[So mention] when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I am going to create a human being from clay.
So when I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My [created] soul, then fall down to him in prostration.”
So the angels prostrated – all of them entirely.
Except Iblees; he was arrogant and became among the disbelievers.
[ Allah ] said, “O Iblees, what prevented you from prostrating to that which I created with My hands? Were you arrogant [then], or were you [already] among the haughty?”
He said, “I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay.”
[ Allah ] said, “Then get out of Paradise, for indeed, you are expelled.
And indeed, upon you is My curse until the Day of Recompense.”
He said, “My Lord, then reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected.”
[ Allah ] said, “So indeed, you are of those reprieved
Until the Day of the time well-known.”
[Iblees] said, “By your might, I will surely mislead them all
Except, among them, Your chosen servants.”
[Al Quran, Surah Sad : 71-83]
Mus’ab traced the notes and looked at the elderly woman in front of him. Very cachectic and pale looking. He looked at the wall clock, two more hours, and his shift is over. The muscles were starting to ache him and his legs were complaining of cramps.
“Morning Doctor!” Ms Lim smiled at him, in the middle of tubes and lines inserting into her veins.
“Morning Ms Lim! How are you feeling today?” Mus’ab smiled observing for his patient’s response. Ms Lim nodded slowly and placed her hand on her heart.
“Better. I think. Can I go home today doctor?” Ms Lim asked, and this time it has been her 45th time asking if she could be discharged. Mus’ab stopped and looked at her.
“Of course, once you are better madam! But today the team hasn’t check you thoroughly, so we are not sure if you can go home today!” Mus’ab looked at the blood results that came out today. Everything was okay except that her white cells are decreasing since last week. He stopped and immersed himself into reasons, hows and whys this happened.
“Okay, I leave it to you Doctor.” Ms Lim gave him the okay sign and continued to close her eyes. She missed her grandchild dearly and her daughter just had a miscarriage. Thus she wanted to get back home as soon as possible.
1001 stories behind every patient. Behind every working doctor. Behind every working nurse. SubhanAllah. If in college he used to have his best gang with him to placed his head onto when he bumps into so problems, this time round, he’s being tested to stay on his own feet. The ability to be empathy with others needs to be multiplied, and with that comes gazillion of patience. And sincerity. An element which comes solely from the heart and no one knows it’s quantity except for the owner of the hearts- Allah azza wa jalla. And Mus’ab knew well, with that element of ikhlas, the shaytans will find it difficult to break through. Thus, every time he could remember, he asked Allah azza wa jall to Grant him ikhlas.
“Doctor, can I go back today?” The 13 year old girl smiled and she coughed heavily at the same time.
“With that cough? Nope nope nope…” Mus’ab smiled cheekily as he flipped through her notes. Then he went by her bed and listened to her lungs. Clearly the girl was trying her best to prevent herself from coughing, and gave out small gasps of air. But the crepitations of the lung can never been hidden.
“Just cough, it’s a reflex which makes you better.” Mus’ab said, the girl coughed more, half laughing.
“I need to go back to school!”
“Not untill you read me Surah Ali Imran till finish!” This is his favourite patient for now. She has memorized 6 juzu’ of Quran and he took every chance to test her in the midst of his breaks.
“I can , I will doctor!” Asma smiled and started to recite. The ward occupants smiled listening to her. Such eloquent voice with such a tiny figure. Aah. How he missed listening to his comrades recitation back in Wales. Mus’ab paused his work, trying to comprehend what was being recited. His on calls exhaustion vanished into thin air just listening to Quran. He felt the daily heaviness which he felt on his head and shoulders start to disperse seeking shelter under these beautiful verses being read. He felt each drop of scented rain outside the window bringing gallons of barakah (blessings) and the aura of angels making duaa for the eager seekers of knowledge. He knew that Allah s.w.t Is All Listener, and in that moment of calmness, he felt Allah s.w.t Was much more closer. Tears streamed without invitation. The heart longs for those moments which he strived to achieve.
“Mus’ab, passing down time.” Dr Umar called onto him, bringing him back to planet earth.
“Coolios, two minutes inshAllah.” As he wrapped his entries in that ward, he walked towards the counter, asking Allah azza wa jalla to Make every step lighter, and make every step counted as an effort to bring himself closer to Him azza wa jalla.
