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Allah’s Plan for You and Me

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Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) had a plan for you before you were born, and He still has a plan for you. Allah’s plan for you is necessary and glorious. His plan is vital to your success and important to the world.

Allah’s plan is not set in stone, as if we were robots pre-programmed in the factory. That would strip us of free will and deny our natures. Rather, I believe that Allah has a flexible plan for each human being:  a plan that allows that person to benefit the world with his/her unique talents.

This is in fact the Islamic view of al-Qadar, or predestination. There is no doubt that Allah has decreed everything that happens in the universe from the beginning of time to the end, and that Allah has written it all in al-Lawh al-Mahfooz (the Book of Decrees).

“Know you not that Allah knows all that is in the heaven and on the earth? Verily, it is (all) in the Book (Al‑Lawh Al‑Mahfooz). Verily, that is easy for Allah” (Quran, al-Hajj 22:70)

In Saheeh Muslim (2653) it is narrated that ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “Allah wrote down the decrees of creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth.”

Everything happens by the will of Allah. Whatever He wills happens, and whatever he does not will does not happen. However, as Sheikh Muhammad Saalih Al-Munajjid explains,

Belief in al-qadar does not contradict the idea that a person has free will with regard to actions in which he has free choice. Sharee’ah and real life both indicate that people have this will.

Allaah says concerning man’s will (interpretation of the meaning):

“That is (without doubt) the True Day. So, whosoever wills, let him seek a place with (or a way to) His Lord (by obeying Him in this worldly life)!” [al-Naba’ 78:39]

(and other similar ayaat)

These verses confirm that man has a will and the ability to do what he wants and not to do what he does not want.

With regard to real life, everyone knows that he has a will and the ability to do what he wants and not to do what he does not want. And he can distinguish between the things that happen when he wants them to, such as walking, and those that happen without him wanting them to, such as shivering. But the will and ability of man are subject to the will and decree of Allaah.

Sheikh Al-Munajjid’s last paragraph is the key to understanding Al-Qadar: walking (voluntary) versus shivering (involuntary). Other scholars have explained it as two types of Qadar, fixed and flexible. The fixed Qadar is that which happens to us from beyond our control. For example the time and place of our birth, any illnesses and natural disasters that befall us, etc. The flexible Qadar is that which is within the realm of our free will. Whether we do good or evil, and what we choose to believe and how we choose to live. Sheikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah wrote:

There are two types of provision and lifespan: the first type has already been decreed and is written in Umm al-kitaab, and cannot be changed or altered. The next type of qadar, Allah has informed His angels of His decrees. This is the type where provisions and lifespan may increase or decrease. Hence Allah the Almighty says what may be translated as, “Allah blots out what he wills and confirms [what He wills]. And with Him is the Mother of the book.” (Surat Ar-Ra’ad, verse 39) The mother of the Book (Umm al-Kitaab) is Al-Lawh al-Mahfoodh, in which Allah has decreed all things as they will always be without change. However, the decrees contained in the books of the angels, such as lifespan and provisions, may increase or decrease according to various circumstances; thereafter, the angels will re-write a person’s provision and lifespan. If a person upholds the ties of kinship, his provisions and lifespan will be extended, otherwise they will decrease.” [See Majmoo’al-Fataawa 8/540]

So Allah has a plan for you, but fulfillment of that plan is up to you:  the choices you make, as well as your degree of faith, persistence and determination.

Allah’s plan for you is important to the world because Allah created nothing in vain. Look at His creation. Everything has a purpose, from the sun that heats our world, to the bacteria that consume waste.

You are the same. You have a purpose. You are necessary to the world. If your presence were not vital in some way, then you would not have been made.

Discovering Allah’s Plan

Road up a mountain

Allah's plan for us is not always what we might wish it to be.

How do we discover Allah’s plan for us? Where do we find it? How do we realize it in our lives?

It’s not as difficult as we might think. It wouldn’t make sense for Allah to have a plan for us and then leave us stumbling in the dark. Allah’s plan doesn’t have to be a mystery. If we trust Him, do what He asks, and follow our hearts, His plan will unfold in our lives like a brightly lit path.

If you are trying to follow Allah’s guidance, but you find yourself confronted by obstacles and hardship, don’t despair.  The hardship is probably a sign that you are on the right path. Consider our Prophets (may Allah bless them all) who faced tremendous obstacles:

The Prophet Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was disowned by his family and thrown by his people into a blazing fire; Allah rescued him from that, and made him the father of two nations.

Allah inspired the mother of the baby Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and told her to place her infant into a chest and send it floating down the Nile. If the soldiers of Pharaoh ever learned about his birth:

“We revealed to Moses’ mother, ‘Suckle him and then when you fear for him cast him into the sea. Do not fear or grieve; We will return him to you and make him one of the Messengers.'” (Surat al-Qasas: 7)

That was a hard plan to follow, but she trusted her Lord, and carried out her mission.

The young Yusuf 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was thrown by his brothers into a well; later he was sold into slavery, then imprisoned for years; but in the end he became an important minister, and was reunited with his father.

Maryam 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), the mother of Isa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), delivered her child alone under a palm tree, far from her people as she feared their reaction; but Allah helped her through miracles, until she became the honored mother of a great Prophet.

The Prophet Yunus 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) gave up on his mission to the people of Nineveh, ventured onto a ship and was then cast into the sea, where he was swallowed by a fish. At the point of despair, he called upon Allah with all his heart and was rescued. He returned to his mission and achieved success.

Aishah raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her), the wife of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), was slandered by an ugly lie, but Allah brought the truth to light, and Aishah became a leader and scholar in her own right.

The companion Umm Salamah raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) lost her beloved husband Abu Salamah in the battle of Uhud; she thought that no husband could ever be better than him, and yet she ended up marrying the Prophet himself ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). Things are not always what they seem.

Be patient. Allah has a plan for you.

Following Allah’s Plan

This is the hard part. Allah’s plan for us is true to who we are at our core, in our very essence. It will not correlate to an artificial persona we have adopted, or our desire to be seen and recognized. Allah’s plan may not bring us fame, fortune, or physical pleasure. It might mean giving up material comfort. So Allah’s plan for us may not be what we would wish it to be.

Abu Hurayrah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), the companion of the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), was asked about Taqwa (God-consciousness). He said, “It is a road full of thorns. One who walks it needs to have extreme patience.”

In fact, Allah’s plan may be so challenging that we may perceive it but decline to follow it. I have known all my life that I was a writer. I’ve been talking for years about writing certain books. And yet it took me until the age of 44 to begin writing about the things that really mattered to me, and I still have not published a book (look for it this year, insha’Allah!). Why did it take me so long to do what I was meant to do?

I have a friend who says that Africa has been calling her all her life. She believes that her destiny is to go there and help the African people in some way. But she has not done it. Why?

I have another friend who believes that da’wah is his mission in life. He spent ten years studying Japanese at the university level, and he dreams of living in Japan and doing da’wah there. But he has no concrete plan to do so. Why?

I asked several brothers and sisters if they know what their mission in life might be. Some said yes. I asked them if they were carrying out their mission. Most said no, and gave these reasons:

  • I feel that others are more qualified than me.
  • It seems like a fantasy.
  • It feels like a dream.
  • I tried once and it didn’t go my way.
  • Right now I need to focus on financial security.
  • I’m not ready yet.

Brothers and sisters, no one more qualified than you to fulfill the plan that Allah has for you! Allah’s plan is not a fantasy, nor a dream. It may not go your way the first time, or the second, or the third. It may not make you rich, but there is no true financial security in this life – that’s an illusion.  No one expects you to let your family go hungry. Work hard and provide for them, but don’t get caught in the trap of thinking that the accumulation of wealth will save you, because the only true security is with Allah. And last of all, no one is ever ready to walk fee-sabeel-illah (in the path of Allah). It is a road full of thorns. But it is also the road to fulfillment, happiness, barakah and success.

Fulfilling Allah’s plan for us requires that we silence the voice of our own desire, open ourselves to Allah, and look within with total sincerity. It takes courage, patience and determination. It is the path to Jannah (Paradise), Insha’Allah.

Wael Abdelgawad's latest novel is Pieces of a Dream. It is available for purchase on Amazon.com.Wael is an Egyptian-American living in California. He is the founder of several Islamic websites, including IslamicAnswers.com and IslamicSunrays.com, and various financial websites. Heteaches martial arts, and loves Islamic books, science fiction, and ice cream. Learn more about him at WaelAbdelgawad.com.For a guide to all of Wael's online stories in chronological order, check out this handy Story Index.

104 Comments

104 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Somayya

    March 21, 2012 at 8:24 AM

    Inshallah I hope I am patient for the things I want in life. I think what I want is pretty simple really, but it still takes a lot of dua and patience to get it! Good article.

    • Avatar

      Zafar

      August 31, 2014 at 12:36 PM

      Assalamualaikum one of the most sensible articles, I have read recently, quadr is a spiritually complicated subject, but this article made it graspable .

  2. Avatar

    Mehreenomer

    March 21, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    so true

    • Avatar

      ishfaq

      August 30, 2014 at 2:48 PM

      What ever we think may not be good for us but what ever Allah has planned for us is the best, becoz Allah is the best planner…..

    • Avatar

      Namanda Fazira

      August 1, 2016 at 2:28 PM

      Thanks brother. i ask Allah to also give me a patient heart and also help me reach my dreams

  3. Avatar

    faiza

    March 21, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    ‘…silence the voice of desire…’ may Allah help us overcome this, for it is truly truly challenging to the point that it can be suffocating, may Allah make the path to His complete submission easy for us. Ameen

  4. Avatar

    Yasmin

    March 21, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Jazakallah khair for this very uplifting post!

    • Avatar

      Ameer basha

      November 30, 2016 at 2:33 PM

      Aslmalykum I love Allah very much and equally fear on Allah also one days my friends scold each that ur God is busted that time I am feeling depression I got that bad scolding thought on Allah does Allah punish me or maaf please reply my answer brother I don’t even miss Friday namaz also what can I do and how to delete this thought from my mind it’s my mistake

  5. Avatar

    Maryam_1959

    March 21, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    But what in case a person choose a halal path way, but nothing on the halal path way materialized? For example making a conscious effort and choice to choose a halal work environment , but that doesn’t turn into reality? Keeping patience amounts to loosing out on time, career, gaps in work experience etc.

    • Avatar

      Wael - IslamicSunrays.com

      March 21, 2012 at 4:36 PM

      Would you rather lose out on time and work experience, or lose Allah’s blessings and your aakhirah? There is always a halal way to advance. You just have to find it. Be persistent, be determined, and ask Allah.

    • Avatar

      Arif Mahmood

      May 21, 2016 at 9:43 AM

      There are lot options, you just have to look around to find the best halal paths to lead your life according to the teachings of Islam.
      Always remember: “Where there is will there is a way”.

  6. Avatar

    Fozia

    March 21, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    “How do we discover Allāh’s plan for us? Where do we find it? How do we realize it in our lives?” These are questions I’ve been asking myself alot recently, so I was so glad when I saw you had addressed them in your article. I’ve always felt that Allah’s plan for me involves ‘helping troubled people’, I also feel that I will not follow a conventional route in achieving my goal. I’m still trying to figure it all out. To discover the plan, we also sometimes need to silence in our mind the external nitter natter.

    Jazaakhallahkhayr for writing your thoughts on this matter so eloquently Wael.

    Fozia

    • Avatar

      Wael - IslamicSunrays.com

      March 21, 2012 at 5:55 PM

      Fozia, helping troubled people is an admirable goal ma-sha-Allah. I have a feeling you already do that in some way :-)

  7. Avatar

    TheStudentsPath

    March 21, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    JazakAllah khair, this is really a great post mashaAllah.  Sometimes we convince ourselves that our goals are beyond us, and we need that extra motivation or reminder to pick ourselves back up and work towards them.  Sometimes it requires us to be proactive in trying new things.  Sometimes we will be able to have great success, and other times we have to reevaluate and try another way.  What better way to remind us to stay on track then with the reminder of the examples of the Prophets’ trust in Allah and Allah’s plan for us.

    • Avatar

      D

      August 30, 2016 at 10:56 PM

      Thank you for the lesson. I was lost but now i see. Indeed a lesson well to learn. Thanks to Allah for showing me my purpose.

  8. Avatar

    Amy

    March 22, 2012 at 6:16 AM

    Well, it looks like this article may inspire yet another infamous discussion on free will vs predestination/predetermination.

  9. Avatar

    Hayat_sheriff

    March 22, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    This is a beautiful post, very poetically written with the verses of the Quran delicately spread through it at the right moments.

    May Allah swt bless whoever post and reads this and acts upon it, and please remember the umma 
    At a time in which the Muslims are beset with trials from every periphery, it is a time when Muslims should continue being Muslims, better Muslims.

  10. Avatar

    Horreyah

    March 22, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Such a great reminder! Jazkhalla’kharain

  11. Avatar

    Br. Karim

    March 22, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    mashaAllah, great article, jazakAllah khairan. it is inspirational and a great reminder!

