In Part 1 of this series we explored presence with Allah and the value of being mindful of Allah at all points throughout our day. The serenity we find through taqwa & mindfulness, both in this life and the next insha’Allah.
“And those who were mindful of their caring Lord will be taken to Paradise in groups until they arrive at its [already] open gates. And the guardians of the gate greet them with 'Peace be upon you! You have done so well, so come in, to stay forever.’ ” — Qur’an 39:73
Through finding the divine in our everyday lives, we hope that this will help us to achieve "ihsan", doing everything in our day with excellence and building presence with Allah.
For better for worse, in sickness and in health
حَسْبُنَا ٱللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ ٱلْوَكِيلُ
“Allah ˹alone˺ is sufficient ˹as an aid˺ for us and ˹He˺ is the best of Protectors.” — Quran 3:173
Allah is the greatest of all protectors, our source of power and truth. We have no ability apart from what He grants us, and all goodness is through and from Him.
"احْفَظْ اللَّهَ يَحْفَظْك، احْفَظْ اللَّهَ تَجِدْهُ تُجَاهَك، إذَا سَأَلْت فَاسْأَلْ اللَّهَ، وَإِذَا اسْتَعَنْت فَاسْتَعِنْ بِاَللَّهِ، وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ الْأُمَّةَ لَوْ اجْتَمَعَتْ عَلَى أَنْ يَنْفَعُوك بِشَيْءٍ لَمْ يَنْفَعُوك إلَّا بِشَيْءٍ قَدْ كَتَبَهُ اللَّهُ لَك، وَإِنْ اجْتَمَعُوا عَلَى أَنْ يَضُرُّوك بِشَيْءٍ لَمْ يَضُرُّوك إلَّا بِشَيْءٍ قَدْ كَتَبَهُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْك؛ رُفِعَتْ الْأَقْلَامُ، وَجَفَّتْ الصُّحُفُ"
"Be mindful of Allah and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, then ask Allah [alone]; and if you seek help, then seek help from Allah [alone]. And know that if the whole nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, they would not benefit you except with what Allah had already written for you. And if they were to gather together to harm you with something, they would not harm you except with what Allah had already written for you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.” - Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)
Everything that happens to us is from Allah. Any hardship is merely a temporary test from Him. We have to remember that any goodness is also from Allah and He alone provides for us. When things go well we should take a moment to reflect and be thankful.
The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) taught us to say:
"All praise is due to Allah in every circumstance."
" الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ عَلَى كُلِّ حَالٍ"
"Alhamdulillah 'ala kulli Haal"
In any situation that we find ourselves in, we should always take a moment to be thankful that it is going well, things could always be worse. Even something as simple as getting a train to work or visiting friends there are so many different potential outcomes. Take a minute to imagine the different possible scenarios…
We could have gotten delayed or caught in traffic on our way to the train station. The train itself may have left early or could have been full when we tried to board. We may have read the wrong version of the train-timetable as it had not been updated accurately. There are so many minutiae, but we will never know all the external factors that could potentially have come into play. The fact that anything goes smoothly is a blessing that we should be thankful for.
Even for something seemingly routine that we may do everyday, when things go according to plan we should take a moment to reflect. Things went smoothly, not because we are well organised people or because things ran on schedule, but rather because Allah willed it. He allowed us to have an easy journey.
Conversely think of all the times things have gone seemingly catastrophically wrong. We missed a flight for some reason outside of our control, a plane left early. A train was cancelled, we left on time but there was unexpected traffic! Life is known by its opposites, and through these unexpected moments we are better able to appreciate how smoothly things normally go for us.
We may even find that sometimes we are disorganised but still manage to do everything on time. We are blessed that Allah allows things to be easy for us and we can still get by without hassle, even when we have made mistakes.
When things are tricky we should make dua that Allah makes it easy for us. He alone is able to make things work out for us, perhaps not in the way we expected, but in the way that is best for us.
We can recite the beautiful prayer that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) advised his daughter Fatima to make:
يَا حَيُّ يَا قَيُّومُ بِرَحْمَتِكَ أَسْتَغِيثُ ،لا تَكِلْنِي إِلَى نَفْسِي وَلَا إِلَى أَحَدٍ مِن خَلْقِكَ طَرَفَةَ عَيْنٍ، أَصْلِحْ لِي شَأْنِي كُلَّهُ
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyoom bi Rahmatika astagheeth, laa takilni ilaa nafsi wa laa ila ahadin min khalqika tarfata ‘aynin, Aslih lee sha’nee kullahu
"O ever-Living, O Self-Subsistent, by Your mercy I beseech Your help. Leave me not to myself nor to any of Your creation even for the blink of an eye. Set right for me all my affairs."
No matter how hard our plight is, it’s always Allah that is in control and in the blink of an eye can change our affairs and make them easy for us.
In the Qur’an when Moses was in need he prayed:
رَبِّ ٱشْرَحْ لِى صَدْرِى وَيَسِّرْ لِىٓ أَمْرِى وَٱحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِّن لِّسَانِى يَفْقَهُوا۟ قَوْلِى
“My Lord! Uplift my heart for me, and make my task easy, and remove the impediment from my tongue so that people may understand my speech" — Qur’an 20:25-28
I pray that Allah eases our affairs for all of us, and allows us to be people who know Him through gratitude and mindfulness, finding peace, tranquility and love therein.
Further Reading & References:
Recitation of dua: اللَّهُمَّ رَحْمَتَكَ أَرْجُو فَلَا تَكِلْنِي إِلَى نَفْسِي طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ وَأَصْلِحْ لِي شَأْنِي كُلَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَا أَنْتَ
Allahumma rahmataka arju fala takilni ila nafsi tarfata 'aynin wa aslih li sha'ni kullahu la ilaha ila anta: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aClZRI_eBps
Dua of Moses: https://quran.com/20/25-28
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ عَلَى كُلِّ حَالٍ