March 27, 2024

On greener grass

With every decision in my life, I’ve asked myself, “what if?”

Sometimes the doubt dissipates quickly. Other times it hovers over me with every subsequent relevant decision that I make.

What if this were easier the other way? What if I was wrong? What if I went back? What if I bailed? What if I just did what they told me to do?

I’ve been watching this series on Islamic ‘aqida. Basically, it’s about how Muslims think about their own spirituality. Islam teaches that everything comes from Allah, and thus while we have free will on the micro level, Allah has already pre-ordained what decisions we will make from the macro view.

This is both a scary and liberating realization. Scary in that, if Allah has ordained Hell for me, I have no power to change what is written. But it’s liberating in that if I’m already thinking about how to get myself on the right path, then Allah has clearly chosen for me a path in which Heaven is possible. The ball is in my court.

Ultimately, though, none of it is in my hands. My only responsibility is to go through life as a traveler. This is not my final stop, but a blip in an eternal journey. The only way to evaluate whether a decision was good or bad is by asking whether it was pleasing to Allah – any other scale pales in comparison.

As I enter this back half of Ramadan, my goal is to slowly begin to re-evaluate my decisions with this understanding in mind. Risk, wealth, love, friendship… all of it is either in the way of Allah or against His will.

May Allah guide us.