Take Goodness out of It.
The American inventor, Thomas Edison, once said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
There is always a situation per day which makes you think, what should I do, and if I’m doing it right or either way. And in growing up in the world of challenges, most of the decisions that we make are based on our littlest of knowledge and furthermore, at times we lack that experience and judgements. Thus therefore in conclusion, for every situation, train yourself to take the goodness out of it. To tumble is normal. To trip of fall through is completely normal too. But be that extraordinary normal and spring up after you tumble or fall. Have husnudhon in every thing that comes by your way and keep learning. For knowledge is light and the brightness of light will bring you forward. For those who give up easily are the ones who fail to learn about themself. So how tough things become, take note of why in the first place are you here, and know that indeed Allah azza wa jalla is the Best of Planners. People regret. I do regret too. A lot. But, when I change those regrets to valuable lessons that Allah s.w.t. Is Teaching me, I become more motivated to excel further in the future and try my best to not tumble at the same spot again. One key thing my grandfather always taught me, is never be arrogant and always keep humble in every single thing you’re striving too, no matter how much you have climbed. Be cheerful, smile away and greet every single person you come through in the corridors, lifts, labs or cubicles or even roads. You never know how huge your smile could be to someone, for Allah s.w.t Place you at a certain place for an ultimate reason, which you might be totally clueless, yet He s.w.t Knows Best for you. Some pearls to think of :
- When becoming humiliated, remember the Prophet [Peace be upon him] in Ta’if.
- When being starved, remember the Prophet [Peace be upon him] tying two stones to his stomach in the battle of Khandaq.
- When becoming angry, remember the Prophet [Peace be upon him]’s control of anger on the martyrdom of his beloved Uncle Hamza.
- When losing a tooth, remember the Prophet [Peace be upon him] ‘s tooth in the battle of Uhud.
- When bleeding from any part of the body, remember the Prophet [Peace be upon him]’s body covered in blood on his return from Ta’if.
- When feeling lonely, remember the Prophet [Peace be upon him]’s seclusion in Mount Hira.
- When feeling tired in Salaat, remember the Prophet [Peace be upon him]’s blessed feet in Tahajjud.
- When being prickled with thorns, remember the Prophet[Peace be upon him]’s pain from Abu Lahab’s wife.
- When being troubled by neighbours, remember the old woman who would empty rubbish on the Prophet[Peace be upon him].
- When losing a child, remember the Prophet[Peace be upon him] ’s son, Ibrahim.
- When beginning a long journey, remember the Prophet [Peace be upon him]’s long journey to Madinah.
- When going against a Sunnah, remember the Prophet[Peace be upon him] ’s intercession, (Ummati, Ummati, Ummati) (My Ummah).
- When sacrificing an animal, remember the Prophet[Peace be upon him]’s sacrifice of 63 animals for his Ummah.
- Before shaving your beard, remember the Prophet[Peace be upon him] ’s face rejecting the two beardless Iranians.
- When falling into an argument with your wife, remember the Prophet [Peace be upon him]’s encounter with Aisha and Hafsa (Radhiallahu anha)
- When experiencing less food in the house, remember the Prophet [Peace be upon him]’s days of poverty.
- When experiencing poverty, remember the Prophet [Peace be upon him]’s advice to Ashaab-e-Suffa (People of Suffa).
- When losing a family member, remember the Prophet [Peace be upon him]’s departure from this world.
- When becoming an orphan, remember the Prophet [Peace be upon him] ‘s age at six.
- When sponsoring an orphan, remember the Prophet [Peace be upon him] ‘s sponsor for Zaid ibn Haritha.
- When fearing an enemy, remember the Prophet [Peace be upon him]’s saying to Abu Bakr in Mount Thour.
Whatever situation you may find yourself in, remember your role model, the best of creation: Prophet Muhammad [Peace be upon him]
My View of the Telescope
So if your view is that Allah (swt) wants good for you, and He helps those who want to do good, you will always find ways to live and be better. Something does not work out? No problem. What can you learn? Is there another way to the same goal? Have the variables changed that your goal should change too?
