Why do people have to leave each other?


Why Do People Have to Leave Each Other? Part I Part II

When I was 17 years old, I had a dream. I dreamt that I was sitting inside a masjid and a little girl walked up to ask me a question. She asked me: “Why do people have to leave each other?” The question was a personal one, but it seemed clear to me why the question was chosen for me.

I was one to get attached.

Ever since I was a child, this temperament was clear. While other children in preschool could easily recover once their parents left, I could not. My tears, once set in motion, did not stop easily. As I grew up, I learned to become attached to everything around me. From the time I was in first grade, I needed a best friend. As I got older, any fall-out with a friend shattered me. I couldn’t let go of anything. People, places, events, photographs, moments—even outcomes became objects of strong attachment. If things didn’t work out the way I wanted or imagined they should, I was devastated. And disappointment for me wasn’t an ordinary emotion. It was catastrophic. Once let down, I never fully recovered. I could never forget, and the break never mended. Like a glass vase that you place on the edge of a table, once broken, the pieces never quite fit again.

But the problem wasn’t with the vase. Or even that the vases kept breaking. The problem was that I kept putting them on the edge of tables. Through my attachments, I was dependent on my relationships to fulfill my needs. I allowed those relationships to define my happiness or my sadness, my fulfillment or my emptiness, my security, and even my self-worth. And so, like the vase placed where it will inevitably fall, through those dependencies I set myself up for disappointment. I set myself up to be broken. And that’s exactly what I found: one disappointment, one break after another.

But the people who broke me were not to blame any more than gravity can be blamed for breaking the vase. We can’t blame the laws of physics when a twig snaps because we leaned on it for support. The twig was never created to carry us.

Our weight was only meant to be carried by God. We are told in the Quran: “…whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And God hears and knows all things.” (Qur’an 2: 256)

There is a crucial lesson in this verse: that there is only one handhold that never breaks. There is only one place where we can lay our dependencies. There is only one relationship that should define our self-worth and only one source from which to seek our ultimate happiness, fulfillment, and security. That place is God.

But this world is all about seeking those things everywhere else. Some of us seek it in our careers, some seek it in wealth, some in status. Some, like me, seek it in our relationships. In her book, Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert describes her own quest for happiness. She describes moving in and out of relationships, and even traveling the globe in search of this fulfillment. She seeks that fulfillment—unsuccessfully—in her relationships, in meditation, even in food.

And that’s exactly where I spent much of my own life: seeking a way to fill my inner void. So it was no wonder that the little girl in my dream asked me this question. It was a question about loss, about disappointment. It was a question about being let down. A question about seeking something and coming back empty handed. It was about what happens when you try to dig in concrete with your bare hands: not only do you come back with nothing—you break your fingers in the process. And I learned this not by reading it, not by hearing it from a wise sage. I learned it by trying it again, and again, and again.

And so, the little girl’s question was essentially my own question…being asked to myself.

Ultimately, the question was about the nature of the dunya as a place of fleeting moments and temporary attachments. As a place where people are with you today, and leave or die tomorrow. But this reality hurts our very being because it goes against our nature. We, as humans, are made to seek, love, and strive for what is perfect and what is permanent. We are made to seek what’s eternal. We seek this because we were not made for this life. Our first and true home was Paradise: a land that is both perfect and eternal. So the yearning for that type of life is a part of our being. The problem is that we try to find that here. And so we create ageless creams and cosmetic surgery in a desperate attempt to hold on—in an attempt to mold this world into what it is not, and will never be.

And that’s why if we live in dunya with our hearts, it breaks us. That’s why this dunya hurts. It is because the definition of dunya, as something temporary and imperfect, goes against everything we are made to yearn for. Allah put a yearning in us that can only be fulfilled by what is eternal and perfect. By trying to find fulfillment in what is fleeting, we are running after a hologram…a mirage. We are digging into concrete with our bare hands. Seeking to turn what is by its very nature temporary into something eternal is like trying to extract from fire, water.  You just get burned. Only when we stop putting our hopes in dunya, only when we stop trying to make the dunya into what it is not—and was never meant to be (jannah)—will this life finally stop breaking our hearts.

