Al-Waleed was with his father, the great Companion Ubadah Ibn As-Samit. His father was now dying. As he realized
these were the last minutes for his father in this world he wanted his father to leave him with a precious advice. He said: O my dear father, give me an advice.
He was looking for a powerful advice that would stay with him for the rest of his life.
And we know that when someone is about to leave this world, they awaken more to the reality of life. And the words that come out of their mouths actually come from their hearts. He wanted to seize that moment.
His father asked them to help him sit up. When he sat up he said: “O my son, you will never find the taste of Iman, you will never experience the taste of Faith, you will never embrace the truth of the knowledge of Allah Subhanahu wa ta’alaa until you believe in al-Qadar the good of it and the bad of it…until you believe in the Decree of Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa the good and the bad of it.
His son said: O my father, how do I get to know this? How do I get to understand this reality of the Decree of Allah the good of it and the bad of it? How can I come to grips with the reality of this?
His father says: You know…
تعلم أن ما أخطأك لم يكن ليصيبك
You know what has come to you what has happened to you. there was no chance it could miss you. There was no chance it could pass you by. What was meant to happen will just happen. And whatever happened was meant to happen.
أن تعلم أن ما أخطأك لم يكن ليصيبك، وما أصابك لم يكن ليخطئك
And whatever has not come your way, what has not happened to you there was no chance that it would not happen
So what was meant to be will be. And what was not meant to be will never be.
O my son, I heard Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) say: The first thing Allah created ever, the first of all creation in order was Al-Qalam, the Pen. Allah created it and said to it: Write down everything that is going to happen. It did. At that moment it wrote everything that was destined to happen until the Day of Judgment.”
Then Ubadah ibn As-Samit concluded his advice with this: “O my son, if you die upon anything other than that you will enter the Hellfire.”
And this shows a very important aspect of our Deen which is al-Iman in al-Qadaa’ and al-Qadar…belief in the Decree of Allah. The fact that Allah had willed into existence everything that happened and everything that will happen, Allah wanted it to happen, Allah allowed it to happen. And Allah commanded the pen to write it down. And it was written before the creation of the heavens and the earth.
The fact that you are reading to these words today was written in that Book. And because it was meant to happen, it is happening now.
At a time when so many people in this world, Muslims and non-Muslims cannot live…cannot go through a day without taking pills to alter the chemistry of their brains just to help them go through the day. Because if they were to face reality by themselves without this dependence on these chemicals they would not be able to survive. They would not be able to go through the day without having anxiety attacks, panic attacks, depression, suicidal thoughts, desperation, conflict and a whole set of emotional excruciating experiences.
When Allah teaches us about Himself, His Decree and about His Will, He is giving us the guidance to handle this world and be on top of the game of life, and this is what belief in the Decree of Allah entails.
The fact that Allah wrote everything down before the creation of the heavens and the earth can put our hearts at peace. Allah is the Most-Merciful, the All-Wise, the All-Kind. Knowing that things that are happening in your life are not random and that Allah designed them will help you get over the pain and the hardship, knowing you are in safe hands. Yes life presents us with challenges and hardships but not to break us. Rather Allah wants these hardships to purify us and strengthen us. Don’t allow a feeling of being a victim to seep into your heart. It will only take away your faith and your strength to handle this world.
Hardships make us stronger and make our faith in Allah more powerful but we have to keep seeing things from the right perspective. Allah is in charge and He makes things happen according to His wisdom.
Remind yourself everyday that things are happening according to a divine plan and even though we might fail to see where things are heading to, and we feel that suffering has no end. Ease is on its way. Things are happening for us not to us. This believe of yours has the potential to change things. Allah says in the divine hadith: ((I will be to my servant as he/she thinks of me)) meaning if you trust Allah is making things happen in your favour even when the times are tough, Allah will turn things in your best interest. But if you don’t trust that Allah is taking care of you, you will be losing out on this great opportunity and things will be what you think them to be.
First: something that you have some power over, something that you can change, something that you can alter, something that you can improve. So go about and change it, go about and do it. Save no effort to change the situation and make it better.
Second: circumstances you have no choice about…overwhelming conditions that you can’t change…that you can’t alter. With these things all you have to do is not fall in despair, not fall in some kind of anger against Allah.
So when you have some adverse circumstances, what you can do to change them do that by all means and don’t save any effort, don’t save any knowledge you have, don’t save any advice you can tap into and you can benefit from to alter the situation.
But when there are things that you can’t do anything about, you can’t change them, you can’t alter them…they’re overwhelming…they are beyond your capacity to change…with these things you have to resort to acceptance. and that means you let go. You let go….you have to accept the Decree of Allah there. You stop resisting reality.
Most of our pains come from resisting reality. So if there is a condition you can’t change. It’s an unpleasant condition and you can’t change it. You can’t do anything about it…so it’s inevitable to happen…it’s beyond your capability to change, how should you deal with it? You should change your mind and perception about it by accepting it and embracing it and letting go!
When you have done that you will find yourself gliding into higher grounds by contemplating how you can use the new circumstances to your advantage. How can you benefit from the situation. You will start to see the silver lining in every cloud.
Where the Pain comes from
The pain that we face in tough circumstances comes from one thing: is that we expect a different reality. We wish for a different scenario and we hold on to it and we won’t let go! And that creates the tension within us, and that creates the resistance, and that brings about all the pain. And that’s why we all falter. That’s why we all crush after these difficult and challenging circumstances. Otherwise Allah has designed humans in a way where they can handle unbelievable negative circumstances. That’s how Allah designed us. But most of us hold on to a reality that didn’t happen or a version of reality that wasn’t meant to be. So we don’t let what is Be. We don’t let it happen.
We know that Allah willed for this thing to happen. Allah gave permission for this to happen. And as long as I can’t do anything about it I should not resist it. I should embrace it. And I should change my perception. And any other possibility I was holding on to I should let go of it And I should accept reality as the Decree and the Decision and the Will and the Intention of Allah and we know behind every decision by Allah there is Wisdom, here is mercy, and there is knowledge.
But how can we let go of our desired version of reality and embrace the actual reality that Allah willed into existence? If you develop the skill and mastery to do this life could take a different twist from that moment on. Following are things you can do to transition into an empowering approach to life:
- Every morning contemplate the fact that Allah is in charge and that this is His universe and dominion and He has the right to do whatever He wants with it. You are just an element in this bigger context.
- Remind yourself that Allah’s Qadar and decisions reflect His mercy, knowledge, wisdom and kindness. Even when we fails to see this full picture with our eyes, our hearts can see it. Remember: things are happening for you not to you.
- Remind yourself every day that the Qadar of Allah, that is everything Allah allows into existence is a reflection of the beautiful Names of Allah especially: the Wise and the Most Merciful. Let your heart rest in peace that whatever happens holds within it the Wisdom and Mercy of Allah.
- Remember that your idea of how things should be is biased and incomplete. This is why we tend to overrate it and get attached to it. But it could never be better than the actual reality. Reality is Allah’s choice; your preference is your biased choice.
- Try to let go and find peace in the fact that Allah leads your affairs in the right direction. As he took care of you when you were completely helpless in your mother’s womb and made things come together so that you could live.
- Teach yourself to relax and let go.
- Do whatever is in your capacity to improve the situation. But avoid overthinking and overdoing.
*Quoted texts in this article were paraphrased as they were translated for the sake of more clarity.