  12. Avatar

    Wael - IslamicSunrays.com

    March 22, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    I anticipated that those few lines might stir some controversy. Al-Qadar (Divine predestination) is one of the most misunderstood concepts in Islam. I have gone back and inserted some explanations of al-Qadar into the article to clear this up Insha’Allah. Also, I suggest that next time you show less arrogance in your comments (“Fear Allah and do not ascribe injustice to Him.”) Taqwa of Allah and having a good idea of Him is not your province alone. If I have a different idea or understanding than you, it does not mean that I do not fear Allah. Insha’Allah we are all here to increase our knowledge and imaan, and to correct whatever mistakes we may make, myself included.

  13. Avatar

    AponBondhu

    March 22, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    What if you really don’t know what your true calling is?

    • Avatar

      Wael - IslamicSunrays.com

      March 23, 2012 at 3:20 PM

      AponBondhu, give it time. Trust Allah and ask Him. Quiet your material desires or lusts and feel what your heart is calling you to. Ignore the naysayers. Do what feels right.

  14. Avatar

    Aminaqueen

    March 22, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    I really enjoyed reading this, GREAT ARTICLE!  and INSPIRING! :D

  15. Avatar

    Muhammad

    March 24, 2012 at 7:55 AM

    Masha Allah, another great post Brother Wael, just finished reading. Sorry for being late; I have to say that I like your suit with blue tie:). Keep it up

    • Avatar

      Wael - IslamicSunrays.com

      April 6, 2012 at 3:01 PM

      Muhammad, I’ll replace that little icon with my own photo if I can figure out how, Insha’Allah.

      • Avatar

        siraaj

        April 6, 2012 at 3:34 PM

        Go to gravatar.com and change it :)

  16. Avatar

    Iffy 1

    March 26, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    Allahuakbar, did an exam to best of my strength. Leaving to Allah regarding my results. InshAllah

  17. Avatar

    QL

    April 12, 2012 at 5:27 AM

    I love to read this post. You have shared such a beautiful knowledge with the world.
    Allah Almighty is the Creator of the entire world. He is a big Planner. He made the entire Universe with the big Plan. If you see any sight of nature, you come to know that everything has the symbol of God.

  18. Avatar

    HMKing

    April 22, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    Assalamualkum Brother, thank you so much for this article.  You’ve touched upon a subject that is very close to my heart and that I’m currently researching in a bid to (inshallah) commit to the fulfillment of Allah’s plan for me.  I’m intrigued with the concept of individual life purpose and what Islam / Allah has to say about it.  Also, does Islam recognise the concept of God given gifts or talents that help us fulfill Allah’s mission or plan for us?

    I’ve been digging and digging hoping to come across some text or scriptures that delves into this and provides sources for reference, but no such luck as yet.  Would you happen to be able to point me in the right direction?  You have no idea what this would mean to me!Jazzakullahu khair in advance

  19. Avatar

    Talat albegamy

    April 30, 2012 at 6:15 AM

    mashallah , i really enjoyed the article and it made me to become more determined about my situation and allah SWT will give me
    courage to be patient  and reach my destination in life inshallah

  20. Avatar

    Fatima

    May 8, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    Great article- It’s not easy but Insha-allah one day I will be able to figure out what Allahs plan for me is and follow it, however hard it may be.

  21. Pingback: Allah's Plan for You and Me - IslamiCity | IslamiCity

  22. Avatar

    Samira Siddiqa

    July 7, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    MashaAlla rousing article…surely “the only true security is with Allah.”

  23. Avatar

    Asela

    September 27, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    SubhanAllah this brought tears to my eyes. May Allah (swt) always lead us in the right path. Thank you for writing this. I really needed this at the time. Jazaka Allah Khair insh’allah. Thank you once again.

    • Avatar

      Burhan

      October 20, 2015 at 11:01 AM

      Assalamu alaikum Asela.
      The same here it brought tears to may eyes, when our brother Wael Abdelgawad said.
      You have a purpose. You are necessary to the world. If your presence were not vital in some way, then you would not have been made.
      And that really makes me happy! :) Alhamdullilah

      Burhan

  24. Avatar

    ftm

    January 23, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    this is such a good article made me feel much better now.. May Allah be pleased. inshallah.

  25. Avatar

    murshi

    January 29, 2013 at 7:34 AM

    I like ur article may Allah bless us

  26. Avatar

    iqra

    January 30, 2013 at 5:52 AM

    Aoa…i have a lots of confusions,,i want to discuss alots of things regarding Islam and peace,,,m peaceless,,can u help me Wael Abdelgawad???

    • Avatar

      Wael Abdelgawad

      January 30, 2013 at 1:03 PM

      Iqra, as-salamu alaykum. I suggest you read some of my articles at IslamicSunrays.com. Alternatively, you could visit my Islamic advice website – IslamicAnswers.com – and submit a question there. Response time is currently about one month.

  27. Avatar

    majid khan

    February 17, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    i realy luv my allah nd may allah bless our islamic nation

  28. Pingback: Connecting Pieces of Life-When bad things can bring something good | It's A Halal Life

  29. Avatar

    Habeeb

    June 14, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    Jazakumu lahu khairan brother abdelgawad..
    After reading this article, my orientation changed immediately. It came at the right time, right moment and right point.I believe me reading this article at this time has been decreed by Almighty Allah because for the past few days I have been pondering over this issue. Alhamdulilah, am enlightened. My problem is solved insha Allah

    • Avatar

      Wael

      June 14, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      Habeeb, I’m glad that it helped you, Alhamdulillah.

  30. Avatar

    sara

    July 18, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    but I’ve been asking for 9 years and not one of it is heard. i did every possible thing (prayer) nothings got answered till this day. that’s OK that we live for the hereafter, but to be alive and a stable (not mental) human we needs some needs while we are living. cant wait all my life end of the day we didn’t choose to come to the world we were not given the choice so we should be given that what we ask for, since advantage was taken of us (being helpless) and just made to be alive whether we wanted to not. that’s wrong that’s not fair and on top of that he don’t even listen. i don’t want rubbish like it might not be good for you. because if he can make something as big as the world he can make that whats not good for me good for me its as simple and like he says easy for him. so why ruin someones life by ignoring. if allahs plan aint going to be how we wish it to be then he might aswell just end our lives, that will be better because its us who suffer the pain and hardship not him. if his plans hurt us more no point living on with such pain. why give us a life and feelings if he was just going to hurt us? would rather be a wall if anything, at least i wont feel pain.

    • Avatar

      ismael

      October 31, 2014 at 9:31 AM

      i agree with on this, but yet maybe that bad thing or suffering that happend made you aware of a bigger one helped you avoid a big problem by getting you in a small one that’s one thing and maybe it’s a lesson to you in this life which helped learn or experience since life is not wonderland or something , it has trials in it but that is just to test your will anyways just try to avoid anything that might make things worse and have trust in allah while doing whatever you can to improve your situation and allah will help since that is twakul i hope i helped here jazakom allah kareen and domtom salemen jameean insaallah

      more importantly what is ur problem exactly or your just writing this on your exspressing your opinon about things you didn;t experience, if u do have a problem mention if you want we will try to help

    • Avatar

      Bilal

      December 30, 2014 at 11:07 PM

      Salam Sara, don’t know I you or anyone else will read this because your post is old but I’ve struggled a similar fate. I’m messed up. I’ve been involved in a haram relationship with an English girl. I love her still and I’m obsessed. We were together 5 months in which we became really close, shared many nights together, fell asleep in each other’s arms. It’s been 6 weeks since we split up and I’ve been miserable ever since. She consumes my thoughts. My religion isn’t strong, I’m 21 and have committed every major sin. I was seeking love and found love in the wrong place. It’s left me broken and depressed. I can’t stop loving her, her presence, her touch, her voice, the way she made me feel, the comfort she gave me, it was all very addictive. I feel trapped. I’m a victim of my own thoughts and memories. I forever wonder where she is and what she’s up to. It’s ruined me. I feel your pain. She was the most beautiful girl I could imagine meeting and the 1 in a million chance of us meeting happened by the will of Allah. Allah had this plan for me. Allah brought her into my life for a reason. I don’t know what it is. I’ve heard everything about preying and repairing my relationship with Allah, but I’m lost depressed and unmotivated. I can’t understand this journey and pain. My mother died when I was 7, my father died last year wen I was 21. I was just seeking love, and the affection she gave me was addictive and I feel lost without it. I hope and pray Allah makes it clear what my purpose is and what the purpose of this journey is. Why her? Why do I feel I can’t go on without her? Why did I have to meet her through this chance encounter? Why is my life full of such sorrow and full of losses? I want to change my past and erase the memories but I can’t. I wanna go back in time as just cuddle her once more. Memories just flash in my mind as ruin my whole day. Oh Allah give me the strength to get trough this. My heart is black from sin, but I believe. I believe in Allah truly and I trust his path for me, but I just want to know what it is. I want to understand. I feel you pain sister, wen you feel all alone, just don’t lose hope. Allah is with us, though it may not seem it. Allah hu Akbar.

    • Avatar

      Adam

      December 23, 2016 at 1:31 AM

      Overreaction much? Allah gave us life is that not a big thing? He gave us us a chance to experience breathing eating hearing seeing loving caring and also something we dislike which act as reminders that we arent in paradise so I think Alhumdulillah is what u were meant to say right? also there are etiquette’s and manners involved when asking from The King of mankind The God of mankind. Learn that maybe that’s ur problem also its u who is lacking in certain aspects isn’t that why we are here to better ourselves? Maybe if we make an effort on ourselves Allah will give us what we want.. that sounds fair…

  31. Avatar

    sara

    July 18, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    i really don’t know what to do, i try so hard with my prayers that sometimes in my dream im still praying salah. i try and pray all my salah on time and have been doing since the past 9 years but yet my life is still miserable. don’t know what to to where to go no one listens.

    • Avatar

      Shaddi

      July 22, 2013 at 4:37 AM

      I’m really sorry sara that you feel that way, I can assure you that you are not the only one who may think/feel this way.

      The trick is to never get angry, even when things aren’t going our way. (anger is the most inwardly and outwardly destructive, and energy-wasting emotion, I’ve found). Always compare to those who have less. There are some people living with almost nothing, who may be perfectly happy, because the trick is we need to start to laugh and appreciate all of the little things. Patiently ask for what you -need- (not want) because Allah knows what we actually need more than what we assume that we need/want. He knows what’s best for us, but we have to TRULY trust Him. Keep adding onto your good deeds, and know that they will count.

      Think of everything you have right now, and truly be grateful for it. It may take some time, but tell yourself that you are COMPLETELY happy for the situation that you are in right now. (sometimes a quick change in your environment will help, like stepping outside).

      When I go outside, I like to forget most of my problems. I just sense the beautiful nature, and the sky, and in that moment, I tell myself that’s all I’ll ever need, nothing more. I tell myself this may be the last moment in this life, so what more could I possibly want at this very moment if I knew I was about to pass?

      Having this mentality is very difficult when sitting in the house, dwelling on our problems. Mostly it happens when not staying busy. Remember we do need to seek the things we need/want as well (that are halal), it will not always come in a gold-package on our front steps, but sometimes we need to put in that extra % of effort, not matter how hard it is, and no matter how hard we think we are trying.

      Don’t think about the things you don’t have, because that’s a deadly, endless cycle. We could, in theory, continue this cycle without end. Although I do not know the situation that you are in, it’d be fair to say that no one really has it perfectly. Even those who have that thing that you want (whether it be a partner, or basic living necessities), they may be dead inside, and maybe they are bad people as well.

      Maybe the trick is we need to stop comparing to others altogether, and tell ourselves we have no more needs, since we are still breathing, and our heart is still pumping, the next thing to do is to trust Allah and to have hope.

      If you know you are genuinely a good person deep down inside, you should be happy about that, and relax. Write down all of your thoughts and feelings. Read them over perhaps another day when you’re in a better mood, and try to figure them out. Understand why you are writing these things down. Think of general things, and specific things. Write down all of your good qualities. Remember how good you feel when you do good deeds/say good things to people? Is that sometimes reason enough to live? Not to mention that these said good deeds and words may bring us to Jannah? There may be a level of hope missing, which I struggle with as well. I’m happy that you that you have been continuing to pray for 9 years, and that you have not given up. Every day is a new, and different day, even if it seems to be the same. Perhaps Allah is waiting for you to fully appreciate everything that you have, or to change your mentality (I struggle with this), or to fulfill some certain duty, before He grants us more? (Please read: Surah 4:79)

      Remember to not forget to take care of your body, too. It is very important that we exercise everyday, or as much as we can. I try to go for jogs or bike rides everyday, and I always feel GREAT afterwards, no doubt. Running gives you ‘endorphins’ aka happy feelings! There is no denying this, Allah gave us the ability to do this. Perhaps you do not have legs, or have a leg problem. I’d feel very sorry for someone in this position, and if you don’t have that, be thankful. Be thankful for every working body part that you have. You can even do things like pushups, or weight lifting. Afterwards you feel better, naturally, as well as feeling good knowing you overcame a challenge, and are ready to overcome more challenges, filled with motivation.

