Why do bad things happen?

question mark with speech bubles, vector on the abstract backgroundAfter preparing for lunch and dinner, and cleaning up, I was fully tired.

I grabbed my eleven month old along with three years old and entered the room to find a messy sheet; a room with toys scattered everywhere. How exhausted I was!

I was thinking how to fold the huge pile of clothes lying in a corner.

Cell beeps…

It was a message saying that there was an earth quake all over Pakistan.

Fear shook me off; some sensations ran down my spine and my legs felt so weak.

I realized that I had postponed my Dhuhr prayer to complete the house chores.

In anguish and awe, I rushed to perform Wudu and prayed. The prayer was different from the ones before. As if the earthquake had shaken me away from my endorsed life full with materialism and worldly affairs.

One thing occupied my mind, what if I die under the rubble of my fallen house? What will I be taking with me to my grave? Have I prepared enough? Am I satisfied with standing in front of Allah (swt)?  The answers were surely not affirmative.

We believe that we are safe. It’s happening with the rest of our country, and in farfetched areas. It cannot touch us, nor can it harm us, neither can it leave us devastated.

Whenever I think of the Makkah crane crash, it leaves me perplexed and astonished. As in my perception, nothing bad can happen to good people- especially not in the holy place like Haram; and moreover, not when performing Tawaf or offering prayers. So why does it happen? Why it happened to them? Were they not pious? Why the blessings (Rehma) of Allah (swt) did not wrap them safe and sound?

When a calamity strikes, we often comment in the shade of our distorted belief. For instance- a lady dies of fatal illness with severe pain; we say it is because Allah (swt) is angry at her as she was horrible towards her mother. A kid fell off the stairs; we say because he did not listen to his father’s plead to finish his homework.

So why do bad things happen?

Allah’s (swt) Plan

It is Allah’s (swt) Plan to test the believers- to test the strength of their faith and belief.

And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.)” (Al-Baqarah 2:155)

The soul detox

Allah (swt) wants to clean your bad side and detox your soul.

 And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much.” (Ash-Shura 42:30)

 A reminder

Hardship and adversity are also reminders for people who tend to take things for granted and forget all of Allah’s (swt) blessing- Humans are ungrateful by nature.

And when We show favour to man, he withdraws and turns away, but when evil touches him, then he has recourse to long supplications.” (Fussilat 41:51)

Wake-up call

We are overly absorbed in the worldly affairs and competing to excel in the worldly matters.

But when He delivered them, behold! They rebel (disobey Allah) in the earth wrongfully. O mankind! Your rebellion (disobedience to Allah) is only against your ownselves, – a brief enjoyment of this worldly life, then (in the end) unto Us is your return, and We shall inform you that which you used to do.” (Yunus 10:23)

Reliance is only on Allah (swt)

We often forget Allah’s (swt) authority; hence we turn to other resources and people for support and help. Nothing happens without His will. He says be and it is. We are powerless and submissive.

O mankind! it is you who stand in need of Allah, but Allah is Rich (Free of all wants and needs), Worthy of all praise.” (Fatir 35:15)

Things to remember when a calamity hits you down

  • Allah (swt) is not punishing you; its devil’s trick to discourage and distract you.
  • Be patient over what befalls you.
  • Give charity (Sadaqah) as much as you can.
  • [9:103] take from their money a ‘sadaqa’ (charity) to purify and sanctify them. And encourage them, for your encouragement reassures them. God is Hearer, Omniscient.
  • Al-Musibah is term to hit where it is supposed to be. There is no chain of cause and effect. All incidents are individual.
  • Be hopeful as it is said in Surah Baqarah, congratulate the patient ones (Sabireen). Reward is with Allah- Jannah!


