The faint light of dawn was about to spread everywhere but presently it was still dark. While many were sound asleep there were many who were leaving their beds to bow before their Creator and to thank Him for all His blessings. Among these people, he was also the one who, after performing wudhu, was now standing on the prayer mat ready to offer Fajr salat and ask Allah SWT what he wanted because he knew that only in bowing before his Creator could he get all the things he was asking for… a place in Jannah, forgiveness for his sins, peace of heart and mind. Immersed in the spirit of His slavery and His love, he was performing each sajdah with full devoutness. Deep concentration could be seen on his face which still held signs of deep sorrow and pain. He was totally lost in his prayers.
Depressed and hopeless, he was sitting in the rocking chair in his bedroom, staring at the shining moon outside his window. He was totally lost in the moment, pondering over his life which was his main problem. Yes, his only problem was his life which had given him so much pain that he was totally broken now and broken so badly that he was not even able to collect his shattered pieces. He was thinking that he had lost everything so what was the purpose of living now…
“Hasan, I don’t know how to overcome my sorrow. In fact I am so desperately tired of my life that I don’t desire to live any more. Life has taken everything away from me… my loving mom, my dad and my little sister. How suddenly it all happened! They left me and I cannot get in touch with them because my death is not in my hands. I couldn’t prevent their death either. I am so very helpless. How can I live without my family? I can’t do it. You can’t imagine my feelings unless you go through the same situation as mine. I can’t find any way out this helplessness…”
Umar Abdullah, an engineer by profession, was expressing his sorrow in front of his best friend. His grief was due to the sudden death of his parents and only sister in an accident which had turned him away from Allah Almighty. Although his mother had trained him according to Islamic principles and he had been a good practicing Muslim, yet this shock had unfortunately made him ungrateful to Allah Almighty. He complained to Him for having taken away his beloved ones. He was going further and further away from Islam.
His friend, Hasan knew it very well and he always tried to comfort him and asked him to seek help from Allah Almighty but he didn’t seem to be paying any heed to his words.
“Umar, my dearest friend, I have told you before that there is a logic and a secret behind every action of Allah Almighty. If He has given you these trials, maybe He wants to test your faith, maybe He wants you to become the Selected One. You know, trials are only given to the selected ones. Allah Almighty knows how much you can bear, He has said in the Quran:
“Allah Almighty never burdens a soul beyond it can bear…” (Al-Baqarah :238)
So how can you say that you cannot bear this pain, when your creator never gives you more than what you can bear?” Hasan asked softly.
“But Hasan, I don’t find peace anywhere. I have lost my peace, the tranquillity of my mind. It seems with my family, I’ve lost everything I cared for. Wherever I go, whatever I do, those loving faces always come before me. I cannot forget them. I keep thinking about them all the time. I cannot even sleep. I just keep thinking, why has Allah Almighty done this to me? Why did He take away my mother, my father, my only lovely sister? Why has my life become so difficult?” His eyes were becoming wet. Hasan patted his hand.
“Umar, Allah selected you for this trail so you can become close to Him,” he said. “Allah (SWT) in all His wisdom also knows the reason why this has happened to you. Later in your life you will understand.”
“Yes, but why me?”
“Why not you, Umar? Why not you? If Allah Almighty has selected you, then why are you thinking ‘why me’? Why are you not saying that yes, I will prove my love for Allah Almighty by becoming His grateful slave? Allah Almighty has taken away your family but you still have so many things. You have other relatives, you have friends, you have a good education, a good job, a house and above all you are a Muslim, aren’t these blessings of Allah upon you? Then why complain? Remember, that sorrow which takes you near Allah Almighty is better than the joy which takes you away from Allah Almighty, right?”
“Yes, but what can I do so that my memories won’t torture me?”
Hasan smiled. “My friend, it is not easy to free yourself you’re your memories. Memories are a part of life, and you can never run away from them. Definitely, memories will haunt you but you should keep in mind that these memories must not make you ungrateful in any way. Though they will make you sad, they will make you weep, they will make your heart cry in anguish, but you must never allow them to make you ungrateful to Allah Almighty, to forget Him or doubt His wisdom. They must not make you give up your salat. And then where will you find peace? Who am I to tell you that when the Quran itself says:
‘Verily, in remembrance of Allah swt do hearts find peace.’ (Surah Al-Ra’ad: 28)
How we can remember Allah Almighty? Surely through offering salat and reciting the Quran. Just bow your head before Allah swt and ask for serenity, for peace of mind and soul. Have you ever known Allah Almighty not blessing you with what you prayed for except for those things only which were not good for you?”
“You mean to say I should return to Allah Almighty?” Umar asked.
“My friend, change your words a bit. Don’t ‘return’ to Allah swt as that means to die, just ‘turn’ to Allah Almighty,” Hasan said with a smile.
“Yes, I actually meant that, just a slip of the tongue.” This time Umar smiled too. He was relaxed now after talking to Hasan.
“Offer salat regularly Umar and read the Holy Quran. I bet you will find so much pleasure and peace in these that not even greatest agony will break you because when you will find Allah Almighty with you, you will not care whatever goes against you. Once you find your Creator in sujood, you will find everything you have lost, okay?”
“And now I don’t want to hear you talking about depression and losing hope. Okay?”
He smiled, hugged his friend and left the room.
He peeped inside the slightly opened door and he saw Umar reciting the Quran sitting on the prayer mat. His face was glowing with the light of virtue and he was looking so calm and contented. He knocked at the door went inside.
Umar stopped his recitation and after putting the Holy Quran on the book shelf, greeted him.
“So, how is life going Umar?” Hasan asked with a smile.
“Alhamdulillah, life is fine by grace of Allah Almighty,” he replied with a serene smile.
“And what about peace and tranquillity?”
“It is here now,” Umar pointed towards his heart.
“Really?” Hasan asked with a laugh.
“Yes, I have found the peace I lost. In fact, I’ve found everything in my sujood, my friend.”
Their eyes met each other’s and both smiled. Umar repeated:
“Yes, in sujood (bowing before Allah Almighty) I found everything I lost.”