You have an appointment with someone at a given time, but they do not turn up on time. You do a very successful piece of work but the other person fails to appreciate it. You put in a lot of effort and do something really special for someone, but they don’t even see it. You say something with the best intentions, but the other person misinterprets it. You spend hours cleaning somewhere and get it really perfect, and then someone comes and carelessly makes it dirty again. You want to go to sleep, but someone is thoughtlessly making a lot of noise. You seek help from someone in an emergency, but they forget about you. You trust someone with something very important, but they lose it. You spend years preparing for university exams, and then you fall ill at the last moment and miss them. You buy and wear a brand new suit, but someone spills something all over it. You buy something and then find out you have been ripped off when you get it home. You put your bag, which is full of money, down and someone runs off with it. You drive off and a bad driver hits you. Or you spend hours in a traffic jam though you have an urgent appointment. A relative is suddenly taken ill, but the ambulance can’t get to them for hours and they die. You go to hospital for treatment, but while you are there you contract an infection and thus catch another disease.
You think that you are the victim in all these situations. And you imagine that the other person is the guilty party in every case. You become angry and direct those feelings toward them.
You become angry and say angry things, either to their face or behind their back. As if everything would have gone your way if they had not made a mistake or acted thoughtlessly.
The fact is, however, that this is a great error. If one grasps that, then one’s whole perspective on life will be totally different.
There is not a single power in the universe that can cause even a speck of dust to move, apart from Allah. Everything that happens in the world does so solely because Allah so chooses. If one thinks of everything that happens to a person during his life as a video tape, in the same way as you see the same images every time you play it, the same thing happens with a person’s life, and there is no difference. Even if the film were hidden away for a hundred years and then played again it would still be the same film, and the events in a person’s life also represent a single whole that never changes. If a person has to arrive later somewhere, then he will arrive late. The reason may be traffic, or sickness or forgetfulness. But the result never changes. Nothing can prevent a person whose time has come from dying; the ambulance may be delayed, there may be a traffic accident or the doctor may be neglectful. But the end result will inevitably happen.
For that reason, the perspective with which one looks at the events that befall one during the day has to be very different. For example, if someone’s wallet is stolen, that means that the person must not have any money. And Allah creates that theft as a natural cause. If one cannot sit the university entrance exams, which means that Allah has chosen that one must do something else for that year. If the other party is late for an appointment, then Allah does not want that appointment to be kept. Nobody will be late, or forget anything, or be neglectful, or misinterpret anything, or lose anything entrusted to him, or get caught up in traffic or drive badly unless Allah so wishes... There is one truth on this subject that we all need to know: “It is Allah Who creates everything that happens to a person.” And “Allah always creates a natural cause for whatever is intended to happen.” But that cause does not come about spontaneously. Nobody can do that, unless Allah so wishes. Our Lord reveals this fact in the Qur’an:
But you will not will unless Allah wills. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.(Surat al-Insan, 30)
But you will not will unless Allah wills,the Lord of all the Worlds.(Surat al-Takwir, 29)
"... when Allah created both you and what you do" (Surat as-Saffat, 96)
You did not kill them; it was Allah who killed them; and you did not throw, when you threw; it was Allah who threw: so He might test the believers with this excellent trial from Him. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (Surat an-Anfal, 17)
"...We test you with both good and evil as a trial. And you will be returned to Us.” (Surat al-Anbiya’, 35)
As revealed in the verses, all these things stem from the fact that this world is a place of testing. Allah creates certain events that a person will like or dislike in order to test him and see what kind of behavior he will display in the face of them. And Allah conceals secrets, wisdom, blessings and various tests all unknown to us in every event He creates. For instance, someone who is unable to go somewhere because of another’s thoughtlessness may thus be protected against great dangers. He may thus avoid a car that might otherwise have hit him, an attack on the street, or a theft or contact with a microbe of some kind.
For that reason, people must live in complete trust in and submission to Allah, in the knowledge that there are countless secrets and much wisdom behind all events. No matter what happens to them they must display the moral values of giving thanks to Allah in good or evil, blessings or when things are lacking, and of knowing that He creates all things for the best.
And people must be aware that only Allah creates the events that occur to them during the day. They must never forget that Allah creates them all. Everything that treats them well or badly, that harms or benefits them, does so only because Allah has so commanded it. Therefore, there is no sense in becoming angry, complaining about or taking offense at what befalls one. A believer must know that whether he encounters blessings or troubles, they all come from Allah.
Of course one must take precautions against evil people and feel well disposed toward the good. But one must never forget that it is Allah alone who creates everything that happens at every second of one’s life.
The moral values of Muslims aware of this are revealed as follows in the Qur’an:
Say: ‘Nothing can happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is Our Master. It is in Allah that the believers should put their trust.’ (Surat at-Tawba, 51)