We must also realize that nothing happens without a purpose. Nothing. Not even broken hearts. Not even pain. That broken heart and that pain are lessons and signs for us. They are warnings that something is wrong. They are warnings that we need to make a change. Just like the pain of being burned is what warns us to remove our hand from the fire, emotional pain warns us that we need to make an internal change. That we need to detach. Pain is a form of forced detachment. Like the loved one who hurts you again and again and again, the more dunya hurts us, the more we inevitably detach from it. The more we inevitably stop loving it.

And pain is a pointer to our attachments. That which makes us cry, that which causes us most pain is where our false attachments lie. And it is those things which we are attached to as we should only be attached to Allah which become barriers on our path to God. But the pain itself is what makes the false attachment evident. The pain creates a condition in our life that we seek to change, and if there is anything about our condition that we don’t like, there is a divine formula to change it. God says: “Verily never will God change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves.” (Qur’an, 13:11)

After years of falling into the same pattern of disappointments and heartbreak, I finally began to realize something profound. I had always thought that love of dunya meant being attached to material things. And I was not attached to material things. I was attached to people. I was attached to moments. I was attached to emotions. So I thought that the love of dunya just did not apply to me. What I didn’t realize was that people, moments, emotions are all a part of dunya. What I didn’t realize is that all the pain I had experienced in life was due to one thing, and one thing only: love of dunya.

As soon as I began to have that realization, a veil was lifted from my eyes. I started to see what my problem was. I was expecting this life to be what it is not, and was never meant to be: perfect. And being the idealist that I am, I was struggling with every cell in my body to make it so. It had to be perfect. And I would not stop until it was. I gave my blood, sweat, and tears to this endeavor: making the dunya into jannah. This meant expecting people around me to be perfect. Expecting my relationships to be perfect. Expecting so much from those around me and from this life. Expectations. Expectations. Expectations. And if there is one recipe for unhappiness it is that: expectations. But herein lay my fatal mistake. My mistake was not in having expectations; as humans, we should never lose hope. The problem was in *where* I was placing those expectations and that hope. At the end of the day, my hope and expectations were not being placed in God. My hope and expectations were in people, relationships, means. Ultimately, my hope was in this dunya rather than Allah.

And so I came to realize a very deep Truth. An ayah began to cross my mind. It was an ayah I had heard before, but for the first time I realized that it was actually describing me:  “Those who rest not their hope on their meeting with Us, but are pleased and satisfied with the life of the present, and those who heed not Our Signs.” (Qur’an, 10:7)

By thinking that I can have everything here, my hope was not in my meeting with God. My hope was in dunya. But what does it mean to place your hope in dunya? How can this be avoided? It means when you have friends, don’t expect your friends to fill your emptiness. When you get married, don’t expect your spouse to fulfill your every need. When you’re an activist, don’t put your hope in the results. When you’re in trouble don’t depend on yourself. Don’t depend on people. Depend on God.

Seek the help of people—but realize that it is not the people (or even your own self) that can save you. Only Allah can do these things. The people are only tools, a means used by God. But they are not the source of help, aid, or salvation of any kind. Only God is. The people cannot even create the wing of a fly (22:73).  And so, even while you interact with people externally, turn your heart towards God. Face Him alone, as Prophet Ibrahim (as) said so beautifully: “For me, I have set my face, firmly and truly, towards Him Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah.” (Qur’an, 6:79)

But how does Prophet Ibrahim (as) describe his journey to that point? He studies the moon, the sun and the stars and realizes that they are not perfect. They set.

They let us down.

