Nothing Is Ever Wasted

How to Achieve Tranquility of the Heart Series: Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IVPart VPart VI | Part VII Part VIIIPart IXPart XPart XI | Part XIIPart XIIIPart XIV | Part XV | Part XVIPart XVIIPart XVIIIPart XIXPart XX

“[And it will be said], ‘Indeed, this is for you a reward, and your effort has been appreciated.’” (Qur’an, 76:22)

Failure can take a toll on a person: that feeling of trying and trying, over and over, yet somehow never getting where you want to be. Or sometimes the task just seems too huge to achieve; is there even any use?

We touched upon this a little when discussing thinking well of Allah and tawakkul. But this aspect involves knowing that nothing ever goes to waste. In the verse above, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala tells us our sa’y (effort) is appreciated; it is recognized. That is what we get rewarded for. Whether or not we succeed, it is ultimately the effort that we put in that Allah (swt) takes into account. One of Allah’s Names is Ash-Shakoor: He is Appreciative of what you do, no matter how small, and He rewards it abundantly. Imagine: Allah (swt) is so appreciative, He even rewards our intention! Therefore, we know that those who intend to do well, but cannot do it, are still rewarded. This feeling of failure is actually a deception from shaytan to deter us from trying. He promotes neglect: “Don’t work on your relationship with your parents, they’ll never change,” and makes us doubt: “do you really think that your tiny effort is going to have an effect?” But Allah (swt) rewards you when you try because your trying is testament to the fact that even though you know you are a minor player, you are doing it for His sake.

Look at this verse from Surat al-Baqarah:

“Or take the one who passed by a ruined town. He said, ‘How will God give this life when it has died?’ So God made him die for a hundred years, and then raised him up, saying, ‘How long did you stay like that?’ He answered, ‘A day, or part of a day.’ God said, ‘No, you stayed like that for a hundred years. Look at your food and drink: they have not gone bad. Look at your donkey- We will make you a sign for the people; look at the bones: see how We bring them together and clothe them with flesh!’ When all became clear to him, he said, ‘Now I know that God has power over everything.” (Qur’an, 2:259)

This verse describes Prophet Uzayr (`alayhi assalam) when Allah (swt) sent him to revive deserted Jerusalem. Jerusalem was ruined by an unjust king, and when Uzayr (as) arrived, it was so barren and deserted that he wondered how Allah would give life to this dead place. It seemed impossible. Still he worked the whole day, doing what he could with the little tools that he had, and laid to rest. As an example to him and to us, Allah (swt) caused him to die and brought him back to life 100 years later. Not only was this a miracle as his food and drink did not rot either, but Jerusalem was filled with new people and life. The Prophet Uzayr (as) would never have known that his small effort would culminate, by the will of Allah (swt), in bringing the town back to life. But Allah (swt) shows him how it does, as an example to us – so that we never say “it’s a waste of time.”

Subhan’Allah. Sometimes we deal with Allah (swt) as though He is a human being Who doesn’t know about the worry we feel, the stress, the striving. When we fail to see the results of our effort, we think that we failed and that it was a waste of time. But Allah (swt) tells us:

“And never is your Lord forgetful…” (Qur’an, 19:64)

If you try to work on your relationship with your family members but to no avail, remember, Allah knows about your pain. He won’t forget it, and He will give you compensation for it accordingly. If you want to work into making your community better, but something happens whereby everything you invested in it is suddenly gone, Allah always knows. The point is that we are not just about dunya even though we’re in it. When we fall, we pick ourselves back up again because we are also about the akhirah – our ultimate hope is in Him.

However, this doesn’t mean that we do the same thing over and over again knowing that it’s not working. What it means is not being defeated internally. We are Muslims, when one thing in our lives fails, it doesn’t make us feel down for an extended period of time because we know that even a step taken for the sake of Allah (swt) is rewarded. Let’s keep moving insha’Allah.

Don’t think that your efforts have been wasted. They have not. They are recorded with Ash-Shakoor, and if you don’t see the fruits of your labor in this life, surely Allah (swt) is keeping something amazing for you in the next.

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  1. Muslima. says:

    Subhanallah sister, may Allah reward you for this reminder. Inshallah

  2. Brilliant, just brilliant

  3. sana says:

    amazing reminder – especially with the stories recounted via the ayahs shared – really strikes a chord. thank you for the article

  4. Amatullah says:

    Jazaki Allahu khayran, I love this series!

  5. brother says:

    jzk beautiful. This website is such a blessing mashAllah i love it, May Allah SWT reward everyone involved!

  6. ammara says:

    i have nothing 2 say accept ALLAH relly knows everything n surely HE never let dowm any1 who efforts for HIM …as far as the artilce is concernd its writtn so beautifully n exactly its quite right ,this website is surely a blessing because i,ve found so mny answers of my questions n helpd me alottt its definitly a blessing ….may ALLAH bless u ameen …JAZAKALLAH

  7. fadhliani says:

    beautifully put, as always. I love it! may ALLah reward you…ameen.

  8. Atika says:

    Subhanallah thank you for reminding me sister Jinan,always husnuzon with Allah :)

  9. Amina W says:

    This is beautiful. We often fail to realize that no matter what the outcome, we will still be rewarded for whatever little or big we do when the intentions are correct and sincere. Thank You for the motivation.

  10. Iylia says:

    thank you very much for this! It helps me going through the rough time :)

  11. ummahmed says:

    Mashaallah.Jazakumallahu khairaan..Excellent article.

  12. Amina says:

    I am speechless!Mashallah this article hit home!! May Alllah give you jannatul firdous for all your efforts. Ameeen

  13. Khajija says:

    Jazakallah Khair…May Allah subhanna Watallah bless u abundantly for remindings us about His Words and the Teachings of Our beloved Prophet (PBUH). I never knew that there are such uplifting and beautifully written articles on Islam. I have always wondered as i come across so much others written by the People of The Book.

    There couldnt have been a better time for me to come across this site as of recent, i have undergone such difficulty that i was suicidal, devastated, depressed and always found myself asking, ” why me”, “How could Allah let this happen to me when i always strive to be good”, But He has shown me the light and as i know that He Test who He loves that He may uplift you and forgive you. Inshallah, i will leave all my Affairs in His unfailing Hand-hold as He Alone knows best….Suhannallah


    The best article on internet.
    This article can enlighten any man and follow the path to Heaven

  15. Anjum Syed says:

    Jazakallah Kahir for this beautiful reminder. Allah(swt) loves those love him and tests them, but we humans are so ungrateful that we very easily forget his uncountable favors on us and crib for the discomfort that we come across. May Allah guide us and make us better on our deen and except our ibadah, Ameen.

  16. fatonah says:

    subhanallah. thanks! u make me see things in the other side (better side).

  17. Pamir says:

    This sister who wrote the article should pray 2 rakah or sujood of shakoor for the knowledge Allah has given her, and her ability to digest it and give it to us in such a beautiful way.

    And good news to her and the believers of paradise from Allah.

    *Insert Alhamdulillah here.*

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