By Umm Sulaym (Crossposted from Habibi Halaqas website. This article was originally written addressing sisters only but I pray we all find benefit in the lessons included in this article, insha’Allah)
“A short night,
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a heavy heart,
The list is long,
O Rabb! From where do I start?
You know it all,
You know what I hide,
So heal me Ya Rahman,
and let this pain subside!
I’m that little girl,
whoseÂ world was candy and dolls,
I’m that very girl whom You taught
how to walk after many falls.
I turn to You now,
Much stronger than before,
Please do not desert me tonight,
for I love You to the core!
â€œWhoever finds comfort with Allah finds unwholesome the company of anyone else.â€
Things happen. They always do. You had planned otherwise but Allah subhanahu wata’ala has planned better things for you. The brother may have all the qualities you were looking for but it just didn’t work out. Or that degree you worked so hard for didn’t land you a job. It is possible that someone, with whom you planned to stay forever and raise children, left you stranded.Â Maybe you have difficult parents who just do not understand. Funds might be lacking and there’s a household to run. Grades are not what you want them to be in order to get into a certain professional school. Someone dear to you passed away or you just lost the â€œapple of your eye,â€ your little angel whom you had to bury with your own hands.
It hurts. I know it does. Nobody said that it doesn’t and nobody said it’s not going to. It’s what means you take from here on that matter. You may think it’s unfair but this is what Allah subhanahu wata’ala says:
These are the Verses of Allah: We recite them to you (O Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in truth,Â and Allah wills no injustice to the ‘AlÃ¢mÃ®n (mankind and jinn all that exist). [3:108]
These all are lessons to make you see what you could not see, to clear the fog from that lens which could focus only on the dunya and not to make you grieve. That wasn’t the intention at all, dear Muslimahs:
…There did Allah give you one distress after another by way of requitalÂ to teach you not to grieve for that which had escaped you, nor for that which had befallen you. And Allah is Well Aware of all that you do. [3:153]
Some of us may not understand what to do next and we may get stuck in the abyss of hopelessness because we no longer know how to fulfill our needs. How do we call onto Allah subhanahu wata’ala to help us? What changes do we make in our life so that He subhanahu wata’ala is pleased and grants our du’as?
Du’a is like a weapon, andÂ a weapon is only as good as the person who is using it; it is not merely the matter of how sharp it us. If the weapon is perfect and free of faults, and the arm of the person using it is strong, and there is nothing stopping him, then he can lay waste the enemy. But if any of these three features are lacking, then the effect will be lacking accordingly. [Ibn al-Qayyim]
My dear sisters, we must really internalize that He is ourÂ Lord and we are His slaves. If He wishes, He has the full capability to keep His blessings away from us. Yet He subhanahu wata’ala doesn’t do that. Allah subhaana wa ta\’aala has provided us with a solution that will take care of all our needs in this dunya and akhira.Â It is that thing you hear in almostÂ every Friday khutbah and lecture. It is that beautiful provision of akhira which makes you independent of His creation but so very dependent on Him. Do you know what that is?
A man once came to Hasan al-Basri (rahimullah) and sought help from him in financial matters. He (rahimullah) replied, â€œHave taqwa of Allah subhanahu wata’ala! I haven\’t seen a Taqi (one who has Taqwa)Â who is in need.â€
What is Taqwa really?
The Arabic word taqwa comes from the root word ‘waqi‘ (wow, qaaf, ya) which means to build a shield or a protection against something. Taqwa is, therefore, the feeling that saves the person from sinning: (1) out of fear of punishment and (2) resulting in the slave always being conscious of his actions.
Imagine this world and akhira as aÂ huge grocery store where only taqwa is accepted as the currency.Â You can only buy what you need through taqwa. Why not then adopt the taqwa lifestyle?
It has multiple benefits and there isn’tÂ even an electron’s weight of loss. SomeÂ of theÂ few benefits of the taqwa lifestyle are as follows:
1. Antidote for loneliness and lack of love.Â ï»¿Adopt taqwa and He subhanahu wata’ala promises you His love, His friendship, His companionship and His protection:
Yes, whoever fulfills his pledge and fears Allah much; verily, thenÂ Allah loves those who are Al-MuttaqÃ»n. [3:76]
2.Â Do you have a lot of problems in your life?Â Embrace the taqwa lifestyle and you give yourself the promise of the One who never breaks His promises:
And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him,Â He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).Â And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things. [65:2-3]
3. It’s not your education, house’s architecture, ethnic affiliation and definitely not your job that makes you honorable. It’s only taqwa that adorns you with honor and, hence, status!
O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another.Â Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa [i.e. he is one of the MuttaqÃ»n]. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. [13:13]
4. Sick of bad news around the world and in your life?Â Taqwa ensures good news of this world and Hereafter:
Those who believed (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism),Â and used to fear Allah much(by abstaining from evil deeds and sins and by doing righteous deeds).Â For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present world (i.e. through a righteous dream seen by the person himself or shown to others), and in the Hereafter. No change can there be in the Words of Allah, this is indeed the supreme success. [10: 63-64]
SoÂ with so many benefits, what’s stopping you fromÂ adopting the taqwa lifestyle?Â Throw away the pile of worries and heartache. YourÂ new lifestyle doesn’t have roomÂ for junk. Join me on my journey of success, a journey of taqwa insha’Allah! Success is notÂ what you own outside of yourself. Success is what you own within yourself.
Verily, for the MuttaqÃ»n, there will be a success. [78:31]
May Allah subhanahu wata’ala soothe our hearts and give us a glorious end in Jannatul Firdaus as we tread the path to taqwa. Ameen.
And Allah subhanahu wata’alaÂ knows best.
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