So Prophet Ibrahim (as) was thereby led to face Allah alone. Like him, we need to put our full hope, trust, and dependency on God. And God alone. And if we do that, we will learn what it means to finally find peace and stability of heart. Only then will the roller coaster that once defined our lives finally come to an end. That is because if our inner state is dependent on something that is by definition inconstant, that inner state will also be inconstant. If our inner state is dependent on something changing and temporary, that inner state will be in a constant state of instability, agitation, and unrest. This means that one moment we’re happy, but as soon as that which our happiness depended upon changes, our happiness also changes. And we become sad. We remain always swinging from one extreme to another and not realizing why.

We experience this emotional roller coaster because we can never find stability and lasting peace until our attachment and dependency is on what is stable and lasting. How can we hope to find constancy if what we hold on to is inconstant and perishing? In the statement of Abu Bakr is a deep illustration of this truth. After the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ died, the people went into shock and could not handle the news. But although no one loved the Prophet ﷺ like Abu Bakr, Abu Bakr understood well the only place where one’s dependency should lie. He said: “If you worshipped Muhammad, know that Muhammad is dead. But if you worshipped Allah, know that Allah never dies.”

To attain that state, don’t let your source of fulfillment be anything other than your relationship with God. Don’t let your definition of success, failure, or self-worth be anything other than your position with Him (Qur’an, 49:13). And if you do this, you become unbreakable, because your handhold is unbreakable. You become unconquerable, because your supporter can never be conquered. And you will never become empty, because your source of fulfillment is unending and never diminishes.

Looking back at the dream I had when I was 17, I wonder if that little girl was me. I wonder this because the answer I gave her was a lesson I would need to spend the next painful years of my life learning. My answer to her question of why people have to leave each other was: “because this life isn’t perfect; for if it was, what would the next be called?”

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349 Comments

  1. Anwar says:

    MashaAllah…very touching and honest reflection, may Allah bless us all to understand the realities of this life as being temporary and elusive and help us to gain and strengthen our hub/love of Allah and His eternal rewards of Paradise.

    I also make dua that the disappointments and difficulties that touch us only serve to purify our souls and elevate our ranks and as you said strengthen our relationship with the Only One Who fully understands our reality and is Fully Aware, Most Compassionate, Most Kind.

  2. Sadaf says:

    I felt as if i was reading my own condition. Every word in this article describes what i have been going through in the past years and still am…this certainly gave me the answer to what i constantly feel everyday.
    Jazak-Allah.

  3. Iman says:

    I really loved this article. I think it is something that many of us suffer from. Interestingly enough, my veil was lifted after reading “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. She comes to a similar conclusion…that peace can only be found in God and she inspired me to do the same.

    Thank you for such an eloquent article.

  4. Umm Salih says:

    When community fails each other, the hearts of the people are disturbed. When one part of the ummah hurts, the whole ummah hurts. Let us work towards personal responsibility and the fear of Allaah in regards to our treatment of one another. To avoid causing each other pain is also part of faith which demonstrates our dependence upon Allaah.

  5. Ahmed Shafi says:

    Thank you, Thank you and Thank you!!

  6. abbasi says:

    this artical is so true its exactly what im going through at the moment,its so real,the the only problem i have in life is accepting life i cannot do that no matter how much i try im so lost inside

  7. maddhater says:

    Very touching – I think you will find many people, both brothers and sisters, able to relate to your wonderful story.

    A quick comment though; I worry that people may walk away from your piece with an incomplete picture of their relationship with Allah (SWT) and striving for His pleasure alone. Specifically towards the conclusion, it seemed as though you were eluded to the notion that we may be able to find lasting peace and certainty in this dunya when we are finally able to rest our hope and expectations in Allah (SWT) alone.