win 7 home premium 64 bit product key
win 7 home premium key oem
win 7 home premium serial key 2014
win 10 professional key paypal
win server 2012 r2 essentials cd key
win 7 enterprise key cheap
win 10 ultimate activation code 2012
win 7 professional serial key 32 bit
win server 2012 essentials keygen
Office Outlook 2016
windows 7 activation key sale
windows 7 professional sp1 key
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0
Microsoft Windows Vista Enterprise with SP2
windows 7 license key cheap
windows 7 enterprise product key code
windows 7 key cheapest
windows 10 activation keygen
windows 10 enterprise activation key download
Microsoft Office 2010
win 10 license key finder
win 8.1 pro genuine product key
win server 2008 genuine activation key
win server 2012 install cd key
win 8 standard key code
win 7 professional sp1 key oem
win 10 Home Basic to Ultimate Anytime Upgrade
Office Visio Standard 2013
win 7 64 bit product key
win server 2012 r2 standard keygen
win 8 professional activation key 64 bit
win 8.1 professional 64 bit product key
win 7 enterprise x86 serial key
win 7 product key buy home premium
win 7 Ultimate
win 10 ultimate sp1 32 bit cd key
win server 2008 r2 standard key activation
win server 2008 32 bit cd key
win server 2008 r2 enterprise key 2012
win 8 standard activation key
win 7 home basic genuine key
win 10 cd key not valid
win 8.1 enterprise product key price
win 10 professional key cheap
win 7 enterprise activation key download
win 10 professional license key purchase
win 10 activation key purchase
win 8 license key sticker
win 8.1 pro dell oem key
win 8.1 pro cd key
win 7 home premium oem key asus
win 8 enterprise key shop
Office 2016
win 7 Home Premium to Ultimate Anytime Upgrade
win embedded 8 standard key
win 10 home premium sp1 key original
Office Project Professional 2013 SP2
win 10 professional 64 bit product keygen
win server 2008 r2 original key
Windows Server 2008 Datacenter R2
windows server 2012 r2 essentials keygen
windows 8 enterprise key
windows 7 home cd key
McAfee AntiVirus Plus 2013 (1PCs-2Year)
windows 10 ultimate serial key list
Norton Internet Security 2013 2 years/3 PC
windows 10 license key
windows 10 home premium sp1 key original
windows 8.1 enterprise x64 serial key
Windows 10 Starter to Home Premium Anytime Upgrade
windows server 2008 key
Microsoft Office Outlook 2010
windows 10 home premium sp1 key serial
windows embedded 8 standard key
windows 7 home premium key shop
windows 10 enterprise activation key download
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
Microsoft Windows Vista Business with SP2
windows 7 ultimate key cheap
windows 8 professional oem key
Windows Server 2003 Web Edition
Rosetta Stone German Level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Set
Microsoft Office 2007 Ultimate
windows 8.1 cd key list
Windows Vista to Ultimate Anytime Upgrade
windows 7 professional product key activation code
windows 7 professional product key prices
Windows 10 Starter to Home Basic Anytime Upgrade
McAfee Total Protection 2013 (3PCs-2Year)
windows 7 home oem key
windows 7 home premium activation key oem
windows 7 enterprise serial key 64 bit
windows 7 home premium keygen 32 bit
windows server 2008 buy key
McAfee Internet Security 2013 (3PC-1Year)
windows 8 enterprise genuine key
windows 7 ultimate oem key 2012
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic With SP2
Windows 7 Enterprise SP1

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Gets Going!

sabrandsalahIn our daily life, we face situations that leave us badly concerned as to how to deal with them. Later on, when they are done smoothly, we tend to be astonished. Basically, everything is pre-planned and happening under Allah’s (swt) Will and Order. We all possess a curtailed approach, and hence, cannot think of our Creator’s Planning at all.

Similarly, we might dislike something; but Allah’s (swt) planning might be different in this regard, which yields the best results- again leaving us surprised.

This is what Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran,

وَعَسَىٰ أَن تَكْرَهُوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ وَعَسَىٰ أَن تُحِبُّوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَّكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُون
” and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know…” (Al-Baqarah 2:216)

In this regard, I would like to present one of the best solutions for tackling hard situations, which has already been given by Allah (swt) in his Holy Book. Quran says, وَاسْتَعِينُواْ بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَوةِ
“And seek help in (by) patience and As-Salat (the prayer).” (Al-Baqarah 2:45)

This is a Quranic formula for us, As we human-beings,- when facing any hardship or calamity become hurriedly unconscious; Allah (swt) has ordained us that whenever we face such an incident, without being unconscious and having firm belief upon Allah (swt)- we should seek His Help through prayers and observe patience. It is such a door from where no one will return bare-handed.