      Don’t forget to eat healthy, as well. Eat vegetables and fruit everyday, and go to the doctor to make sure all of your vitamins and everything else is balanced. Appreciate the food that we can eat, as well as the water/juice/milk!! This should especially be learned during this month of fasting.

      Remember to meditate, or even try yoga, especially after a good boost of those running endorphins. Consider more caffeine, less caffeine, more sleep, less sleep?? Drink plenty of water, of course. I write down all of my dreams, I keep a dream journal, also includes all of my thoughts. I like to re-read these and try to find the hidden meanings behind them all. I write down pages of dreams everynight, and it may create some realizations and connections and meanings when you start jotting down your subconscious/this other realm we mysteriously go to every night (and the thoughts you’re having in the mysterious realm that you are reading this in right now!). The more you write it down as soon as you wake up, the easier it becomes, and the more fun/interesting it gets :P Listen to what your dreams are telling you! (but dont become obsessed, sometimes they are random, and sometimes from shaytan.)

      Study and ponder upon Allah’s words in The Noble Qur’an!!!!!!

      Write down to-do lists, goals, steps, deep thoughts and feelings. Share some of these with others. Ask for their input and advice.

      Me personally, sometimes I feel like I have nothing at all. Currently I’m jobless, living with my parents who argue and yell at each other all the time, tired a lot, lazy, don’t have great sense of smell/nose always stuffy/allergies so that may be contributing to it, so doesn’t make me feel ‘awake/great’. flunk school twice, am not a perfect Muslim, waste a lot of time it seems, sometimes lack energy and motivation myself. Really upset I don’t have a wife, which will always open up stupid, unnecessary temptations (sitting on the internet all day doesn’t help). I don’t have great amounts of motivation to search hard for a job/ebay (even though I’m decent with computers, and would love to donate to and help people), or even to learn Arabic, even knowing that everyday could be my last day. I know that I won’t stand a chance to be married, since I have no income and don’t even know the Qur’an in Arabic (I will only be marrying another Muslim, if that time ever came, insha’Allah!). But I get really down on myself for not having the motivation to spend as much time learning Arabic as I could/should, and that I’m wasting epic time (video games and such, although they can work-out your brain and be fun, alone or with friends, I sometimes feel guilty as the time goes by and the addiction and hopelessness and sadness/anxiety soars). I always think if I had a partner I’d be happier, and more motivated to do the things I want and need to do, and she can teach me Arabic/we learn together etc. And then I may start having the mentality that you have. and Ill think everyone else has a partner and it’s not fair for me, especially if I’m trying to follow the rules and that it’s way too difficult, or even impossible, and that I didn’t sign up for this either, and all sorts of negative thoughts, ETC.. It’s always one thing or person I might blame that goes wrong, in which makes everything ‘wrong’, and so I play the blame-game all day, until I forget who to blame/why I’m blaming/what I’m frustrated about. After I blame I may feel like I have no more duties to attend to, since everything is going wrong anyways, and that I can’t do more.

      It’s okay to take breaks and breathers here and there, but in a halal way. De-stressing is important. I’ve found nothing helps as much as exercising, and it’s a matter of just putting on some shoes (don’t even have to) and run, or even bike. I either hard-pedal to work-out, or just relax and go for a stroll around town.

      I think of the people in my life that have meaning to me, even though they are not Muslim I hope that Allah guides them someday (which involves people to seek Him). Sometimes, since I have no Muslim friends, I feel completely alone and isolated, like I’m doing this all alone, with no backup, and don’t necessarily feel a connection to anything or anyone. It’s difficult to know if I’m doing well or not doing well, and my brain just breaks apart.

      And other times I feel that I could just love everyone, whether I know them or not, no matter what religion. and I realize that we are all in this together, and that every single person and living creature matters, we are all different and the same at the same time, we all have good things and bad things. and that we all share the same thoughts and feelings, and that we all sort of ‘know’ how it is (or seems to be). It’s good to surround yourself with good people. Try to make good friends (this is something I’d like to do more of). I try not to judge others, I used to suffer with social anxiety but thank Allah that is no longer the case, but I still find myself being very anti-social. Create healthy hobbies and make good connections with others and seek the good things/thoughts/feelings/people to remind yourself of the good in this world, and how it will be multiplied by the infinite in the next life. Become 100% sure of this faith, always do things to increase your faith, and to please Allah (our purpose), such as helping others, or learning, as it will make you feel better. Sometimes looking at the sky/nature is too mysterious and perfect for us to understand, and is more miraculous and meaningful than any other useless negativity that we allow ourselves to drag us spiraling downwards.

      Think of death. Think of how little everything here will mean, when we ultimately reach that point. Be ready for death. It may strike at any moment. We will face Allah. Know that we are constantly facing Allah at every moment, and that He knows and is aware of all, and of what is in our hearts. Think of how others may feel if you are gone. Imagine seeing your own grave. Or perhaps of someone you love. Find the correct level of attachment to this world. Sometimes we need to be more attached to someone, or ourselves. Sometimes less. We are all struggling, but only as much as we tell ourselves we are.

      Remember that people care about you. I care about you. I don’t even know you. So if I care, don’t you think Allah cares? Allah loves us, especially the believers !! (and its not difficult to believe, we are programmed to do so. We are alive; and we did not create ourselves, thus there is one Creator!) Allah is MOST forgiving, compassionate, loving, merciful, kind, gentle (the list goes on). Think of someone who has these qualities. Now imagine Allah who has created these attributes, imagine the level of His!! Let’s realize this, and put Allah’s greatness and power and light into our heart.

      Let’s appreciate the little things more. It’s as simple as being aware and at awe at the weather. Live in the NOW, or the PAST, or the FUTURE, or switch it up, which ever works for you. As long as you try to become more aware of Allah at every moment, and do not blame Him, just accept the situation that we are in at this very moment. If you received Paradise for eternity, would you still be upset??? Each. And. Every. Single. Snowflake. Is. Different. And. Unique. Than. The. Last. Think of these little things. That’s a miracle. How about the Fibonacci sequence in nature? Miracle. Feel and understand and observe and love the snowflakes, the rain drops, the sun’s rays, the moon, the wind, the cool air, the birds chirping, the perfect, working orbit of our little dot on the map of space within billions upon billions of galaxies. MIRACLES. Allah connects with us in different ways. Let’s smile, and let’s remain humble, patient, and grateful. Do you think that 9 years of praying will go to waste? Do you wish for things more from this world, or from the next???

      Think that everything is in perfect working order and is going as planned. Sometimes you have to crash a car into a pole and survive to realize how much you appreciate being alive!!! (this happened to me). Some suffering is required to receive reward. Think of how happy you’ll be if you ever do obtain this thing that you seek, but don’t let it become your purpose in life. Allah has the Highest Attributes. Everyday is a NEW day, with a FRESH start, with a chance for changes that WE can make. I understand where you are coming from. We’ve made it this far. Good deeds erase and outweigh the bad!! Let’s continue to try to have the purest of intentions, to do good deeds, to keep praying, and to beat this mentality and depression. If we had it all to begin with, wouldn’t that be sort of boring? The hope and fear of the next life, and the joy in wanting to and finally being able to overcome our struggles and challenges (and knowing that anything is possible, and miracles do happen!), is either what drives us to continue forward, or to give up. So which will it be?

      I wish you and everyone else the very best.

      • Avatar

        sara

        July 22, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        hey thanks for the reply.In this message, you have some very good points, which did really get me thinking. Especially when you mentioned noticing the little things like nature and doing exercise etc. I mostly spend my time (summer time) up the country side with my friend but the more I look at it the more depressed I get it just reminds me of loneliness. You said you feel better when you go for a walk around town. I feel depressed when I go thee too, I particularly avoid going to city centers because I see too many people and big crowds (obviously), when I see too many people I just think there are too many people in the world when and why would Allah listen to me then? The thoughts just make me feel hopeless. Even when I went umrah (2011) I felt and thought the same, there were too many people it feels like I’ll probability will be the last one to be heard. My life will probably by the time my turn comes waiting in the list. That’s why I stay away from busy places.

        People will probably look at me and think I am complaining for no reason, mashallah I have part time job, I’ve just graduated (although a degree was never something I dreamed about, its just a paper for me). But here is where my depression will grow deep now that I don’t even have uni anymore. Coming back to the point where you said you don’t know what my problem is, well to some/most it seems really ridiculous and pettish, but for m it’s the reason for why I am so hurt and if it weren’t for this reason may be my life would have been perfect and enjoyable.

        Well I don’t know where to start from. I met a boy when I was 15,from then until now we are very good friends, we have felt attracted to each other too. We’ve been together in the past but he says to me that was a fling for him. We broke up and we’re just friends now, but close friends, sometimes closer than friends. The problem starts here, I want him to marry me (and that’s the only reason why I have always remained close to him) but for some reasons he always pull back from me when I mention marriage (of his) and mine to him, but on the other hand he’s happy to marry anyone else. He’s close to me and everything but doesn’t want me. The fact that he doesn’t want me really hurts me, I feel so unwanted and I feel disrespected too because I always gave him the priority in return I’m just the option. Moreover, because I feel that I’ve always prioritised him, it makes me feel I’ve worked more than hard for him and I deserve to get him as my achievement. Instead I always be given pain, neglect and disrespect. At times I wish I could just puke him put of my heart and system.

        Where Allah comes into it is when I ask him to make this guy somehow be won by me. I’ve been asking for this for at least 4 years now and I am really annoyed because I have not got any pleasing results yet. Recently (about 2 weeks ago) it was his birthday and he finally realised that the only person who has without fail said happy birthday to him for the past 8/9 years is me so he decided to come and see me. While we were driving one of his mates rang and must have asked what you up to or where are you? So he replied I’m with next ( AKA random) girl. That got to me but I dint show it much. Then before we went home I asked him what do you normally do on your birthday? And he replayed last year I spent it with a girl ( may be he was seeing her) that really broke me down but I dint say much I was scared incase he gets furious. The painful thing is that he gives everyone else the chance and respect and everything but not me. Instead he questions that he doesn’t know how I can say he’s hurt me. I sometimes really wish that who he gives so much importance to chooses others over him so he knows why I say he’s hurt me. This is because I feel so hurt being treated like an optional toy or accessory. I’m going to stop there with my life story, the summary is that he’s only come to me for his and at his convenience and other than that he doesn’t care. He knows I really do like him (I don’t know why I like him) but yet he’d show to me his interested in others. And one more thing one day he saw me when he was with his friends and he came over and spoke to me for a while. Shortly after I left he text me saying my mate wants you, why don’t you go to him? This is something he would not have the guts to say to anyone (other girls), its really lowering and disrespectful. Then again he questions how has he hurt me? I really wish all the pain, neglect disrespect and loneliness he’s given to me come to him too and he remembers me at the time.

        When I see that even though he has hurt me so much yet he is loving life, I feel really hurt and that’s why allah gets me angry because he is helping someone who has really hurt me. Instead of making him realise how bad he is he is giving him a life full of joys. Not to mention this lad I am talking about does know the difference between right and wrong and he can confidently speak about how people get tested and how ones got to be patient and have faith in allah, and that allah has better plans and all the rest. So I’m saying if he’s so confident and thinks he knows it all about these tests then why don’t he just get tested if nothing he can start by getting tested giving me the pay back. He doesn’t pray ( may be once every Friday sometimes or not even that). So why don’t the test be thrown on him. I don’t want to be tested I’m sick of this testing I’ve been through 9 long hard painful years and to be honest with you never got that what I wanted. If Allah’s plan hurts then I don’t think I can call it a good or better plan. No matter where I get to in life I will remember how this guy has hurt me and no matter what better I may have this thought will always sadden me and make me feel let down.

        Now you’ll probably be thinking I am asking for haraam things, but its not as haram as you think. The only reason why I ever got involved with this guy is because I wanted to be with him and marry him and marrying someone isn’t haram.
        The other thing I am sometimes asking for is for him to realise how wrong and bad he is for treating me how he treats me. I’m sure you can come to a mutual agreement that disrespecting someone is wrong, hurting someone is wrong and having too much pride in ones self is wrong too. All of that which is a mixture in him which he pours out on me and he is easily getting away with it.

        I don’t even know if I’ve made sense in this because as I am writing my mood and feelings are up and down anger and pain. But just want to say thank you very much for you reply it did help in some ways.
        Thanks

        • Avatar

          Aashiq Hussain

          July 24, 2013 at 9:56 PM

          @sara,
          I am being a friendly and advising you. Don’t take my any comments as offense. I love you because you are a fellow Muslim and I wish best for you. So take it in positive way.

          Allah hears everyone any time you call upon him. He gives sustenance to an insect under this earth that you and I even do know is there. Without his knowledge not a leaf parts from its branch. You never doubt Allah’s knowledge and power.

