Donna Tartt author of The Goldfinch says,“Sometimes we want what we want even if we know it’s going to kill us.” Oh yes! Definitely, yes! Do you remember an incident in the Seerah of the Prophet (salah Allah alayhe wa salam), when on the 6th year after Hijrah the Prophet and the companions set out for Makkah for an ‘Umrah. Their hearts were brimming with excitement and overflowing with longing for the House of Allah. But upon arrival, they were denied entry into Makkah and worse the ‘Umrah. What a disappointment it was. Bloods boiled. Tempers rose. Gosh, a war almost broke out between the two parties. But in the end, them and Quraysh reached a sane decision and drafted what was called Al Hudaybiyya Peace Treaty. This still did not sit well with the companions, especially ‘Umar Ibn Al Khattab (radi Allahu anhu)—he protested. Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) had to remind ‘Umar that Muhammad (salah Allah alayhe) was the Messenger of Allah, and that was that. In affirmation that this was the best for them at this particular moment in history, Allah revealed the verse:
“Indeed We have granted you a manifest Victory” (Qur’an 48:1).
Manifest victory? But the Prophet (salah Allah alayhe wa salam) and his companions were denied entry into Makkah. They were barred from performing ‘Umrah. Allah says it was a victory, so it was. Let’s consider the events that occurred after Al Hudaybiyyah. There were more people who entered into Islam after the treaty than in the previous 19 years of Muhammad’s Prophethood (salah Allah alayhe wa salam). For the first time, safe trade routes to and from Al Madinah were secured . Two years later, in a fortunate twist of events, Qurash violated the peace treaty rendering it void.Shortly thereafter, came the victory of Makkah. Allahu Akbar. ‘Umar (radi Allahu anhu) understood at this point what Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) meant by “…manifest victory”. Allah intervened and withheld from the Prophet (salah Allah alayhe wa salam) and the companions (radi Allahu anhum) what they wanted—which was ‘Umrah—and instead exchanged it with what they needed— peace and stability. What can be a clearer sign of Allah’s (subhanahu wa ta’ala) tender love and care for them. Yes it was a bitter pill for them to swallow but it was the best thing that ever happened to them.
As children our parents are the ones we turn to for all our desires. My parents told me that once as a child I threw a temper tantrum at a store that sold shirt collars. Come hell or high water I wanted one. I quickly realized that they weren’t getting me one. I soon learned that I wasn’t getting whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. And now as an adult, I am grateful for this and their love, wisdom and foresight in giving me what I needed. They could’ve chosen to be at my every beck and call, and I could’ve become an adult with a sense of entitlement, or even a liability to society.
As we grow older and are conscious of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) we turn to Him for everything we want.We all have endless lists of things we want from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Some Allah has granted us Alhamdullilah, but some He (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has withheld. Also Alhamdullilah . Alhamdulliah? Yes Alhamdullilah. Have you ever had a person whom you loved, and whose opinion you sought and respected? How would it feel if that person, after attempting to convince you that something is not in your best interest but to no avail, raised their hands in surrender and exclaimed, “I don’t care! Do whatever what you want!”? Painful isn’t it, that the person that matters the most doesn’t care anymore. You know what would be worse, if Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) stopped caring too and said, “Here. Take it. Go.” That He (subhanahu wa ta’ala) would leave us to our own limited and shortsighted desires. The fact of the matter is that Him (subhanahu wa ta’ala) withholding what we desire is in itself a blessing, because through it we learn to trust in Him (subhanahu wa ta’ala) the All-Knowing, and that what we desire is not what we need at this particular time in our lives. Furthermore, we learn that what we want may not be for us but rather against us. So in other words, He (subhanahu wa ta’ala) grants our desire as long as they are in agreement/harmony with what we need:
“O Son of Adam! I desire something and you desire something but only what I desire occurs. If you submit yourself to my desire, I will be sufficient for you in your desire. If you do not submit yourself to me, I will tire you in what you desire and (at the end of the day) only what I wish happens and occurs.” (Hadith Qudsi)
By the way, this is a temporary state because In Sha’ Allah we are heading to a place where all our wishes will be granted on the spot:
“Say, ‘Is that better or the Garden of Eternity which is promised to the righteous? It will be for them a reward and destination. For them therein is whatever they wish, [while] abiding eternally. It is ever upon your Lord a promise [worthy to be] requested’.” (Qur’an 25:15-16)
So, let’s ask Allah to grant us the wisdom to understand His choices for us. For patience during the times we lack the ability to understand His wisdom behind those choices. For us to live content and happy with those choices.