    It is my belief, and Allah (SWT) know’s best, that even when this step is mastered and we are able to overcoming the temptations of dunya – we find the trials of life continue. And wa a3ootho bel’lah, the possibility of even being tested, in this new conviction and trust placed in Allah (SWT) is one of the toughest tests to bear…

    • Yasmin Mogahed says:

      Maddhater;

      Thank you for bringing up a very crucial point. The tests of this life never cease. If you study the lives of those closest to Allah (the Prophets, the most righteous scholars, etc) you find that in fact they were tested most. But here is the essential part. Regardless of the test, the true peace of this life remains. That is the internal peace. This is the Reality that Ibn Taymiyyah (ra) was expressing when he said:

      “What can my enemies do to me? My Paradise is in my heart; it goes with me wherever I am. If they kill me, it is martyrdom. If they exile me from my land, it is a vacation in the Path of Allah. If they imprison me, it is to allow me a private devotion with Allah”. [Ibn Taymiyyah]

      Was Ibn Taymiyyah (ra) not tested? Of course not. He was imprisoned and tested severely. But he is getting at a deeper truth: the truth of the inner paradise.

      I don’t think the tests become tougher in this new conviction and trust. In fact, it is the opposite. The tests themselves continue—and may even increase. But they become *easier* to bare, because the strength comes from Allah. A simple inconvenience can be excruciating on the heart that is not dependent on Allah, while the greatest worldly tragedy can become easy for the one who is in a state of nearness to Allah. This is because: la hawla wa la quwat illa billah: there is no strength or power except by Allah.

      When Musa (AS) was trapped by the Red Sea and an approaching superpower army (a major test), his heart was still calm because of his reliance on God. He said: “Indeed my Lord is with me and He will guide me through.” (26:62) When Ibraheem (AS) was to be thrown in the fire (a major test), his heart was also calm because of his reliance on God. He said: “hasbee Allah wa ni’am al wakeel” (Allah is sufficient for me and is the best disposer of affairs). When Asiyah, wife of pharaoh, was being tortured (a major test), she smiled. Although she was undergoing a major external test, her heart was in completely peace with Allah and He showed her her home in Jennah.

      So yes, the tests never cease. But the ability to cope with those tests comes only through the nearness to Allah (swt). Away from Allah, even the smallest test feels unbearable. Near Allah, even the greatest tests become easy–if Allah (swt) makes it so.

      Wa Allahu ta’laa alam.

      • mutumainah says:

        “What can my enemies do to me? My Paradise is in my heart; it goes with me wherever I am. If they kill me, it is martyrdom. If they exile me from my land, it is a vacation in the Path of Allah. If they imprison me, it is to allow me a private devotion with Allah”. [Ibn Taymiyyah]

        <3

  8. Mohammad Ali says:

    Asalaam alaikum, from the story above, I can understand how Allah brought you near to himself.

  9. ruined orchids says:

    jazkAllah for this. You have portrayed my past life of 5 years in few paragraphs.

    You depended on people and moments. I depended on academic successes, and the yearning to conquer the universe through knowledge and power, in essence, being a super-man. To be immortal. Invincible. To be one whom death cant touch. Who will not enter grave. For whom death does not exist. To be Supreme, one who controls everyone.

    Of course, I was grossly mistaken about my reality. I had forgotten that once I never existed except as a minute useless sperm, among other billions, in my father’s loins. I forgot that I once never existed as a inconsequential egg, among hundred thousands, in my mother’s womb. I had forgotten my origins. And of course, forgotten God, as I could not see Him, hear Him or feel Him. He was no-one for me. But that brought turbulence in my life. The extreme rationalism had desecrated my peace. As you rightly mentioned our yearning for eternal, I let go of an eternal God and wanted myself to become eternal. Of course I was dreaming.

    Ive been constantly poked by life since then to wake out of my slumber. And I realize that. But its a battle of two nafses within me.

    JazakAllah for indirectly guiding me.

  10. Nadia B says:

    Jazak Allahu Khairan, very touching and grounding. I’m glad I stumbled upon this.

  11. Reem says:

    Great article jazaky Allah kheir

  12. serene says:

    I always love reading your articles sister Yasmin.You certainly have given me positive influence.

