By Imam Abdullah Bey El-Amin
When â€œbadâ€ things happen to us, it might not be so bad after all. It just might be a lesson and training tool for our future growth and progress. Remember, everything that ALLAH allows to happen can be looked at negatively or we can look at it in the vein that the Creator designed it, get a positive boost from it.
There is a famous Islamic saying that says: â€œWhatever good befalls you it is from ALLAH â€“and whatever bad happens to you is from yourself. Interesting quote, is it not? It is plain that everything that happens to you is not pleasant. But if you choose to look at it as bad, then the bad is from you. That â€œmisfortuneâ€ becomes a large boulder on your shoulders which doesnâ€™t have to be there.
But if you choose to look at the lesson it brought, or the opportunity it affords you, then that is from ALLAH. God is preparing you for something greater. He is strengthening you to be better-prepared for something you are going to need that strength for further down the road. It is similar to the Ramadan fast we just completed. ALLAH orders us to fast at least yearly so that we can gain strength to resist the evil temptations, and other challenges, that confront us daily. So when a so-called â€œbadâ€ incident happens to us, we must recognize that ALLAH allowed it to happen for His own reasons. It is up to us to look deeply into it and get some benefit and good fortune from it.
A fellow that attends our masjid got his car stolen recently, actually from in front of his own house. As he was telling me about it, he seemed so heartbroken because he was starting a new job and needed his transportation to get to work.
â€œYou just canâ€™t win,â€ he told me. â€œEvery time things start looking up, something comes along to pull you back down,â€ he wailed. His mind was so heavy that he actually started blaming the missing car on some conspiracy directed at him.
Then a miraculous thing happened. Because of his believing faith in ALLAH, the brother took on another attitude without any prodding or help from me. He said, â€œYou know, maybe ALLAH is trying to tell me I need to be more careful in my activities. First, I did not park the car where it would not be so accessible. Second, I may not have locked it, and third, I neglected to use a club, which I had been thinking to get for a long time, but never did.â€ He realized his responsibility in what happened to him and was able to shoulder the blame and not blame others for what happened. In other words, he recognized the good that came from ALLAH, and the bad that came from him.
As things turn out, ALLAH blessed him to immediately procure another vehicle, better than the one he had, and additional income to pay for it.
When something â€œbadâ€ happens to you, donâ€™t look for blame. Be reflective and think of what you can do to rectify the situation. You most probably will think up on something that will raise you to a higher level than you were on. If you are down, donâ€™t look down. Look up. Whatever level you are on now, you can go up. You donâ€™t need to sink further. A rising tide in the sea raises all ships â€“ big and small.
Make your intention to repent of your sins and ask ALLAH to increase your faith in following His Word, to the best of your ability.
As Salaam alaikum
(Al Hajj) Imam Abdullah El-Amin