With the hype of Eid (Hari Raya), it’s impossible the dodge against the questions that most of us would have to endure from some of our Aunts and Uncles, whomever they may be. The nature of these questions may be hurtful to us although they never had the intention to offend us in the beginning.
However, there are those who are genuinely struggling to get what they have been working hard for. There are those who have been praying for a child but has not yet been granted one yet; there are those who are looking to get married but has not been able to yet; there are those who have been struggling to get a job, a stable income, but has not gotten any opportunities yet; there are those who are just trying to survive their day, going through an illness; there are those who are trying to be happy not having their loved ones around, but still pretending to out of courtesy… so many struggles that we don’t, if not all, most of us talk about.
And I am not talking about people who are passive about their lives, but those who have been working so hard for it that they’d find themselves on the edge of hopelessness.
Some of us in our subtle voice or thought perhaps, had said “Why aren’t my prayers answered?” or “Why don’t I get what I prayed for now?” or “Why does people have it easy, but me?”
It is already in our fitrah to go back to our Lord whenever we find a roadblock—an end road.
Let’s also not forget about the true purpose of Eid.
My sister shared this with me and I found this so profound. Ramadhan was a month in which we purified ourselves, when Allah granted us the opportunities to cleanse our sins… a month in which we were battling against our own nafs (desires) with minimal external distractions. Syawal represents us, human beings going back to our fitrah to go back to our Lord in our purest form as if to represent a new child would be born to the world.
Hence, just as we would celebrate the birth of a new child, we’d celebrate our newer, purer form of ourselves. Eid is like a gift handed to us to remind us as we tried our best during Ramadhan to direct our soul, body and mind to their owner, to our Lord.
Embrace the delay and appreciate now.
This is probably the most difficult thing to do. There are days when we’d want it right now, at this moment especially when we’d subconsciously start to compare our behind-the-scenes to other people’s successes and displays on social media.
It’s almost an epidemic that we conclude everyone’s happiness and abundance are attained without their own hardship that they had probably gone through and no normal people would publicly display. We are soooo obsessed with instant gratification which makes us less resilient and mentally agile to a point that we are not able to endure a hardship or a failure. We want to have every blessing right now. We want all the big things coming right now when we haven’t truly mastered and strengthened our foundation and core values.
We must stop with that mindset now i.e. instant gratification. We need to understand that everyone goes through difficulties—intended for their own capabilities—in order for them to get where they are now.
Plus! We also must believe the wisdom behind the delay and perhaps, it is because we are not ready for it or that Allah has something better in store for us. It could be this delay is saving you from a long-term hardship. It could be that this delay is saving you for a long-term gift.
Allah will only test us within our capabilities, which means whatever we are feeling right now are not beyond us. He loves us more than whomever you think love you the most right now. He wants only the best for us especially as we are trying to get closer and closer to Him.
This brings me to the next point.
Understand that Allah is Al-Mujib.
Not just understand, but internalise that He is.
I found a beautiful answer as I was reading the explanation of 99 Beautiful Names of Allah by Imam Al-Ghazali.
Al-Mujib is the Answerer of prayers which means He answers ALLLL of our prayers with His wisdom of course. I would like to use an analogy to further describe this. Yes, ALL.
Let’s say a close friend, someone so dear to you were to give you a present, wrapped nicely leaving us wondering what it might be. We would, as decent human beings, naturally receive them and respond with immense gratitude as we might had not expected it in the first place. A gift is a symbol of an extra gesture of love, care and selflessness. A gift is never meant to hurt us but to cherish us as an individual. Especially if it’s coming from a dear friend, they would only give you what would best suit your character. Unless we are ungrateful spoiled monsters, we would throw the gift away, if it’s not something that we don’t desire.
When it comes to making du’a to Allah, sometimes it is as if we are making a transaction. I am no exception in this matter. It’s like as if when we obey Him, we’d expect our prayers to be answered how we want them to be, when every answer to our du’a is a gift. We are constantly reminded that we might want something but it may not be good for us. Instead, it could be that we hate something when in fact it is good for us. (Surah Al-Baqarah:216)
But how much do we truly implement this in our lives?
How we respond to the answer of the prayer can say a lot about the state of our heart.
Continue putting in the best effort, pray and leave everything—the result—to Allah.
Our spirituality and closeness to Allah is the cure to any form of worldly heartbreaks and disappointments. Nobody goes through this life without ever feeling disappointed and hopeless.
You could be praying to settle down and get married. You could be praying to land on your dream job and homes. You could be praying for a successful business. You could be praying to be the best student. But we need to always remember that these are just a part of our efforts.
Yes, we give the best. Yes, we do everything with ihsan (excellence) but not to merely attain worldly gains but to reach a level of taqwa (God consciousness) that what we’d want to attain mainly is His acceptance of our efforts.
In addition to the reflection above, I would also like to add one thing. We all know and may be familiar with du’a istikharah. If we’d reflect on an excerpt of the du’a, it includes us praying to ease an affair if it is in our best interest for both of our world and the next but at the same time we’d also pray for it to be removed from our lives if it is not in our best interest, and that for Allah to replace it with something better.
This is truly testing our tawakkul (reliance and trusting in God’s plan). How much do we truly trust the wisdom of the One who knows more than we know ourselves? We’ve heard this statement all over the place but remember to reflect on it and refresh our perspectives on it especially when we are in dire desperation to reach certain goals in our lives.
The moment we’d start feeling anxious, it is because we are trying to hold on to something that we are not able to control. The moment we’d start questioning His timing, we need to revisit our closeness to Him—our spirituality—because it is promised in that those who remembers Him will be in peace, that our hearts should be at rest knowing that Allah is constantly, taking care of us! (Surah Ar-Ra’d:28)
Lastly, you are in control of your own emotions.
If you are still dealing with unwanted, sensitive questions, you must must understand that while you can’t control other people, you can control how you react to it. There’s no point to consume ourselves with how other people perceive us. It may hurt in the beginning, but use this as a training for you to build emotional resilience to a point that it no longer affects you.
We are in control of our circumstances. Once we understand that, we’d no longer have the time to focus on what we are lacking of, but rather, make use of what we currently have to change or make better of our circumstances.
So people, focus on bettering yourself and see how Allah will open doors for you without you even expecting it the first place!
Thank you for reaching til the end! You ARE AWESOME. If you resonate with any of these points, and would like to have a better understanding of yourself, unravel your internal barriers, subscribe by entering your email to our podcast "A Sunday Thing" where I discuss about topics revolving around self-growth with my creative, best bud, Teah. Still working on it, release dates will be up soon!