It was a cool and breezy morning; right after Fajr. I had just finished my dhikr after salah, then started pondering about all my blessings. Tears started flowing from my eyes the moment I realized that as a human being, I wanted more to life than the usual routines I was used to. Yes, I knew that I had a lot to be thankful for, but I also knew that even my blessings were flawed. That’s not to say that I was ungrateful; far from it. Let me explain.
You see, I did feel the guilt of wanting more than I had while there were millions of people around the world suffering to get the most basic things in life. I felt the pain; deep in my heart. But I also realized at the same moment that no matter what blessings or how much blessings we had, they would still be flawed; imperfect. I knew then that NOTHING on this earth was enough to lose the Hereafter over.
I realized that no matter how happy I became, I had no guarantee of feeling the same joy a day later, a week, a month, a year, or even years later. The unpredictable nature of life could have me happy one day, and miserable the next day. Sicknesses, accidents, loss of basic human needs, extreme poverty, hunger, pain, or even death are always around the corner. We have no guarantee of what’s to come in the next minute. Some may say, “Just enjoy the moment while it lasts!” I agree, but I also believe that we shouldn’t get carried away by forgetting that we aren’t in control and that the One in control could change our circumstances within a blink of an eye. I believe it makes us appreciate what we have even more, not look down on those who may appear to have less, and aim for better in the Hereafter.
Simple things like getting overwhelmed with your children, staying up all night when your child is ill, getting tired while cooking, being exhausted after work, having family problems, dealing with financial issues, being ill, or going through different struggles are some examples of flawed blessings. For example, it’s a blessing to have children, but no parent could deny the struggles that also come with it. In the end, generally speaking, the good outweighs the ‘bad,’ so it’s worth it. Having the blessing of being able to physically cook and having the means to acquire the ingredients are blessings too. But the limitations and getting tired make it flawed. Having a family is a blessing, but sometimes having family problems makes it flawed. A person who has all functional limbs may be blessed to have them, but he/she could have severe pains in those limbs that make it difficult to do basic tasks. Each person has his/her own blessings and the things that make them flawed.
It is true that even in the flaws on this earth, there are still blessings; especially for the believers. Suhaib (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Amazing is the affair of the believer. Verily, his entire affair is good, and this is for no one except the believer. If something of good/happiness befalls him, he is grateful, and that is good for him. And if something of harm befalls him, he is patient, and that is good for him.” Sahih Muslim
There are many other ahadith and quotes that talk about the blessings a believer gets form being patient during calamities and struggles. But the point I’m making here is a bit different. It’s about not being carried away with even what we perceive to be blessings.
The son of Adam always wants more, and that is totally natural. This is one of the reasons why we shouldn’t get carried away with the goods of this world because they are meant to be flawed. They do not last forever, they aren’t perfect, they could be tests, and they are unpredictable. We should rather aim for the best in the Hereafter because that is permanent, perfect, flawless, and we could get whatever we want.
In Jannah, there is no pain. In Jannah, there is no suffering. In Jannah, there is no envy. In Jannah, there is no evil. In Jannah, there is true and everlasting peace. In Jannah, there are endless gardens more beautiful than anything we could imagine; underneath which rivers flow. In Jannah, there are the most delicious fruits, the second bite being even better than the first. In Jannah, righteous loved ones would unite. In Jannah, the believers would see prophets and other righteous believers. In Jannah, every wish would be fulfilled. In Jannah, the last person to enter would get much more than this whole world, in multitude. The wildest imagination could never encompass Jannah.
“[They will be] reclining therein on adorned couches. They will not see therein any [burning] sun or [freezing] cold.” Surah Al-Insaan (76:13)
“And those who believed and did righteous deeds will be admitted to gardens beneath which rivers flow, abiding eternally therein by permission of their Lord; and their greeting therein will be, ‘Peace!'” Surah Ibrahim (14:23)
“Indeed, the righteous will be within gardens and springs.
[Having been told], ‘Enter it in peace, safe [and secure].
And We will remove whatever is in their breasts of resentment, [so they will be] brothers, on thrones facing each other.
No fatigue will touch them therein, nor from it will they [ever] be removed.”
Surah Al Hijr (15:45-48)
As I pondered on everything mentioned above, I felt sad knowing that we often easily take things for granted, think too highly of ourselves, forget that we are not in control and that everything will come to an end one day. But, at the same time, I felt joy, peace, gratitude, and hope that we are working towards something much greater (in shaa Allah); if we change our attitudes and intentions. This isn’t limited to only those who seem righteous. We all have a chance, right now, this minute.
As long as we breathe, we have a chance to turn our lives around. No amount of sin is greater than the mercy of Allah. No matter how many times we fall, we must get back up. It is not worth losing the battle for flawed blessings of this world. Let’s aim higher.
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