    However, reading this last week and reading it again today, it has left me filled with pain and disappointment internally. Basically we can never trust people, even those closest to us. It just feels that goodness of people is shredded and never to be trusted in.

    I just think it is difficult to live life always never expecting good from anyone, not even loved ones. Part of believing and trusting in people, is part of our happiness.We cannot live life not expecting to be happy once in a while. It’s as if it is telling me to not trust anyone, because if I do, I am drowned in doom and should never expect happiness in this life.

    Even though life is imperfect and isn’t Jannah`, I think we have every right to be happy,some of the time.

    I also feel that this article is contradicting in someway; it is telling us to trust in Allah. Nevertheless I think that part of trusting in Allah is trusting the people (“tools”) that surround us.

    • ADIL says:

      ASA,

      I BELIEVE THAT WE NEED TO TRUST PEOPLE AND EXPECT THINGS FROM THEM, HOWEVER IF I DO GET DISAPPOINTED WITH THEM THEN ALL I CAN DO IS PRAY FROM THEM & INFORM THEM OF MY DISAPPOINTMENTS SO THE SAME MISTAKES DO NOT REOCCUR WITH OTHERS. DEALING WITH PEOPLE INCLUDING LOVED ONES BRINGS HAPPINESS BUT, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE ARE HURT, IS PART OF THE TEST THAT ALLAH SWT PLACED IN FRONT OF US. AS LONG AS WE REMEMBER ALLAH SWT & FEAR HIM, WE CAN GET HASSANAT (GOOD DEEDS) WHICH WILL ISA LEAD US TO JANAA, THE ONLY WORTHY DESTINY TO STRIVE FOR. JAK SISTER YASMIN FOR THE REMINDER. MAY ALLAH SWT PURIFY OUR SOUL AND MAKE US MUSLIMS HEADING TO JANAA.

  13. Alfa Haga says:

    I thank you for writing such beautiful essays about attachment. I am deeply moved and inspired. I would like to ask your permission to repost and translate your writings in my website.. Would you let me ? Thank you.

  14. Arslaan Ahmad says:

    Mashallah I enjoyed it to bits…!

  15. HadirO says:

    Masallah this is beautiful! I beleive that u have helped many people by writing this article. I also love the answer you gave the little girl in your dream. This article is eliquently written, Thank you soo much!! :)

  16. Yosra says:

    Very touching and honest. Touches on a cord we need to understand, and maybe we think of avoiding dependence on other people for happiness, but rarely relate it to God. The points looked at in a different way and said in a subtle and clear way.

  17. Um Albara says:

    Mashallah, very touching and deep article. For a very long time, I have not read something like it.

    After reading and contemplating a question popped in my head.
    How can we relate one of the messages of this article “that relationships with people should not be our source of happiness” with the verse in the Quran that talked about Prophet Musa’s mother:
    http://quran.com/20/40
    [And We favored you] when your sister went and said, ‘Shall I direct you to someone who will be responsible for him?’ So We restored you to your mother that she might be content and not grieve. And you killed someone, but We saved you from retaliation and tried you with a [severe] trial. And you remained [some] years among the people of Madyan. Then you came [here] at the decreed time, O Moses.

    I think (ALLAH knows best) that this verse acknowledge the fact that uniting the mother with her child again brought peace, contentment, and happiness. What do you think?

  18. silence says:

    Assalammu’alaikum..

    May Allah bless your kindness for sharing this article. It touched the bottom of my heart. I also facing the same question in my life about the dunya. And you have given me the absolutely finest answer for me to get rid of the dunya matter. Allah is the only hope that we should seek for his guidance. Alhamdulillah. Jazakillah khayran kathira.

  19. Nabeeha says:

    every single word of your article describes my situation, or atleast what my situation used to be but alhamdolillah i’ve overcome it and your article has made me firm. and i am going to turn seventeen next month insha’Allah, so i’m happy that i’ve learned some really important lessons in the earlier years of my life :)

  20. Faris Hadi says:

    thank you. thank you so much.

