Wa mann aHsanu minAllahi Sibghah? [2:138]
The world may have many bright colours.
But it’s His Blessing of Hikmah that gives a Muslimah her special colour of purity.
She stands out. She may be ‘colourless’ to many.
But she stand outs in this world to not to be left out in Akhirah.
‘Ulema have said that we must not ask for a certain prominent position unless we know for sure that there’s no-one else who can do it better than us. Like for example, Yusuf AS asked to become the Minister of Finance (‘Set me over the storehouses of the land; I will indeed guard them with full knowledge’, 12:55) because he AS knew that there wasn’t anyone better than him and so he offered his services for a leadership position and in that context, that’s perfectly fine.
After not being able to give Halaqas at my university’s MSA, I felt heart-broken. I had been offered this by the MSA and I had been looking forward to start a sisters halaqah for the last two years but for the first time, I was getting a chance to do it for my university. A chance to reach out to more sisters and empower them with His Love. What more could I wish for, ever? But then, due to my personal commitments, I could not go ahead with it. I was heart-broken and so were my MSA girls. It’s funny that even though it’s been less than 6 months that I’ve graduated, I already feel like a ‘senior citizen’. I keep getting invites from MSA as a speaker/rep. for various events because they say, ‘I have more experience’. But with every opportunity I got and had to decline, I used to console myself with the following Words of Allah SWT and it did put me in check that it wasn’t upto me. It was upto Allah SWT to give and take everything back:
‘…But Allâh chooses for His Mercy whom He wills. And Allâh is the Owner of Great Bounty.’
[Suratul Baqarah, 2:105]
I do not like leadership and the ‘media coverage’ that comes with it. But there are many ‘impostors’ out there and unless and until other people who know the Deen come forward, then you know very well where the flock’s heading. This Monday, I got two offers for things that I really wanted to do for so long. Because after all, I can’t just write all my life. What about the cohort of individuals who do not read at all? How would I reach those sisters?
And when I got the offers, I realized that even though I had asked Allah SWT to grant me the best of careers that He SWT loves, I never asked for Him as much as I badly wanted to do certain things in my life. It was as if Allah SWT granted me my duaa without asking for it. That reminded me of a beautiful verse of Suratul Baqarah:
“Verily! We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad’s SAW) face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall turn you to a Qiblah (prayer direction) that shall please you…” [Surat Al-Baqarah, 2:144]
The background of this verse is that Prophet SAW wanted to face the Qiblah of his beloved forefather Ibrahim AS, i.e. towards Makkah like so many other things he SAW wanted, for example the construction of the Ka’bah in the way Ibrahim AS had constructed. Initially, it was in the direction which pleased the Jews, i.e. Bayt al-Maqdis. The direction of Qiblah is a major event and it signifies importance given to Makkah. He SAW used to supplicate and look up at the sky, anxiously awaiting Allah SWT Command regarding a change in direction. And so Allah SWT answered his supplication and revealed the above verse. Details can be found here.
Sometimes, you may not even verbalize your duaas but you may be secretly hoping that Allah SWT will grant you what you have been wishing for, for so long. You may feel that every footstep you hear or even something as insignificant as the turning of the leaves is a Sign of Him decreeing that which you wish for. Allah SWT knows all the instances when your heart was wishing things. He SWT knows when your heart beats became faster and how terribly you wanted something but you kept your distance for His Sake. He SWT is Aware of all those times when how terribly you wanted to do something for His Sake but for some reason or the other, you just couldn’t. You were awaiting His Decision anxiously, silently, closing your eyes real tight. And as you did this, you busied yourself with other things in life. Allah SWT is Al-Kareem, so very generous that He SWT gives you things you never deserved or asked for in the last part of the night.
Every duaa accepted is a blessing and every blessing is a trial. I have accepted both the offers even though I know I’m scrambling for time these days. While it is important to not let yourself burn-out, it is equally important to not let what Allah SWT has given you, go to waste. In fact, it is a quality of the Muttaqeen ( ‘Who believe in the Ghaib and perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and spend out of what we have provided for them, 2:3 ; and the Mufli-Hoon2:5, ) that they spend out of which Allah SWT has given them and don’t horde it.
It is not just in reference to money, it is everything that you have been blessed with such as time, skills, any beneficial knowledge, children, spouse and so on. If it’s a human being you’ve been blessed with, then you should allow them to go forth in Allah SWT’s Path. Even if it means your spouse won’t be with you for an entire month because he’s a speaker who’s doing Dawah and that when he comes home, he’ll be spending most of his time researching so you’ll have to donate your family time to the entire Ummah for the Sake of Allah SWT. Or you send your children to study Islam abroad even though you need them in your old age and cannot spare them because you love them very much; donating them in the Path of Allah SWT.It is not only donating that which you have in abundance but also that which you have less of and need the most, is what makes you stand out.
I am usually weary that until I am able to reach to a stage when I can launch my own projects, I really don’t have a recurring means of Sadaqah (Sadqah Jariyah). If I die today, so will my opportunity of good deeds to multiply. I have so much to do and so very little time. And when people ask me where I get my motivation from then this is it. I can’t bear to stand in front of Allah SWT embarrassed that I didn’t do what I could’ve done just because I wanted to spend my youth in dunia’s pursuits. And that is why I was upset that as I prepared myself for other things, I still wanted to continue what I could within my knowledge and ability. I subconsciously waited for His Decision and was amazed how Allah SWT granted me two opportunities within one day! Alhamdolilah…Allah SWT is Supremely Magnificent!
True devotion to Allah SWT is always being thankful to Him at all times by heart, tongue and actions. To obey Him lovingly whether it is easy or difficult for you. To bear the pain and trials that come with knowledge and His Decree. And most importantly, it is to continue waiting for Him SWT, Ash-Shakoor, to reward you and appreciate you in Jannah, for your perseverance and all times you felt broken into a million pieces for His Sake. May Allah SWT make us amongst those who are granted His Shade on the Day of Judgement.Ameen.
The key thing to remember is to continue to strive for Akhira regardless of whether you have the ideal opportunity. He SWT chooses on the basis of the purity of your heart and not your PR (public relations), popularity,contacts, exceptional skills. Need an example? Musa AS, who got chosen to give a ‘speech’ in front of the toughest crowds (Fir’awn) even though he had speech problems and nervousness! Now that says a lot, doesn’t it? Love yourself enough to free your mind from all things that seem impossible. Allah SWT is on your Side as long as you want to live for His Sake. Spend, spend, spend and don’t count the instances you spent in! Count all the times He SWT ‘spent’ on you even though you need Him and He SWT needs you not.
“O youth! Seek the hereafter, for we often see people pursuing the hereafter and finding it as well as the dunya (worldly wellbeing), but we have never seen anyone pursue the dunya and gain the hereafter as well as the dunya.”
And Allah SWT knows best.