          You as a Muslim are supposed to love Allah most. You shouldn’t complain to Allah just because that guy is not marrying you. What if there is someone else praying for that guy? what if you get married to him and then he doesn’t respect you like he is not doing it now? He doesn’t care about you after marriage? If he doesn’t appreciate you now, why would he appreciate you after marriage?

          Here is Quran’s verse:
          “…But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.”

          I assume you are in you teens or in early twenties. This is the age when you go blind. What you call love, I call it obsession. Many claim they love Allah, but will never die to meet or be with Him. Then they say they love a girl/boy, and they die to be with them. They never want to lose them. It is just an obsession.

          Trust me, you will get over it with time.

          And in Islam, marriage is not how you think it is. You marry for the sake of Allah ONLY. It is a form of worship. You look for a partner and ask Allah’s help to find you a Religious one. You don’t get obsessed with one guy or girl. If you two don’t get married, you look for another match. It is not about being an option. It is about compatibility. When you say no to a guy’s marriage proposal, you just mean that you two won’t be happy if you marry one another. Then you move to look for another match.

          I have been praying for righteous wife and religious kids since I was about 18. And Many times, I felt that I found a good match. But It never was meant to be. I always keep my kids in mind. That is what I want from my wife. Question I ask is, “Will she be a good mother.” . “Can she help me come closer to Allah?” . This is what marriage is about. You have to keep these things in mind. I am ready to remain unmarried if I don’t find a good girl. I was thinking to save some money and get married to any girl. But now, I will save that money for Hajj, In Sha Allah. No one has died without marriage yet :)
          Set your priorities in order. I am not saying that you don’t get married. I am just saying don’t run after guys.

          May be you are young right now and you might not get what I am saying. But trust me your view about marriage will change after 2 or 3 years and you will smile when you will think about your obsession about this guy.

          Don’t force yourself on him. There will come a guy, one who is written in your destiny to be your husband, who will treat you like something precious. If you force yourself on this guy he will not respect you.
          Work on your faith and religion, Allah will give you a better person as husband. Be such a woman that every MUSLIM guy would want you to be his wife. If a guy has NO religion, he is not worth it. Let him go.

          Hadith is:
          “Hadith Al-Bukhari – Narrated Abu Huraira:
          The Prophet said, “A woman is married for four things, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be a losers.”

          Same applies when you are looking for a husband.

          You know, Allah is far far far merciful. Most of the times we humans don’t understand His wisdom behind He denying us things.
          You are not a loser or low-being when humans think so about you or treat you with no respect. It is when you yourself don’t respect yourself, when you don’t trust Allah that whatever He is doing to you He is doing it in best interests for you. Trust Him.

          Allah tests with many form of tests. This might be a test for you. Prophet Muhammad lost his father when he wasn’t even born. Then his mother when he was still a young kid. Do you think yours is a tragedy and his wasn’t? He didn’t complain Allah. Why are you?

          Stay strong and let this phase of life pass, you will be much better.

          • Avatar

            sara

            July 25, 2013 at 11:44 AM

            Thanks Ashiq.

            Thanks, you guys have made sense to me and I appreciate that your trying to help me. Yes your right I’m at that age when people go ‘blind’ (23). Since Shaddi messaged me I have really been thinking about it, and I’ve tried not to think about that guy (obviously how he’s been with me still hurts). I think about Palestine, Syria and everywhere and how they are being brutally attacked by terrorists. Then I pray for them before I pray for any of my needs, and then I thank Allah that he has kept me safe.

            The verse you quoted about wanting something which may be bad for one, I read that few yeas ago it kind of helped me but then I fell depressed again. what you said you wanted your wife to give, I had all that planned in me to give to him. I wanted to be his wife who loved both him and his family, who was by them through good times and bad. I see my prayers as the most important duty of mine, I’d want my house to be blessed full of barkat and always remind my self and family that where Muslims and there’s a certain way of life. But he just rejected all that and threw it in my face. I’ve shattered so bad that I don’t even feel like feeling like that for anybody anymore, because they might just turn around and do the same.

            You mentioned that look for proposals, I don’t want to do it that way I don’t think I’ll be confident enough. My mum says I cant go and meet the guy in person on my own and I’m not confident when families come over. The other thing is I don’t wanna reject someone because that’s not nice, and I don’t want to be rejected either because it’ll really break my confidence even more. Between the two I’m stuck. I have/want to be married by a certain age. How people have had ambitions of their career etc, I’ve always wanted this ideal guy to get married to, that would have been my foundation to start my life up. Career and the rest would have depended on my foundation. But I’m not too interested in working after I’m married I know that if I pray regularly and be cautious about halal and haraam my household will be blessed anyway.

            Anyway thanks for your comment it does help and I do appreciate it. I’m trying not to think about that guy. Instead, I am intending to go clean in local mosques (voluntary), hoping that will keep my mind off him and bring me closer to religion. Just hope that I start straight after Ramadan.

          • Avatar

            sara

            July 25, 2013 at 7:57 PM

            Thanks Ashiq.
            Thanks, you guys have made sense to me and I appreciate that your trying to help me. Yes your right I’m at that age when people go ‘blind’ (23). Since Shaddi messaged me I have really been thinking about it, and I’ve tried not to think about that guy (obviously how he’s been with me still hurts). I think about Palestine, Syria and everywhere and how they are being brutally attacked by terrorists. Then I pray for them before I pray for any of my needs, and then I thank Allah that he has kept me safe.

            The verse you quoted about wanting something which may be bad for one, I read that few yeas ago it kind of helped me but then I fell depressed again. what you said you wanted your wife to give, I had all that planned in me to give to him. I wanted to be his wife who loved both him and his family, who was by them through good times and bad. I see my prayers as the most important duty of mine, I’d want my house to be blessed full of barkat and always remind my self and family that where Muslims and there’s a certain way of life. But he just rejected all that and threw it in my face. I’ve shattered so bad that I don’t even feel like feeling like that for anybody anymore, because they might just turn around and do the same.

            You mentioned that look for proposals, I don’t want to do it that way I don’t think I’ll be confident enough. My mum says I cant go and meet the guy in person on my own and I’m not confident when families come over. The other thing is I don’t wanna reject someone because that’s not nice, and I don’t want to be rejected either because it’ll really break my confidence even more. Between the two I’m stuck. I have/want to be married by a certain age. How people have had ambitions of their career etc, I’ve always wanted this ideal guy to get married to, that would have been my foundation to start my life up. Career and the rest would have depended on my foundation. But I’m not too interested in working after I’m married I know that if I pray regularly and be cautious about halal and haraam my household will be blessed anyway.

            Anyway thanks for your comment it does help and I do appreciate it. I’m trying not to think about that guy. Instead, I am intending to go clean in local mosques (voluntary), hoping that will keep my mind off him and bring me closer to religion. Just hope that I start straight after Ramadan.

        • Avatar

          Shaddi

          July 26, 2013 at 3:15 AM

          I pretty much agree with everything that Aashiq Hussain said. That should be some really good advice for you. At the end of the day, who do you love more: the One who created you, when you could die any second, and has a better plan for you (involving something/someone way better than this guy (who doesn’t pray??)), or another creation that makes you feel WORSE about yourself?? It HAS become an obsession, but don’t worry, I and others can relate to this silliness (its not silly but when we look at it rationally, its silly, but emotionally it does hurt), and unfortunately I had a similar situation. Not needing to get into many details, but I felt betrayed in this way as well, and it sucks when this particular person still sometimes clouds my mind, and even appears in my dreams! And I thought we were being guided together, I was trying to teach her about Islam, etc. Thought it was perfect and meant to be, but deep down, I knew it wasn’t; I knew it was just a fantasy. (ooh rhymes).

          But seriously, see yourself being marred to him. See that he isn’t praying, while you are. How will that make you feel? Does it matter what really happens to us in this life? The next life is going to be completely different. Maybe he knows he is wrong (maybe he actually feels bad about himself deep down, you aren’t the other person), or maybe he is being tested in a different way, or will be. Perhaps you ARE being tested. And now the other half of it is to not judge him (leave this to Allah, and not you, otherwise it creates more stress, we aren’t supposed to judge like that it destroys us!!) , or to even worry about him! This is going to be very hard, but when I tell you this I mean it: remove him from your life completely, you have no reason to talk to him if it’s only going to make you feel BAD about yourself. Remove that sort of negativity. Allah gives us rewards in ways we will never imagine once we accept what we currently have, because we had nothing before. Allah may take things away from us to make us realize, He is the One who gave us life and basic things in the first place. It’s really about going back to the very basics. Surround yourself with positive people if you don’t like tons of people, but at least get used to the idea. It’s weird to be a in crowd in the city where everyone sort of keeps to themselves. Allah takes care of EVERYONE, no one is left out, so you have to stop having this mentality to proceed, and to perhaps receive more.

          So maybe you will get rewarded and he will get punished, in the next life? (or maybe He bestows mercy upon him, and you! He does on whom He wills (and being a good person with good deeds always goes far! Keep collecting those good deeds and watch what happens, at least you’ll feel great! Even small simple ones: help clean or anyways that you can, give kind words, smile! Volunteer? Extra hugs to your family! All good deeds are rewarded :D ).

          How we will know what Allah’s plan for us is for sure? Why try to involve ourselves in others’ lives, if it only makes us feel worse. There are a ton of people out there. And as the poster above me said, Allah cares about ALL of his servants. Thinking that you won’t be answered to DENIES Allah’s power. If He created the entire universe, and keeping our Earth in steady, constant, safe orbit, allows our breathing and heartbeat typically take us through life, on autopilot! etc, etc. We know He is Most Powerful, so do not doubt that. Do not lose hope. You need to pray with full confidence that you will be answered, full confidence that He is LISTENING. Pray with the HEART, not with just words. Pray for Him to GUIDE YOU to whatever/whomever it may be. (not to a specific person, when He knows what’s/who’s ACTUALLY best for you, when you don’t, as hard as that sounds). Again like Aashiq Hussain said, there is a REASON for everything that happens to you. You are being TESTED, and everyone is tested in different ways, like others have said: some with poverty, some loneliness (perhaps like us), mental issues, family issues, loss of people, tons of different things. So best way to approach these tests is with PATIENCE, and knowing that Allah will give you something/someone BETTER for trusting Him COMPLETELY, as silly as it might sound. Again, if the man of your dreams came into your life, you will forget about this kid completely, I’m sure. Things change. Things happen. Miracles happen. Keep up the hope. Stay in touch here, we want to help, I’m glad that some of that advice was taken and has helped!!

          • Avatar

            Aashiq Hussain

            July 26, 2013 at 5:48 AM

            Brother, I wanted to reply @Sara but there is no ‘Reply’ button. So replying here.
            @Sara, I agree with what @Shaddi brother said.
            There is no need to be diffident. What you are is not how people around you perceive you. When someone declines your proposal it doesn’t mean you should lose your confidence. He may be looking for something else in marriage. That is OK. we are different. You may like chicken soup but another person with you might not like it. No big deal.
            You wanna be happy then you have to love yourself as you are and just keep improving in your deen. There is no need to lose hope or confidence. Allah is always there, no matter how big your problem. Don’t let people put you down. If you try to please others you will end up living a sad life. As long as Allah is happy with you and is there with doors open for you, you have no need to worry. Just turn to Him.

            How does one feel if all city, including your own family members, make fun of you just because you do something that no one in the city or the world does? Everyone calls you mad, possessed, insane and even throw stones at you when you walk a street.

            How does it feel when you are trying for more that 800 years to make some people to understand that there is no God but Allah. and people around make fun of you and laugh at you. They will put there fingers into theirs ears to ignore what you are saying.

            How would you feel if people around make fun of you and laugh at you just because you cover your body out of modesty. They even go to say that you have some problem with your private parts? That is why you are covering your body.

            How will you feel if Allah Himself throws you out of Jannah with your spouse because you didn’t obey His ONE Command.

            How will you feel? Just imagine each case with you on street and people talking to you like that.

            First case is of Prophet Muhammad. Second, Prophet Noah. Third Prophet Mosa. And Fourth Prophet Adam. May Allah Be Pleased With All Of Them.

            They did feel low too. They thought it is their fault that is why people are making fun of them and refusing to accept their message. BUT Allah Said to them, their only job was to convey the message of Allah. Guidance is in the hands of Allah.
            Noah lived so long and yet only few people accepted his message. Even his own wife and son refused him.

            Lesson is you do your part and leave it up to Allah. And MAJORITY proves nothing in Islam. It doesn’t matter what majority think of you. All that matters is what you think of Allah.
            As Allah says, He Is what His slave thinks of what He is.

            Have faith in him. Marriage is in the hands of Allah. Your Partner is written for you. When time is right he will come no matter where you are.

            I myself am 24. I would marry right now :P But I have faith in Allah. If He has written someone for me then she will come (Or I might need to Go :) ) Even if I have lost all my teeth and hair to old age :D

            Trust Allah and keep recharging your Imaan. It is easy to lose faith in Allah and fall prey to Satan’s whispers when you don’t get things you want. Stay with good religious people.