  21. Houda says:

    Salam sister,

    your article has touched me a lot, I feel like it could have been me writing it (not half as elegantly!)

    I’ve come to the exact same conclusions as you just a few weeks ago, subhan Allah. It was still very enriching to read it. Very beautifully written ma sha Allah.

  22. shuja says:

    awesome. . . . . . .
    thanks for sharing such a nice thoughts with us sister. . . .
    may ALLAH TA’ALA bless you. . . . . .

  23. Abdul-Razzaq says:

    Salaam Alaikum,

    Thank you for the article. I have one question about attachment. What about the attachment that one feels for their children? After having a baby, one’s whole world revolves around the child – even while keeping Allah’s commandments. Maybe I missed the point of the article, but even our children are a part of the temporary dunya. Having said that, aren’t there some attachments that are part of our human experience?

    • Mehreen says:

      “O you who have believed, let not your wealth and your children divert you from remembrance of Allah. And whoever does that – then those are the losers.” (63:9)

      I won’t go on and try to actually point this at you, but I hope that this can act as a strong reminder that the ones we love can be our greatest test.

  24. Mehreen says:

    AsalamuAlaykum,

    I can’t tell you how much this article applies to my situation. I really needed something like this. It’s just really hard you know, to get detached from a world you had been attached for so long. And by the world, I mean the people of course. This is where the problem arises. When this world starts to be unintentionally everything for you and when you start putting your hopes in people, you’re always disappointed. Thanks a lot for this article.

  25. Crazysoul Anee says:

    Am left speechless… Mashallah… Keep sharing knowledge and we shall follow… :)

  26. Samir says:

    As-Salamu Aleykum,

    this was one of the most important texts that I read in the past years. Thank you very much for that.

    It would be “perfect” ;) if there would be another article treating the “way of understanding” this whole issue.

    BarakAllahu feekum.

    S.a.

  27. Raiiq Ridwan says:

    Assalamu alaykum sister yasmin, no over-praising in the sight of Allah, but i simply love your articles. Would it be ok to translate your article to Bangla language?

    I actually had one of my friends translate your recent article “Salaah: Life’s Forgotten Purpose”

    • Yasmin Mogahed says:

      Wa alaikum assaalam,

      It would be my honor if you translated it so that it can become more accessible to non-English speakers. I have one request: Can you please send me copies of all the translations as they are great resources I can share with others, insha Allah. I can be reached at: yasmin@suhaibwebb.com.

      Jazak Allahu khairan,
      Yasmin

  28. jobitek says:

    Thank you for such a touching article. Not only the subject matter and your artistry in presenting this piece, but the fact that I recognize myself and I know those words! This dunia ( as we write it) is not our home. It is a privilege though, to encounter such loves, such writing, such gifts and such pain that reminds us of the most important love there is.

    • Yasmin Mogahed says:

      “It is a privilege though, to encounter such loves, such writing, such gifts and such pain that reminds us of the most important love there is.”

      Beautiful. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you.

  29. N says:

    thank you so much

  30. Yaman says:

    Assalamu alaikum my dear sister,

    Not to inflate your ego or anything, but this was an incredible article. All praise is due to Allah swt for blessing you with the ability to clearly articulate what most of us tried to but couldn’t. That uncertainty of being unable to put our finger on exactly what it is that’s been bothering us deep inside for so long.

    You basically summarized how our relationship with Allah should be. We need to stop thinking that we’re in control of the results because we’re not; He is. So try your best, put your trust in Him, and don’t worry about the results.

    Once you look at life that way, it’s so so much easier to live through its many trials. Maybe this is what Allah swt meant when He says that He intends for us ease, not difficulty (2:185).

