complications and with parents who are themselves deaf, Sanel could rattle off an array of complaints a mile long.
Yet from my brother’s lips flow no complaints about what he does not have, but only amazing words of thanks and gratefulness towards his Creator for the blessings he does possess.
If anyone was looking for an excuse to abandon the prayer, surely someone who cannot even lift up their own body could present one!
Not my brother Sanel, who loves to perform his salaah from his wheelchair as if it was the easiest thing in the world.
As I watched his YouTube interview I could not help but feel that though this youth was less than me in age, he far, far exceeded me in his gratitude, submission and trust in his Lord. As the tears flowed from my eyes, I asked Allah to give me the ability to learn from and follow the example of this amazing boy Sanel.
That was a while ago.
What has prompted me to write this post is that I have since seen an update about my dear brother. I pray that seeing both his original interview and the subsequent update will touch you as much as it has touched me. If you are a non-Muslim reading this post, I pray that his life and attitude portray to you some of the beauty of what it means to be a Muslim and the sweetness of eemaan (faith) in overcoming even the most testing of trials and tribulations. If you are a Muslim reading this post, I pray that Allah the Almighty gives both you and I the ability to learn from our wonderful brother and emulate his exemplary example. If you watch the videos below, I have no doubt you will love him as I do.
O Allah grant our brother the best in dunya and in akhirah and make him of those whom You keep close!
If you believe, please remember this dear brother in your duas.
Sanel’s interview on the Deen Show (actual interview starts about 10 minutes into video):
Update on Sanel: