I recently had a conversation with a brilliant relative about anxiety and the dire need to be in control of everything going on around us. That frustrating fight with the unknown and uncertainty. That burning urge to be prepared for anything and everything that comes next. Then she humbly advised me, “Frequently say, ‘Hasbiyallah waneemal wakeel’ i.e. ‘Sufficient for me is Allah, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs.’ Then she went on and said, ‘But don’t just say it. Mean it. When you say sufficient for me is Allah then that is total submission to Him. It is surrendering to the Almighty; acknowledging His power, acknowledging your own weakness as a human being and acknowledging that whatever Allah has bestowed upon you is truly best for you. He is the best disposer of affairs. Whatever you plan for yourself will always be limited in contrast to what He has in store for you. So be content. Be grateful. Have faith in Him and His plans for you. So live by it. Live by ‘Hasbiyallah waneemal wakeel’.”

In this precise moment, her words struck me. I have heard and said the statement so many times in my life, but did I truly, deeply believe in it’s meaning?!

Despite being a believer in Allah, there have been many times where I questioned His plans for me. Maybe not loudly, maybe not openly, but just that small feeling in the heart like ‘This could have gone better. Should have gone better. What’s the point of this chaos right now?’ It is like saying, ‘I trust that you have my best interests at heart, but I should also have a say in how my life unrolls.’ But that’s just from our ignorance and naivety as human beings; we say we trust that Allah is the best planner, but do we really?!

For a period of over ten years, Allah tested me with the same test thrice, just different versions of it. And I remember many nights in my sajjadah begging Allah to remove me out of those situations. But the test dragged on and on and on. I felt so helpless and I kept saying to Allah, ‘But I have learned the lesson. Please Ya Allah. I have already learned the lesson. Get me out of here. Why am I still here?!!’ Those were such desperate moments for me because sometimes I did believe that so long as Allah was still testing me then there must be a very good reason for it. But sometimes I was just so helpless I kept asking, ‘What’s the point here? Am I being punished or something?’ I didn’t have that yaqeen, that surety, that unshakeable faith that Allah wouldn’t put be through pain just for the sake of it.

Then during one of the last nights of last Ramadhan, I stayed for long crying to Allah to grant me clarity on the matter because I thought I had already learned what I was meant to learn. If there was something more to it, I was not seeing it. I need help to see it. I desperately need clarity. As I finished my crying/dua session I lazily entered into Instagram to distract my mind and wallahy the moment I logged in, there it was- my answer. It was just one video but it led me to another and another and another and lots of reading that made it make all the sense. And subhanallah to date, I still have very random conversations and something is said and is still part of my answer. Like, every single day, Allah is opening my eyes to what I hadn’t realized in over ten years.

Of course it was such a deeply painful experience but the amount of knowledge I learned throughout that period made me take better choices for myself. Made me a better person. A wiser person. In retrospect, I don’t think I would have learned all the lessons that I have if I was listening to someone’s story or reading it from a book. I truly had to go through it all to realize what was expected from me and what I truly needed. Several times I failed to trust in Allah fully and yet He had a plan all along. The journey is obviously not over but I am at the point in my life where I am like, ‘Oh so this is why that happened…’ It wasn’t a punishment. It wasn’t for no reason. He had a good reason for it…

There is a famous quote that I have seen so many times. It goes like, ‘It will keep happening until you learn the lesson.’ Seems pretty straight forward until you are the one in the endless cycle of the ‘seeming’ doom and the depth of it won’t truly make sense until it does.

I have met people with unshakable faith. People who literally live by ‘Hasbiyallah waneemal wakeel’. People who when they don’t get what they want they genuinely say ‘Alhamdulilah’ and when something bad happens to them they say قَدَّرَ اللَّهُ وَمَا شَاءَ فَعَلَ (Allah has decreed and whatever he wills, He does).. They don’t ask ‘what ifs’ or say ‘buts’.They don’t fret. They don’t worry unnecessarily. They know that Allah is in control and wholeheartedly leave their affairs to Him. They know FOR SURE that Allah will come through for them regardless of how big a mountain their problems are. They remind me of the hadith: Suhaib reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: “Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (God), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it.” I love these people. I look up to them. And I pray to be like them someday.

To end this, here’s a hadith to give you comfort about Allah’s mercy upon us.

