If I ask you today, “Would you like to become a millionaire?”, you’ll say, “Of course! Who wouldn’t? But it’s all fanstasy, of course, not my destiny.” Okay, so maybe a million is too huge to imagine – what about a brand new house? A car? Or even a trendy new gadget? What would you say?
“Hmm, sure, I’d love to own a brand new, stylish house but I don’t have that kind of money.”
“Aaaaah… the new Mercedes, it’s just awesome but you need a lot of moolah for that!”
“That new mobile phone? I’ll have to save up for two years before I get that!”
So I’m guessing your problem is… money? Don’t roll your eyes, that wasn’t a real question. Duh, money is an important factor to consider when you want to buy something that’s got quite a price tag, but it’s not the only thing. Shocked? What could be more important than money? What’s the only thing between you and those new wheels except a quarter million rupees?
Sad. It’s just sad that you looked at the cause-effect relationship and figured money must be the variable – the required entity for the equation to be balanced, for you to get that car.
Money = buying power (car, house, cell phone, college application…)
That’s the cause-effect relationship all right but haven’t you forgotten where the money came from? Oh yeah, your job/parents/savings/inheritance! Either way, you got the money and you’d use it to buy stuff for yourself. That’s how you got your things. If it weren’t for money, you wouldn’t have anything.
So where did you get your eyes? Your ears? Your heart?
“Oh yeah, those… I was born with them.”
And your parents?
“They brought me into this world, of course!”
So, where did it all come from? You, your parents, your existence?
“Umm… can you repeat the question? I don’t get the point of this conversation!”
*sigh* This is turning out to be really harder than I thought.
We’ve gotten so used to seeing things in the perspective of the cause-effect relationship that we only see the immediate cause and forget what’s the real basis for results we see around us. We forget that above all is our Rabb, the Creator, the Sustainer… those are all empty words if you don’t know what they mean, what they imply. And most off all, saying you believe there is a Rabb while you don’t understand what being a Rabb is all about, it’s not real belief at all. Our Rabb… the One who gave us life, then gave us the means to live this life, then sent us guidance through His Words and His Messengers; the One who sends down rain so that we can grow our crops, drink water, feed ourselves, our animals and use their milk and meat to thrive. Our Rabb, the One Who made the earth’s crust and it’s surface soil suitable for plantation, construction and walking around! Our Rabb Who made the Ozone layer to protect us. Our Rabb, Who inserted tumor-suppressor and DNA-repair genes, mechanisms and immune cells in our body to protect against internal and external damage. That and much more, infinitely more, is mine and your Rabb.
If only we could truly understand and appreciate Who our Rabb is, that would be better than any treasure, any amount of bank balance! I learned my lesson and that’s why I wish I could tell everyone, convince them that it’s true, every single letter, when you read the ayah:
And remember! your Lord caused to be declared (publicly): “If ye are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you; But if ye show ingratitude, truly My punishment is terrible indeed.” (Qur’an 14:7)
Last year, I was really interested in getting an ipod but didn’t want to ask my parents to get it for me – I wanted to save up and buy it myself. That was going to take some time though so I often thought to myself, “Oh! If I had that ipod!” and then, I’d brush off the thought and think, “No problem, you have that other thing right now. But oh Allah, if I had an ipod, that would be great! I could listen to all those audio lectures on Islam on the go!” One day, I had the same thought and as usual, brushed it off but that very evening, I was shocked to open a package from someone and to find an ipod sitting there in my lap. Shock upon shock. Going by the cause-effect relationship, that someone gave me the ipod (and yes, I’m certainly very, very grateful to that person for doing so! It’s one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for me!) but the whole scenario, the underlying basis for it all… was, is and always will be Allah(swt). For things to turn out that way, it was never was a “coincidence” or an “accident” – that’s just how Allah(swt) Works His miracles when He Wills something to happen. That’s how a sparsely armed band of 313 took on a fully equipped army of 1000 and won the battle! How did it happen? It was Allah(swt) Who made the abilities of 313 more effective than a 1000 and helped them in His Own ways.
So ever since I got the ipod, I realized that the first being to turn to, when you are in need of something (or someone!) is Allah(swt). I’ll save you the sermon by fast foward-ing to the present. Laptops had recently caught my eye and it was exciting just thinking of the possibilities of having a “portable PC” – I could write anywhere and everywhere, without needing to sit at my computer desk! Plus, it would be pretty useful at my Qur’an class, especially with the need to show powerpoint presentations, etc. So what did I do? I asked Allah(swt) for it, of course! If it was good for me, I’d get it – in whatever way He chose – such as, my father might buy it for me or some other avenue. The point was – ask the One Who makes everything possible, Who made life in the first place! “O Allah, a laptop please, if it is good for me!”
About two weeks ago, I spotted an ad for contest by Dell Inc on Facebook. They were looking for a tagline and asked for submissions from fans of their page on Facebook. The big prize? A Dell Mini netbook. Without many expectations, I went ahead and submitted my entry, then went on sending more because I came up with several ideas. My sister, when she heard about the contest, said, “You think you’re actually going to win?” But I was optimistic and one should expect the best thing to happen – if it was Allah(swt)’s Will, I would win, and if it was not good for me, I would lose. As simple as that.
What followed is a long story that I’ll tell you another time, soon Insha’Allah. To cut things short, my tagline was one of the five finalists and two-and-a-half days of voting later, with intense moments of fun as well as fierce competition, ending with a classic neck-to-neck dash to the finish line… I won. Yes, Alhamdolillah, with the Will of Allah(swt), the votes of all my voters counted towards winning the contest. And there I sat, quite numb, unable to take in fully the Sign of Allah(swt) that I had been blessed to be able to see again. Whom else will you turn for your needs, Ameera, after you saw what you saw? It’s not because of your meager, virtually worthless good deeds… it’s only Allah(swt)’s Mercy.
In those happy moments, I also remembered the plans I had made, in case I ever did get a laptop. I would write more for Islam and try to increase my knowledge as well as share it with others, Insha’Allah. I had aimed to use the laptop at my weekly Qur’an circle, when I join there soon as a part-time teacher Insha’Allah. Now that Allah(swt) gave me the laptop, it wasn’t about “go watch a dozen movies on it and forget about everything else!” Not at all, getting the laptop meant the ball is now in my court – will I keep up the promises I had made? It’s now my responsibility to ensure that I do go ahead and do what I said I would. If I don’t, that there is real ingratitude for something Allah(swt) has blessed me with. And it His Will, He gave it, He may take it away any time. Time for me to prove my mettle, come through on what I said I would do if I got my own laptop.
So you see, it’s never about money=millions! It’s about asking Allah(swt), for the right intentions, with the right goals in mind and then, leaving it to Him. If it’s going to help you get closer to Allah(swt) and if that was your aim, Allah(swt) might grant you what you want. If it’s going to harm you in anyway, He will save you from it. But if you get it, then don’t turn your back and forget Him but seek to get closer to Him, through that blessing. A million’s nothing! Use it in Allah(swt)’s Way – helping your poor relatives, charity, a portion on your own needs too and Allah(swt) will only add to it.
Ask of the One who has the “keys” of the Heavens and the Earth in His Hands.
So eat of the sustenance which Allah has provided for you, lawful and good; and be grateful for the favours of Allah, if it is He Whom ye serve. (Qur’an 16: 114)