On small children in elevators, and the need to obey Allah fully

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيم

I live in an apartment block, and as we know, there are elevators operating in such buildings. One thing I have always noticed is the tremendous difficulty parents have in keeping their very small children from getting out of the elevator on the wrong floor. This is something I have noticed with many parents, and if there are multiple small children that the parent has to take care of, the matter is even much more stressful for the father or mother; in all cases, they really have to keep an eye on their child, and cannot leave them unattended any time the elevator opens before they get to the correct floor. I am sure many parents and other adults taking care of very small children can attest to this fact.

I started thinking that there is a lesson in this for us Muslims, in the way that Allah gives us rules and regulations, yet the weak amongst us try to circumvent these rules and break them, almost automatically. Like little children, we simply do not understand that “our floor has not come yet”, and we cry and shout when the wiser authorities instruct us to remain steadfast and in place, and not to be swayed by our internal ego and sense of freedom from doings something that will have very bad consequences for us in the end.

We can see that this is not a matter of the child’s freedom and capacity to think being curtailed by tyrannical authority figures, but rather that the parents know about the operation of elevators in their buildings, and the children simply do not have the tools to understand all of these truths. And note that the small child can only see the elevator he is standing on; he does not understand that he is going on a journey that is to take him to only one specified place, not to the place of “his choosing”.

So we can see how this is somewhat similar to how the human does not directly see the journey he is undertaking to the Hereafter, but that he should only trust those who have been given knowledge concerning such matters and obey them to the best of his ability. Yes, some people might require more evidences to satisfy their hearts concerning the truth of the Messengers sent by Allah, but once this truth has been established, it is very strange that phrases such as “liberty”, “freedom”, or “individual rights” would be used to totally undermine the message that such Messengers have brought us.

Taking this as a stepping stone, I ask a general question, that when will the time come when we realize that we do not have the tools at our disposal to make overarching and encompassing judgments about the nature of ourselves, and of our relationships with all existents, and that unlike the small troublesome children in the elevator, we should not think that our insights and opinions are the ultimate wisdom regarding the important matters that concern our life in this world and the next?

May Allah help us all to answer this question correctly, and to live our lives based on correct knowledge and guidance. Ameen.

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