This post is inspired by a friend of mine I hold very dear to my heart and certainly one that gives me hope in humanity and never never fails to make my heart smile with her faithful good spirit; Layali Ehab Abdullah.
Let’s start with a quote from Albert Einstein- although I hardly ever quote- but he said it: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
We all get caught up in trying to live a life to please others, playing perfect, trying to follow what is ‘right’ by societal rules, all the drama that drains us, the materialistic wants that appear as needs, and all those other useless stories that we concentrate our lives on and emphasize that derive us from our one truth: we are all visitors in this world.
The truth is, the life you are complaining about, or cannot seem to find something to be grateful for, or keep comparing to that of others- it can be all gone in a blink of an eye. Yes, literally. For your life never was or will be yours.
My father never told me much growing up but one thing: “Anyone that only thinks of this life and gets caught up in all it has to offer will lose, because in the end, if this life drives you away from our truth as beings and the Greatest that bought us here for a purpose- then we have failed in the after.” For me, this was something beyond difficult to grasp because I could only think “I am guaranteed this life’s offerings but not the after, so I need to live this life to the fullest; every day like my last! Who knows what comes after other than darkness!” And this philosophy is no harm, but the mean by which you go living life to your fullest and fulfilling your needs is where we all go wrong.
The fact is there are no guarantees in this life but one: our ending- and it will happen- for some sooner than later, for others more suffering and takes longer for others in a splits second,.. but in the end we are all going to the same place, to the same Creator.
I made it a challenge two years ago to wake up every morning thanking God for giving me the opportunity to live and breathe for a new day. And yes, I admit, it’s hard but with repetition it becomes a habit. I also downloaded an application “Gratitude Diary” on my iPhone and made it a challenge to list a few things I am grateful for everyday. Anything no matter how little, the truth being there is always something to be thankful for. You see, when you start your day with the right thoughts and the right actions (for me a morning prayer and some exercise would be the best start), you have initiated your way to see all the countless blessings you have throughout your day. I tell you there are so many we overlook.
Whenever I felt my life was going so bad, saw no light, and felt so tired and dead within that I couldn’t bear to live, I reminded myself: there are many people out there grasping for their last breaths at this moment. My breath could be the sync with someone’s last. So if I have nothing to be grateful for, something as small, yet so great, as breathing is enough to be thankful for.
I’m not saying this life isn’t something you should enjoy, you should. But enjoy it consciously without it distracting you from your essence and soul. Live it knowing there is no better or greater way to live than putting your heart and soul into working on yourself, your faith, and your deeds. Your faith in God that he is the One and Almighty that can meet your needs. Maybe not during the time you see suits, but during the time he sees is best and finds you ready.
Appreciate this life, but every aspect of it; the small gestures of kindness, the smiles of strangers, your own heartbeat, a lending hand or advice from a friend, your health.. every detail. Appreciate yourself and all that you were given. Live your life, but don’t forget your purpose. Don’t forget what you are making a fuss about now is nothing in the bigger picture. Don’t forget the only guarantee of life: it will never last.
That’s one thing you must all accept: we are mortals, we die. I will repeat what I once said in another piece: Death: it’s truly the only common inevitable happening for every life on this earth. Be it animal, plant, or human. To me, those that fear death, well, primarily they could love life too much, but personally I do beyond love life and living, yet, somehow would welcome death. To me, they are interdependent. You live, meanwhile someone dies, meanwhile someone else is being born. It’s not your call, there isn’t much you can do to prevent it, it just is. And if you’re someone who sleeps at peace every night, lives with gratefulness and passion, and is keen to keep doing good deeds for his own self-actualization; the word death will never shake you, to the contrary, makes you smile just as much as being alive. You must accept it, or else you cannot begin to live the right way. No amount of planning, great health and/or wealth will guarantee you waking up tomorrow!
“It is a duty upon every sane person to be prepared for his departure (from this world), for one does not know when he will be served by his Lord’s commands (to take away his soul) nor does he know how long it is going to be before he will be summoned (for the Day of Judgment).”
