There's Good in Everything
Ali is a good student in primary school. His teacher and his friends like him very much. He's always organized, and He respects his mother, father and those older than himself. But Ali over-reacts to things that happen to him and worries about things that have not happened. For example, when there are going to be exams at school, he's always afraid of getting a bad mark, and even though he studies hard for them, he worries himself sick. This often makes it hard for him to concentrate, and sometimes he has even given wrong answers to the questions he actually knows perfectly well. When there is something that Ali cannot do, or when things don't turn out the way he wants, he quickly becomes filled with a sense of hopeless sadness. He gets angry with himself when he wonders why he couldn't do something, or why something did not turn out right.
One day, while returning home from school, Ali was very happy and, as always, excited. When he reached his home, his mother was preparing dinner in the kitchen. He immediately started to tell his mother what had happened at school.
"Mom," he said excitedly: "We're going on a school picnic at the week-end. We're going to have good food, play ball, go hiking, sing songs and play games. Isn't that great?"
"Yes, Ali, that's very good news," smiled his mother. "Come now, wash your hands and start your homework."
Ali did what his mother told him. He washed his hands and face, and started his homework. But he was still excited. He was thinking about how much fun they were going to have on the picnic. Suddenly, a thought occurred to him. He thought: "What if I'm sick at the week-end? Then I won't be able go on the picnic. I will have to stay home in bed while my friends are all playing ball." All at once he became depressed. All his joy vanished. While he was doing his homework he began to think.
Towards dinner time, Ali's father came home. Ali's mother called them to dinner. They all sat down at the table together. Ali was silent and gloomy because of the bad thoughts in his mind. His mother was very surprised at this change in him. Ali's father also noticed how gloomy he was. As always, they began to have a conversation.
"What you did in school today?" asked his father.
"We learned some new things, Dad," answered Ali: "In math class I went up to the blackboard and solved the problems the teacher gave us."
"Aren't you going to tell your father the good news you got today, Ali?" his mother asked.
"We're going on a picnic on the week-end, Dad."
"That's good news, Ali," his father smiled, "But you don't seem too happy about it."
His mother added: "You were really happy when you came from school, but now you look sad."
Ali answered, "Yes, I was happy, but then I had a thought that depressed me."
"Why are you depressed, Ali?" asked his father.
Ali told him, "If I get sick at the week-end, and can't go to the picnic, I'll be so unhappy."
His mother tried to reassure him: "Ali, you are not sick right now, and we can't know what's going to happen later. Is it right for you to be sad about something that may or may not happen?"
His father added: "Look Ali, it's because satan has put these bad thoughts into your head that you're upset about things that haven't happened yet. This is called being apprehensive. All bad thoughts that come into our mind, or all the anxieties we sense in our hearts, are worries sent by satan. Allah tells us in the Qur'an what we should do when this happens: 'If an evil impulse from satan provokes you, seek refuge in Allah. He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.' (Surat al-A'raf: 200)"
"Ali," said his mother, "When these bad thoughts come into your mind, turn to Allah right away and pray."
His father went on: "Allah has determined beforehand everything that happens to us in our lives. And He wills the best for us at all times. If you can't go to the picnic, be sure that this is the best thing for you. Some people forget that there is good in everything, and get depressed because of some events that happen to them. But it may be that Allah has actually protected them from something worse. But they don't think this way, so they are always anxious and depressed."
Ali nodded: "Yes, I understand very well, now. From now on, when bad thoughts come to my mind, I will turn to Allah right away and thank Him for giving me the best of everything."