Abu Razin reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Allah laughs for the despair of His servant, as He will soon relieve him.” I said, “O Messenger of Allah, does the Lord laugh?” The Prophet said, “Yes.” I said, “We will never be deprived of goodness by a Lord who laughs!” (Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah)

Indeed Allah doesn’t test us in order to make us miserable and unhappy. He doesn’t test us just for the sake of it for He is not a sadist. We may not see it, we may never comprehend it but there is always, ALWAYS a reason for every small and big thing that happens in our lives. We thus should always strive to have unshakeable faith in Him, have good doubt in Him and surrender all our affairs to Him as well. This is a big reminder to myself first before anyone else.

Dear reader, here’s your reminder to lay down your burdens to Him so that He can take care of all your affairs. Let go and let God. Never forget that Allah will never forsake you.

As you and I continue taking this endless journey to Allah, I pray that He grants us that kind of submission to Him and that He makes us among His most beloved ones, ameen.


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Sometimes people wrong us in such despicable ways. Sometimes we are the ones who wrong people. Sometimes we are oppressed, we are discriminated and mistreated. Sometimes we are the ones carrying the baggage of harming others. Sometimes we lose everything at once, sometimes it is so hard, it is difficult to move on. Sometimes is sometimes our always; each one of us desperately trying to understand why things go the way they do. How villains are still walking free while some really good souls are the ones to be diagnosed with cancer. How very evil, ungrateful, arrogant people could be the ones enjoying luxurious lives while a very hardworking person suddenly loses his hand which he desperately needs for his manual labour. It doesn’t make sense! It never does! How is it a very poor child loses their mother who was the only family they knew while an already rich boy wins a car he doesn’t even need…How is it that one prays for a child for ten years yet when they finally get one, the wife dies at delivery??…and sometimes we just want to ask God, ‘Why though?’

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Only God knows…
Sometimes we realize how lucky we are for not getting what we cried for and sometimes we never get the answers. And sometimes it is as it is. We can never know. Difficult things happen. We lose and sometimes we gain. Sometimes people hurt us, they betray us, they take our differences to another level it shouldn’t ever reach, they forget all the good and tough situations you went through together. Sometimes they realize they wronged us and apologize and sometimes they die believing what they did was right. That is the human being. He is insan. He forgets and he errs.

But we should always believe that there is a bigger picture. That as much as we don’t understand what is going on in our lives or why it is going the way it is, we should have undoubted faith that God knows what’s best for us. And this is actual test of faith; believing when it is hardest to do so.

We have proof in the qur’an that there’s always something more to our painful and even happy stories. There is always something extra that our eyes will not simply see and our minds won’t easily fathom.

In Surat Kahf, in the story of Nabii Musa aleyhi salaam when he was told to search for a servant of Allah who had more knowledge than him, we get to learn something very valuable. During their journey; Nabii Musa and his teacher, Al Khidhr, three occasions happen which agitated Nabii Musa aleyhi Salam:

71. So they both proceeded, till, when they embarked the ship, he (Khidr) scuttled it. Musa (Moses) said: “Have you scuttled it in order to drown its people? Verily, you have committed a thing “Imra” (a Munkar – evil, bad, dreadful thing).”

72. He (Khidr) said: “Did I not tell you, that you would not be able to have patience with me?”

73. [Musa (Moses)] said: “Call me not to account for what I forgot, and be not hard upon me for my affair (with you).”

74. Then they both proceeded, till they met a boy, he (Khidr) killed him. Musa (Moses) said: “Have you killed an innocent person who had killed none? Verily, you have committed a thing “Nukra” (a great Munkar – prohibited, evil, dreadful thing)!”

75. (Khidr) said: “Did I not tell you that you can have no patience with me?”

76. [Musa (Moses)] said: “If I ask you anything after this, keep me not in your company, you have received an excuse from me.”

77. Then they both proceeded, till, when they came to the people of a town, they asked them for food, but they refused to entertain them. Then they found therein a wall about to collapse and he (Khidr) set it up straight. [Musa (Moses)] said: If you had wished, surely, you could have taken wages for it!”

78. (Khidr) said: “This is the parting between me and you, I will tell you the interpretation of (those) things over which you were unable to hold patience.

79. “As for the ship, it belonged to Masakin (poor people) working in the sea. So I wished to make a defective damage in it, as there was a king after them who seized every ship by force.

