How To See The Good In Things That Happen
Being Aware that it is God Who Pre-Ordains Everything in its Every Detail...
Most people are pleased when things happen in compliance with their wishes, but are easily irritated when the slightest thing does not go their way. But, a believer must not be prone to such feelings. In the Qur'an, God reveals the good news that He has determined every single event for the benefit of His true servants, and that nothing should be a matter of grief or trouble for them.
A person who recognizes this truth deep within his heart is capable of being pleased with whatever he encounters, and to see the blessings behind what happens.
Many people do not even bother to think how they came into existence or why they exist. Although their conscience would guide them into realizing that the wonders of the world and its perfect order have a Creator, the inordinate love they feel for the life of this world, or their unwillingness to face the truth, leads them to deny the reality of His existence. They ignore the fact that every occurrence of their lives is determined according to a plan and purpose, but instead attribute them to false notions such as coincidence or luck. This is an outlook, however, that only hinders one from seeing the good in events and drawing lessons from them.
There are also those, who are aware of the existence of God, and comprehend that it is He Who has created the entire universe. They admit the fact that it is God Who makes the rain fall or sun to rise. They recognize that for there to be any other cause is impossible. Yet, when it comes to incidents in the course of their lives, the minor details that form part of the usual rush of the day, they cannot help thinking that they are somehow independent of God. Nevertheless, it is God Who destines a burglar to enter one's home at night, an obstacle that caused one to fall, a plot of arable land to yield crops or to become arid, a deal to be profitable, or a saucepan to be forgotten on the stove. Every occurrence falls within the infinite wisdom of God, and in compliance with a sublime plan. A drop of mud that stains our trousers, a puncture in the tire, acne appearing on one's face, a disease, or some other undesirable thing to occur, are all incorporated into a person's life in accordance to a specific plan.
Nothing a person experiences in this world, from the moment he opens his eyes, is independent and apart from God. All existence, as a whole, is created by God, the only One to hold control over the universe. God's creation is perfect, flawless and replete with purpose. This is part of the destiny created by God; one must not discriminate between the incidents by attributing good to one and evil to the other. What is incumbent on a person is to recognize and appreciate the perfection in all events, and to believe with all certainty that some good lies in it, remaining conscious of the fact that, within God's infinite wisdom, all is designed to lead ultimately to the most perfect results. Indeed, for those who believe and recognize the goodness in all that befalls them, both this world and the beyond are part of an eternal good.
In the Qur'an, God draws our attention to the aforementioned fact almost in every page. This is why failing to remember that everything is according to a certain destiny is a terrible failing for a believer. The destiny ordained by God is unique, and is experienced by a person in precisely the way God has predestined. The ordinary man perceives the belief in destiny as merely a way of "consoling in time of disaster". A believer, on the other hand, attains the correct understanding of his destiny, fully grasping that it is the sole perfect program exclusively designed for him.
Destiny is an entirely flawless agenda developed to prepare a person for Paradise. It is replete with blessings and for a divine purpose. Each difficulty a believer faces in this world, will be the source of infinite bliss, joy and peace in the next. The verse, "For truly with hardship comes ease" (Surat ash-Sharh: 5) draws our attention to this fact; within one's destiny, the patience and courage a believer exhibits are pre-ordained together with their respective rewards in the Hereafter.
It may happen during the course of the day, that a believer would become irritated or concerned about certain things that had happened. The primary reason of the irritation he feels is his failure to remember that that very event is part of his destiny, and that it has been especially created by God. Though, he will be comforted and calmed when he is reminded of the purpose of God's creation.
This is why a believer must learn to continually keep in mind that everything is predestined, as well as remind others of this fact. He must show patience in the face of those occurrences that God had predestined for him, in the infinite recesses of time, put his trust in Him, and strive to recognize the reasons behind them. He who attempts to understand these reasons will, by God's Will, be ultimately successful. Even though he might not always be able to detect their actual purposes, he must remain assured that, when something happens, it is certainly for some good and for a purpose.
Comprehending That Every Being, Living or Non-living, is Created in Compliance with a Certain Destiny...
Destiny is God's perfect knowledge of all events past or future, as if a single moment. This expresses the absolute sovereignty of God over all beings and events. People can be aware of a certain event when they experience it. But God knows all events prior to their occurrence. For God, past, present and future are all the same. They are all within the knowledge of God since He is the One Who creates them.
As the verse, "Indeed, all things We created with predestination." (Surat al-Qamar: 49) also suggests, every thing in the world is part of that destiny. The majority of people do not give a moment's consideration to the nature of destiny, and, thus, fail to recognize that it is God's infinite might that exists behind this flawless order. Some consider that destiny encompasses only human beings. However, everything in the universe, from the furniture in your home, to a pebble on the road, or a dried-up weed, a fruit or a jar on the super-market shelf, are all part of the destiny predetermined by God. The fate of every created thing has been determined within the infinite wisdom of God.
