Something amazing happened to me on Wednesday.
I was making du`a’ (supplication) for a very long time for something in particular. Then, out of the blue, along came this opportunity that was seemingly the answer to my prayer. It was garbed in a cloak of religiosity, presenting the pretence of happiness and Closeness to Allah `azza wa jal in this life and the next. So much so that I delayed praying istikhara (the prayer for guidance) about it, arrogant in my ways that I knew this was best for me.
The moment I sought Allah’s Aid however, this guise of purity dissolved before my very eyes, revealing a festering situation of sin and oppression. Not soon after this opportunity had been turned away from me, I immediately felt thankful to Allah (swt) for what He had just saved me from.
That’s the amazing thing about du`a’. When you first make it, you wonder to yourself how long it will be before the answer arrives. Even for this, Our Master has a purpose.
There once was a man who devoted himself to worship for some time, and then he came to have a need of something from Allah, so he fasted 70 Saturdays, eating only 11 dates each Saturday. Then he asked Allah for what he needed, but the response didn’t come immediately. Then he turned to himself and said, full of remorse;
“This is from me. If there was any good in me, I would have been given what I need.”
At that, an angel descended upon him and said: “Son of Adam, this one moment of yours is better than all the worship you did before. And Allah has fulfilled your need.”1
It takes a strong heart to believe when the answer doesn’t seem obvious at first. Take for instance the story of Musa `alayhi salaam (peace be upon him), who brought his people to the brink of the red sea. The army of Fir’awn (Pharaoh) was advancing behind them, and Bani Isra’eel were getting restless as they were beginning to lose hope.
[When the two hosts came into sight of one another, Musa's companions said: "We will surely be overtaken!!" Musa said: "By no means! My Lord is with me! Soon will He guide me!]2
Immediately thereafter, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) revealed to Musa to strike the sea with his staff—and like into two mountains it parted, glorious and magnificent for the eye to behold, let alone for the ear to listen to today.
And all too often, life can be like that. You’re forced into a corner—reached a dead end—at the very end of your rope. Help seems far away and your forehead begins to sweat. Yet there remains within you a voice, a light undiminished by trial or tribulation, and it calls upon you to have patience and believe with the very reaches of your soul: [Without a doubt! The Victory of Allah is close!]3
Then before your very eyes, the sea parts. The wound heals. The sun appears from behind the clouds. And the way this takes place is so utterly bewildering, astonishing, awe-inspiring, you would not have fathomed it even in the most outer limit of your imagination.
Such is Allah (swt). The One who allows affliction to touch His worshiping slaves so that He can hear the sweet melody of their voices as they invoke His Assistance and His Victory. Al Ahad, As-Samad (the One, the Eternal)—the One who misses His beloved slaves because they believe in la ilaha ilallah (there is nothing worthy of worship except God) despite never having set their gaze upon His Beautiful Face.
Seeking direction in life remains, as a young person, among the challenges. Youth in generations preceding us, for instance the Companions of the Cave, mentioned in Surah Kahf, went through something similar. They said:
[Our Lord! Grant us Mercy from Your own Providence and furnish us, in our present circumstances, with Right Guidance]4
Worldly and spiritual guidance are intricately interwoven; because we ask that our actions and the goals we pursue are pleasing to the One who gifted us with different talents and abilities. Each of us has been crafted differently, and to each of us is an amaanah (trust) that we are responsible to Allah ta`ala (Most High) to fulfill.
Not an atom of a matter exists within our lives except we are dependent upon Allah to guide us in it. Hence a frequent supplication of the Messenger ﷺ (peace be upon him) is:
[O the Ever Living (al Hayy), the Self-Subsisting (al-Qayyum)! By Your Mercy rectify my every affair, and don't leave me to myself even for the blink of an eye]
From this it is clear from the prophetic tradition that reliance on Allah (swt) and seeking His Divine Assistance extends even to so-called ‘trivial matters’.
So my sister and my brother, those who choose to seek the Countenance of our Loving Master above all else, let us invoke His Mercy and without a doubt He will shower His blessings upon us infinitely and Aid us where we struggle. And this is for no reason other than He is Merciful and loves to show Mercy.
When the dunya (this life) and all its vices rusts our hearts and when no one seems to understand us except for Allah (swt)—let us give our hearts wholly to the One who fashioned them from clay. He will nurse us anew, enrobing us in His light and His care.
No heart is incomplete if it has Allah (swt)—because He is a Master who never grows weary of giving His slave a second chance.