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Ask A Muslim: Does Everything Happen for a Reason?

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By Naghmana Ahmed-Sherazi 

Do you believe everything happens for a reason?

Being a Muslim, I was taught that ‘Destiny lies in the palm of our hands.’ This means we can change our destiny, as we are the masters of it. It can be changed by how we act (so depending on our word and deed), and by prayer. 

Allah sends very many opportunities our way on a daily basis. We choose a path at the fork/crossroads based on our heart, knowledge and need. The path we choose determines the outcome; even if we choose wrong or ventured on a path with roadblocks, there is no guarantee there were no such instances on the other path.

The hope is that we will choose the path that steers us away from evil, and whatever befalls us on that road, will eventually prove beneficial, or be good for us in the long term.

Thus, my philosophy in life is: try to do your best; give ‘it’ a try, whatever ‘it’ is, and choose the path that speaks to you the most. Always try to be your authentic self. If I go into whatever I am doing, and it doesn’t work out, at the very least, I gave it my best shot. Then, if it did not work out, either I can pray for a solution, or leave it with HIM. Because don’t forget — when I pray, I believe I am communicating with Allah, one on one. Surely HE will come to my rescue, and find a solution. That is my belief and what keeps me going.

It is written that I will get the reward of my deeds: 70% in the afterlife; while only 30% reward or retribution is given in this life, so one’s intention is what modulates/forms the course of action. Reward and retribution for anything starts from intent. If your intent is pure, you will be rewarded accordingly beginning from intent. However, if your intent is malicious, but you changed your mind, and did not follow through, ‘no harm, no foul’ is declared. In HIS mercy, HE gives a pass on the intent (since you changed course); unless we follow through, and then retribution is set and delivered accordingly. We are therefore, directed to train ourselves to begin with good thoughts, so good deeds will follow.

Life however, is never a bed of roses. If we find ourselves in trying circumstances, despite having good intentions, and deeds, then sometimes Allah is testing you. It is a sign of being loved by Allah. Challenges allow for faith to grow. Those who believe, grow closer to HIM and those of weak faith grow away from HIM saying, ‘why me?’. If we believe, we can get through the trial by being grateful, recognizing blessings within the misfortune, continuing to act in ways that will eventually resolve the situation. Hope for the best, and actively pray to thank HIM and ask for deliverance, and HIS guidance.

The idea behind all this remains: ‘Allah is the seer of all things, and I, in my limited vision am unable to see why I had to endure this trial. But HE put me through this for a reason, and HE will make me stronger, bring me through it, and reward me accordingly’. One of my favorite verses from the Quran reads: So which of your Lord’s favors would ye deny? (Ar-Rahman, 55:38) this verse is repeated several times in surah Ar-Rahman. Every aspect of our being is dictated by HIS creations. It is up to us, to re-shape and reform our philosophies.

In the end, if I did not believe that everything happens for a reason, today I would not be where I am. And if I did not believe I was put through certain trials for my betterment, then how would I have carried on being positive, and in hope of gaining something out of these trial and tribulations? They taught me to be grateful for what I have, to strive to be better, and gave me the strength/faith to continue; because I am alive, and there are so many options, and so much more I can do, if Allah gives me the opportunity and the chance, InSha’Allah.

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