Isn't it ironic? How we plan for things, in which lay no certainty and neglect the one essence of our existence in which there is no doubt.
I remember the first time qadr ever crossed my mind - approximately six years ago, whilst reading an article in an Islamic magazine. It seem to shed some light on the topic, however I was still left, somewhat, unsure as to what exactly my stance was suppose to be. Since that time, the most profoud explanation that I've come across touched me about ten weeks ago, at a weekend course I was priveleged to attend.
In an explanation of the hadith:
A servant may have spent their life living as a person of Paradise
until there is no more than a hand span between them and it.
And then what has been decreed for them comes into affect;
they start to behave like a person of the Hell-fire and thus they enter it...
By Allah (Swt) this very hadith, though one that undoubtedly brings immense hope for some, fills me with nothing but utter fear. The shivers that trickle down my spine have only but increased over the years, when reading the same hadith.
. . . Last week (six years after reading the first article in an Islamic magazine) I came across two beautifully simple and yet heart-provoking articles on qadr - or to be more precise: 'Feeling face from the plan of Allah(Swt)' and the other entitled: 'Dealing with disappointments'. What can I say? SubhanAllahi wa bihamdih. How amazing, that something you've read so many times before can have such a profound effect when read at a different time in one's life - doesn't it amaze you? As I sat reading the articles, one after the other, I could feel my heart becoming somewhat unsteady, my palms begnning to shake and sweat, and my eyes very quickly swelling with tears. It suddenly dawned on me: What would I do if Allah (Swt) were to take this blessing away from me? How would I ever survivie if it were to be decree that my realisation, my deen, my everything could no longer be 'mine'? What would I do? Allah (Swt) Alone knows the fear that filled me in that single moment. How can any of us feel safe from the plan of Allah (Swt)? How can we plan, plan and plan some more, forgetting the very fact that Allah (Swt) plans may be completely different? How can we feel contently secure that we have a 'ticket to Paradise', thus we'll be saved? All of these questions hurriedly filled my thoughts, invading my soul. It all made perfect sense and the saying of Sufyan ath-Thawri (rahimahullah) conquered my heart:
'Has the knowledge of Allah, about you, ever made you cry?'
Well, if it had never done so before, now it had.
I have always tried to be one that completely trusted in Allah (Swt), sometimes to the extreme. Yet suddenly, it felt as though that very feeling was being taken away from me, that maybe I had an incorrect notion of tawakkul and I'd been fooling myself all along? Or was this merely a trick of the shaytaan, tryng to contaminate my hope and trust in Allah(Swt) with overwheliming fear and dispair?
As these questions toiled around in my mind, I continued reading the article and came across a section that stated:
'When Iblis (shaytaan) disobeyed Allah (Swt),
Angels Mikail and Jibrail (as) started to weep.
Allah (Swt) asked them (and of course Allah Knows all things
and merely asks to benefit us), why are you weeping?
They replied: 'we do not feel safe from your plan'.
and what was Allah (Swt) response to them?
'That is how you should be'.
SubhaanAllahi wa bihamdih, subhaanAllahil Adheem! 'That is how you should be?' These are two honoured servants of Allah (Swt): Mikail and Jibrail, who do not disobey Allah (Swt) in any of His commands, so what about us? How should we possibly be?
Truly Allah (Swt) is so Merciful. Allah (Swt) Was fully aware of how these thoughts were beginning to effect me. Although much good came out of this experience, in my heart of hearts I knew something was wrong. If Allah (Swt) is All that I'm concerned with, The Only One I depend upon, My everything, how and why would my Lord (Swt) ever take this away from me? No doubt that what takes place in a person's life is only by their own doing, as Allah (Swt) is Al-'Adl (The Just), thus injustice is not from His way. So, alhamduLillahi Rabbil 'alameen, it suddenly dawned on me, light suddenly filled my soul and it felt as though there was suddenly hope again.
Yesterday, as I sat discussing this very issue with two of my dear companions fillah, feeling quite emotional and overtaken by the thought of my Beloved (Swt) ever leaving me, I begun repeating: 'my Lord will not leave me, my Lord will not leave me. My Lord will not let me die as anything other than a Muslim, Insha'Allah!'. . . It all came back to me, thus I continued: 'The trust has to be there, as we shouldn't think that Allah (Swt) will give us what we want, we should know that He will, as Allah (Swt) Is as His servant thinks He Is'. . . That was it! Yes we must fear Allah (Swt), for He(Swt) Knows what we know not, however that fear has to be balanced with having hope in Him (Mosh High) aswell.
You see, I assumed that I was flying gracefully towards my Lord, thus neglecting my injured wing of hope, and preoccupying myself with continuing my journey; wishfully thinking that my head of love, for my Lord, and my other wing of fear, would aid me. I had failed to realise that - remaining like that, an injured and vulnerable bird - I would never be able to complete my journey and reach my destination successfully.
"The heart, in its journey to Allah, Majestic is He, is like a bird:
Love is its head, and fear and hope are its wings.
When the head and two wings are sound, the bird flies gracefully;
If the head is severed, the bird dies;
If the bird loses one of its wings, it then becomes a target fo every hunter or predator."
[Ibn Qayyim - rahimahullah- cited in 'The Exquisite Pearl']
All Glory be to my Lord (Swt) Who Has now healed my injured wing, enabling me to continue upon my journey, Insha'Allah gracefully, towards Him (Swt).