Project “Recover Ramadan”- Step 9: Realise that the grass is greener on YOUR side
There’s this awful saying in English which goes “The grass is always greener on the other side.”
That’s what whiners say. However, if we want to be successful in this world and in the hereafter, then we need to think like winners and say:
The grass is greener on MY side. And on YOUR side.
One of the main problems that we have today as an ummah (nation) is our propensity to exaggerate our problems. We all walk around like the moon has dropped on our heads. Unfortunately, this leads to:
1) Complaining about life instead of appreciating the bounties of Allah.
2) Being destructive instead of constructive (point 1 is just one example of many).
3) Harbouring bad thoughts about Allah. How? Well, if we think that we have a sad, bad life, who do you think Shaytaan (the devil) will convince us to blame?
So what do we need to do? Be positive at all times, of course.
a) In the good times, we need to be grateful to Allah (by obeying Him).
“And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: “If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings), but if you are thankless (i.e. disbelievers), verily! My Punishment is indeed severe.”” [Surah Ibrahim (14) : 7]
“Allah is He Who has created the heavens and the earth and sends down water (rain) from the sky, and thereby brought forth fruits as provision for you; and He has made the ships to be of service to you, that they may sail through the sea by His Command; and He has made rivers (also) to be of service to you. And He has made the sun and the moon, both constantly pursuing their courses, to be of service to you; and He has made the night and the day, to be of service to you. And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the Blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them. Verily! Man is indeed an extreme wrong-doer, – a disbeliever (an extreme ingrate, denies Allah’s Blessings by disbelief, and by worshipping others besides Allah, and by disobeying Allah and His Prophet Muhammad). ” [Surah Ibrahim (14) : 32-34]
“If you disbelieve, then verily, Allah is not in need of you, He likes not disbelief for His slaves. And if you are grateful (by being believers), He is pleased therewith for you.” [Surah Az-Zumar (39) : 7]
b) In the bad times, we need to be patient with the decree of Allah (by continuing to obey Him).
“Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, “When (will come) the Help of Allah?” Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allah is near!” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 214]
“Jihad (holy fighting in Allah’s Cause) is ordained for you (Muslims) though you dislike it, and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 216]
“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Saabirin (the patient ones, etc.). Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” They are those on whom are the Salawaat (i.e. blessings, etc.) (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided-ones.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 155-157]
Anas narrated that the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “When Allah wants good for His slave, He Hastens his punishment in the world. And when we wants bad for His slave, He withholds his sins from him until he appears before Him on the Day of Judgment.”
And with the same chain, it was reported that the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Indeed the greater reward comes with the greater trial. And indeed, when Allah loves a people He tries them, so whoever is pleased, then for him is pleasure, and whoever is angry, then for him is wrath.” [Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2396. Graded “hasan saheeh” by Al-Albani in Saheeh Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2396.]
c) We also need to be happy to be in our situation, instead of constantly envying others.
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) as saying: “Look at those who stand at a lower level than you but don’t look at those who stand at a higher level than you, for this would make the favours (conferred upon you by Allah) insignificant (in your eyes).” [Saheeh Muslim, Hadeeth No. 7070]
Abu Huraira reported that Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “When one of you looks at one who stands at a higher level than you in regard to wealth and physical structure he should also see one who stands at a lower level than you in regard to these things (in which he stands) at a higher level (as compared to him).” [Saheeh Muslim, Hadeeth No. 7068]
Sahl ibn Saad narrated that the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “If the world to Allah was equal to a mosquito’s wing, then He would not allow the dis believer to have a sip of water from it.*” [Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2320. Graded “saheeh” by Al-Albani in Saheeh Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2320]
[*This means that the world is highly insignificant to Allah and just because someone has a lot of worldly things, it does not mean that he has a high standing in front of Allah. Otherwise, a disbeliever like the Pharoah would not have had so much wealth, power and stature.]
A summary of the believer’s life:
The Messenger of Allah said (salallahu alaihi wasallam): “How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good, and this applies to no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is thankful for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.” [Saheeh Muslim, Hadeeth No. 7138]