By Sana Taha
Some things become such an ingrained part of our lives that they tend to feel like the very air we breath. No one escapes these tangent realities, not even the most wise or the most wealthy. Disappointments are one of those realities, and we never get used to them.
Every single time we are disappointed by someone or something, our first reaction is to turn to someone we love and trust, and to tell them how hurt we are. For a Muslim for the lucky few who truly love and rely on God, their immediate reaction is to turn to Allah. For the rest of us, we also eventually turn to God once we realize how helpless we are- albeit after we complain and cry to anyone who will hear us out. It’s as if the strong blow that hit the heart caused an unintentional cry out to God, the Almighty. It’s like saying “you handle this situation. I am broken. I am down. Pick me up again. Only You can, and only You will.”
Why this sudden return to the Most Merciful when we haven’t consciously remembered Him in days, perhaps months? The adh’an didn’t affect our hearts this strongly, claiming He was the Only God five times a day- the Quran didn’t soften our hearts, with the words “Ar-rahman”, “Ar-raheem” repeating themselves over and over again. Then why did this internal siren start screaming so loud for Him to come to help when we were down and broken?
Perhaps it’s because we all know, we all acknowledge, we all understand deep down that He is the Master, the One, the Only with Might and Power and with solutions to our problems. Everyone else will listen, some will agree, some might console, if they can. Most people will not even be interested in our sob stories. But He will listen, and He will respond. Not once, not twice, but every single time.
Allah says in Surah An-Naml, Verse 62:
It is truly a beautiful phenomena to have someone respond to our calls, to take away our pain and to restore us fully with peace in our hearts and calm in our souls. What’s lacking then, in this situation, that keeps bothering us when we go back to our old routine? Perhaps accountability and loyalty are lacking. He fixed our broken heart, and we went out and got it broken again, then came back to get it fixed, and then went out to repeat this never-ending pattern. But in the middle-process, many of us forget how He was the one who picked up our pieces and made us whole again…
There is a consciousness of self that develops in some people who constantly return to Allah. They are the tawwabeen. The ones loved by Allah.
However, there are also those of us who become so immune to this routine, and so used to this pattern, that we stop questioning ourselves. We no longer wonder if worldly attachments are harming our relationship with Allah, if eventually the returning to the prayer mat only in times of need will harden our heart and stop our tears from flowing- or if the connection that we sometimes claim to be so important to us, and at other times discarded so carelessly, will indeed be broken off the by the One who built it in the first place. It was never us that went willingly to Him, it was Him that had mercy on us and allowed us to call on Him.
Then with a hard heart and dry eyes, we wonder where things went wrong. The religion is yet apparent and seeming, the praises for piety are still there, but the heart is dead. The disappointment that was once with another, is now with the self.
Then At last, the time to repent comes again, the problem surfaces once again, and the caller calls upon God with a pure heart and the utmost sincerity, once again. This time, the cry is not against another, but against oneself. The forgiveness is not sought for attaching to another by mistake or forgetfulness, but for forming worldly attachments by will, knowing that they are not important, having the constant reinforcements of the soul die out little by little with each ignored voice of the heart.
Is it possible to live in this world and not be attached to it? Maybe it’s not. Maybe some form of attachment and love for this dunya is inevitable. But is it possible to remember Allah more, and give preference to Him more over everything else? If the tawwabeen can do it, if the muttaqin can do it, and if the muttahireen can do it, then so can we. These are not names of certain people, these are characteristics of human beings like you and me. We can adopt these characteristics and become the best version of our struggling selves, if only we struggle with sincerity.
Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “There is no one among you who does not have two positions, one in Paradise and one in Hell…
[Sunan Ibn Majah: 4485]
If Allah created a house in jannah for every single human being, then He knew for all of us to have the potential to get to that highest level of jannah. (insert reference to the particular hadith here). We can break this loop and become sincerely repentant to Him, if we only try, and if we direct our emotions and feelings to Him. Let Allah take care of your heart- turn to Him and save yourself from the disappointments of the dunya…