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Don’t be Surprised by the Decree of Allah

A letter to my daughter.

No matter how hard you try, no matter how much you study or practice or spend, you’ll never be able to accomplish anything of meaning or become the best version of yourself without the help of Allah (swt).

When you understand the absolute power of Allah (swt) to help you realize your dreams, you’ll feel like the whole world has opened itself up to you. It will be as though you’re strolling through your existence picking up blessings like they were wild flowers free for the taking…

Prophet Ibrahim’s wife lived her life unable to bear children. But a time came in her old age when she and Ibrahim were informed by the angel that she would have a son: “Then We gave her good tidings of Isaac and after Isaac, Jacob” (Hud: 71).

When she heard this new, she said in astonishment, “Shall I bear a child while I am an old woman, and here is my husband, an old man? Verily! This is a strange thing!”

The angel’s response was: “Do you wonder at the decree of Allah?” (Hud: 72-73).

The short string of words that make up this rhetorical question hold so much meaning. It begs us to reconsider the absurd thoughts that inhabit our minds about our inability to do or achieve certain things. Do you ever doubt that Allah (swt) can grant you exactly what you need at anytime – even if it seems so far-fetched and unrealistic?

If you ever find yourself hopeless, know that your hopelessness is misplaced. Allah (swt) is capable of anything – capable of healing any wound, capable of making you the most talented person in your profession, capable of granting you health, children, wealth, and influence.

Never doubt Him. What’s impossible for you to accomplish, isn’t impossible for Him. So raise your empty palms toward the sky and ask Him for anything. Anything at all. Anything that you need and want and desire.

As you continue working, just wait and see how He won’t just give you what you ask – He’ll give you better. Every time.

Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, “Verily your Lord is Generous and Shy. If His servant raises his hands to Him (in supplication) He becomes shy to return them empty.”

***

One of God’s Names is “Al-Wahhab” which means The Bestower of Gifts. He gives us gifts for different reasons. He may give a gift solely out of love for His slave. Or He may see that His slave is far from Him, so He gives her a beautiful gift to bring her back to thanking Him.

Allah is also “Al-Razzaq” meaning the Sustainer and The One Who gives Rizq (sustenance). But there’s a difference between this name and Al-Wahhab. Allah’s Name “Al-Razzaq” insinuates that a person puts forth a certain effort to sustain him/herself, and then God allows that person’s sustenance to be placed upon him/her. Whereas Al-Wahhab is a Name that indicates that God is the giver of gifts without toil, simply out of a love of His slaves.

So He is with you, granting you the sustenance that you seek when you work hard and develop yourself and your skills with diligence. And He is also with you, continuously granting you gifts that you may not have even been seeking at all.

Never be astonished by the blessings that Allah (swt) brings into your life. He says “Be” and it is. There is no doubt in that. What is left, then, is to cultivate your gratitude to Him through constant words and actions.

My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to do righteousness of which You approve. And admit me by Your mercy into [the ranks of] Your righteous servants.

Aim high. There’s nothing He can’t do.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Guignard

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