I came across an inspiring quote which said: “For Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse, we have been ordained to offer certain prayers. This is the effectiveness of Salah that by Allah’s (swt) order, it can deal with Universal, Giant systems. If it is juxtaposed with our problems, then how can’t Salah deal with our personal issues which are minor and little?”

One thing which makes me wonder and I would like to mention. The whole world knows the young Imam of Masjid Al-Haram, Shaikh Mahir AlMuaiqly; undoubtley, his beautiful voice infuses love for Quran in believers’ hearts. One of the lesser-known facts about him is that, he also holds a degree in Mathematics. Upon this, he was recruited in a school in Madinah tul Munawwara. Primarily, he was a student of Religious sciences- so he pursued Masters in Islamic Jurisprudence easily as an additional qualification. Nobody knew that one day he would lead prayers in Masjid Al-Nabawi and MasjidAl-Haram- except Allah (swt), as He planned this for him.

Lastly my dear, rely entirely upon Allah (swt) for everything. Next step is to keep yourself connected with Salah which is among the pillars of Islam. Observe patience as it has been the tradition of messengers. Verily, the Prophet Muhammad (sa) patience towards brutalities of disbelievers is exemplary.

As Miraculous as a Sincere Dua

ray-of-hope-marcel(This story is one of the entries received  as part of the story writing competition 2014)

“Mariaaam,” bellowed my mother-in-law from the lounge. Wiping off my tears, I folded the prayer mat, preparing myself for another exhausting session of criticism, wondering about my recent mistakes and asking Allah’s (swt) help, as I left for another spiteful session.

Past two years were no less than a dreadful nightmare for me. Back in Karachi, I belonged to a well known family and had completed my studies at a reputable university. I would never have imagined the acute misery and anguish that was coming my way.

In the elite society, to which I belonged, I was known for my elegance, intelligence and sense of style. There were many high class proposals awaiting my approval, but I chose my former college fellow Sufiyan.

My post marital life was going quite smoothly, until the day, when I received the news from Sufiyan’s office that he was stuck with a paralysis attack; I felt my whole world falling apart. None of the expensive medications and supremely qualified doctors would offer a cure for this disease.

My in-laws forced us both to live with them, which became the beginning of my torment.

Entire responsibility of Sufiyan’s personal care was now lying on my shoulders. He was in a state, where he could perceive all that went on around him, but could not speak. All his limbs became immobile. I could not bear my once dominating husband being utterly indigent. It was breaking me apart from within.

This strain was further accompanied by vicious treatment from my in-laws. My mother and sisters in-law burdened me with the responsibilities of house-cleaning and cooking. I sometimes speculated over the sudden transformation of my lifestyle: from a woman, who never stepped a foot into the kitchen, I had turned into a nurse and maid, also, being accused callously for her shortcomings.

My circumstances denied me from escaping this locality, as I could not return to my parents for Sufiyan’s sake. The walls of darkness were closing in on me, until one day in the hospital’s waiting area I heard a beautiful recitation and translation of the Quran being played on the television: “Is not He Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generation after generation. Is there any god with Allah? Little is that you remember.” (An-Naml 27:62)

These verses immediately grasped my attention and I reflected upon my current state. Speculation upon my destitution and contrasting that with the motivated effect of this verse brought tears into my eyes. I had never been close to the basic requirements of Islam, let alone ever become a staunch Muslimah. I had spent my entire life according to my own will and sternly followed the norms of the society.

However, after hearing this, feelings of repentance suffocated my heart for days. The love and mercy my Allah (swt) had always had for me never meant anything to me – I kept steadfast on my distorted way of life. I knew that it was me, who was responsible for all this mess, and then I prayed to Him to let me out of this. I started offering five daily prayers, which was a rare routine for me before. I began exploring the Quranic messages, and I firmly believed then that only Allah (swt) could grab me out of this situation. The verses like below kept me hopeful.