We did not come to this world with our own will. We surely will not leave this world with our own will either. Then why live this life according to our own will? The script of your life is according to God’s will and no one else’s.
We lose focus of this reality because we get caught in up momentary satisfaction, we get impatient, we want things and now, we focus on shortcomings and on our pains and trials making them seem like it’s the end of our world, when they’re nothing compared to the greater picture.. instead, all we end up doing is shifting ourselves from the truth: this life is the greatest miracle you can get.
You know what else is a miracle? Your pains, your struggles, and the hardships you endure that truly test what you’re made of and whether you come out of those experiences greater or smaller, better or bitter, and have grown or lead yourself to your own self-destruction. These tests will lead you closer to God or make your disbelieve. These tests were made to take you towards your right path, towards the ultimate truth and certainly not to leave you stagnant in sorrow dwelling in hopelessness and disbelief. That is your choice however, just as everything else in this life.
If you’re wondering how you can bring about your own self-destruction? I have one word: despair. Despair is the worst thing you can reach- to give up. For to live this life without hope, first, you will not be living at all, certainly not happily and with purpose. Despair destructs your own spiritual and physical health. Secondly, I am sure you are not making room for the good to come.
Have faith. Have hope. Keep the prayers. Believe in God’s Mercy. And things will all workout as planned. Not according to your wishes always, but to God’s will.
Certainly know, you are a child of God. We all are. And do not doubt that He certainly wants what’s best for you no matter what He put’s you through- you are put through it because you are capable to conquer it and grow from it. Many things in this life are blessings in disguise. Our trials are filled with subtle blessings, little did we know. They may not be clear now, but they shall reveal later. Also, do not forget: God loves you. A love that cannot be compared to what any man or woman can provide you with, pure, unconditional and whole. So even if you may lose what you think you want, believe in that you will gain something better. If not in this life, surely after.
Another vital point, those that spend their lives building and building facades and acres of gold in this world… you are building that which you do not live in. Yes, you will work and work, and you will die in them. What you gather will consume you sooner or later. Don’t get deceived by all that is material, power, and image oriented in this life; you maybe juggling relationships, and gathering homes and wealth in this world but you’re only taking yourself away from the afterlife. Know that what will carry on with you after you have left this life are you deeds; both good and bad. And verily that your good will wipe up what’s bad. So focus on your sayings and doings. Make sure they stem out of goodness, humbleness, and truths.
As for my dear friend I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I want you all to pray for her younger brother: Saad Ehab Abdullah, who’s been in a coma for 20 days now after a motorcycle accident. With his friends and family all holding strong and praying, keeping faith in God. I ask of those of you that do believe to pray for his recovery. I leave you with Layali’s words’ and two quotes.
“Those who talk about miracles; isn’t everything that happens to us daily a miracle? Your breath, your heart beat, your whole life?… Well, that’s to say that miracles aren’t so far away! Either everything is a miracle, or nothing is. Well, I prefer the Arabic work for it “معجزة” because it carries the meaning of ‘incapable’. We are incapable, but Allah Almighty is not!
And how close is everyone of us to death? Well, very close. You don’t need an accident or some outrageous thing to leave you dead, it’s all about God’s will. That’s what makes perfectly healthy people die, and what makes others survive.
It’s not about the extent of the disease or the impact of the accident, how good the doctors are or how ‘promising’ the case is,.. No, it’s only about Allah’s will. Always was, always will be. We tend to forget that and rely on materialistic causes, but here’s a chance for me and you to contemplate it and and give it some serious thought… Or not….
But, at least, don’t lose hope. That’s the least you owe yourself; to pray to God and to be sure that He is the one capable of delivering your needs. If not him, then whom?”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “When you beseech Allah in supplication, be convinced that He will answer you.” And, “Whoever wants to know what Allah has prepared for him, should look to what he has prepared for Allah.” I assure you Layali, you are not only preparing for Saad’s return the best way, but you are also influencing people to become much better genuine souls along the way 🙂
And I assure you, that for as long as we’re all praying, hope can never be lost. Let it be up to God when He sees the time is best and we are ready. Verily He knows better and what’s best. You will all be relieved with joy soon insha’Allah.