“And when trouble touches man, he calls Us lying down and sitting down and standing up: then when We remove his ‘ trouble, he passes on as if he never called Us at the time of any trouble touching him Thus it has been made fair seeming to the extravagant, their deeds.”
[Surat Yunus, Ayah 12].
This ayah stopped me in my tracks while I was reading Qur’an a few nights ago.
I remember returning home from the doctor’s after hearing my diagnosis. And I remember praying, and making what felt like the first real sujood in my life.
I felt so embarrassed, thinking, “Ya Allah, I’m so sorry it took me hearing this terrible news to turn to You. I haven’t given You the time You deserve for long. And now, realizing I’ve never had a Protector except You, I am calling upon You.”
The shock of my diagnosis gave me a jolt of iman. I couldn’t fathom not praying all the sunnan, or giving up my money and my things. I wanted the TV off. I wanted all talk around me to be meaningful. I wanted to make istighfar with every breath.
I was the literal embodiment of the first part of this ayah, calling upon Allah lying down, sitting down, and standing up.I now I fear embodying the latter part of the ayah.
So much of my life has gone back to “normal,” it’s hard to keep up the things to which I thought I had made an eternal commitment. Praying all the sunnan is a struggle. Spending some time in thikr after each prayer is a struggle. Choosing to listen to a dars instead of turning on my favorite show is a struggle.
I remember thinking in my “diagnosis days,” “How can I not constantly lift my hands up in prayer to Allah when I am constantly in need of Him?” I wanted my voice to be one of the common ones in the Heavens, familiar to the angels.
I couldn’t imagine ever forgetting how desperately I wanted to do everything I could to get closer to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’alah).Now that most of the shock of my diagnosis has subsided, I have to constantly remind myself of the portion of the ayah that says, “when We remove his trouble, he passes on as if he never called Us at the time of any trouble touching him…”
It is not a triumph to return to, and remember Allah when we are facing trouble.
That is a natural reaction that any person who knows his end will experience. The triumph is in constantly turning to Allah, and remembering Him both when we are in trouble, and when we forget that we are never safe.
Alhamdulilah, my husband has been instrumental in reminding me of my “eternal commitments.” I’m also trying to keep company with those who are committed to leading meaningful lives…who don’t think making du’aa at the end of a get together is cheesy, and who won’t think I’m trying to be a goody-two-shoes for suggesting worship instead of plain entertainment, and who will call me out when I’m wrong.
Living up to the person I promised Allah I would become is a struggle. But I figure I can set myself up for success by making struggle my new normal.
By Rehab El-Buri