I’m the kind of person who needs a kick start to ask du’a. I believe in the power of it completely, but I think my problem is that I also believe in qadr completely, so it’s like “why ask for it when what’s going to happen will happen anyway?”
That’s my deep dark secret, now you all know..!
But Allah puts us in such situations that we are left wanting – of course there are times when life is a bit…. constricted, and I just want to get out of it. Those are the times of intense du’a. That sounds a bit hypocritical, I know, but I think that’s how we all are – don’t have the level of sabr to take on anything that life throws at us, so we look for a way out. But that is the reason Allah puts us in trials – because He knows the psychological make-up of us humans and knows it’s only then that we call on Him..!
We have been told of His love for us – how it’s dearer than a mother who finds her lost child – and only mothers will truly understand that statement, I think..! If you’re not a mother, think of that one person who’s more beloved to you than anything else, and finding them after years – the intense joy, relief and love that you feel then is indescribable.
Allah loves us more than any of that. And the proof of His love is in that He lets us wake up each morning, despite us having disobeyed Him before we slept, He lets the sun shine down on us, the wind pass over us, the moonlight play overhead. He lets us take in the air that we need to survive – for free – lets us see the beauty of the world, hear what goes on around us, function normally. The majority of us don’t even know how our insides are supposed to work, and yet they continue to – with no help from us – just so that we can have a normal day. SubhanAllah.
And then there are those times that He makes that love manifest, shines it so bright in your face that all you can do is cower at the thought of what an ungrateful servant you’ve been. It’s kind of like when you know you’ve been a really naughty child, but your parents give you what you asked for anyway. And the knowledge that you are so underserving is on par with love for them for even thinking of getting you what you wanted.
There was a situation recently where I had to sacrifice what was important to me to get something I really needed. The problem was, if that something was that important, it shouldn’t have been that easy to give up. So after the initial thought of, “yes I’m going to do this, it’s alright if I miss out on that for a bit”, the guilt started to set in and it was the biggest battle of the nafs. How important was what I needed in terms of what I was giving up? Was there any other way I could achieve that?
The answer was, probably. I just didn’t see as easy a way anytime soon though, so the battle continued. I had to renew my intention for the thing that I wanted to sacrifice, think it through completely, and the situation then became such that it wasn’t going to work out anymore, so there was no need for a battle! SubhanAllah! Life was going to go on as normal, as if this little hitch never appeared.
But the nafs wants what the nafs wants..! So there was still a bit inclining to ‘if I could do this, I might just jump at the opportunity!’
In that moment of struggle though, I made du’a, that if I wasn’t able to do this, if my intentions were renewed and pure, then find me another way. And the problem is that we think of the means. So even as I was making du’a, I was thinking about how it could be fulfilled.
We really need to have more yaqeen in the promises if Allah! And the response put me to shame.
I was telling a friend about this whole battle, just talking it through, and just like that, she became the answer to my prayers. Allah gave me a way out from somewhere I didn’t even think of. The point of telling her was to settle my mind, not solve the problem that could have been solved if I hadn’t had such a battle with myself. But, it was so out of the blue that the only thing I can think of is that Allah put it in her heart to volunteer to help me.
In the whole conversation we were having, I only remembered that I’d made du’a towards the end of it, and all of the love that was directed at her because it felt like she was helping dig me out of a pit, was now directed at my Rabb, Who enabled it all, and planned it all in the first place.
Subhanaka ya Rabb! May He always help us be grateful servants.
It was that moment though that was a moment of true reflection – when you actually get what you want, you think about what you have done to deserve it. And when you come to the conclusion that it’s nothing, the feeling is just overwhelming.
My teacher used to say that when the prophets asked du’a, they would ask like they were throwing something up in the air – ‘just give it to me!’ The ‘how’ never mattered. Because who can give us anything besides Allah? And since He is the King of kings, there is nothing that He can’t grant us.
We need to have yaqeen in that. Believe in His promises more. Thank him more.
“Should I not be a grateful slave?” [Bukhari]