Great expectations

Friends and family have great expectations for me. They set goals and milestones they believe I must conform to.

They remind me of all I must now do for our kids, to set in motion the best possible life chances for their future.

They proffer career guidance and tips on how to increase my worldly wealth, in order to be able to pave their onward path with ease, to afford university fees, lavish weddings and their first home.

But what I want for our kids: to be happy, and to be content with whatever Allah provides for them.

I do not really care if I live in what other people call a working-class neighbourhood, in a little house our friends believe we should have outgrown by now.

I do not really care that I have a pretty ordinary job, with a modest salary and zero status. It is sufficient for our needs.

I do not really care that I am a nobody in the eyes of others. It pleases me that my wife and children cherish me, but really all that matters to me is the acceptance of the One.

My own great expectations are these: to honour God alone, if He wills it. All else is contentment in whatever He decrees.

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