Seriously Short Reminder No. 19: Don’t say “If”…
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Ah yes. That’s one of our favourite words…
“If I had set out earlier, I wouldn’t have gotten stuck in traffic.”
“If I had the habit of studying daily, I would have been prepared for the exam.”
“If I had taken that job offer, I would have been in a much better position now.”
“If I had accepted the first proposal that I received, I would not be stuck with this man.”
If only we would stop saying “if “….
Why? Because of the following hadeeth:
المؤمن القوي خير وأحب إلى الله من المؤمن الضعيف وفي كل خير . احرص على ما ينفعك واستعن بالله ولا تعجز . وإن أصابك شيء فلا تقل : لو أني فعلت كان كذا وكذا . ولكن قل : قدر الله وما شاء فعل . فإن لو تفتح عمل الشيطان
Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) reported Allah’s Messenger (salalallahu alaihi wasallam) as saying: “A strong believer is better and more lovable to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone. Abide by that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter) and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart, and if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don’t say: If I had done so and so, such and such would have occurred, but say: Allah decreed and He did what He willed. For verily, “if” opens the (gate for) work of the Shaytan (Satan).” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth, No. 6441]
The scholars pointed out that using this expression (“lau” meaning if) for matters that occurred in the past is not allowed and that it is a characteristic of the hypocrites*.
[*There are various instances in the Quran where Allah has mentioned the hypocrites as saying “If only…”.]
So, let’s try to avoid using these kind of words because they imply that we have a problem accepting what has already been written for us, and that’s not good. The true believer submits to Allah and accepts whatever has been written for him, even if it is painful for him.
Don’t look back (unless you want to learn from your mistakes). Look forward.