            May Allah give us strength hold on to our Imaan.

          • Avatar

            sara

            July 28, 2013 at 10:41 PM

            Thanks Aashiq, you guys do really get me thinking on the advice you give to me. I read yours and Shaddi’s messages everyday; it just gets me thinking positive and encourages me to hope for better as well as reminding me to be more dutiful towards Allah. Mashallah you to are two very positive and thankful people I’ve come across I don’t think I know many/any like you guys.

            I’ve got a big problem, I figured this problem out a few months ago. I’ve realised that I can’t feel my feelings anymore (my feelings have turned numb because they weren’t valued). Now that has led me being careless about things. These things include being slightly careless about prayer too. I don’t know how to recall my self. I used to that girl who used to run home from school and college and quickly pray my prayers. In winter (when magribs at 4.00) I used to get home and make up for all the prayers I missed of the day. These days when I get late for my prayer/s I don’t even feel the guilt as much. Since I came back from umrah I used to pray a few pages of Quran every night but I’ve slowed down on that too. I feel like as if I’m being distanced from religion. I don’t want to be distanced. Give me some advice on how I can come close to religion again please.

            I get scared when people say your marriage partners are already written for you. What if mine turns out to be a big time player? My mum and dad have mostly argued throughout their marital life. They didn’t know each other. My mums religious and dad isn’t very religious and they argue most times due to that. then I know other (arranged) couples where the husbands looking around at other girls/women. I feel scared I really wouldn’t want to be treated like that. Is it actually true that marriage partners are written from before? What if you make dua can it change who’s written and be substituted for another? And I’m actually serious about this question, I know it sounds really childish lol but it something I really want to know.
            Keep in touch you, you get me thinking positive and help me look forward instead of just looking back.

          • Avatar

            Aashiq Hussain

            July 30, 2013 at 5:14 AM

            @Sara, I wasn’t religious before. I changed recently. I too felt like i was drifting away from Allah.
            It is a positive that you realize that you are going away from religion. When I asked a knowledgeable person why I was feeling disconnected from Allah and how should I connect with Him. He said, to avoid bad company whenever you can. Watch Islamic video lectures from youtube. Pray on time, even if you feel your prayers are not being accepted. Stop thinking of future that is not in your control, work for today and what is in your control.

            I won’t suggest you to be on facebook, if you are weak to control yourself. But I personally benefited positively from it. I live somewhere where there are NO muslims around. So facebook was a good means to connect with other Muslims. You can choose who should be in your list. Just add good Muslim(Preferably girls). Then watching lectures on youtube from various scholars I learned a lot and it also strengthen my imaan (Alhamdullilah). With time we all need to recharge our Imaan and I think that is where we need positive Muslims around. You have internet at your disposal used it to connect to Muslim women, may be from your own area. Do something for others.

            Ignore when your parents fight. My parents fight too, sadly. I am away from my home so I don’t have to face that. When I go home I advice them not to. But I know it affects you in negative ways. It can bring down your confidence. Don’t think about their marriage, think about those who love each other. You can pray for a good spouse and In sha Allah you will get one. You know we are slaves of Allah, and He is our master. Master plays His role only when slave works and pleases Him(Master). So, you first need to have faith in Allah and you have to give your part then only you can expect Allah to help you.
            If you are ready to get married just try to find a good Muslim. When you have found one, perform Istikhara with faith in Allah’s decision.

            Search for lectures by Nouman Ali Khan, Mufti Menk, Khalid Yaseen etc. Then watch them. In sha Allah, they will help you.

            One of the weapons of Satan is to put waswaas in your heart. He makes you think that you are far away from Allah and there is no way back. He makes you feel that Allah doesn’t love you. He makes you think that Allah will not forgive your huge sins. This is not true. Allah is most forgiving and most loving to His creation. He loves His creation more than a mother loves her baby.
            But you need to understand life is a Test. Even His loved ones, Prophet’s, had to go through extremely difficult tests. Ask Allah to grant you strength to pass His tests.

            Stop thinking about that guy. Worry about Akhirah. You will get smartest guy in Jannah, In Sha Allah. Work on that :)

          • Avatar

            sara

            July 30, 2013 at 9:40 PM

            Hmmm, I get u.
            what were you like before you were religious? (you don’t have to answer if you don’t wanna). i think i became interested in religion and practicing when i was about 15.

            i don’t have Facebook and all that crap i wish i didn’t exist. and to be honest i think facebook will make things worse for me so i don’t bother with all that. the problem is i know too many people and most of these people are baaaaad (and their on Facebook).

            I live where there are loads of Muslims, but i wouldn’t say that’s a good thing. all these Muslim kids (people my age, older and younger) are all into their own fun. when i was at college all my friends (muslims) used to drink they’d have at least 3 bottles a day, having a blunt was another common thing. it was really bad, i used to feel wrong chillin with them but they were fun people. its a good thing i wasn’t depressed then otherwise i would have probably been doing the same as them. but mashallah I’ve never touched such things and never will do inshallah.

            my parents kickoff doesn’t always get to me but it makes me feel like getting out of here sometimes. i dint want to think about happily married pairs otherwise i’ll start feeling left out lol. About looking for a decent muslim lad, i’ll have think about that deeply because i don’t exactly know what a decent person is like. when i think someone may be the right one i’ll do istikhara and then wait for the results.

            Thank you

          • Avatar

            sara

            July 28, 2013 at 11:14 PM

            Hey Shaddi, thanks for the advice. I read yours and Aashiqs messages everyday. It helps me to think and be positive.
            I understand that this life completely different from the next life but one needs to be lively enough to get through this one first. The way that guy has treated me has totally depressed and destroyed me. I have thought too that I need to totally stop thinking about him; it just hurts me more when I think about him. It’s really hard though, he’s always in my day dreams. I don’t really know many positive people but like you said surround my self around positive people, I’ll try and do that so I stop thinking about him. I don’t even know why I like him so much.

            When ever I read through your first message I always kind of pause and just think about what you’re saying. I noticed that you said that you feel that you’re not a good Muslim. I was just wondering why you might have said that? According to me, you’re a really good person (even though I don’t know you in person) and a really good Muslim too. You’ve got very good understanding of Islam and god consciousness. That’s the most important thing a Muslim should have. I know many Muslims who call themselves Muslims but have very little or no god consciousness. God consciousness helps a person (Muslim) remember that they have a duty towards certain things i.e. prayers and being mindful about the hereafter. So what if you don’t know Arabic, (although its preferred to know Arabic) you’ve got good intentions, and you’ll be rewarded for your intention. You’re interested in the religion you get rewarded for that too. If you don know how to pray your salaah, don’t worry just do wudhu, face the qiblaa and stand and bow as if you’re praying have it in your heart that you’re doing this to please Allah. Even if you just say subhanallah though your prayer it will still be accepted (but don’t just leave it at that, do try to learn Arabic). Have you ever read the Quran in English? If not don’t worry even if you can get hold of an Arabic one just open it have a look at it, and just say to your self that you really respect this book and believe in every verse of it, and believe that Allah will reward you for it. I’ve got a really good Quran its in Arabic, Arabic English and English translation. By the way I don’t mean to be giving you a lecture because your much wiser than me ,I’m just saying don’t be upset about not knowing Arabic.
            If you don’t mind me asking, have you recently converted to Islam?

            I found how you write your dreams really amazing. I tried doing that too but just don’t get round to doing it. You said somebody ‘clouds your mind’ (i love your metaphors lol) it must be depressing, my minds always cloudy. The good thing is he doesn’t appear in my dreams, he only appears a lot in my day dreams, which makes my day hard to get through. Just hope this loneliness goes away from you, me and all who are feeling lonely.

            I don’t even know how I ended up on this site I was just upset and was after some solutions, I ended up on here and came across some really good people like you and Aashiq. I’m just gong to say the same to you Keep in touch, you get me thinking positive and help me look forward instead of just looking back.

            (sorry my wording, spellings, structure, clarity and grammar aint as good as your lots, ive been grafting too hard on thousands of word essays in the last six months so my writing has become really poor).

        • Avatar

          Shaddi

          July 26, 2013 at 4:16 AM

          Yes, thank Allah we aren’t in such a horrible position (and even so, He does not burden us more than we can bear, each of us is different, and has a different story).

          Maybe you’ll meet someone to marry/someone willing to connect you with someone, at the mosque =) Great idea there either way.

          Also check this out, an article about provision:
          http://www.hizb.org.uk/islamic-culture/the-meaning-of-rizq-provision

          And this, it’s one hour but it really helped me when I was sort of in the crossroads with someone:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1znHn0x6D7w

          • Avatar

            sara

            July 30, 2013 at 10:50 PM

            Thanks Sahddi, (wonder where you find all these from). This video is a good explanation of ‘love’.

            The bad thing is my love seems more likely to be lust. It’s fitting into the category of addiction.
            A few month ago a was feeling like I’m on the same level as a druggy, but now I’m assured that I am on that level.

            My answers to her questions about waking up, going to bed and praying were all negative answers. I’m in the deep end. I always end up in a mess up, now my prayers aren’t even good enough.

            However, one thing I will say is that my lust actually got me praying. The more I craved the more I’d sit down, pray, and even make dua. Therefore, in that way I will say my lust brought me closer to Allah than take me further away.

            The kinda guy she described to be ‘ideal’ it would be very, very hard to find. Would probably have to travel the world for that .

            Thanks for posting this video shaddi, you’re a star. 

      • Avatar

        Huma

        August 19, 2016 at 4:25 AM

        Life sucks that is all. Muslim people look down upon less fortunate Muslims. Nobody cares if you live or die..even though I try my best and keep the hope alive, I’ve been wishing and hoping and praying to Allah swt for so many years, but some people have bad luck. No good job, heath issues, two divorces hatred between families, financial struggles. I’ve been just existing, not living.. alhumdillah for everything. Please pray for us. I see roadblocks ahead for nothing ever changes.

        • Avatar

          Wael Abdelgawad

          August 20, 2016 at 3:13 PM

          Huma, As-salamu alaykum. If one is not grateful for what he has, then it will always feel like “life sucks.” Gratitude is a fundamental principle of both faith and happiness. Doesn’t a Muslim recite several times each day, “Alhamdu lillahi rabbil-aalameen”?

          The greatest rizq or nemah – the greatest gift – is laa ilaha il-Allah. A person could be a billionaire, but if he comes on Yawm Al-Qiyama without laa ilaha il-Allah, he will be destitute. Are you grateful to Allah for this great gift? Are you counting it among your rizq? If so then you would never feel poor.

          You say “some people have bad luck.” Wrong. Everyone has “bad luck”. Life is difficult. Roadblocks, problems and even suffering, these things are an intrinsic part of the fabric of life. They are inescapable. I guarantee you, if you take some family that has health and wealth and seems to “have it all”, if you could x-ray their lives and hearts you would find pain and struggles. Haven’t you heard of rich people who are depressed, confused and lost? Rich celebrities who are addicted to plastic surgery, go through multiple divorces, or who OD on drugs? Clearly money does not equal happiness. Struggle is a universal experience.

          The test is in how you respond to the difficulties of life. Whether you sit down and complain, blaming Allah and other people, or whether you are grateful for what you have, and work hard to try to solve the problems facing you.

    • Avatar

      Nadia

      July 12, 2016 at 11:08 AM

      It’s 2016 now and I’m unsure if anyone will reply but I will still try. See, I’m 15 this year and I’ve been reading through you guys’ thread of replies and I really must say that I’m amazed by the amount of inspiration I’ve gained through coming across this particular thread of replies and brother wael’s website too.
      But mostly I’m so softened by the amount of dedication and determination you guys have. I’ve read your stories and I do relate to Sara’s quite a bit though I’ll only reveal those things if I get a reply.
      But anyway reading your comments has made tears form in my eyes and I found myself asking Allah to bless you all because you are so so strong and your persistence and patience and how every comment ended on a positive note really touched me. My question is , how did you keep your determination and faith in Allah up? And where are you now in your journeys ?
      I would appreciate something anything from anyone. You are my aspirations, I wish I can be so strong and unwilling to give up. May Allah grant me the character in which he is pleased.

      • Avatar

        Syed

        November 30, 2016 at 7:09 AM

        ASSALAMU ALAIKUM.
        AAMEEN sister.may ALLAH remove all the problem from your life and keep you determined on HIS path and grant you happiness both is this world and the hereafter,AAMEEN.
        (sorry for disturbing you now. I know it has been 6months since you posted this reply)

  32. Avatar

    Svera

    July 24, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    Allah isnt just there because you believe in him
    Hes there because he loves you
    Be true to allah and his plans
    Ameen

  33. Avatar

    Lost

    January 6, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    Dear brother,

    Is our future spouse predetermined or do we have a choice? I know age, risq, and death is, but is a life partner already chosen for us?

    Thank you

  34. Avatar

    Amanda (Fatima)

    April 1, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    Masha’Allah Brother, as a revert I searched for the understanding of the difference between free will and pre destination. I found some answers but continued to have difficultly until Subhan’Allah you shared Sheikh Al-Munajjid’s explanation.

