Have you ever wished for something so much, worked hard to get it, prayed for God to give it you, but never received it?
“It may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allâh knows but you do not know” Quran 2:126.
Was your dua/prayer not answered?
Maybe you were not given what you wanted, only to be given something better?
Sometimes you may feel that Allah (S.W.T) didn’t give you the things that you wished for, but couldn’t it have been that you might be blessed by not having those things?
You might even come to know why you were not given those things or maybe you will never know.
Abu Hanifa’s life was full of things that he wished for, but not given. He was the grandson of Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (R.A) and his mother was the Princess of Persia. His maternal grandfather was Yazdegard, the King of Persia. His aunt was the mother of believers, Sayeda Aisha (R.A). He was one of the 7 jurists who laid down the foundations of Islamic jurisprudence. This diversity and wealth of his background could have contributed to him being such an extraordinary person. Diversity, tolerance and equality are values entrenched in Islam.
Both of his parents were killed in the conflict that erupted at the time of the Caliphate of Ali (R.A). Sometimes, we are subjected to trials and tribulations, but these ordeals could be meant to benefit us in ways we are not aware of.
This is stated in the Holy Quran,“O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may take away part of the dower ye have given them – except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary, live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it maybe that ye dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good” 4:19.
After the loss of his parents, Abu Hanifa was raised by his aunt, Sayeda Aisha (R.A.), who had not been blessed with any children of her own. Indeed, Allah (S.W.T) had given Abu Hanifa a very privileged upbringing by one of the greatest and most revered ladies in Islam. Almost one third of hadiths (sayings of the Prophet pbuh) and Islamic jurisprudence comes from Sayeda Aisha (R.A). She raised Abu Hanifa to become one of the most prominent intellectual figures in Islamic history, whose influence extends to this day on Muslim jurisprudence.
If you always wished for something and did everything you could to get it but you were unsuccessful, it might mean that Allah (S.W.T) wants something better for you. You can still keep trying but keep in mind that your effort will not be wasted as Allah (S.W.T) will either give you what you want or better Insha’allah.
Don’t feel demoralised!
Never lose hope!
Always remember that your efforts will be rewarded Insha’allah. We are rewarded according to our intentions and to our efforts in pursuing them. If we are not granted success, we will still be rewarded for our efforts and intentions Insha’allah.
The Holy Quran states,“As to those who believe and work righteousness, verily we shall not suffer to perish the reward of any who do a (single) righteous deed” 18:30.
Abu Hanifa recognised Allah’s (S.W.T) blessings on him when he acknowledged that Sayeda Aisha (R.A.) had been a better mother than all mothers he has encountered in his life.
Sometimes, we overlook the blessings we have. We take what we have for granted. Maybe it is time that we look around us with a fresh perspective and see all the blessings we have in a new light. It is time to be thankful to all those who make our life meaningful. It is time to show your appreciation and gratitude.
The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said:“He has not thanked Allah (S.W.T) who has not thanked people.”
Abu Hanifa once said to Sayeda Aisha (R.A.), “I hope to be like my grandfather, Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (R.A)”.
She replied by saying, “If you want to achieve prominence in life, you can do it by pursuing knowledge and science. If you want to succeed in the afterlife, you can do it by pursuing knowledge and science. And if you want to succeed in both life and afterlife, you can still do it by pursuing knowledge and science”.
Islam commands us to seek knowledge, science and progress. For a lot of people that seek knowledge, it is only limited to acquiring a degree.
The importance of learning and science in Islam
Islam encourages us to pursue knowledge, intellect and contribute to human progress through thinking, writing and working towards breakthroughs in every field. Seeking knowledge and intellect is a way of life in Islam. It is something that we all should do in every possible way. The first word in Quran is Iqra which means read or recite. Isn’t this a clear message from God that Islam is about learning?
We as Muslims are weak because we have abandoned the core Islamic principle of seeking knowledge and science. We now think that the only learning we need to do is that which leads to a degree that qualifies for a job.
We have to read and learn about everything around us: politics, history, art, etc. We have to form our views on a solid foundation of independent thinking and objectivity.
We have to be knowledgeable and well read. We have to strive to reach the limits of intellect. A nation can only progress when values of learning, knowledge and science are sanctified and upheld.
Indeed a nation will decline once these values are ignored and demoted.
May Allah (S.W.T) guide us in seeking that knowledge.
This article is based on Dr. Amr Khaled’s lecture:
How Duaa Works – Khutbah by Nouman Ali Khan