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Islam in Perspective

Difficulties are linked to destinies

Some people refer to events not going their way as mishaps. However, although they think of such things as ‘mishap,’ that is in fact how things are meant to play out in destiny.
You have a date with someone at a given time, but they do not turn up. You do a very successful piece of work, but someone else fails to appreciate it properly. You put a lot of work into giving someone a nice present, but the person concerned fails to realize. You say something with the best of intentions, but the other person misinterprets it. You want to go to sleep, but someone thoughtlessly makes a loud noise. You ask someone for help in an emergency, but that person forgets you. You entrust something valuable to someone, and they lose it. You spend years preparing for university exams, then that very day you fall ill and can’t make it to the exam. You put a substantial amount of cash in your bag, then someone steals it. A close relative suddenly falls ill, but the ambulance arrives late and he dies.
Many people will regard themselves as ill-fated under such circumstances. And they will imagine that the whole fault lies with someone else. They become angry and direct their emotions toward the person they regard as being to blame.
People then say things, either to the other person’s face or behind their back. They imagine that if only that person had not behaved so thoughtlessly or made that mistake, everything would have gone their way. That is in fact a major error. If people only realized the truth their whole attitude to life would change.
Without faith, people are condemned to sadness and despair
If God were to show the wisdom behind events described as mishap that sadden, irritate or otherwise trouble people at that very moment, one would immediately realize how wrong it is to become upset, and would on the contrary be in a very happy state of mind. If destiny were shown as a whole, or if a person were to see events regarded as mishap within destiny, he would never be saddened by them.
Most people imagine that destiny does not apply, may God forbid, other than in matters such as birth, death or the hour of death, and that other events happen for reasons such as foolishness or lack or forethought and therefore have nothing to do with destiny. However, that error may lead them to rebelliousness in the face of events ordained in destiny and to be saddened by them. In addition, evaluating all events as working against them also inflicts unending sadness on them. The result is that joy in such emotional people is very brief and short-lived. After rejoicing over something, they soon think of something that will sadden them instead and assume a pessimistic state of mind.
These things are all inescapable consequences of not living by religious moral values. In the absence of faith one is condemned to sorrow and unhappiness.
God may test one with various troubles and difficulties in the life of this world. But unlike people who are ignorant of the Qur’an, the believer never falls prey to sorrow and despair or becomes emotional in the face of troubles created by God to test him. He knows that God is testing him to see how he will behave in the face of adversity. For a Muslim who is aware of this there can be no trouble or adversity or mishap, and these things are all gifts from God. They are instrumental in increasing his faith and in his enjoying the ease and comfort of submission to God and destiny.
Everything that happens in the world does so solely because God so wishes. If one thinks of everything that happens in one’s life as a video tape, in the same way that you see the same scenes every time you watch the tape, that is also the case in terms of one’s life, and there is not the slightest difference. Even if the tape is kept stored for hundreds of years and then put in a player and watched again, the same film will appear on the screen. The things that happen in one’s life are also a single and unchanging whole. If a person is intended to arrive somewhere late, then that is what he will do.
The cause may be traffic or illness or forgetfulness. But the outcome never changes. In the same way, nothing can prevent one dying when the time of his death arrives; the ambulance may be late, or the doctor may be neglectful. But the outcome will happen. A person must have a very different view of things that occur during the day. If someone’s wallet is stolen, that means that he must no longer be in possession of the money in it. And God creates the theft as a cause. If a person cannot enter the university entrance exams, that means God does not wish him to go to university that year, but to do something else instead. If someone is late and the planned meeting does not happen, then that is because God does not wish it to.
Nobody will be late, or forget, or misunderstand, or lose something he has been entrusted with, or get stuck in traffic or drive badly unless God so wishes.
There is only one fact that needs to be known on the subject: “It is God Who creates everything that befalls one.’ And ‘God always creates a cause for whatever needs to happen.’ That cause never comes about of its own accord. Nobody can make it happen unless God so wishes. Our Lord tells us this in the Qur’an: “But you will not will unless God wills. God is All-Knowing, All-Wise.” (Qur’an, 76:30)

The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science.

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