There is no strength except with Allah

It is now two years and a month since I was told that I could never have children. The news was broken by a Locum Doctor while my GP was on her summer holidays – he didn’t know much about the disorder, had to look it up in his medical encyclopaedia, then advised me to read up on it online. What a stupid idea that was; I Googled it, read disturbing descriptions about it and then became exceedingly paranoid. Was all that silence through the years due to this? Was I a bit slow because of this? Was my poor performance at school due to Learning Difficulties? Well no, for the past ten years I have always been honest about this; I was simply very lazy. Nevertheless, the paranoia remains; but it is nothing compared with the emotional pain.

We cancelled our travels that August because of its effect on us. Between us we shed tears; we would sit and read the Qur’an, making the supplications of Zachariah, who cried to his Lord for a child until He answered that prayer. As time went by, however, I began to come to terms with this news and accept it as the absolute truth; while my wife prayed daily, mine became occasional, for the doctors had convinced me of the futility, despite my knowledge that He who created me only needs to say “Be” for new life to come from nothing. Every time my old friends from university announced that they were now a father, my mind told me that I should be happy, but instead I felt sad. With every visit from my niece I had to hold back tears. It is pain like mourning; like losing someone. It is a loss, but others do not understand; life goes on as normal… “How’s the job search going?” “How’s work?” Perhaps these things are not important to me at the moment, perhaps I need some sympathy, some time out to mourn this loss of mine.

It is the pain of knowing that you have reached the end of the line, that you will be an ancestor for no one, that you will never have grandchildren who will ask you about your youth. Surely my family worried that I would raise my children in accordance with my faith, not theirs; but it was a dream of mine that they could trace their Muslim ancestry, that the English Muslim would not forever be viewed as the queer aberration that comes and goes with every conversion and death. Instead there is this pain.

Not long before we received this news I had a dream one night which troubled me. My wife often has what I would call spiritual dreams, but mine are non-descript meanderings of the mind. But this particular dream stood out and bothered me. A huge flood was overcoming me, its waves menacing and fierce, my resting place submerged. Somehow it prepared me for some devastating news and a difficult test. Without a doubt, these two years have been hard, but I have come to terms with it nevertheless.

Things change. From where does one find the strength when he learns that perhaps things are not as clear cut as he was told? In England we were told that the only way to have ‘our own’ children was through donor insemination, a course of action we would never take. But in Turkey where donor insemination is not practiced at all, research has advanced apace to help people in our situation have children of their own – and a good number of men with exactly my condition are now fathers, some to twins and triplets. The strain returns; now there is a possibility that we could have a child, but also the possibility that we will again be disappointed. The treatment running beyond our agreed leave, the strain grows again, the two of us fearing what will happen to our jobs. The financial and emotional burden grows and we wonder from where strength will come.

There have been so many times that I have read the phrase, “There is no strength except with Allah,” but sometimes we have to put advice into practice before we see the truth of something. To rely solely on your Creator is one of the most beautiful aspects of faith. Sleepless for four nights, wandering silently through the streets of Turkey, anxious about all of this, I did not know from where I would find the strength. Like so many times before I lamented that I am not strong enough for this. But instead, finding myself in beautiful mosques, I prayed. Suddenly the situation has altered, relief has come. Our employers were sympathetic, our financial situation okay, the high emotions lessened. It is true: there is no strength except with Allah, the Creator of us all.

4 thoughts on “There is no strength except with Allah

  1. Mr.B.,What a courageous, frank, beautifully written and moving account. There are lessons here for all of us. Now that you have experienced Allah t’ala’s sakina, we make dua that He provides a child for you from an unexpected source.wa salaam,Tariq

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  2. I pray that Allah grants you many children, we struggled for three years and in the end, I think it was having total reliance upon Allah Ta’ala that allowed us to have our first child, who is still awaiting to be born. The truth is until you see the Truth, Allah then can not deny you of your dreams and hopes. Ask from Him first and then seek the help of others. May Allah bless you and your wife with beautiful children Ameen.

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