Let’s pick up from where we left off yesterday. If you haven’t read yesterday’s entry click here:
Yesterday we reflected on change and we agreed that it is inevitable. The question was not whether we change, but how it affects us. But fact is change is not easy, so it isn’t surprising that some of us have developed a sense of fear of it. We resist it. In my opinion, there are three reasons for fearing and resisting change:
The first reason is achieving what is called a comfort zone. So we fear and resist leaving what we see as stability, which in actuality is stagnation and decay of a living human being, for what is perceived as a zone of discomfort and uncertainty. Allah described this fear and resistance in the Qur’an:
“And when it is said to them, ‘Follow what Allah has revealed,’ they say, ‘Rather, we will follow that which we found our fathers doing.’ Even though their fathers understood nothing, nor were they guided?” (2:170)
This is not just applicable to Deen, but even in our personal lives, careers etc. We are not willing to take risks that will change our lives by leaps and bounds. We will never witness our full potential. Our best versions of ourselves.
The second is denial. This is when we see no need for change. In our minds we are perfect the way we are. We blame everything that happens around us on others . If we’re continuously being fired from jobs, it’s always the employers’ fault. If failure is a recurring theme in our studies, it’s always because teachers aren’t competent or unfair. This borders on arrogance. We all are a work in progress. There is bound to be something in us that we need to change. No one is perfect.
The third is despair. This is when we have attempted to make changes for the better but failed miserably. As a result, we lose confidence in ourselves and lose faith that Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) can exact change in us. Maybe we are in dire straits and we’ve filled out ten job applications, only to be rejected by them all. Maybe we’ve memorized some Qur’an but can’t seem to retain any of it . To these I say,
“And rely upon the Ever-Living who does not die, and exalt [ Allah ] with His praise. And sufficient is He to be, with the sins of His servants, Acquainted.” (Qur’an 25:58)
Allah is able to open closed doors for us. Maybe we are on a temporary time-out to cleanse us of our sins. Maybe the delay is so that we can work on some necessary skills, so time to re-evaluate. Maybe Allah has missed hearing our Duas and hence the delay. So, let’s have patience and keep on knocking on Allah’s door. He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) will open. We have to be persistent, because if we aren’t then we’re the losers and no one else.
In closing, what should be feared and resisted is regression and not progression, degeneration of our principles and morals and not their regeneration. We should fear and resist our decay not whilst in the grave, but whist we are living and breathing. Remember that Allah’s ultimate goal is to guide us, “Indeed incumbent upon Us is to guide.” (Qur’an 92:12) and this guidance at times comes in the form of changes in our lives. Part of our unwavering faith in Him (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) and His guidance, whether it come in the form of us having to move to a new home/city/county, or leaving a career and picking up new one, is accepting them and adapting to them. They are part of His guidance :
“If We had ordered them to sacrifice their lives or to leave their homes, very few of them would have done it: But if they had done what they were (actually) told, it would have been best for them, and would have gone farthest to strengthen their (faith).” (Qur’an 4:66)
Changes are chances for advancement, promotion, rise in ranks, and an upgrade in our journey to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala). Do not fear them. Do not resist them. Ponder on they ayah today:
“To those who receive (accept/adapt to) Guidance, He increases the (light of) Guidance, and bestows on them their Piety and Restraint (from evil).” (Qur’an 47:17)
The reward for accepting Allah’s guidance, which by nature is us accepting to change our direction and redirect ourselves, is more guidance. Embrace them as they come.