    Allah’s plan for us, I hope I can now get that push I need to move forward and not just think about what I would like to do but start to build that road until I get there, one brick at a time.

    May Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala grant you much success in this life and the highest of Jannah in the next … ameen

    Jazak’Allah Kharian

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  36. Avatar

    Dr Gulam Mohd Chinchwalker (Qadri)

    March 10, 2015 at 5:22 AM

    God has plan for every one subanallah One plan which is common for all is to know god to see his sign and except the truth on one great allah the almighty . Individual plans are made as per the strength of the individuals. But most of our plan are corrupted by shyatan you make us understand that joy and happiness and pleasure of the earth is are only goal . When we understand our motive purpose and wish to do good in this world . This is our true purpose of life we began the helper of Allah who wants us to be successful in this world and hereafter

  37. Avatar

    marium

    March 26, 2015 at 8:18 AM

    Today I am in trouble

  38. Avatar

    Marium Hashmi

    March 26, 2015 at 8:28 AM

    I Belongs to stayed family…I am a medical student…I have supply in biochemistry subject…. I need 1 mark to pass this subject but our university doesn’t want to give me 1 mark and due to 1 mark I will lose one year ….my dad is an old man….he sold his Owen care for me I pay 9 lac rupees per year….how do I know God loves me when I keep suffering and the pain never seems to stop???? :-(

    • Avatar

      Haroon Virk

      March 26, 2015 at 12:58 PM

      @marium
      Aslamalikum Maryam it sound so heart breaking when we about to achive somerhing and it goes million miles away in the matter of seconds…you are sad and you have reason because its only 1 number what if you were faild in all the subjects what if difference was 10 number 20 numbers etc…we can’t see ALLAH but it is our faith that ALLAH is there …you or your father can afford to pay 9 lakhs a year where at the other end if you look around you ‘ll find many who can eat twice a day becsuse they can’t afford…why because of A number you are forgeting every other Naimat of ALLAH..i am don’t mean at all you can’t go sad or worry its a human nature we are like this ..its so easy to say bla bla bla but we can only realize the same thing if we go through our selves.. Like I said before when you are so close to achive win or get something and yet you lose it…it is a real test of your character ..i ‘ll pray for you that MAY ALLAH fulfill your wishes and helps you Ameen…be strong and be hopeful take it is if it is something very best for not having 1 more number it won’t be easy for you to accept but you will come to know sooner or later it was for your very best Good Luck future Doc :-)

  39. Avatar

    Haroon Virk

    March 26, 2015 at 12:29 PM

    Aslamalikum
    It seems so easy saying things how many of us actually act upon…i may be wrong but as much as I know co education is haram in our deen parents send Their daughters to the place and one day she likes a guy and she would want to marry him most of the parents would hate this it becomes the mater of respect but they forget they were the one who sent their daughter there going against the order of ALLAH …parents gives us chance for zinah but when its about nikah their ego falls in the middle…who is the founder of facebook and many other social networks jews well they can never be our well wishers thats what our Deen says if I am not wrong what is happning there girls and boys are doing things that probably makes ALLAH very unhappy men must not look at women
    Women has become posters n a major way of intertanment
    Where is mehram and na mehram concet gone…today people are being killed in Masjids where one would have only found peace…the more we go against ALLAH more we gonna find our selves in trouble…in the end I may be wrong al together….excuse me because my spells and english isnt good
    ALLAH HAFIZ

    • Avatar

      marium Hashmi

      May 7, 2015 at 1:45 PM

      @ Haoon
      W.sallam thank you so much

    • Avatar

      marium Hashmi

      May 7, 2015 at 1:52 PM

      @Harpoon its not coeducation….its women medical college

  40. Avatar

    Ali

    April 10, 2015 at 11:52 AM

    May I know what is the status of sister Sara now ?

  41. Avatar

    Ritvi soni

    August 7, 2015 at 8:36 AM

    The Quranic verses on destiny, this subject is very complex, especially for those who are feeble believer who sometimes be unsure about that why God do this or that with me what was my fault like something. Such as innocent peoples are suffering in this world because of a shortage or because of some other reasons.

  42. Avatar

    Aazath AMM

    September 10, 2015 at 8:44 AM

    Allahu akbar,

    i really liked this article because finally i got correct answer to my questions thanks..

  43. Avatar

    Nida

    October 14, 2015 at 1:34 PM

    I just came across this article after typing my question on Google and what a blessing this is alhamdulillah. I love this article and it has resonated with me especially since I have always been passionate about writing also but have always kept on stalling it thinking I needed to start a business or use my programming skills to make websites. I could be wrong about what I think Allah has planned for me even now but at the moment I think I was being partly materialistic for wanting to make websites and run a business. For writing there can’t be any materialism involved because of the meager pay so maybe that’s what I gotta do.

    • Avatar

      Wael Abdelgawad

      October 14, 2015 at 2:09 PM

      Ma-sha-Allah, I’m glad the article helped. You know, it doesn’t have to be one thing or the other. You can work a job that pays money, while still pursuing your passion on the side.

  44. Avatar

    Amy

    October 18, 2015 at 10:55 AM

    How do i know what Allah’s plan for me is? I’ve been stagnant for a long time and everything that i try is not working.

    • Avatar

      Wael Abdelgawad

      October 18, 2015 at 12:57 PM

      What calls to you? What do you dream of doing? What are you good at? Or put it this way: if you had all the money in the world, and only had to work for the sake of your own passion, what would you do? Whatever it is, try to make that your career. Pursue an education in that field. Get a job in that field, even if it’s a low-paying starter job. Keep on trying to find a way to make it happen, Insha’Allah.

  45. Avatar

    Burhan

    October 20, 2015 at 10:50 AM

    Bismillah.

    Dear brother Wael Abdelgawad.
    Allah protect you and bless you and your family Aamen

  46. Avatar

    Burhan

    October 21, 2015 at 3:02 AM

    Assalamu Alaikum. Thank you so much brother Wael Abdelgawad
    This is really make me happy :)
    Allah bless and protect you and your family
    AAMEEN.

    Burhan

  47. Avatar

    Rizwan

    December 15, 2015 at 12:10 PM

    Salaamwalaikum, first of all thank you so much for such a great article. It has cleared my confusion. Allah is great he always has a good plan for us ! I understand it now !

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  49. Avatar

    Mona

    January 22, 2016 at 11:54 PM

    Thank you for the wonderful article…it is of great help in times of hardship…

  50. Avatar

    Mona

    January 22, 2016 at 11:56 PM

    Thank you for the wonderful article… May Allah bless you for spreading knowledge of deen and helping people in times of hardship…

  51. Avatar

    salina

    March 25, 2016 at 9:56 AM

    Allhamdullilah for this article. May Allah swt bless you and your family.. Right now the hardship im going through, reading this has helped me a lot. Especially the lovely and soothing messages and comments left. Indeed Allah swt is the best planner. Whenever going through hardship I always believe that Allah has planned this to make me stronger and test my patience. I am truly blessed to have these hardships at an age of 25 where I feel it will only make me stronger and my imaan and faith more strong.. Ameen summa ameen.

  52. Avatar

    mohammed sajir

    June 1, 2016 at 5:11 AM

    Can I get a malayalam translation?
    Please help
    Jazak allah gayr

  53. Avatar

    Al Fatimah

    June 5, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    it is really informative for us and true. Thanks for Sharing.

  54. Avatar

    RuQayya

    August 9, 2016 at 1:02 PM

    Assalmu alaikum. I’m a 21 year old, medical student, recently I started a very bad habbit I’m not proud of, I try to stop it but every time I think I’ve stopped I start all over. I pray n give sadaqa but I think I dont pray hard like I used to and the nafila I used to make has reduced.. This year I learnt I’m repeating in school and I have one more chance else I’ll be withdrawn. I read hard n passed all my tests. It’s I surprise to me that I failed. I’ve been reading books and write UPS… Could it be Allah punishing me for my habits? I beg for forgiveness and not to go back on my tawba. I cant explain. Please brothers and sisters I need your prayers. But could it really be Allah SWT. Punishing me for my habit ?

  55. Avatar

    LOST

    September 2, 2016 at 12:23 AM

    I been feeling same way too.1 always feel to go back to this one particular place (island-asia). The reason i been delaying because i didnt know whether its truly me (instinct) or am i Mental? Im a christian girl who fell madly deeply in love with this muslim guy who lives there. Even we are apart now, i could feel his presence here with me sometimes. We have not been talking nearly 1-2 Months odi.
    Am i crazy? Pls assist me.

  56. Avatar

    Shabath Ahamed

    October 8, 2016 at 12:30 AM

    We need to be strong in IMAN in all circumstances whatever happened in our life. We believe our Allah

  57. Avatar

    Nazia Abbas

    November 10, 2016 at 5:58 PM

    This article is well written. I think it’s a great reminder. It’s a clear reflection. Thank you for writing it

  58. Avatar

    Syed

    December 1, 2016 at 6:28 AM

    ASSALAMU ALAIKUM.this is an amazing article. JAZAKALLAHU KHAIRAN brother for posting this wonderful and beneficial post….also I learned many things from the comments of the brothers and sisters on this comment section.
    may ALLAH bless us all,keep us all guided on the right path till our death,remove all the hardships problems from the lives of all the Muslims,give us all the Tawfeeq to strive hard for JANNAH,have mercy on this Ummah and grant all the Muslims JANNAH,AAMEEN

  59. Avatar

    Soso

    December 7, 2016 at 1:02 AM

    Brother Wael,

    May Allah (swt) bless you for writing this piece, this is the second time I’m reading it and Subhanallah it really it home with me. I guess we can never be fully ready to treat the path that we know Allah (swt) has paved out for us and we can never be fully qualified. In the end we just need to trust Allah(swt), follow the path we know has been calling us and make dua for Allah(swt) to help us along the way. May Allah(swt) put abundant blessing and benefit in your writing.

  60. Avatar

    Tawhid

    December 10, 2016 at 5:49 PM

    Jazak Allahu Khairan! May Allah make it easy for you to walk on His path.

  61. Avatar

    Adam

    December 23, 2016 at 1:01 AM

    The answers to everyone’s problems are in the book of Allah and people with sincere faith will see them… And problems occur when we begin to lead sinful lives, the problems are there to remind us its time to turn back to the straight path… Leave the sinful ways struggle and strive to return to where we once were… If u see problems as a lesser punishment it will help u understand that we wont be able to tolerate even the lesser punishment of hell.. We cant even handle worldly turmoil and here we have Allah to turn to and repent in hell we wont even have that may Allah forbid.. Also brothers and sisters do as much good as u can and set good examples for mankind.. The best example to mankind was the mesenger of Allah Muhammad peace be upon him his family and companions.. Be like them Bev the best in conduct and deeds and whatever else u choose to do in life.. Be Muslim’s.. Insha’Allah asalaamu alaikum

  62. Avatar

    Raabia

    May 3, 2017 at 9:15 AM

    Jazakhallahkhairun this was beautiful!

  63. Avatar

    Teddybear

    July 28, 2017 at 1:55 PM

    Allah is the greatest and the King, He is all that is good ♡♡♡♡

  64. Avatar

    Siddiqui

    June 12, 2019 at 11:58 AM

    This is a nice article. The following are the problems:

    1. It seems that Allah has designed plan for us which are all thorny. Only troublesome life is the feature of Allah’s plan. And Allah’s plans are like a villain could do. Astaghfirullah! So, I do not agree to this type of views expressed in the article.

    2. The fact that Allah is Rahman, Raheem, Wakeel etc. has no reflection in this article. So this is a saddist’s view of Allah, which He is of course not.

    3. All articles written by Muslim scholars only talks anout ideal Muslims, as if He does not have anything for non-Muslims! Hey, how are you going to fit in the life of a Prime Minister who is not a Muslim with the words written in this article? Or, a rich man in your neighbourhood who has no idea of Islam, or the Quran or hadith? He is so rich but he never even believe Allah exist!

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The Day I Die | Imam Omar Suleiman

Imam Omar Suleiman

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Janazah, funeral, legacy, Omar Suleiman, Edhi

Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (may Allah be pleased with him) in the midst of the torture he endured at the hands of his oppressors used to say: baynana wa baynahum aljanaa’iz, which means, “the difference between us and them will show in our funerals.” The man who instigated the ideological deviation that led to his torture was an appointed judge named Ahmad Ibn Abi Du’ad. At the moment of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal making those remarks, it appeared Imam Ahmad would die disgraced in a dungeon but Ahmad Ibn Abi Du’ad would have a state funeral with thousands of mourners. Instead, Imam Ahmad persevered through his struggle, was embraced by the people, and honored by Allah with the biggest Janazah ever known to the Arabs with millions of people pouring in from all over. Ahmad Ibn Abu Du’ad was cast aside and buried without anyone attending his janazah out of revulsion.

