I often wonder, isn’t it optimistic to claim that “glass is half full,” when actually it is half empty? My inquiring mind argues whether it is possible that two people could be saying two different things altogether; in meanings and words, yet they could both be correct? If I am right, does that necessarily prove the other person wrong? Is it not possible that two people may have two different perceptions of the same thing, as in the example quoted above, yet isn’t the latter statement that “half the glass is empty” also correct?
Perceptions are prevalent in different paradigms, which influence peoples’ lives, one way or the other. We can consider any situation starting from home to our religious and social lives; perceptions keep building up and breaking down, moulding and transforming, guiding and sometimes misleading us to believe that which is not true; while at other instances hiding the truth and negating reality completely.
My life changed completely with the new homecoming in my religious life that I underwent some two-and-a-half years ago. In fact, my closeness to Allah (swt) and awareness of Deen changed my perceptions drastically, to the extent that I now have a completely new vision and sight of anything I see and undergo; be it people, situations, circumstances, incidents in my life or other’s. This feeling is beautiful. I cannot explain the peacefulness that now surrounds me, because of the change that has occurred in the way I see things.
I don’t know, if many people undergo the same transition. I strongly feel, however, that this new lens to see the world is truly a blessing in disguise. Suddenly, every test in my life now seems Allah’s (swt) mercy over me that it shall give me a chance to apologize to Him for all my wrongdoings in life. Every trial that I now face seems like He is choosing me over others; because He truly loves me and wants me to draw nearer to Him. Everything that happens against my wish or will strengthens my faith in the fact that all that happens in our lives is indeed Allah’s (swt) decree and no matter what our plans are, He alone is the Master Planner.
I now completely lay my trust in Him and see, what I was never able to before; the fact that not everything we like for ourselves is for our betterment. A lot of the things are beyond our comprehension, especially when they happen; however, time proves that in fact what happened was good for us. Even if we fail to understand in this world the logic behind an occurrence, I am sure that we shall receive answers to all our questions, in fact also the unasked ones, on the Day of Judgment, when all curtains will be raised between us and our Creator, Insha’Allah.
Allah’s (swt) reminders in the Quran now seem to be a source of solace. They ease my pain in tough situations, Subhan’Allah!
“….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)
This shift in paradigm from negative perceptions to positive has indeed brought a favourable outlook to my life. I don’t blame Allah (swt) for everything that goes wrong in my life any more. I rather choose to be sensible and deal with it patiently. As a result, I am less miserable and more optimistic. A mishap in life doesn’t seem to be Allah’s (swt) punishment for a sin that I did in the past, any longer. It rather feels like a chance to repent on past mistakes and resolve not to commit the same again.
No longer do I feel that Allah (swt) doesn’t love me and He has left me to struggle in this world all on my own. I look at the brighter side now and feel happy about the fact that the more He tries me with tribulations and problems in this life, the easier my eternal life would be Insha’Allah. I shed tears and my heart aches, and all of that is a means of expiating sins from one’s life – Allah’s (swt) promise to us all.
Abu Hurairah reports that the Messenger (sa) said: “For every misfortune, illness, anxiety, grief, or hurt that afflicts a Muslim – even the hurt caused by the pricking of a thorn – Allah (swt) removes some of his sins.” (Bukhari)
I understand the logic behind testing those whom He (swt) see fit to be capable of bearing the burden, as oppose to those who will probably go astray and rebel and react in an ungrateful and rather impatient manner.
“Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope.” (Al-Baqarah 2:286)
I now have the courage to smile in tough times and persevere in tougher ones, Alhamdulillah. I now don’t give up praying or making Duas only because “He doesn’t listen.” In fact, I increase my supplications when I desperately want something, because I am now more hopeful in life and can see the brightness a single ray of light can bring in a dark pit. By the grace of Allah (swt) I am able to see the bliss in the Quranic verse: “And He found you lost and guided you.” (Al-Araf 7:93)
Perceptions may make or break lives and even change lives forever. May Allah (swt) grant us all the wisdom and guidance to keep a positive perception about all matters in life rather than jumping onto hasty, insensible, unrealistic and biased conclusions about anything or anyone (Ameen).
Who knows what Allah (swt) “perceives” us as?