By Narjis Fatema – Freelance writer
My little sister comes to me cheerfully and asks me to help her paint the dinosaur. “Can’t you see I’m busy? Try doing something on your own for once,” I reply harshly. She goes away without a word, disappointed. I had had a rough day. I was in a mess—two assignments were due soon, the finals were starting next week, and to top it all, I had lost my cell phone. I was justified in being a little irritated, wasn’t I?
Such instances are common place in my life. I get all worked up over petty things. I know it’s wrong, yet every time things don’t go as planned I get frustrated, venting out my anger on others. I am not a bad person and I would certainly never wish to hurt my dear ones purposely; so, why do I lose control over little setbacks in life? I never knew the answer until recently.
A couple of months back, in a family gathering, everyone was trying to console my uncle who had lost his job. He was depressed. All his plans had come to a halt because of the financial crisis he was facing. In that casual conversation, an elder of the family chipped in a quote from Ali (rta): “I recognized my Lord through the disruption of my plans.”
The quote made a deep impression on me. I found the reason for my sour behavior in imperfect situations. It was due to an ingredient missing in my soul—contentment.
As we ascend the ladder of life, we tend to become over-confident about our abilities and feel that everything is attainable. We hatch big plans for our future as if we know what’s coming up next! We fear failure and forget that life is like a highway; there will always be someone ahead of us.
The words of one of the wisest men in history made me realize that it is the Will of our Creator and not our merit that drives us. The form of the road, the model of the car, the type of the fuel is not for us to choose; our job is to sit in the driving seat and put in an effort to carry the vehicle ahead in the right direction. Billions of human beings inhabit this planet, yet each one of us is on a separate road. Our trials are different and so are our destinies. We should hope, plan and strive for what in our limited vision we consider success, but the ultimate reliance should be on Allah (swt) The Wise.
The huge ball of fire, the source of life on earth, the Sun, teaches us the lesson of humility and contentment. Every day it humbles itself to make way for a much smaller being—the moon. Despite its grandeur it remains content with the Creator’s command.
Contentment is not just a virtue, it’s a mindset that gives a new perspective to life. It is an attitude that acknowledges a Supreme Being regulating the workings of the world.
Life will always be tough; things will always be difficult. However, it is faith and contentment that will keep the important things of life glued together. Trust the Creator (swt); His planning and providence will never disappoint you.