80. “And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared lest he should oppress them by rebellion and disbelief.

81. “So we intended that their Lord should change him for them for one better in righteousness and near to mercy.

82. “And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town; and there was under it a treasure belonging to them; and their father was a righteous man, and your Lord intended that they should attain their age of full strength and take out their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. And I did it not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of those (things) over which you could not hold patience.”

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If we were to witness these same occasions ourselves, wouldn’t we just react according to what is visible to the eye, as Nabii Musa did? If your boat was the one destroyed or your boy killed, how long would it take any of us to actually think that perhaps there is something greater, something bigger beyond what the mind comprehends? Were we the ones to be denied food, would we even want to smile at those people let alone build a random wall somewhere? If you just lost all your property in a fire and someone told you, ‘Perhaps it is kheir’ you would perhaps glare at them like they are the ones who set your property on fire. When misfortunes befall us we cry ‘Why God?’ yet we don’t know how much good Allah is doing to us by that same terrible incident. We tend to only look at what is in front of us. But Allah is the Most Merciful and there are a lot of instances where we should thank Allah for despite how ugly the situation is. And indeed, this story is the perfect proof that we don’t know everything. That however powerful, mighty, rich or knowledgeable we are, there are just some things we would never be able to explain or understand. That as much as we make plans, Allah has already written in detail how our lives are going to be. That we should always ask God to direct us to only what is kheir for us.

We may not have the answers but we need to trust Allah’s wisdom and choices for us. May Allah grant us the patience and guide us always. Ameen.

We plan and Allah plans, and He is the Best of planners.

P.S Humble Reminder: Do read surat Kahf if you haven’t. It still is Friday 🙂

“Do the  people  think  that  they  will  be  left  to  say:  We  believe,   and they will not be tried?  But We have  certainly  tried those  before  them, and  Allah  will  surely  make  evident   those  who  are  truthful,   and  He will  surely  make  evident   the  liars.”  (Qur’an, Surah Al-Ankabut, 29: 2-3)

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A man will be tested according to his level of religious commitment. If his religious commitment is solid, his test will be more severe, but if there is any weakness in his religious commitment, he will be tested according to his level of religious commitment. And calamity will continue to befall a person until he walks on the earth with no sin on him.

-Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h

I’ve intentionally been avoiding to write about this. No, not about sabr, about Shekuwe’s story. I feel no words can really paint the real picture of the situation. My own imagination fails me but then it keeps haunting me. The thought of someone losing his entire family at once? I think of how I make a fuss out of nothing, how me and you, break down because ‘I lost a job’ or ‘My car was hit today’ or ‘The cake I made turned out too sour’. The thought of this fills my heart with shame. I mean, have you even thought about it yourself? Take a moment and picture it please. Imagine all your family members succumbing to high tides and waves of the ocean; watching them die. One after another. And then nothing. You are left alone. All that darkness like a heavy cloud on your head. The numbness, the trauma, the disbelief that you are even breathing. Coming back home to only find emptiness? With echoes of laughter and cries and memories that are no more? How many of us could actually handle that?

But here’s the flip side to it.

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When you believe in Allah, and when Allah loves you back just as much as you do, then He’ll put you in tests over and over again. You will be pushed to be edge until you cry ‘why?’ But there are a few answers to this dreadful question:

1. “And know that your wealth and your children are but a trial and that Allah has with Him a great reward.” ~ Quran 8:28

2.“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits…” (Qur’an, 2:155)

3. “Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…” (Qur’an, 2:286).

4. “Say: ‘Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allâh has ordained for us…’” (9:51).

5. “We shall certainly test you, until We ascertain those of you who (sincerely) strive and those who are steadfast (in Allah’s Deen); and We shall test your affairs (to distinguish the liars from the truthful)”: (47:31)

6. “Most certainly you will face tests in your wealth and in your persons. You will definitely hear much painful abuse from those who have been given The Book before you and from those who worship many gods. But if you are patient and fear Allah, then that will be the determining factor in all affairs.” ~ Quran 3:186

7. The prophet p.b.u.h said: If Allah wants to do good to someone, He afflicts him with trials. ~ (Bukhari 75/5)

8. The prophet p.b.u.h said: If Allah intends for a servant to reach a rank he is unable to reach by his good deeds, then Allah will put him to trial in his body or his wealth or his children, and he will be patient until he reaches the rank intended for him. [Ahmad]