“And (remember) Ayub (Job), when he cried to his Lord: Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy. So We answered his call, and We removed the distress that was on him, and We restored his family to him (that he had lost), and the like thereof along with them, as a mercy from Ourselves and a Reminder for all who worship Us.” (Al-Anbiya 21:83-84)

Although all potential solutions offered by the doctors showed no progress, I prayed with conviction in Allah’s (swt) power that He could seize me out of this ordeal. The words of the Quran changed me from within. I promised my Lord I will only keep moving forward in His path and my faith won’t waiver. I was optimistic and kept on calling for His assistance. I knew He was listening to me, and sooner or later His “Amr-e-Kunn” would arrive.

My life was based upon tending to my husband, his family and seeking for Allah’s (swt) help. I conversed with my Lord in loneliness and complained to Him about my exhaustion. I knew He was close to my jugular vein and He was listening to my whispers.

A ray of hope arose when one day I received a call from Sufiyan’s doctor – they were conducting a series of trial experiments and were willing to include him in the experiment. The doctors assured me that there was an 80% chance for this drug to work well.

After a thorough discussion with his family and with the doctors, it was decided that he will participate in this trial. I prayed to Allah (swt) that everything goes right. I called on Him in my sleepless nights. The trial lasted for about two months. My mind went crazy with distress during this period and I begged to my Allah (swt) for His help every second.

During these two years, my husbad’s limbs slowly began to move, and he progressed to a stage, where he could walk himself to bed. I believed that Dua could do miracles, and I was not wrong.

Allah (swt) helped me and my husband, and the day came, when he could speak and walk around with no difficulty. All his limbs started working as they used to. I used to thank my Lord with each step of progress Sufiyan made. But I could not thank Him enough.

He showed me the purpose of my life, and I developed complete faith in His supremacy. He is our Sustainer and He ought to be given His designated value in our lives. I understood His working and I vowed to be a parable of His favourite slaves. I know He is always listening to our calls, and He has a right time for everything.

Key to Productivity: Bowing to the Will of Allah (swt)

dawnIn the life of this world, we have countless matters and desires to deal with. When we believe in one God, we have this faith that whatever good or bad happens to me (us) is from Allah (swt). No human being or any other creature on this earth has the right or power to benefit me or harm me. This is the crystal clear Islamic belief, find and accept it straight.

When most of us start practicing, we focus more on ‘apparently bright sides’ and forget the ‘apparently dark sides’ of believing and surrendering to the will of Allah (swt).

Now empathize with these situations:

  • What if you are a Muslim who prays five times a day, who does Dawah and other virtuous activities; but Allah (swt) makes your son die, who was born after twelve years of marriage? Imagine your son was almost one year old and he just started playing with you well.
  • What if you are extremely ugly in the eyes of people? You do not meet the criteria of world beauty. Your body is fat, complexion is black and height is extra-large; hence you are labeled ‘ugly’. But do you still believe in God and His love for you, is that the case?
  • What if your age is perfect for marriage and everyone in your circle who is getting married makes you feel low, that you are deprived and a loser. Deep down in your heart, you are struggling to maintain chastity and wondering, ‘what is the will of Allah (swt)?’ Isn’t it the right time for the acceptance of all your Duas?
  • What about the little sinless children who die in disasters like earthquakes, wars, floods etc. Hearts ache and eyes weep on all this, but a Muslim surrenders to the will of Allah (swt), right? Ya Salam!
  • When everyone else is having a good time with their parents, enjoying being pampered by their parents’ love and affection, but you, just at the age of fifteen, are burying your father.

Will of God? Good for You?

What does Allah (swt) want? Your heart shrieks, eyes weep and brain questions. Do people make you feel extremely low? Do they make you feel deprived and less-privileged with zero self-respect?

