The breaking of your beautiful heart, the striking of that painful calamity,
The destruction of your little nest, the breakthrough of the sudden uninvited tragedy.
Nothing is a coincidence, nothing is unfortunate.
Every action predestined, every step incredibly accurate.
It’s all a part of a mighty plan unknown.
Hold on, Oh wounded soul! Your magnanimous relief is arriving
And you shall bear the fruits of the seeds sown.
We are almost reaching 2020, and I can confidently say that this year has brought with it humongous lessons that are worth remembering forever, SubhanAllah. Like every year, it had its fair share of wonderful ups and terrible downs. In a nutshell, the lesson I learnt is, Allah – Al Hayy is the Only One constant, and everything else is bound to perish, be it wealth, relationships, happiness, or anything that we believe belongs to us, but in reality doesn’t. We aren’t the proud owners of anything that we are blessed with. A Quran teacher said, “Life is like a banquet hall and we can all cherish the beautiful things – the food, the decor, the stage and everything served to us and we can relish it but only for a while because we aren’t there to stay forever, we will leave the Hall and return home, leaving everything behind, just like how we will leave Dunya”.
Similar is the case with favors bestowed upon us. We can only have it until Allah allows it and when He decrees certain possessions to be taken away – we need to train our heart and soul to utter a single line- إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ
Life is a journey where we will be tested severely in every single blessing that is beloved to us, which fills our heart with overwhelming streams of love, and without which we cannot imagine to sustain or continue walking our path, and this myth is what Allah breaks in a go.
Whenever calamity strikes, be it as a shocker or a sign, in all cases you must cross the tunnels of pain and grief. This is Ar-Rahman’s way of showing you that you don’t need anything apart from Him.
These tests come with their own set of resources and equipment; never doubt that you cannot do anything during this phase. This is the time for you to deposit hasanah in your account only to redeem later, and although you will feel that there is no answer to your pleads – there is one, always. It’s just that it is not at the moment or right away.
The moment we give in to the Decree of Al-Qaadir, handing Him the reigns of our journey, He returns the blessings in the most miraculous ways. He suffices, and wonderfully disposes our affairs. He breaks our long awaited dawns in such a way that our eyes fail to comprehend and the heart wonders if it ever witnessed the darkness of the nights. This is Allah’s sunnah which is recorded in the Kalamullah, so all we have to do is accept and let go.
Attachments can be painful and often it’s not a mild storm – it’s thunderous, disastrous – so exhausting and tiring that we feel like giving up. Because Allah knows our weaknesses and hurting links, He is all aware of how to hit your raw nerve in order to pull you closer to Him. He is Al-Hakeem so don’t ever think that you can have it easy, because if you do, it’s not going to be worth it.
Every success achieved, personal or professional, goes through a process of refining, crafting, molding, shining, packaging and finally emerging as something worthy of recognition and possession. That’s with your heart too, so don’t fear the refining, the change, the detachment, the loss, the isolation – it’s only being built for the ultimate emergence.
It’s hard to believe there is hope beyond the mess your eyes see, and it’s tough to be certain during uncertainty. The most painful part of the navigation is to hold your heart, to see the million pieces of it scattered on the floor; to witness your dreams come crashing down, turning into ashes; to not feel the regrets, the guilt, and that bizarre voice within yourself that only screams negativity constantly, reminding you about your deprivation and loss, and pushing you into the pits of immense fear of the future by narrating how worse the future is going to be and how it’s never going to get better. But trust me, that voice, is a lie. It’s the crippled version of your negative self which you should not hear.
We all have been in the middle of painful times, we all have been wronged and betrayed, insulted and abused, lost our loved ones and fortune. We all have been deprived in some areas of our lives, we all have messed up, slipped and been judged for our choices and opinions. Be it a traumatic breakup or divorce, a marriage which couldn’t last, or the never ending struggle to get married to the non-existent Mr. right, miscarriages or fertility issues, abusive parents or those with a judgmental and patriarchal mindset, financial or educational crisis, parenting becoming tough with hyperactive, disrespectful teens, or exhausting days and nights with the toddlers, the in-laws drama or the society’s scrutinizing eye which never seems to leave you, be it anything…
In the end it’s all going to be okay.
It’s okay to be a little broken for a while.
It’s okay to grieve over your loss.
It’s okay to be a ball of mess.
It’s okay to not know what’s next.
It’s okay to not be sorted.
It’s okay to rest for a while till your plan is re-crafted.
It’s okay to cry in confusion.
It’s okay to vent out your frustration.
It’s all okay, oh wounded soul!
But know this, soon you won’t be in the same place, this isn’t your forever. It’s just a phase, it’s preparing you for the next stage that is set. Hold on to His rope and your needs, dreams and every desire will be met.
