By Sally Jo Gilbert de Vargas

Don’t despair over things that pass you by nor exult over blessings that come to you.” (Qur’an 57:23-25)

Here we are reminded not to get caught up in the vicissitudes of life, for “The life of this world is just a play and a passing delight, and mutual boasting and multiplying in rivalry among yourselves…” (Qur’an 57:20) We tend to credit ourselves and our own efforts (our ego-selves) for that which we gain, and to blame Allah (or fate, or bad luck) to that which causes harm or loss to us.  In fact, everything comes to us from Allah, and for some purpose, and Allah knows best what we need and what will lead us closer to Divinity and to the Good.  This is not to say we are not responsible for our own actions and the consequences that come from them.  For we do have free will, and however we exercise that free will, for good or harm, the results will eventually come back to us.  

Therefore, we are warned to be conscious of God in all that we do, and strive to do good.  But after we have done our best to accomplish what is good for ourselves and others, we are urged to let go of the results or outcome, whether good or not so good.  It doesn’t mean we don’t care about the results, because of course we do.  But we are asked not to cling to outcomes, or assume that we know the ultimate importance and consequence of what has happened.  Life is complicated, and results of actions are not always immediately apparent.  When we learn to “let go” of results, we begin to trust in Allah to manifest what we and others most deeply need, rather than simply to fulfill our passing desires.  And when something good or desirable happens to us, it is best to be grateful and pray for forgiveness for all the times that we may have forgotten the blessings that have been poured upon us.  May we never forget our blessings, even those of which we are unaware, or those that are already on their way to us.

Have you ever experienced what at first you thought for sure was misfortune, only to find out later it was a blessing in disguise? Or, conversely, have you ever performed some service for someone and thought it totally went awry, only to find out later that it had a profoundly positive effect?  

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