Why is it so:

  • that Allah (swt) loves His Prophet Muhammad (sa) but He made his parents die, when he was too young?
  • That Allah (swt) gave beauty to Hazrat Yusuf (as), but he was put into problems by women because of the same beauty? Hazrat Yusuf (as) was a handsome prophet, but was ruthlessly troubled by his brothers and women and had to spend time in prison? Why did Allah (swt) make him go through so much?

Oh dear people, who are entering into Islam and who have started practicing it – make sure that you train your body and mind for both sides. Wake up from dreams and fantasies that our whims and desires will be accepted because we are the best people on earth.

Yes! You’re the best but Allah’s (swt) will is the wisest.

Hazrat Yusuf (as) was a handsome prophet, but was ruthlessly troubled by his brothers and women and had to spend time in prison? Why did Allah (swt) make him go through so much?

“There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All‑Hearer, the All‑Seer.” (Ash-Shuara 42:11)

We cannot compare Allah (swt) with any of His creations. He (swt) is beyond comparison and most of us cannot comprehend the wisdom behind matters.

In the story of Musa (as) and Khidr in Surah Al-Kahf, we get to know that the child was killed, because his life would have proven to be a Fitnah for his parents.

What if your child, whom you are crying for, would have deviated you from the path of Allah (swt) and let you die as Kafir? We just surrender before the decree of Allah (swt) because we know that all this is happening for best!

Allah (swt) has not over-pressurized us. He knows we are weak, which is why we are allowed to grieve for three days and nights for those who die.

Hadeeth states: Once Hazrat Sa’d Bin Ubadah became ill, and the Prophet (sa) went to see him; he was moved to tears on seeing the pitiful situation of his companion and said: “Allah (swt) does not punish because of tears, nor because of grief, but he punishes because of this” – and he pointed to his tongue. (Bukhari)

“Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.” (Az-Zumar 39:10)

We need to believe that life lies ahead of this Dunya!

Read out loud: life lies ahead of this Dunya!

What did I say? Life lies ahead of this Dunya!

Ultimate success lies in surrendering your spirits and drives to the will of Allah (swt) as per basic Islamic Aqeedah. The everlasting life will come after we die where we will find reward for all our patience and result of trials. This world is but a temporary abode.

As a Muslim, we need to be mature and help our fellow Muslims to stay grateful and calm. One easy way is to not show-off the blessings you have; so that those whom Allah (swt) has not given those things, will not feel bad and stay grateful.

This world is a deception – tests and trials are a reminder for good

Moreover, have this clear in your mind that afflictions are not a sign that you are a loser or Allah (swt) wants to do bad with you! No, Allah (swt) says in the Quran, “And surely, We shall try you till We test those who strive hard (for the Cause of Allah) and the patient ones, and We shall test your facts (i.e. the one who is a liar, and the one who is truthful).” (Muhammad 47: 31)

Ultimate success lies in surrendering your spirits and drives to the will of Allah (swt) as per basic Islamic Aqeedah. The everlasting life will come after we die where we will find reward for all our patience and result of trials.

Sheikh As-Sadi (ra) said: “That is don’t extend your eyes out of amazement and don’t keep looking out of approval at what people are enjoying of worldly gains- such as tasty food and drink and fancy clothing and adorned homes and beautified women; for all that is from the splendor of worldly life which the souls of deceived ones rejoice over, and which the eyes of the negligent are amazed, and which the wrongdoers enjoy – without thinking of the hereafter. Then it all passes by quickly and disappears and kills those who love and adore it; and they regret at a time when regret is of no benefit. Then when come forward at the time of Resurrection, they will know what they were upon and that Allah (swt) had only placed it as a trial and test, to see who would be deceived by it as opposed to who would be better in deed as the Exalted says (what means):

“Verily! We have made that which is on earth as an adornment for it, in order that We may test them (mankind) as to which of them are best in deeds. (i.e. those who do good deeds in the most perfect manner, that means to do them (deeds) totally for Allah’s (swt) sake and in accordance to the legal ways of the Prophet (sa))” (Al-Kahf 18:7)

Article based on: http://islamqa.info/en/178673 and http://islamqa.info/en/71236

Allah – The Best of Planners

KarakorumHighwayIt’s been four years, but for me Ramadan will never be the same. If I close my eyes, I can still relive the entire evening and subsequent days down to the smallest detail.

