Today Six-year-old asked me why Allah made some people Muslim and some people not Muslim.
She had recently learned that her beloved Grandma isn’t Muslim, and she was struggling to get her head round it. She actually spent the last few days of my mother’s visit giving six-year-old dawah. “Ugh, silly Grandma, God doesn’t have a son, God’s not human!”
My mother left this morning, and I spent some time trying to un-confuse Six-year-old. I explained to her that people can be lovely and also misguided, that they can be right about lots of things and wrong about other things.
I explained to her that her Ummi used to be Christian, and go to church, but then when she was about 12 she asked the priest some questions he couldn’t answer, so she stopped being Christian, but went on praying to God, and she prayed to Him a lot, and begged Him for over 12 years to guide her to the Truth, and one day He made her Muslim.
Six-year-old: “How did Allah make you Muslim, what happened?”
Me: “It just happened, suddenly I just knew.”
Six-year-old: “So why doesn’t Grandma just know? Why doesn’t Allah make her Muslim? Why does He make some people not be Muslim? Because then they can’t see Him in Jannah if they’re not Muslim. Grandma’s nice. Why doesn’t He want her to go to Jannah?”
So I passed her questions along to someone wiser than myself, because I’m the furthest a Muslim can get from scholarly, and she eventually seemed satisfied with the explanations and went back to playing Minecraft.
It’s been a week of tricky questions. Before my mother left, she asked me if I’d allow my daughter to choose a different religion, the way she’d “allowed” me to choose a different one.
Out loud, I told her that I couldn’t force my child to believe something she didn’t believe. Silently, I promised Six-year-old that I’d bust a gut trying to share with her the myriad proofs that Islam is the religion that God wants us to follow and that yes, any rational human being should follow the rules set by the One in full control of our life and our eternity.
Blessed with a good education, I used to think I knew pretty much everything. Looking back on those years, I see myself groping in the darkness of arrogant ignorance. Now I know that while I may not have all the answers, alhamdulillah I know Who does, and I know that He has already gifted us with the answers to every question worth asking, and I want Six-year-old to grow up in the light of that knowledge.