As believers, trials are an inevitable part of dunya that we must learn to survive with ihsan, submission, dua and astaghfar. Often times we don’t realize that the storm that destroyed our hut was a wakeup call – an opportunity for the ailing hearts and bruised souls to draw nearness to its Rabb. The calamity struck so you could buckle up and get back to your Tahajjud. There is nothing which will bring you down on your knees, destroy your arrogance, tear your unhealthy attachments and make you submit to Al-Azeez, like the tests you are gifted with.
It isn’t a trial, but a gift.
To bring you back to your Maker,
before from the Sirat off you drift.
Don’t stress about the shattering of your heart,
let not the betrayal make you bitter,
nor the traumatic departs.
Oh Soul! You are being refined! You are being crafted for excellence and your rise.
On this path of suffering, lies your ultimate success.
So hold your cries,
Don’t fret, nor regret,
what’s lost will come back in a much more beautiful form.
This was just a mere test.
Sometimes when there is so much chaos, there is this war between right, wrong and the necessary that goes on for eternity without any solution. You pray and pray hard, you cry until your eyes cannot ooze out any more tears, you plead until it gets too overwhelming to be on the prayer mat – but with no answer – nothing. And you ask, why?
Because sometimes, Ar-Rahman wants to teach you Sabr through His delay. He wants you to understand that there isn’t any shortcut for healing of the heart or any quick fixes for the mess ups or sins we intentionally or unintentionally commit. I agree, Sabr is hard. It has been described by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as “dhiyaa” which means light; it’s like the exercising of a muscle which needs a lot of effort. To you, this tunnel is pitch dark- but Sabr will give you the ability to see from the lens of your heart, and the outcome of it is nothing but fabulous, only if you wait until you reach the end of it.
Another essential thing is that Sabr and Tawbah go hand in hand. We must not forget that we have a Lord who is the most Merciful – the One who loves us more than that of 70 mothers. It’s impossible that He inflicts us without any reason. It is only for what we have earned with our own hands – the sins accumulated throughout the last road.
The deprivation is an Illusion, the test only a created situation. Because in order to be strong, you need to be weak. In order to be enriched, you first have to bleed. In the end it’s all coming to you, but there is a price for every sin which you must pay. The tears of Tawbah will extinguish the fires of those filthy sins and Relief shall emerge and finally stay.
Now let’s talk about the time after the storm. It is the most crucial one. Yes, its gone, its ruined everything around and left a bizarre emptiness, leaving you lost, agitated, angry and hopeless.
As it is in the human nature to take charge, we try to fix it. We crave to bring back things to normalcy by taking power back in our hands and shifting our focus from our Rabb to us. This is a dangerous thing to do and every time you attempt, it will backfire terribly.
Ustadha Dalia Mogahed said,
“Remember the son of Nuh (عليه السلام) who when called by his father to come and board the ark because otherwise he would drown, but what did the son choose? He chose to climb the peak of the highest mountain because he felt the ark would drown anyway. He believed in the mightiness of the mountains, but the not Creator who could crumble them in seconds. He believed in what he could see physically as a perfect refuge, but not the shaky uncertain boat which was his true refuge had he chosen it. He acknowledged that security and safety comes from a place of control and he got this because he was too sure that the mountains would save him, but what happened? Just a mighty wave and he was washed off the mountains that he believed was the solution which wasn’t. The uncertain, fearful, boat was. And you know what the mountain was? The tempting desire to take control of things which aren’t in our control. And this boat is our belief in Allah – our Tawakkul, Sabr, Yaqeen, our dua that no matter how much we think we can repair and save ourselves from the storms of our lives- through our wealth, our intelligence, our power or skills- in reality we cannot. Let Allah handle it all for you.
What follows after we just submit and entrust ourselves- our problems, pain, future, every aching bone- to Al-Jabbaar is, He grants us another gift- Calmness of the heart, the soul, of yourself.
The beauty and benefit of trials is that it gifts you a sense of immense calmness- an art of being calm amidst chaos and it’s liberating to finally rest your heart, mind and soul, and rid yourself of that chase – be it anything.
In the end, don’t turn away from the Maker, because by doing so, you are walking away from the only Entity who has complete authority over the storm that has struck you and is solely responsible for calming and helping you sustain it.
Lastly, stay away from regrets. It is filthy for your healthy heart. It dirties your one magnanimously powerful weapon – hope. It ruthlessly kills it. One lesson that you must engrave in your heart is- there is always Hope. Until Angel Jibreel takes your soul away, even then the life of this Dunya is over, but the eternal Jannah remains. So every time you feel hopeless and suicidal, remember that until you are breathing in that air, and your eyes can see the vibrant light the sun radiates from the sky- there is hope for a new chapter in your life.