A Touch of Tawakkul, Sabr and Shukr
The Prophet Muhammad (upon him be blessings and peace) said, "The hearts are in the fingers of the Merciful One, He turns them as He wishes." (Muslim and Ahmad)
It is essential for us, an Islamic studies teacher of mine once told me, as Muslims, to know and understand the workings and composition of our hearts. In that, if our hearts are corrupt; if our intentions are corrupt, such deceit will follow in our actions. Similarly, if our hearts and intentions are pure, our actions are sure to be of purity. For how will a fruit tree bare fragrant and delicious fruit if it's roots, underground, have decayed?
The thought of taking a break from my egotism, forgetting about any Year 12 worries, or any plans for the next week or chores that were waiting for me once I returned home, and focusing only on purifying and elucidating my intentions regarding every single act I was to carry out from that moment on, was simultaneously frightening and refreshing. It felt as if I had taken a deep breath and made a promise to strive to ensure every one of my intentions were not shadowed by a worldly desire or gain; to make sure all I do is for my Creator, irrevocably. For He controls my heart and my heart belongs only to Him.
Although, since growing up Alhumdulilah as a Muslim, in a household which set in stone the practice of prayer and fasting and the like, I had always known all I do must be for Allah subhana Wa ta'ala, yet I had never before seen it in such a light, a light of unmitigated submission. The removal of a burden I did not previously know was on my shoulders; the realization and appreciation of the concept of "Tawakkul" (reliance and trust in Allah subhana Wa ta'ala).
The Messenger of Allah, (upon him be blessings and peace) said, "How wonderful it is for a believer that he always ends up with goodness: If he suffers and remains steadfast, it is rewarding; if good things happen and he thanks Allah, that is also rewarding." (Muslim)
The concept of tawakkul hand in hand with the concept of sabr and shukr, patience and thankfulness, leaves to the soul contentment. What worry is there to further consume oneself with, if the comprehension of reliance upon Allah subhana Wa ta'ala is constantly invigorated in one's mind? Knowing that the feeling of grief, of frustration, of anxiousness, of pain is not an unbearable burden, knowing that it Allah's subhana Wa ta'ala Will for us to feel such emotions because He has created us in such a way. We must not forget our significance in this world.
Al-Mustaurad bin Shaddad (Radhiallaahu Anhu) narrates that I heard the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) saying, 'By Allah, (the luxuries of) this world in comparison to the hereafter is nothing but as though one of you dipped his finger in the sea. So ponder how much (of sea water), the finger returns with'. (Muslim)
This is ultimately a reminder to first and foremost myself, in that it is elemental to continuously remind ourselves of our purpose and our duty of reliance and thankfulness to Allah subhana Wa ta'ala, so that in doing so, our intentions are authentic. Let the hearts be pure.