It was Ramadan 2008, two months before I was to be married. It was almost time for Iftaar and it was the first Iftaar of the month so the excitement was at its peak. The spiritual high of the initial fasts combined with the anticipation of eating pakoras, chaat, jalebis and samosas. My mother was wheeling the trolley laden with dates, sherbet and scrumptious snacks when the phone rang. Leaving the trolley mid-way in the passage, she reached for the phone while we all looked at each other wondering who could be calling five minutes before Iftaar. This was a time when most Pakistani households are busy engaging in Zikr (remembrance), last-minute frying and assembling the family for breaking the fast. I still remember the way she picked up the phone, responded to the greeting of the caller with a quizzical smile on her face and then froze. Simply froze.

Ending the call with “Allah Hafiz” (literally meaning ‘May Allah be your Guardian’, which in retrospect seems even more profound considering the news she was about to break to us), she gently returned the cordless to the cradle and sat down on the chair next to the phone. In a voice devoid of emotion, but with eyes that were becoming tenser by the second she said, “There has been an accident. Talat, Jalal and the children were returning from Umrah and their car has crashed on the highway. They are being taken to the hospital but it does not look good.”

Iftaar and the excitement of the first fast forgotten, we proceeded to make further calls – both, for gaining more information, as well as for informing others in the family – that my uncle (my father’s youngest brother), aunt, their daughter, second son and his two children had been in an accident. We then proceeded to my uncle’s house – my dad’s eldest living brother – where we sat in suspense, alternately making phone calls, praying for a miracle, lending each other support and just sitting in shock. Every time someone’s cell phone rang the sound was ominous. And sadly, so was the news. Each call we received lowered our hopes further.

Until finally, it was confirmed. Both my uncle and aunt did not make it along with their son and one of the grandsons – a five-year-old boy with Down Syndrome. The only survivors were their daughter and their three-year-old grandson.

I had never seen my father break down as he did that day. As tears streamed down his face, he seemed to be reliving the death of my eldest uncle in 1981 at the young age of forty-seven. As he cried out, “I lost my eldest brother and now the youngest is gone too”, I saw my father as a person for the first time. A person with feelings, fears, hopes; someone who had experienced losses and lived through them, perhaps becoming stronger in the process. We often think of our parents as ‘parents’ – the word denoting responsibility, strength and tranquillity. Most of the time we consider the ‘output’ that is our parents and rarely do we understand or comprehend the ‘input’ that went in to produce that output. I learned that day how much we take our parents for granted. We identify them as unbreakable pillars of strength which they are most of the time but they do need their ‘off days’. I also understood that we hold our parents responsible for a lot – too much at times. For their problems, our problems, familial problems, our upbringing, our day-to-day living, how we turned out and so forth. And that’s just not right. They do the best they can, just like we do. When we didn’t get the first prize in a contest or got less than perfect marks on that test, didn’t they tell us, “It’s okay, you did your best. That’s what matters”? Then, why can’t we do the same for them? Just because they are ‘parents’?

As the details of the accident unravelled, we were even more overwhelmed and depressed. My uncle had lived in Medina for thirty-odd years with his family.  That particular year he had wanted to do Umrah on the first of Ramadan and so the family set out to perform the minor pilgrimage. He was accompanied by his wife, daughter, son, daughter-in-law and their three children, and the daughter-in-law’s parents. They were returning to Medina on the second of Ramadan (first Ramadan in Pakistan) and had all planned to leave together in two cars. However, since it was extremely hot my uncle’s son advised his wife to leave from Makkah a little later with their three-month old baby and her parents, while he departed for Medina with his parents, sister and the older children earlier. Little did they know that this plan only came about since the Angel of Death was meant to come for them and not the rest. As Allah (swt) says, “…and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” (216:2 Al Baqarah). In our imperfect comprehension of Allah’s ways, we can only understand that He created this intentional divide between the husband and wife so that she would not have to experience the horror of her husband and son’s death first-hand.