Every event a person sees, and every noise he hears, are in ever instance part of a life that has been created for him as a unit. Whether major or insignificant, no event in the universe happens by coincidence. No flower either blooms or fades by chance. No man comes into existence or dies out of pure coincidence. No man becomes sick by mistake, and neither does his sickness develop in an uncontrolled manner. In each case, these occurrences are especially predestined by God, from the very moment they were created. Anything that exists, within the depths of the earth or the oceans, or the fall of a single leaf, all occur in compliance with destiny, as the following verse indicates:
The keys of the Unseen are in His possession. No one knows them but Him. He knows everything in the land and sea. No leaf falls without His knowing it. There is no seed in the darkness of the earth, and nothing moist or dry which is not in a Clear Book. (Surat al-An'am: 59)
God's Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad (saas) also said that everyone's actions are ordained by God:
God, the Exalted, the Glorious, has ordained for every servant amongst His creation five things: his death, his action, his abode, the places of his moving about and his means of sustenance. (Tirmidhi)
However, people are generally not conscious of the reality that every moment of their lives is predestined by God. Some have never considered how they were created, or how the blessings they have been enjoying came into existence. Others, though, although they know that it is God Who creates life and death, believe it is the coincidences that are responsible for events of minor significance. However, in the Qur'an, God informs us that even the smallest detail is predetermined by His infinite wisdom, and in accordance with a divine purpose:
Nothing occurs, either in the earth or in yourselves, without its being in a Book before We make it happen. That is something easy for God. (Surat al-Hadid: 22)
It is crucial that man have a grasp of this reality. Because, the fate of every thing in this universe is known by God, the All-Knowing, the Wise. Consequently, every detail is perfectly planned, and for a purpose and "everything is by decree" as stated by the Prophet Muhammad (saas). A person who attains full consciousness of this fact will be benefited with being pleased with every moment of his life; good times and those that seem to be bad. The reason being that His truthful servants succeed in recognizing that it is God who created their destiny without a flaw. They will be aware that it is ignorant to regard something as misfortune when there must necessarily be a purpose for it in God's sight. Such a profound comprehension of this fact enables them to discern the blessings in things that happen.
To assume that what one goes through is not created by God, but believing that someone or something else was instrumental in its occurrence, is again an indication of the failure to grasp fate. Every thing that seems not go one's way is, in actuality, the "lesson of destiny". People must wholeheartedly set out to recognize the good and divine purpose of events. People tend to refer to events that turn out unfavourably as "misfortune". There is, however, a good and purpose in what may appear to be a "misfortune". It is only a "misfortune" because we choose to regard as such; in actuality, it is the best of all possible occurrences, because it is what has been predetermined.
If God had shown the good and purpose of the apparently adverse incidents, or of the difficulties that distress and irritate people, they would understand how senseless is their disappointment. Recognizing the blessing in things, a person of faith instead feels joy, not distress. This being the case, what is incumbent on a man is that he seeks to identify the good and benefits in destiny, that is, in events that are, in reality, part of the purpose of God's creation, and feel appreciative of the benefit of such insight.
Knowing That There May Be Bad in Events That Seem
To Be Good and Good in Events That Seem To Be Bad
In the above sections, we stressed that God, the All-Wise, creates each and every event in compliance with a special plan. At this point, another issue deserves a special mention; it is only God Who knows the events that are favourable and those that are not. That is because the wisdom of God is infinite, while the insight of human beings is limited. Humans can only see the outward appearance of events, and can rely solely on their limited perception to judge them. Their insufficient information or understanding may, in some cases, make them dislike a thing while it is good, and love a thing while it is evil. To be able to discern the good then, a person of faith, must put his trust in the infinite wisdom of God, and trust that there is a good in everything that happens. In fact, God has related to man the following:
It may be that you hate something when it is good for you and it may be that you love something when it is bad for you. God knows and you do not know. (Surat al-Baqara: 216)
Here, God informs us that an event one deems to be good may only cause him disappointment, both in this world and beyond. Similarly, something he ardently seeks to avoid, believing it to be detrimental to him, may be for him the cause of bliss and peace of heart. The intrinsic value of any event is a knowledge that resides only with God. Everything, whether apparently evil or good, takes place by God's Will. We experience only those things God wishes for us. God reminds us this fact as follows:
If God afflicts you with harm, no one can remove it except Him. If He desires good for you, no one can avert His favour. He bestows it on whichever of His slaves He wills. He is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surah Yunus: 107)
Consequently, whatever we experience in this life, whether or not it seems good or evil, is, in reality, good, since it is what our Lord predetermines for us. As mentioned earlier, the One who pre-ordains the outcome of events is not a human being, who is confined to time and space, but God, the One beyond space and time, Who created the human being, as well as time and space. (For further information please see Timelessness and the Reality of Fate by Harun Yahya)