16 Jun How?
This beautiful piece by Dr. Jinan Yousef, spoke to my heart today.
May it benefit you too.
Sometimes the inability to see the ‘how’ prevents us from doing what we need to do in the moment.
We may look at the world around us or our personal lives and wonder: how will this ever change? And so, we don’t even try to change.
We may have been waiting for something or working towards something for a long time, and we think: How will it even be achieved? So we stop.
We might get sad when we think of lack opportunities or possibilities, and ask: how can this ever happen for me? So we don’t even look for what could be out there.
Someone else asked a similar question. The Prophet ‘Uzayr (as) passed by a barren, ruined village and asked:
“How can Allah bring this back to life after its death?”
So Allah showed him. He caused him to die for 100 years. When he woke up, his donkey was a carcass of bones, but his food was fresh.
Even more than that, Prophet ‘Uzayr (as) saw the town that was once razed to the ground a mere hundred years later filled with people and homes and markets. He exclaimed, “I know that Allah is over all things competent (qadīr)!” (Qur’an, 2:259)
Don’t ask how, because your inability to imagine the how assumes that possibility and impossibility are within your control or limited to your imagination.
This doesn’t mean that we should not plan or recognize the reality that we need to work with – on the contrary. It just means that we should work with the means that we have. If we have no control over 99% of an issue, but we can only work on that 1%, then that is from Allah. And that is what we should work on.
If we literally have no material means, then we have dua. This means that it is guaranteed that Allah will either give you what you want in this world, delay it for the next world (because it is better for you), or will prevent something bad that was going to happen to you from happening.
And if you are uncertain, you still have istikhara. This means that the choice you make will be based on what is best for this life and the next, and not based on your notions of possibility or lack there of.
So, don’t lose heart. When things look bleak, don’t ask how. You will only be asked about what you could do in any given circumstance. Plant the seeds. Even if the tree does not grow in your lifetime, the fruits will testify for you when you need it the most.
سورة ٢ : البقرة الآية: ٢٥٩
أَوْ كَٱلَّذِى مَرَّ عَلَىٰ قَرْيَةٍ وَهِىَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَىٰ عُرُوشِهَا قَالَ أَنَّىٰ يُحْىِۦ هَٰذِهِ ٱللَّهُ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا فَأَمَاتَهُ ٱللَّهُ مِا۟ئَةَ عَامٍ ثُمَّ بَعَثَهُۥ قَالَ كَمْ لَبِثْتَ قَالَ لَبِثْتُ يَوْمًا أَوْ بَعْضَ يَوْمٍ قَالَ بَل لَّبِثْتَ مِا۟ئَةَ عَامٍ فَٱنظُرْ إِلَىٰ طَعَامِكَ وَشَرَابِكَ لَمْ يَتَسَنَّهْ وَٱنظُرْ إِلَىٰ حِمَارِكَ وَلِنَجْعَلَكَ ءَايَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَٱنظُرْ إِلَى ٱلْعِظَامِ كَيْفَ نُنشِزُهَا ثُمَّ نَكْسُوهَا لَحْمًا فَلَمَّا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُۥ قَالَ أَعْلَمُ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ (٢٥٩)
Dr. Jinan Yousef