The details of the accident itself are still a mystery. My uncle’s daughter only remembers her mother reciting supplications in the back seat while her father sat in front with her brother. Soon after they left Makkah, she recalls a splintering sound and then the car collided with the crash barrier on the roadside where it continued to move at a very fast speed against the barrier until the car started rolling over. Considering the speed at which most Saudis drive, especially on the highway, I shudder to think of the magnitude of the tumble and ultimate impact. Whether my cousin dosed off at the wheel or the car had some sort of a mechanical failure, we will never know. The car itself – a Ford Expedition – was reputed to be a ‘fault-free’ car and received a five-star frontal-impact rating in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests for both the driver and front passenger*. Even after the accident the experts could not find any defect that could have caused the accident. But then that is why we are taught, “Inna Lillahi Wainna Ilaihi Rajioon” (Surely, to Allah (swt) we belong and to Him shall we return) right? My uncle’s daughter had bruises on her face along with major injuries to her arm and leg. Her bruises were such that when her eldest brother saw her, he actually wondered why Allah (swt) had spared her. She had to undergo surgery, get rods inserted in both, her arm and leg and was confined to the bed for a long time. But by the grace of Allah (swt), today she is the happily married mother of a one-year-old baby girl. The scars that remain are all on the inside.

But instead of being consumed with the hardship itself, you learn from it. You learn to strike up a conversation with Allah (swt). You learn to hand over your griefs and miseries, your anger and lamentations, your aspirations and visions, your setbacks and failings.

The doctors confirmed that my uncle, aunt and their grandson had possibly died on impact while my cousin had sustained major head injuries, which may have left him a vegetable for the rest of his life. Again, we see the miracle of Allah (swt) here – had my cousin survived he may have been plagued with guilt for being in the driver’s seat in an accident which took away his parents and son’s life. We see the miracle of Allah (swt) for not letting the young wife be a witness to her husband’s horrifying death and for not burdening her with a possibly comatose husband. We see the miracle of Allah (swt) in taking away the life of the child with Down Syndrome and letting the other one live in order to ease life for the young widow. As callous as all these statements seem, they are our only consolation in the shocking tragedy that took away half the family; that removed three generations in the blink of an eye; that rendered a young girl a widow and a grieving mother in an instant; that left a daughter crying for her parents and older brother; that left a minor three-year old saying repeatedly, “Meri gaari toot gaee, Mere Baba mar gaye” (My car broke and my father died).

How do you get over something like that? You don’t. But instead of being consumed with the hardship itself, you learn from it. You learn to strike up a conversation with Allah (swt). You learn to hand over your griefs and miseries, your anger and lamentations, your aspirations and visions, your setbacks and failings. You learn to lighten yourself; cleanse yourself. As you talk to Allah (swt) you feel the burdens lift; as the tears flow down your cheeks you feel your heart lighten. As your hands reach out in supplication, you feel like you are all alone in the world but with the Greatest Presence beside you, behind you, before you, above you, beneath you. You learn that that is all that matters. That is all you need. You learn as Allah (swt) said in Surah Inshirah, Verse 5 – 6, “For indeed, with hardship comes ease. Indeed, with hardship comes ease”. You learn how short life is and how important people are. You learn who the important people are in your life. You learn to sort through the clutter of life and prioritize. You learn to love, to smile, to help, to forgive, and to move on. You learn to do everything with love – love for yourself as a creation of Allah (swt), love for people and moreover, love for Allah (swt).  You learn to make a home, build a family, work hard and smile. You learn how to make things work in your own unique way. You learn to say ‘Alhamdulillah’ for all you have.

Above all, you learn that Allah (swt) always, always has a bigger plan. You may not understand that plan till your last breath but you learn to submit to it and to trust in Allah (swt). You learn to sit back, relax and take life one step at a time.

*Source: http://www.edmunds.com/ford/expedition/2008/