Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Road Not Taken: At the Crossroads of life

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

As a continuation from my previous post on making hijrah (to change) to a better person, I would like to share my story and my personal thoughts on it. Here it goes...

As a teenager, I rarely had the priviledge of sound advice when making big decisions. At that age, it never dawned upon me that those decisions would cause a cascading effect and impact the rest of my life.

You see, the world changes so fast that it has become something vastly different from that of our ageing parents that they sometimes take a hands off approach towards "bigger decisions" in our lives. Yes, they may fret about what you wear, what you eat and what time you are supposed to sleep, but these are little things that are sometimes insignificant in the long term.

Decisions about friends, about education, about life and... about love. All made with advice from similarly confused peers, surrounding influences and through mere gut feeling.

I was quite a high achiever back then. But here's the conundrum - teens have so much knowledge and information made available to them, but those who lack guidance do not have the necessary framework or methodology to digest these information and make smart, well-informed decisions.

All we needed was advice. All we needed was advice. All we needed was advice. So seek advice!

From Tamim Al-Dari RA:
Prophet SAW said: "Religion is nasihah (advice)." We said: "To whom?" The Prophet said: "To Allah and His Book, and His messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and their common folk." [ Hadith Narrated by Imam Muslim]

We can read from several hadith narrations how the young companions of the prophet would approach him and say, "Advise me, oh Rasulullah..."

And not having the comfort of an understanding mentor during the transitional teenage years is a common experience too many of us go through... making decisions that we may regret later in life...

Making choices in life

We face many crossroads in life. Sometimes, the decision to initiate change is not as easy as it seems. There have been times when certain factors seem to conspire to prevent that change from occuring.

Yes, we may plan, but verily Allah is the Best of Planners.

“They plot and plan, and Allah too plans; but the Best of Planners is Allah” (8:30)

And we husnu dzon (think positively) towards what Allah has in store for us.

"With God is the Decision, in the past and in the Future..." (30:4)

From Suhaib RA:
Prophet SAW said: "Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (God), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows patience, there is a good for him in it." [ Hadith Narrated by Imam Muslim]

Teenagers are not the only ones who are in the transitional period of their lives. From time to time, we face periods of transitions that we have difficulties assimilating ourselves into - studying overseas, changing jobs, death of kith or kin, etc...

One of the most prevalent form of transition among youths is in embracing hidayah. A sudden surge of God-given Islamic awareness causes a whole lot of introspection and fuels the passion for change.

Why do we need to change? Why can't things just remain the same?

"...Verily never will God change the condition of a people until they change it themselves..." (13:11)

People in a crisis of change usually feel isolated. The urge to change brings forth overwhelming guilt if one continues to suppress it and continue to live in denial. And, sadly, some do in the end choose to stay the same, preferring the comfort of familiarity over the pursuit of a better goal, a more pristine destination.

In fact, change is beautiful. The struggle of change is a joy to behold for those who understand. Like watching the leaves turning a magnificent hue of red and orange when it changes to autumn...

They say life's a journey, not a destination.

The purpose of life is for the ultimate destination to meet our Creator. Yes, our journeys may differ, but let us come to the same path before time expires, for our destinations are all the same.

"Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become."

" Should your path be the same as mine,
Take my hand... let's walk the straight line,
But should your path still veer and bend,
Go in Peace, my friend... "

May Allah guide us all...

والله علم
والسلام عليكم


diddy said...

well written saudara. your thoughts (or your two cents if u like to call it that way) are very worth pondering. may this be one good reading material, in which could help us in propelling ourself towards becoming better persons. Jazakallah khair~

Imran Razali said...

thanks for reading it ya akhi... :D
and let's fully utilize the remaining days of Ramadhan to increase our productivity and also deeds.. not forgetting to seek the night of Qadr

Bazliah Rodzi said...

Salam...yes, this post was well written. i do agree the transition of us embracing hidayah is indeed one of the most difficult times and i remembered feeling confused and lost...but He knows His Servants well and He is always near. we just have to make believe that His help is never far away.