While sitting on the steps I look down on the grass and I see an ant struggling- it was carrying another dead ant. That ant could have been her sister, but how often do we look at ants in such a manner? But of course, shouldn’t we have the same care for all of Allah’s creations like we do for humans? Allah (swt) reminds us in the Qur’an:
And there is not a creature in the Earth, nor a bird that fly’s with its wings, but are communities like you. [The Qur’an 6:38]
And when we first acknowledge that this ant is part of a community just like us, we truly begin to see how meaningful this tiny ant is. Just think about it, the ant had just come back and seen its sister dead. And as it was carrying it to bring it back home, the ant encountered a leaf. We step on leaves every single day as meaningless pieces of trees. And yet I watched as this ant struggled for nearly 3 minutes to carry its sister over that leaf. I eventually felt so bad for the ant that I had to move the leaf to let it continue on its journey. The ant was ecstatic, finally seeing a clear path home as it hurried with its dead mother.
And this should be a reminder to all of us. Allah (swt) is watching us in an incomprehensible amount of detail. He knows what is in our hearts, in our paths, and in our lives: past, present, and future. Just like that ant, He takes care of us and all of His creation. That ant did not know I was there. It could not really see me, but all it knew was that somehow that leaf moved and its path was now clear. That simple act had probably overjoyed the ant.
Similarly, how many times does Allah (swt) remove obstacles in our path? And yet, how many times do we turn to Him in thanks? That is just one of the meanings of taqwa, having God-Consciousness. Being conscious that God is always watching us and aware of what we are doing. However his ability to help us in our daily lives and paths is infinitely superior to us simply removing a leaf for an ant.