Now sometimes righteous people do die in isolation, and wicked people are given grand exits. There are people like Uthman Ibn Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) who was murdered by the people of fitnah, then buried at night far away from the people out of fear of the large numbers that would’ve poured out to his janazah and potentially mobilized against his oppressors. But it may be that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) inspired Imam Ahmad with the vision to see his victory in this life before the next. To elaborate a bit on his statement though, allow me to reflect:

A wise man once said to me,

“Always put your funeral in front of you, and work backwards in constructing your life accordingly.” 

With the deaths of righteous people, that advice always advances to the front of my thoughts. When a person passes away, typically only good things will be said of them. But it’s important to pay attention to 2 aspects about those good things being said:

1. Is there congruence in the particular good quality being attested to about the deceased.

2. Are those good qualities being attested to actually truly of the deceased. 

The first one deals with consistency of character, the second one with sincerity of intention which is only known by the Creator and His servant. In regards to the first one, take our sister Hodan Nalayeh (may Allah have mercy on her) who was murdered tragically last week in a terrorist attack in Somalia. Everyone that spoke of her said practically the same thing about how she interacted with them and/or benefitted them. There is complete harmony with all of the testimonies about her. And in that case we all become the witnesses of our sister on the day of judgment, testifying to her good character.

For many that pass away, neither the deceased nor the community fully appreciates the way they benefitted others until that day. It was narrated that when Zainul Abideen Ali Ibn Al Husayn (may Allah be pleased with them), the great grandson of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) passed away, he had marks on his shoulders from the bags he used to carry to the doorsteps of the poor at night when no one else was watching. The narrations state that the people of Madinah used to live off his charity not knowing the source of it until his death.

How many people will miss you when you die because of the joy you brought to their lives? How many of those that you comforted when they were abandoned by others? That you spent on when they were deprived by others? That you advocated for when they were oppressed by others? 

Will your family miss you because of an empty bed in the home or a deep void in their hearts? Will it be the loss of your spending only that grieves them, or the loss of your smile? Will it be the loss of the stability you provided them only, or the loss of your service and sacrifices for them?

But Zainul Abideen didn’t care for the recipients of his charity to know that he was the source of it, because He was fully in tune with it’s true Divine source. He didn’t want to be thanked in this world, but in the next. He didn’t want the eulogy, he wanted Eternity. 

He understood that if you become distracted by the allure of this world, you may merely become of it. Focus on bettering the future which you cannot escape, rather than the present that you cannot dictate. Focus on the interview with the One who needs no resume, rather than the judgments of those who are just as disposable as you. 

اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ خَيْرَ زَمَانِيْ آخِرَهُ، وَخَيْرَ عَمَلِيْ خَوَاتِمَهُ، وَخَيْرَ أَيَّامِيْ يِوْمَ أَلقَاكَ

“O Allah, let the best of my lifetime be its ending, and my best deed be that which I seal [my life with], and the best of my days the day I meet You.”

Which brings us to the second aspect of your funeral, the sincerity of the good you’re being praised for. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “increase your remembrance of the destroyer of pleasures.” Death only destroys the temporary pleasures of this world, not the pleasure of the Most Merciful in the next. Keeping that in perspective will help you work towards that without being distracted. If it is the praise of the people you seek, that is as temporary as the world that occupies both your worldly vehicle ie. your body, and your companions in this world who shall perish soon after you.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned the one who passes away with the people lavishing praise on him that he is unworthy of. In a narration in Al Tirmidhi, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “No one dies and they stand over him crying and saying: ‘Oh what a great man he was! Oh how honored he was!’ except that two angels are appointed for him to poke him and say: Is that really you?”

But if it is Allah’s praise that you sought all along, the deeds that you put forth shall await you in your grave in the form of heavenly ornaments. Those that were known to the community, those that were known to only a select few, and those that were known by no one but Allah and you.

May Allah give us all a good ending, and an even better eternity.

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The Spirituality Of Gratitude

Shaykh Tarik Ata

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Gratitude

The Quran tells the reader of the importance of gratitude in two ways. First, worship, which is the essence of the relationship between man and the Creator, is conditional to gratitude “and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you worship” (2:172). The verse suggests that in order for an individual to truly worship Allah then they must express gratitude to Allah and that an ungrateful individual cannot be a worshiper of Allah. The second verse states the following “And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me” (2:152). The Arabic word used, translated here as ‘deny,’ is kufr which linguistically means to cover up. The word was adopted by the Quran to refer to someone who rejects Allah after learning of Him. Both the linguistic and Quranic definitions are possibly meant in this verse and both arrive at the same conclusion. That is, the absence of gratitude is an indicator of one’s rejection of Allah; the question is how and why?

What Does Shukr Mean?

Understanding a Quranic concept begins with understanding the word chosen by the Quran. The word shukr is used throughout the Quran and is commonly translated as gratitude. From a purely linguistic definition, shukr is “the effect food has on the body of an animal” (Ibn Qayyim v. 2 p. 200). What is meant here is that when an animal eats food it becomes heavier which has a clear and visible effect on the animal. Therefore, shukr is the manifestation of a blessing or blessings on the entirety of a person. From here, spiritualists understood the goal of shukr and added an extra element to the definition and that is the acknowledgment that those blessings are from Allah. Thus, the definition of shukr as an Islamic spiritual concept is “the manifestation of Allah’s blessings verbally through praise and acknowledgment; emotionally on the heart through witnessing the blessings and loving Allah; and physically through submission and servitude” (Ibid).

Based on this definition, the goal of shukr can be broken into five categories. First, gratitude that brings about the submission of the individual to his benefactor. In order for an act to be worthy of gratitude, the beneficiary must conclude that the benefactor’s action was done for the sake of the beneficiary – thus making the benefactor benevolent. In other words, the benefactor is not benefiting in the least (Emmons et al 2004 p. 62). When the individual recognizes his benefactor, Allah, as being completely independent of the individual and perfect in of himself, one concludes that the actions of the benefactor are purely in the best interest of the beneficiary resulting in the building of trust in Allah. The Quran utilizes this point multiple times explicitly stating that Allah has nothing to gain from the creations servitude nor does he lose anything from because of their disobedience (Q 2:255, 4:133, 35:15, 47:38). Through shukr, a person’s spirituality increases by recognizing Allah’s perfection and their own imperfection thus building the feeling of need for Allah and trust in him (Emmons et al 2002 p. 463).

Gratitude in Knowing That Allah Loves Us

The second category is love for the benefactor. Similar to the previous category, by identifying the motive of the benefactor one can better appreciate their favors. “Gratitude is fundamentally a moral affect with empathy at its foundation: In order to acknowledge the cost of the gift, the recipient must identity with the psychological state of the one who has provided it” (Emmons 2002 p. 461).[1] That is, by recognizing Allah’s perfection one concludes that his blessings are entirely in the best interest of the beneficiary despite not bringing any return to Him. Thus, the Quran utilizes this concept repeatedly and to list a few, the Quran reminds the human reader that he created the human species directly with his two hands (38:75), he created them in the best physical and mental form (95:4), gave him nobility (17:70), commanded the angels to prostrate to him out of reverence (38:72-3), made him unique by giving him knowledge and language (2:31), exiled Satan who refused to revere him (7:13), allowed him into Paradise (7:19), forgave his mistake (2:37), designated angels to protect each individual (13:11) and supplicate Allah to forgive the believers (40:7-9), created an entire world that caters to his needs (2:29), among plenty of other blessings which express Allah’s love, care, and compassion of the human.

The remaining three categories revolve around the individual acting upon their gratitude by acknowledging them, praising Allah for them and using them in a manner acceptable to Allah. In order for gratitude to play a role in spirituality the blessings one enjoys must be utilized in a manner that connects them with Allah. Initially, one must acknowledge that all blessings are from him thus establishing a connection between the self and Allah. This is then elevated to where the individual views these blessings as more than inanimate objects but entities that serve a purpose. By doing this one begins to see and appreciate the wisdoms behind these created entities enlightening the individual to the Creators abilities and qualities. Finally, after recognizing the general and specific wisdoms behind each creation, one feels a greater sense of purpose, responsibility, and loyalty. That is, engaging the previous five categories establishes love for the benefactor (Ibn Qayyim v. 2 p. 203). Observing the care and compassion of the benefactor for his creation establishes the feeling of loyalty towards the one who has cared for us as well as responsibility since He created everything with purpose.

Blessings Even in Hardship

One may interject by referring to the many individuals and societies that are plagued with hardships and do not have blessings to appreciate. No doubt this is a reality and the Quran address this indirectly. Upon analysis, one finds that the blessings which the Quran references and encourages the reader to appreciate are not wealth or health; rather, it is the sun, the moon, trees, and the natural world in general. Perhaps the reason for this is what shukr seeks to drive us towards. There are two things all these objects have in common (1) they are gifts given by Allah to all humans and all individuals enjoy them and (2) humans are dependent upon them. Everyone has access to the sun, no one can take it away, and we are critically dependent upon it. When the Quran draws our attention to these blessings, the reader should begin to appreciate the natural world at a different level and Surah an Nahl does precisely that. This chapter was likely revealed during the time of hijrah (immigration); a time when the companions lost everything – their homes, wealth, and tribes. The chapter works to counsel them by teaching them that the true blessings a person enjoys is all around them and no matter how much was taken from them, no one can take away the greater blessings of Allah.

In sum, these verses bring light to the crucial role shukr plays in faith. It serves as a means to better know Allah which can be achieved through a series of phases. First, the individual must search for the blessings which then leads to a shift in perspective from focusing on the wants to focusing on what is available. This leads to greater appreciation and recognition of the positives in one’s life allowing the person more optimism. Second, the person must link those blessings to the benefactor – Allah – which reveals many elements of who He is and His concern for His creation. Once this is internalized in the person’s hearts, its benefits begin to manifest itself on the person’s heart, mind, and body; it manifests itself in the form of love for Allah and submission to him. Shukr ultimately reveals the extent of Allah’s love and concern for the individual which therein strengthens the trust and love of the individual for Allah and ultimately their submission to Him.

Allah knows best.

Emmons, Robert A., and Charles M. Shelton. “Gratitude and the science of positive psychology.” Handbook of positive psychology 18 (2002): 459-471.

Emmons, Robert A., and Michael E. McCullough, eds. The psychology of gratitude. Oxford University Press, 2004.

Jawziyyah, Ibn Qayyim. madārij al-sālikīn bayn manāzil iyyāka naʿbud wa iyyāka nastaʿīn مدارج السالكين بين منازل إياك نعبد وإياك نستعين [The Levels of Spirituality between the Dynamics of “It is You Alone we Worship and it is You Alone we Seek Help From]. Cario: Hadith Publications, 2005.

[1] Islamically speaking, it is not befitting to claim that Allah has a psyche or that he can be analyzed psychologically.

Download a longer version of this article here: The Sprituality of Gratitude

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When Faith Hurts: Do Good Deeds = Good Life?

Loving Allah and trusting the Wisdom and Purpose in everything He throws your way- even if it hurts. It is a time to learn.

Zeba Khan

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hurts, hardship. Allah, test, why Allah is testing me

The Messenger of Allahṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said that the faith in our hearts wears out the way our clothes wear out. Deterioration, maintenance, and renewal are part of the cycle.  That’s life with all that hurts. That’s normal.

But what happens when that’s life, but life is not your normal? What happens when it feels like life isn’t normal, hasn’t been normal, and won’t be normal for a foreseeably long time?  For some of us, refreshing faith becomes secondary to just keeping it.

It’s easier to say Alhamdulillah when you are happy. It’s harder when you’re not. That’s human nature though. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there is something wrong with what we teach about faith that can leave us unprepared for when Allah tests it. I believe that our discussions about faith tend to be overly simplistic. They revolve around a few basic concepts, and are more or less summed up with:

Faith = Happiness

Righteousness = Ease

Prayer = Problem Solved

Good Deeds Equals Good Life?

Basically, the TLDR is Good Deeds = The Good Life. None of these statements are technically untrue. The sweetness of faith is a joy that is beyond any other gratitude, for any other thing in this world. Righteousness in the sight of Allah will put you on the path to the good life in the afterlife. Making dua can be the solution to your problems. But when we say these things to people who have true faith but not happiness, or righteous behavior yet distressing hardship, we’re kind of implying that that either Islam is broken (because their prayers seem unanswered), or they are broken (because their prayers are undeserving of answers.) And neither of those is true either.

Allow me to elaborate. I think it’s safe to say that there is not a single parent who has not begged Allah to make their sick or disabled child well again. Yet, our Ummah still has sick and disabled children. Through history, people have begged Allah for a loved one’s life, and then buried them – so is prayer not equal to problem solved?

Many righteous people stand up, and are then ostracized for their faith. Many people speak truth in the face of a tyrant only to be punished for it. Many of us live with complete conviction, with unshakeable belief in the existence and wisdom and mercy of Allah, and still find ourselves unhappy and afraid of what He has willed for us.

Are We Broken?

