By Fayez Khwaja from Atlanta
Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes
Do you find yourself turning to the internet often to find out the next bit of news about the presidential transition? Do you find yourself scanning Facebook for the next story posted by this friend or that friend?
Ask you yourself why. Always ask why.
Why are you turning to recent news stories? Are you worried about what is to come? Are you looking to criticize the next bad move by the new president?
I found myself over the last few weeks turning to Facebook, and news often. I was not sure what I was looking for. I was not sure why I was browsing Facebook so often. Last week, it struck me. There are many things going through my mind.
I was watching in horror at the cabinet that he is assembling. What are they going to do to the future of this country? I scanned for more stories on Facebook, for more examples of the Democrats making the nominees look inadequate. I shared the article, and a sly comment and hoped that people will notice.
Is it that I am hoping that my Facebook post will change the minds of people and suddenly our new president will go away? Is this how my worry about my future and the future of family and friends is manifesting?
I tell myself that I am curious. I tell myself that the system the US has in place to vet the new administration is a broken system. Only one side is asking the tough questions. I tell myself, that I am working to improve the future, I need to know what I am up against. Is knowing these tiny details of how this person or that person answered the questions really going to help when we hit the streets to get the work done?
There is so much more. We’re on a spiral heading downward into an unknown dark future. What we have right now is not as bad as what may be coming.
Time to take a step back.
Have we considered that we as Muslims have a constitution? It is a constitution given to us by the one who is Al-Aleem, the all knowing, given to us by Al-Hadi, the one who guides. Before we point a finger at others, have we pointed at ourselves first? How familiar are we with the Book of Allah, the Exalted the High? How closely are we following the guidance sent to us?
We find ourselves reading this article and that article, which is taking time away from reading and reflecting on something that will show us how to face the future. This Book also guides us to the source of peace and comfort:
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَان فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ
And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided. [Quran 2:186]
Have we turned to Allah, the Exalted the High, for help with the potential crisis in front of us? Is our turning to the news or hunting for sound bites distracting us from the One to whom we should be turning our attention?
فَإِنَّهُمْ عَدُوٌّ لِّي إِلَّا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٧٧﴾ الَّذِي خَلَقَنِي فَهُوَ يَهْدِينِ ﴿٧٨﴾ وَالَّذِي هُوَ يُطْعِمُنِي وَيَسْقِينِ ﴿٧٩﴾ وَإِذَا مَرِضْتُ فَهُوَ يَشْفِينِ ﴿٨٠﴾ وَالَّذِي يُمِيتُنِي ثُمَّ يُحْيِينِ ﴿٨١﴾ وَالَّذِي أَطْمَعُ أَن يَغْفِرَ لِي خَطِيئَتِي يَوْمَ الدِّينِ ﴿٨٢﴾ رَبِّ هَبْ لِي حُكْمًا وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالصَّالِحِينَ ﴿٨٣﴾
Indeed, they are enemies to me, except the Lord of the worlds, (77) Who created me, and He [it is who] guides me. (78) And it is He who feeds me and gives me drink. (79) And when I am ill, it is He who cures me (80) And who will cause me to die and then bring me to life (81) And who I aspire that He will forgive me my sin on the Day of Recompense.” (82) [And he said], “My Lord, grant me authority and join me with the righteous. (83) [Quran 26:77-83]
No matter how powerful any human, or group of humans become, they do not change a lick of what is stated above. Nor can these men or women change anything for you or me. It is my Lord and your Lord who controls these; no one can change that. There is comfort in knowing that no harm can come to us unless Allah, the Exalted the High, allows it to afflict us. If our connection is strong with Him, we have tools to potentially overcome anything that comes to us.
There is also some guidance from the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him, that shows us what we should be spending our precious time with:
Abu al-‘Abbas ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas(ra) reports:
“One day I was riding (a horse/camel) behind the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, when he said, ‘Young man, I will teach you some words. Be mindful of God, and He will take care of you. Be mindful of Him, and you shall find Him at your side. If you ask, ask of God. If you need help, seek it from God. Know that if the whole world were to gather together in order to help you, they would not be able to help you except if God had written so. And if the whole world were to gather together in order to harm you, they would not harm you except if God had written so. The pens have been lifted, and the pages are dry.’ ” [Related by Tirmidhi]
If we are focused on finding the next big blunder, we are distracted from Allah, the Exalted the High. This is another trick to weaken us further before the difficulty starts. We should instead prepare ourselves for what we know and feel is coming.
It is important to keep yourself informed and aware of the affairs of the world. But control how much of it you take in, because possible issues may arise if we let ourselves get sucked deeper into the darkness. Instead, rise above and find the source of light and connect with Him. If troubled times are coming to us, we should increase our understanding of what we are guided towards. We should be increasing our connection and our worship to Him.
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