9. The prophet p.b.u.h said: Nothing befalls a believer, a (prick of a) thorn or more than that, but Allah will raise him one degree in status thereby, or erase a bad deed. ~ Bukhari

10. The prophet p.b.u.h said: On the Day of Judgement, when the people who were tried (in this world) are given their rewards, the people who were pardoned (in life), will wish that their skins had been cut off with scissors while they were in the world. ~ Tirmidhi 36/100

11. Mus’ab ibn Sa’eed reported: His father asked, “O Messenger of Allah, which people are tested most severely?” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “They are the prophets, then the next best, then the next best…”

12. “… and be patient over what befalls you.” ~ Quran 31:17

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Shekuwe’s story is something you’d probably imagine to be something extracted from an emotional, heartbreaking Bollywood movie. But it isn’t. How much do you think Allah loves this human being to put him in such a test? How much strength of imaan does he have that Allah put him through such kind of pain? How much do you think Allah loves YOU to put you in the pain you go through?

Truth is, everyone is undergoing something. It only differs with magnitude. Some have it easier than others and others have it waayy heavier than you could possibly imagine. But don’t we all want Allah’s love that bad? Don’t we want to reach that kind of status that brings us closer to Him?? We can only pray for Shekuwe, and for ourselves and for each other. We can only support and be there for one another because behind every smile is an untold story of sabr. So let’s keep making dua over and over again; we pray for strength and imaan and taqwa to keep walking however bad the storm gets. May Allah easen it for him and for us all.

One of my favourite ayahs is from Surat Ankabut, 2nd verse: “Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested?” And I keep reciting this ayah over and over again like it is my mantra. It has a deep meaning that strikes right into the heart. It gives us a purpose to soldier on to prove our love to Allah.

Dear heart, dear you, Do you believe?? Then have sabr oh dear heart. Have sabr. Because sabr is indeed beautiful (Assabr Jameel).

May Allah grant us sabr like of Ayub aleyhi ssalam. Ameen.

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While some people are born in the luxury of a rich family someone else is born in the streets.
While some people are lucky enough to have been breastfed by their mothers, some don’t know their mothers’ names. While some people are born to a fancy life of bread, cheese and butter, some are born with Kwashiorkor and Marasmus.
While some are born to immediately learn the world of internet, cartoons and play station, some are born to learn the world of drought, hunger and poverty.
While some people’s biggest problem is not knowing what latest car model they should buy, some people can’t even define in words which is their biggest problem.

We tend to take so many things in our lives for granted; like how much Allah has blessed us. Not just blessed us but REALLY blessed us. We complain and whine over the small tests sent to us yet we forget about the people less advantaged than us. However hard your battle is, do know there are millions of people facing harder problems than you are. Keep reminding yourself of the people in Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Yemen; people who have never seen fireworks in their lives except the fire from bombs and grenades. Remind yourself of people in drought areas, people living in what they call a ‘house’ yet all rain pours in. Remind yourself of the homeless and the ones fighting for their lives in hospitals.

Indeed we are ungrateful beings SubhanaLlah. Who are we to even think about complaining let alone speak it out? We keep denying God’s favours and once we succeed, we walk tall forgetting by whose grace we are where we are. We forget where we came from; where we started. We forget to help those more unfortunate than we are; we forget that this world is nothing but a number of days. We forget that Allah never charged us for His air, for our hearing or our sight.

While you get really annoyed because you couldn’t get the dinner you wanted, or your payment is late do remember that many wish they could have anything to eat or even money to wait for. Do know you ARE indeed lucky; luckier than those who consider themselves lucky. And ironically, the people suffering mostly are the ones appreciating the smallest of things in their lives; treasuring the fact that they are alive, that they have their limbs or that they have their parents with them. Because for them, they very well understand that this is a test from Allah and that they will be paid for their patience. They remain strong and have faith in Allah and all their tongues utter is ‘alhamdulilah ala kul hal’. While those of us with greater blessings, we forget everything at the smallest test we get into.

May Allah guide us and grant us patient hearts and souls that help others more and more. May He easen all our troubles and for all mankind who are going through more difficult times than we are.

Parting shot: Which of your Lord’s favours will you deny??