No, but our spiritual education is. In order to fix it, we have to be upfront with each other. We have to admit that we can be happy with Allah and still find ourselves devastated by the tests He puts before us, because faith is not a protection from struggle.

Has anyone ever said this to you? Have you ever said this to anyone else?

No one ever told me. It was hard for me to learn that lesson on my own, when I pleaded with Allah to make my son’s autism go away, and it didn’t. Everyone told me –Make dua! The prayer of a mother for her child is special! Allah will never turn you down!

It was hard trying to make sense of what seemed like conflicting messages- that Allah knows best, but a mother’s prayer is always answered. It was even harder facing people who tried to reassure me of that, even when it obviously wasn’t working.

“Just make dua! Allah will respond!”

I’m sure people mean well. But it’s hard not to be offended. Either they assume I have never bothered to pray for my son, or they imply that there must be good reason why Allah’s not granting to my prayers. What they don’t consider is that allowing my test to persist – even if I don’t want it to- is also a valid response from Allah.

I have been told to think back in my life, and try to determine what sin caused my child’s disability, as if the only reason why Allah wouldn’t give me what I asked for was because I was so bad I didn’t deserve it. As if good deeds equaled the good life, and if my life wasn’t good, it’s because I hadn’t been good either.

Bad Things Happen to Good People

You can assume whatever you like about my character, but bad things do happen to good people, even when they pray. You can try your hardest and still fall short. You can pray your whole life for something that will never come to you. And strength of faith in that circumstance doesn’t mean living in a state of unfulfilled hope, it means accepting the wisdom in the test that Allah has decreed for you.

That’s a bit uncomfortable, isn’t it.  When we talk about prayer and hope, we prefer to talk about Zakariyyah 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) – who begged Allah for a child and was gifted with one long after anyone thought it even possible. But we also need to talk about Abu Talib.

The Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was raised by his uncle Abu Talib, and in his mission to preach Islam he was protected by Abu Talib.  But Abu Talib died without accepting Islam, was there something wrong with the Prophet, that Allah did not give him what he asked for? Was he not good enough? Did he not pray hard enough? Astaghfirullah, no. So if Prophets of God can ask for things and still not get them, why are we assuming otherwise for ourselves?

Making a Bargain with Allah

If we can understand that faith is not a contract for which we trade prayers for services, then maybe we can cope better when fate cannot be bargained with. Maybe it won’t have to hurt so bad – on spiritual level – when Allah withholds what we ask for, even when we asked for the “right” things in the right way and at all the right times.

Life is not simple. Faith is not simple. The will of Allah is not simple, no matter how much we want it to be, and when oversimplify it, we create a Muslim version of Prosperity Gospel without meaning to.

If you’ve never heard of it, prosperity gospel is a religious belief among some Christians that health and wealth and success are the will of God, and therefore faith, good deeds and charity increase one’s wellbeing. Have faith, and God will reward you in this life and the next. That’s nice. But it’s too simple. Because the belief that Good Deeds = The Good Life doesn’t explain how Ibraheem 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him)’s father tried to have him burnt alive.

Yusuf 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him)’s brothers left him for dead in the bottom of a well. He grew up a slave and spent years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Aasiya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) – the wife of the Pharoah – one of the four best women in the history of womankind – died from her husband’s torture.

Good people are not guaranteed good lives. Islam is what we need, not a system of practices that we use to fulfill our needs.

When we limit our understanding of faith to a simplistic, almost contractual relationship with Allah, then we can’t even explain the things that Allah Tested His own prophets with.

Nor can we understand, or even begin to cope with- what He Tests the rest of us with either. We have to be real in our talk about faith, because otherwise we set each other up for unrealistic expectations and lack of preparation for when we face hardship. Faith is not protection from hardship. Faith is part of hardship. And hardship is part of faith.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) asks us in the opening of Surah ‘Ankabut,

Do people think once they say, “We believe,” that they will be left without being put to the test? We certainly tested those before them. And ˹in this way˺ Allah will clearly distinguish between those who are truthful and those who are liars.

Allah says in Surah Baqarah, ayah 155: “And most certainly shall We try you by means of danger, and hunger, and loss of worldly goods, of lives and of the fruits of your labor. But give glad tidings to those who are patient in adversity.

tests, hurts, faith , hardship

Allah Tests Everyone Differently

Allah tests each of us differently, but in every single case – every single time – a test is an invitation to success. Hardship is the process through which we prove ourselves. Experiencing it– and then drawing closer to Allah through it –is how faith is tested as well as strengthened.

If we can change how we perceive hardship, then we can also change how we perceive each other. On our cultural subconscious, we still see worldly failure as being equivalent to spiritual failure. So when we see people who are homeless, we assume fault. When we see people facing depression or divorce, we assume fault. We even look at refugees and victims and special needs children and we look for fault. Because if it’s that bad then it’s has to be someone’s fault, right?

Fault is how we place blame. Blame is how we know whose mistake it is. But the will of Allah is never a mistake, it’s a test.  Instead of faulting each other for what Allah tests us with, we could respect each other for the struggles we all endure. We could see each other with more compassion for our challenges, and less aversion when Allah tests us with dealing each other.

So when you’ve done things the right way, but the right things aren’t happening. Or you’ve been charitable to others, and they’re being evil towards you. Or you’ve earned only halal, but haram- it’s been taken away from you, remember this- your faith is being tested. Allah tests those that He loves. When He raises the difficulty level, Allah is extending a direct invitation for you to climb higher.

So How Do We Succeed When Faced With Failure?

The first thing to do is redefine failure. There is only one true failure in this life, and that is dying on the wrong side of Siraat ul Mustaqeem, because if close your eyes and wake up in Jahannam, no success in this life can compensate for that.

I find that helpful to remember, when I fail to stay fit because I can’t exercise without hurting myself, when I fail to fast in Ramadan because it’s dangerous for me to do so- when I fail to discover a cure for my family’s personal assortment of medical issues through rigorous internet “research,” none of that is my failure either. And I can feel a lot of different ways about these situations, but I do not feel guilty- because it’s not my fault. And I do not feel bitter, because my test is my honor. Even when I do feel scared.

Being scared in not a failure either. Neither is being unemployed. Being unmarried is not a failure. Being childless is not a failure. Being divorced is not a failure. Nothing unpleasant or miserable or unexpected is a failure. It’s all just a test, and seeing it as a test means you have the state of mind to look for the correct answers.

Not even sin is failure, because as long as you are alive, your sin stands as an invitation to forgiveness. The bigger the sin, the greater the blessings of repenting from it.  Everything that goes bad is the opening of the door for good. A major sin can be the first step on a journey that starts with repentance and moves you closer to Allah every day thereafter. Sin only becomes failure when it takes you farther away from Allah, rather than closer to him.

Jahannam is the Only Failure

Addiction is not a failure. Depression is not a failure. Poverty is not a failure. Jahannam is the only failure. Everything else is a gap in expectations.

You assumed you would have something, but it’s not written for you. You assumed you’d ask Allah for something and He’d give it to you, but what is that assumption based on again? That good deeds are the guarantee to the good life, and that prayer equals problem solved?

Allah has all the knowledge, Allah has the wisdom, Allah is the best of Planners – how are you assuming that your wishes supersede His will? Even when you put your wishes in the form of a prayer?

They don’t. It is absolutely true that Allah may choose to rewrite Qadr itself based on your prayers – but that’s still His choice. Allah has always, and will always be in control of this world. And that means your world too. If you still think you’re in control, you will find it really, really hard to cope the first time you realize you’re not.

When we understand that we don’t get to control what happens and what doesn’t, we can then release ourselves from the misplaced guilt of things going wrong.  Lots of special needs parents struggle with guilt. I meet them often – and every single parent has asked the question- directly or indirectly-

What did I do for my child to deserve this?

Can you hear the presumption in there? That the parents were good, so why did something bad happen? They were expecting for good deeds to equal the good life.

There’s a second presumption in there too, that their life choices were a determining factor of what happened to their child. That is a presumption of control. And as long as you try to hold on to that presumption of control, there is the constant feeling of failure when it just doesn’t work the way you think it will.

I am not proposing that we lose hope in Allah and despair of His Mercy. I am in no way insinuating that Allah doesn’t hear every prayer, hasn’t counted every tear, and isn’t intimately aware of your pain and your challenges. Allah hears your prayers, and in His wisdom, sometimes he grants us exactly what we want. In His Wisdom, sometimes he grants us exactly what we need.

Even if we don’t see it.

Even if it scares us.

Even if it hurts us – because Allah has promised that He will never, ever break us.

hurts, hardship, special needs

Allah Tests Us in His Mercy

I am proposing that we put trust in the wisdom of Allah, and understand that when He tests us, that is part of his mercy, not a deviation from it. When He grants something to us, that is part of His mercy, and when he withholds something from us, that too is part of His Mercy, even if we don’t like it. Even when we ask Him to take it away.

The third thing I would like to propose, is that we correct our understanding of – Fa Inna Ma’Al usri yusraa, Inna Ma’al usri yusra.

So verily, definitely, for sure- with hardship there is ease. Again, Inna – for sure, with hardship there is ease.

I’m sure lots of you have said this to people you loved, or to yourself when you’re struggling with something and you’re just trying to get through it. But did you mean that this hardship will end, and then things will be good again? Like as soon as things have been hard for a while, Allah will make them easy again?

Would you believe that’s not really what that means? Ma’a means with, not after. With this hardship, there is ease. And maybe you’re like aww man, but I wanted the ease! I want the hardship to go away and Allah I’m ready for my ease now!

But that hardship, will bring you ease. Allah does not tell us what the ease will be, or when it will be- but He says it’s there, so trust Him. Even if you can’t see it right away, or in this life –it will become apparent.

I can tell you some of the ease I found with mine.

Learning When It Hurts

When my son was diagnosed with autism, my husband and I had to drop everything. We dropped our plans to save, to travel, and to live the charmed life of neurotypical parents whose only fears are that their children may grow up and NOT become Muslim doctors. We spent our earnings and our savings and our time and our nights and our tears and Alhamdulillah, we learned patience. We learned perspective. We learned compassion.

We really learned what we thought we already knew – about unconditional love and acceptance. We learned to be bigger than our fears, and smaller than our own egos. We learned to give and take help. We learn to accept what wisdom our cultures could offer us, and respectfully decline what did not. We learn to set boundaries and make rules that did justice by our children and our family, regardless of whether they were popular. With hardship comes ease.

When we couldn’t afford therapy for my son, my husband and I founded a not for profit organization in the UAE that provided it for my son and dozens of other people’s sons and daughters. Three and a half years ago I left that organization to seek better educational opportunities for my son here in the US, but it’s still running. The seed that our challenges planted has grown into something beyond us. With our hardship came ease for ourselves and others as well.

When I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, my health issues were upgraded from challenging to permanent. I had to rethink how I lived, how I planned, how I dressed, and even – my relationship with Allah. But if I had never been sick, I would never have started writing. When it hurt, I wrote. When I was scared, I wrote. When I was lonely, I wrote. And by and by the grindstone of fear and sickness and frustration sharpened my skills. Where I am today both spiritually and professionally – is actually a direct result of both autism and chronic illness. With hardship comes ease.

I don’t like my hardships, but I don’t have to. You don’t have to either. Being a good Muslim doesn’t always mean being a happy Muslim. It just means being Muslim, no matter the circumstances.

That means loving Allah and trusting the Wisdom and Purpose in everything He throws your way – even if not loving everything He throws your way. You may hate your circumstances, and you may not be able to do anything about them, but as long as you trust Allah and use your hardships to come closer to him, you cannot fail, even if this life, you feel as if you never really succeeded.

hurts, depression, faith , hardship

Faith Wears Out In Our hearts, The Way Our Cothes Wear Out on Our Bodies

The hardship that damages and stains us is Allah’s invitation to repair, renew, and refresh ourselves. Our test are an invitation, an opportunity, an obstacle – but not a punishment or divine cruelty. And when we know that those tests will come, and some may even stay, then we can be better prepared for it.

Trust Allah when He says that He does not burden any soul with more than it can bear. He told us so in Surah Baqarah Ayah 286. Remember that when you are afraid, and Allah will never cause your fear to destroy you. Take your fear to Allah, and He will strengthen you, and reward you for your bravery.

Remember that when you are in pain. Allah will never cause your pain to destroy you. Take your pain to Him, and He will soothe you and reward you for your patience. Take it all to Allah – the loneliness, the anxiety, the confusion. Do not assume that the only emotions a “good Muslim” takes to Allah are gratitude and happiness and awe. Take them all to Allah, uncertainty, disappointment, anger — and He will bless you in all of those states, and guide you to what is better for you in this life, and the next, even if it’s not what you expected.

The struggles in your life are a test, and whether you pass or fail is not determined on whether you conquer them, only on whether you endure them. Expect that they will come, because having faith is not protection from struggle. Faith is protection from being broken by the struggle.

I ask Allah to protect us all from hardship, but protect us in our hardships as well. I ask Allah to grant us peace from His peace, and strength from His strength, to patiently endure and grow through our endurance.

Ameen.

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