This is why the Prophet ﷺ teaches us that if someone possesses these two characteristics, there is nothing higher than them:
- Thinking well of Allah (swt)
- Thinking well of the servants of Allah (swt)
And then there are the two worst characteristics:
- Thinking negatively of Allah (swt)
- Thinking negatively of the servants of Allah (swt)
The second related point is the life of the Prophet ﷺ. How many times was he knocked down? And how many times did he get back up, his faith in God not shaken? His life really exemplifies what Achor talks about in his book, Before Happiness. In order to perceive happiness, you need to see the bigger picture. You need to have meaning. You use meaning as markers in your life, and that enables you to turn situations that could be boring or bad into things that are meaningful. Moreover, you are not rigid and stuck in one perspective. You are able to see things and are also open to being shown things from different angles, and thus you have a wider set of options to choose from.
The Prophet ﷺ started off in Makkah, with the protection of his uncle Abu Talib. When his uncle passed away, he lost that protection. For someone else, this could have been the end. But the Prophet ﷺ decided to seek protection at Ta’if. Over there, he was humiliated and rejected. But see how he is a person who sees the whole picture, and does not simply focus on the negative situation of the present: Ta’if didn’t work out, but there were scores of other tribes in the Arabian Peninsula. More powerful tribes were preferable, but any decent tribe that was willing to protect them would be good— because the aim at that point was leaving Makkah with the protection of a tribe. Although he was surely affected by what happened, he made a heartfelt supplication to God: “As long as You are not angry with me, then I do not care, except that Your favor is a more expansive relief for me.” He did not stop.
The Prophet ﷺ focused on all his options. He was not irrationally optimistic, which would be wishing that something would come out of thin air and maybe even acting recklessly. Rather, he looked at his options and picked the ones that were positive and true/possible. He exercised patience while having complete trust in Allah (swt).
The Prophet ﷺ first spoke to the tribe of Bani Shayban, during the Hajj (pilgrimage) season when all the Arab tribes would visit the Ka’ba. They were a powerful tribe, from an area that bordered modern day Iraq and Iran. They had treaties with the Persians to protect their borders, and for that they were given special privileges. While the tribe leaders liked what the Prophet ﷺ had to say, they said that they would not protect them from the Persians if it came down to that. They could only protect them from the Arabs.
Now if you were in this position, what would you do? Accept the limited protection of one of the most powerful tribes in Arabia at a time when you had none, or continue your search?
The Prophet ﷺ had a vision. His aim was not simply protection for the sake of it. It was protection in order to spread the message and principles of Islam, which would in turn ensure protection for the weakest members of society. He knew that if he could get that protection, and he had the freedom to tell people about the religion, Islam could flourish. So he graciously declined.
He finally met some youth from Madina who accepted his message. He had the patience and perseverance to tell them to return to their home, speak to their people, and come back the following year during Hajj to see if protection would be granted. And it was.
A pessimist would scoff. A pessimist would focus on the problems. Maybe even despair. Madina? What was Madina in relation to the powerful tribes of Makkah and other areas? They were doomed! An irrational optimist would see that they have been saved. A positive genius? He would see the whole picture. And then he would focus on what he could do in the circumstances. The Prophet ﷺ was a positive genius. And we know how the story ended.
How was he able to do all of this? His perception of God, firstly. That when you are doing something for His sake, you do not fixate on the little things. You know everything is in His Hands, and He knows what is best. It is not about your pride or your ego. You have trust. We know in the story of the Prophet Musa, alayhi as-salaam (peace upon him), and al-Khidr (as), al-Khidr damages the boat of some poor people who had helped them. That damage saved them from something greater, because there was a king at the time who was seizing every boat that was in good condition for himself. This story teaches us that what we perceive as bad can actually be good. Not being given protection at Ta’if, or from Bani Shayban, was not bad at all because Madina was the best place for them.
Optimism reminds me of one dear sahabats who is always optimistic and keeps giving her best despite things seem impossible. Once I was organizing a talk for new Muslims and only one person could make it, me panicking thinking of cancelling off the event got a strong reminder from her, “What if only one person comes? Who are we to stop him to learn of the deen?” Allahuakbar, may Allah Protect her and give her the best. And only Allah Knows how much I miss them, subhanAllah.
That is another episode of life of my sahabat shouting as if it’s her stable 😛 Hunger Games her version lol. And missing the cameraman whom I ask Allah to Preserve and grant her the best.