  31. Samira says:

    This article moved me deep inside because it’s the first time I read, or see someone who is feeling and living exactly the same thing as I do. I read it over and over again, almost every day. What moves me so much is the humility and the sincerity of this article. I can relate to everything you wrote. I am the kind of person who sacrifices herself for others, who cries for others, who can never forget or let go anyone, or anything. I expect so much from people, because I myself offer my life and time to people. But inevitably, I have been hurt so bad so many times… I have been let down by people I loved the most. It broke my heart so hard that for a very long period of my life, I thought I would never recover. I would never mend, never accept this injustice done to me. SubhanAllah, I have become more mature due to hardships. It took me time to become stronger, and not harder. Through my pain, high treasons I’ve been victim of, I can say that I became a very thoughtful person, and it humbled me as well so much. I now know more than ever that I am absolutely nothing against Allaah, and without Allaah. He gives and takes.
    Thanks again for being so humble and true. Please know that many people recognize themselves in your articles. The more I come near Allaah, the more I feel blessed with understanding of religion, wisdom, rest, light and tranquility. Even if life hurts and will still hurt, I now know that the only One to turn to is Allaah, all the rest is mere illusion and source of disappointement. Not that we must turn our back from people and things, but rather, we have to count on people very little and search for happiness in our deen, behaviour, character, and strive relentlessly for akhirah.

  32. Megan Wyatt says:

    Masha’Allah finally got around to reading through this, and it’s well done, alhamdulellah.

    A sister above commented about feeling sad because she thought this implied not to expect good from anyone, even your family – and I wanted to add, that she missed the point I believe.

    I love my children to pieces!!! Buuuut…… they also are a huge test! Of course there is love and so much sweetness and goodness in them – and there are their imperfect sides too. When my daughter got upset at me the other day, it hurt my feelings.

    If my purpose in life is living through people, and attachments, then her behaving like that would be painful beyond belief, because my hearts purpose, not the intellectual purpose of a Muslim, but the driving force in my life, as Yasmin mentioned is relationships.

    If my husband and I argue, and my deepest purpose in life, emotionally speaking, as been to fill the void of being loved enough, special enough, cherished enough, then my world literally crumbles in a moment where he ceases to meet that expectation.

    To find truth is to see yourself not for the identity you wear, but the reality you live. We spend alot of time talking about what we should believe, should feel, and should do – but real change and spiritual growth happen when we realize there is a disconnect between the “shoulds” and our actions.

    People in our lives have so much good to give, and they are gifts, but they will always let us down sometimes, hurt us sometimes, because this is simply the nature of relationships.

    But Allah never lets us down.

    We know this intellectually speaking, in our religious belief system, but to truly have faith in Him, to allow Him into our hearts, to surpass our need of people, is a struggle for so many people.

    • Yasmin Mogahed says:

      Assalamu alaikum Megan:

      This part was especially powerful: If my husband and I argue, and my deepest purpose in life, emotionally speaking, as been to fill the void of being loved enough, special enough, cherished enough, then my world literally crumbles in a moment where he ceases to meet that expectation.

      Jazak Allahu khairan!

      Yasmin

  33. maro says:

    Asallams to all,

    This article touched me so deeply. I am going through this stage in my life and I felt that it was directed to me, time will teach us many lessons but if we learn the lesson of refocusing our attention to HIM alone and finding inner peace with God alone then and only then can we be unbreakable….I agree!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Ibn Asadullah says:

    Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa baraqatuhu

    JazakiAllah khairan for the post sister, ameen

    & InshAllah I’ll be translating some of your articles :)

  35. huda says:

    Beautiful article. I read it every once in a while. Yasmin, I have a question. You talk about attachments to the dunya as being negative (in terms of only depending on Allah), but human beings are not of this dunya, as you state. Therefore, how are the attachments we feel towards those we love pulling us away from Allah, provided that these attachments do not make us dependent on these individuals? Jizakallahukhayr.

