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Surrender: The Pens Have Been Lifted

How many of us have been confronted with challenges or felt ourselves losing faith when everything was going wrong whether it was a traumatic experience, an untimely death of someone we love, or just tried beyond what we can bear?

There will be times in our lives where we are challenged, where nothing seems to be going right, where tragedy strikes and we are left to pick up the pieces.

It is sometimes when we experience physical, mental and emotional ordeals, and during the darkest and weakest moments we may turn to God and passionately ask: “Why? What have I done to deserve this? Why am I being punished? Why did I have to go through this?”

When nothing is going as planned, it sometimes feels like the only thing left to do is to give up.

Keep the Faith Strong, Trust Allah

Understandably, maintaining our faith often seems like a constant battle, between what we know and what we feel. Fortunately though, faith in God in addition to His divine plan is there to keep us sane when our emotions run amok.

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For me, it’s this faith; this integral part of life along with the knowledge that as long as one does his or her best, God will choose what will happen next in our lives which keeps us grounded.

This is where, as Muslims, our strong belief in destiny or ‘qadar’ offers us the inner strength which non-believers lack. The last of the six fundamentals of Islam in fact is to believe in qadar where good and evil, advantage and disadvantage, profit and loss are all preordained, determined and written by God.

It is this strong faith which can keep us focused on the fact that God alone controls all destinies and has ultimate power over all things. Remembering that fact alone at the moment of affliction can help us in conquering the pain and provide the hope and the energy needed to keep moving forward. This is illustrated in the hadith:

“One day I was riding 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 have dried.’ ” (At-Tirmidhi, 2516)

The Quran also reads:

{And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darkness of the earth and nothing wet or dry but that it is in a clear record.} (6:59)

Allah is in Charge

This verse offers the peace and serenity for us as Muslims to continue with our lives safe with the knowledge that God knows best. It reassures us that God is in charge. He sees the big picture since we are not able to see past the immediate challenges we face.

It’s significant we realize that during difficult times we are never without help. God the Creator of all things loves us and is more Merciful than our own mothers. If it happened, then it happened. Nothing could have averted it, nothing could have changed it, and that any other thing never had a chance to begin with; it came to pass and happen and it did; accept it!

God wants us to turn to Him and waits for us to call on Him to succeed. He wants us to be a good parent, spouse, son, daughter, brother and sister. He wants us to become a good Muslim in this world until we finally reach our goal – Paradise.

God, who is Omnipotent and All-Powerful, is on our side and wants to hear from us. He wants us to know we are never alone.

If we, as Muslims, fail to realize and believe in qadar, we will become enslaved to worries. By giving worries attention we give them energy, and then before we know it, molehills will become mountains. In turn this worry will not only empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but also empty today of its strength.

To become truly free from this worry, we should start living from the inside out anchoring ourselves in our innate qualities of peace, love, happiness and inner strength not only to feel more empowered, but because when our minds are calmer, we can see through to the heart of a problem to a solution in turn calling on God to give us strength unshackling us from depending or believing that our problems will be solved by others rather than God.

We must move on, and not waste our life away in grim contemplation and exhaustion of a million different outcomes of what could have happened in any given circumstance. The prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says:

“…Seek help from Allah, the Most High, and do not lose heart, and if anything in the form of trouble comes to you, don’t say: If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so, but say: Allah did that what He had ordained; and you saying ‘if’ opens the gate for Satan.” (Muslim, 2664)

Surrendering to God’s Will

It’s important to understand and clarify however that just because God knows, this does not give us the right to sit back and say everything is preordained. Actions and choices are ours to make and that paves our destiny which happens to be known to God. Intentions lead to choices, choices lead to action, actions lead to destiny and destiny leads to our final abode.

Rather than trying to understand the how, what, where and whys, we should surrender to God’s will without questioning. Remember ‘the pens have lifted and the pages have dried’.

Surrendering to the higher power is key importance. I personally find relief in surrendering and knowing that I can’t control everything. There is a proverb, “infinite patience produces immediate results”. Slipping into patience mode, even when our neck is right there on the guillotine, provides us with some relief despite the axe that is bearing down on us.

We must have absolute faith in God to accept that He knows all and whatever happens is for our benefit. He can see us and knows what we need to become the person we need to be. This is illustrated in the Quran where it reads:

{…Allah does not wish to impose hardship upon you. Rather, He wishes to purify you; and to complete His blessings upon you; and in order that you may be thankful.} (5:6)

Instead of asking why, it would be more beneficial for us to pray and ask for peace through our distresses and the strength to endure them well. We can ask Him to help us recognize what He wants us to learn from the challenges we face. When we approach God in faith and show our faith by obeying His commandments and living the very best we can, we will be guided and blessed.

{Say: ‘Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is our Lord, Helper and Protector’ and in Allah let the believers put their trust.} (9:51)

(From Discovering Islam archive)

For more details on this topic, please check these resources:

How Do I Surrender to God?

101 Excuses for the Skeptic not to Surrender

Accept Your Qadar – Have Hope in Allah’s Plan

About Deana Nassar
Deana Nassar is a published writer. As a mother of four, in her home she’s the sole expert on all things related to marriage, children’s psychology, motherhood and creative survival. She loves charity work, reading and writing poetry, and is mostly known for writing articles discussing family and social issues, faith, freedom, and purpose that comes through God. She can be reached at [email protected]