Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Contentedness without 'if only'|
|09/01/01 at 01:01:07|
|Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh|
[center]Contentedness without 'if only'
By Dr Muhammad Kamal Al-Shareef[/center]
Just like we may feel irritated by others for hostile or unfriendly behavior, we may be irritated with ourselves for causing any self injury or taking a wrong decision that leads to missing out on a good opportunity. A person may be full of regret when he realizes that his own mistake has caused him a big loss.
He blames or even hates himself. Unless he is rescued by his faith, he may aggravate the situation by a feeling of sadness and even depression. When depression is coupled with irritation, a person may be willing to cause self injury so as to punish himself and vent his irritation.
Consider, if you will, the case of a young lady who rejects a proposal of marriage. The young man whom she has rejected leaves, and then marries a friend of hers. The couple lead a happy life. Years go by and the first young lady receives no tempting proposal. She may be full of regret for having lost the first chance. This feeling is aggravated when she realizes how happy is her friend with the man she had rejected. She feels that had she accepted him, she would have been far happier.
But faith spares us all that, unless we are oblivious to some essentials. Most important of these is the realization that what we receive by the way of livelihood and other favors are granted and apportioned by God. What we have would not have been denied us, and what we have missed would have never been our lot.
Hence, a believer should always beware of saying, "if only," because it contradicts the belief that what another person has been given is that person's property, given to him by God. Hence, it could have never been ours, since God has assigned it to that other person and not to us.
The Prophet says: "Be keen to get what benefits you, seeking God's help and not giving in to feelings of helplessness. Should a misfortune befall you, do not say, 'if only I did this or that, I would have got such and such.' Say instead, 'God has so willed, and God's will is done.' Saying 'if only' opens the door for Satan to do his work." (Related by Muslim).
Hence, to believe that whatever happens to us of good or evil actually takes place by God's will is certain to protect the believer against being irritated with oneself. Besides, a believer is alert and has common sense. He learns from experience and tries hard not to commit the same mistake twice.
On the other hand, people may feel displeased and angry with God Himself. This takes place if one is tested with adversity, or with stinted provisions. That means living in poverty.
Such a feeling is aggravated when a person looks at affluent people who have been given favors in plenty, including children, health, wealth, position or beauty.
Believers, however, are never angry with their Lord, who describes them as follows: "God is pleased with them, and they with Him. That is the greatest triumph." (5: 119). A believer knows that God's favors represent a means of trial. When God favors some people with plentiful bounty, that does not mean that He loves these any more than He loves others whom He has left deprived.
On the other hand, a believer follows the Prophet's advice. When he looks at the favors which God has bestowed on others, he should also consider the deprivation which is suffered by others. That would enable him to remember how blessed he is. For, who can claim to be deprived of all God's favors and blessings? The Prophet says: "Should any one of you look at a person who has been better endowed with property and manners, he should also look at those beneath him, over whom he himself has been favored." (Related by Muslim). He also says: "Look at those beneath you and do not look at those who are above you. In this way you will be better able not to look with disdain at the blessings God has bestowed on you." (Related by Muslim).
A person nursing feelings of irritation and grudge for being deprived of some of the favors God has granted to others will benefit nothing by such feelings. Irritation will never give him what he lacks. Indeed the only result is that he will not be able to enjoy the blessings with which he has been favored. A person who nurses such feelings and grudges is unhappy and miserable. Indeed his loss is compounded by these feelings. What is more, he loses God's pleasure. A believer is satisfied with what God has granted him, but that does not stop him from working for more in a legitimate and lawful way. He works hard to improve his situation both in this life and in the life to come, with reassurance and contentedness.
[i]"Islam in Perspective" - Arab News - 09 October 2000[/i]
Wassalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
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