Today, my mother and I watched an aircrash investigation program on TV. The accident under investigation was a highly fatal one – an Air France Concorde had caught fire during takeoff on 25th July, 2000 and crashed within two minutes. There were no survivors. What caused it? A tiny scrap of metal that had broken off another airplane, ripped into one of the engines, cutting electrical cables and thus creating a spark sufficient to ignite the fuel tanks. The plane could not gain height and crashed just beyond the airport’s boundary.
What really struck me as I was watching the documentary, was the story of one couple aboard that plane. Teachers by profession, they had been saving up for twenty long years for a dream vacation that included flying on the Concorde. I wondered how they must have painstakingly set aside money for the trip, imagining all the fun they’d have. They must have had high hopes and made many plans. Could they have ever imagined they were heading not towards the culmination of a dream but the very final moments of their lives?
It made me wonder how we make plans for the future, dreaming up the perfect scenario how we want things to turn out. And then, if we come across a “glitch” in our grand scheme – a delay, an unexpected problem or a “failure” altogether – despair rules the day. Suddenly, it’s fate that is blamed for ruining those beautiful dreams. How pathetic it seems then! And yet… do we pause to wonder if maybe, just maybe, that failure was actually a great blessing in disguise? What if something much more terrible was around the corner and it was nothing but Allah(swt)’s Mercy that had averted it?
Of course, this does not mean we stop making plans for the future altogether! That’s missing the point entirely. Rather, we must definitely make plans while praying and having solid faith in Allah(swt) that the outcome will be according to His Will, and that would be the best result possible! I do not know how people can find flaw with such a positive and forward-looking approach? Don’t they see how liberating it is to put your hopes in the best outcome and then patiently persevere with gratitude, even if the outcome is not exactly as initially planned? It’s a win-win situation, if you really understand what it’s all about. 🙂
The Prophet (peace be upon him) stated:
“Wondrous are the believer’s affairs. For him there is good in all his affairs, and this is so only for the believer. When something pleasing happens to him, he is grateful, and that is good for him; and when something displeasing happens to him, he is patient, and that is good for him.”
(Narrated in Sahih Muslim)
This is why it’s so important to be thankful to Allah(swt) in whichever state you are… and whatever the outcome is. Only Allah(swt) has Full Knowledge of what goes on in the heavens and the earth and what will happen in the future. How, then, can we even think of turning away, instead of towards, such an All-Powerful and Merciful Creator for all our hopes and dreams?