    • Yasmin Mogahed says:

      Dear Huda,

      I think it’s very important to note the difference between two things: love and attachment. A lot of the confusion comes because in every day terminology, the two words are used synonymously. I’m not using them synonymously here. In a sense, the way I’m using the word ‘attachment’ is somewhat synonymous with dependency. So to say: love without getting attached is the same as saying: love, without being dependent. In other words, let your dependency be only on God. Love and give through and because of your love for Him. Hope that clarifies what I meant.

  36. obaid sarwar says:

    Hi I am incredibly inspired by reading your story. Actually most of the time I asked this question to me. Why do people have to leave each other? Why relationships break? Why can’t be always happy? Why are we so depending to our friends, moments and other people that we know around us?
    After reading this outstanding article I got all my answers for my questions. I would like to thank you so much for writing this article and sharing it with us. Not to forget I would like to thanks my friend, my angel, the most especial person in my life (qandolak Qandahar ) for giving me the link to this article. Even though I may not see her or even talk to her again, i would pray for her that where ever she is she is safe and happy and I will NEVER EVER forget her. Love you bye!!!

  37. Sarah says:

    Thank you – I really needed to read this.
    Alhamdulillah :)

  38. sara says:

    you really hit the spot and it really put things into perspective for me..Allah (SWT) was definitely giving you a sign with your dream! how amazing. loved the article thank you for it!!

  39. Ibn Asadullah says:

    Sister I’ll translate them to Bengali inshAllah

  40. jannah says:

    Syukran kathiran! Jazakumullahu khairan! thank you very much for sharing. This article teach a lot to me. =)

  41. seeker says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. This is exactly the problem that I struggle to articulate. Although I don’t want to hear it, I need to understand that I will never find happiness in people. Happiness lies in Allah.

    But how do you reach Allah? I don’t know the way. I feel like I need guidance, someone to hold my hand and show me the way. But does this desire contradict the nature of my goal? I feel like I need people’s company and support to guide me to Allah swt. Is that wrong?

  42. Ayaz says:

    An imperfect man, in an imperfect world, with a broken imperfect heart feels that precisely because of this nature – that this article was perfect. For me.

    So alhamdulillah was shukallah. Jzkallah for being the means to get something so one can let go of all else.

    Slm wr wb

  43. Aman Ullah cheema says:

    Truth always prevails.we all knowingly or unknowingly are travelling to meet ALLAH ALMIGHTY.

  44. dulcett says:

    Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh
    MashaAllah what a touching story. Thank you so much for posting it….this story can be a reminder for each one of us that the dunya is not for us and that we shouldn’t tie us to anything that’s on the dunya. ALLAH AKBAR<3

  45. Noha says:

    Salam Yasmin,

    MashAllah, amazing piece sent to me from Allah SWT when I needed it most! It as if it is speaking directly to me!

  46. Mohamed Adil Mohamed says:

    Mashallah Mashallah
    Thank you so much for this beautiful reflection Suhaib. I found my self excitingly chanting towards the screen. Allahu Akbar and only he knows what’s best for us. By being happy just by loving God, then you achieved what most people desperately chase for and roam around the world their entire life for: happiness. While you accomplish at least 5 times and MORE every single day. Alhamdullilah al lazi ja3alani muslim.

  47. swati kumari says:

    Dese words have provd 2 b a rope 4 me who was drowning in d sea of expectations. Thank u

  48. umme kulsum says:

    Assalamalekum, Excellent Article. I felt as if It was about me, JAZAKALLAHUKHAIRAN KASIRA

  49. Azad Sharif says:

    Asalamualaikum!
    I’ve been suffering with the same pain, as you’ve illustrated in your article, specially in the last ten years. Your entire article is good enough to clarify what and how IMAN should be hold in one’s (Believer) heart and be refrain from materialistic world.
    I pray to Almighty for your welbeing. Please make dua for me in your pray.
    Best regards
    Azad Sharif

  50. Zineb says:

    Salam.
    Really very interesting article which become on right time.
    Its true, we must depend just on love of God. All the rest can leave us and dont deserve our pain.
    Thank you for this wake-up call!!

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