Yesterday night, gathered in a small circle. The three of us who were there. Myself and two other brothers in Bolton were discussing the lessons which had just been imparted from the previous evenings discourse given by shaykh Ahmad Dabbagh. Unfortunately, due to some unforeseen reasons, i was unable to attend the gathering, which made it all the more relevant for me to listen to what they had to say. Over the duration of our little re-cap session, we began to go off track when one of the brothers from amongst us mentioned how the teachings of our shaykh generally aided him. enableing him to see the bright side of life/things. Made him become more able to cope with whatever was thrown at his way. He then went on to elaborate and mention how the ongoing struggle with his siblings were reaching a tipping point where he was considering moving out and fending for himself. Getting his own mortgage, own means of earning, (a taxi cab) – by which he could earn his own livelihood and not have to be constantly hammered with pressure, stress and anxiety of having to pay the rents on the taxi cab. Or, hear the constant nagging from his elder sibling.
When this was mentioned. One of the other brother, from amongst us then (to comfort the concerned brother) used a saying to illustrate the general saying of the awliyah and the righteous which is that, one should not plan for things in the long run. As this is a sign of love of dunya. Now, having heard this the brother who was going through difficult times then said; Exactly, this is what i told my elder sibling/brother, that not to worry about the income coming into the house. As this is in the hands of Allah.
(A little background information to this drama, the brother mentioning his burden lives with his elder brother, in his (elder brothers) house. Both of whom have families living in the same house and therefore are in constant need of every day amenities) SO, the reason for the turmoil in the household was income, which has become a cause of instability recently.
My point of this post is to highlight a very crucial point here.
Is it really the case that as Muslims we should not plan for things in life. Even if this be for the 2/3 years in advance?
Well, to answer this we have to understand what it means when we hear “it is not good to plan or have long aspirations, since this is a sign of the love of dunya.” Generally, this statement is true in its entirety. However, one must keep certain things into perspective here. Firstly, in philosophical terms there is a concept known as “realism” this is a notion of ‘common sense’. This doctrine teaches people that although you should keep the best in mind, you must also allow room for reality as well. So, when you are planing for something you must realize the reality of any action/situation. Not to think of fanciful ideas which are far from reality. With this in mind, when we are told not to have long aspirations, or plans for the future it does not mean, we should all become couch potatoes and as a result not even plan for the next day: What we are going to do, where we need to be, etc.
No! What is meant by the saying of the awliyah is, we should not to become reliant on your plans and long aspirations. Yes, we should plan and execute it in due course, We should have hopes and goals. But, it does not mean when these are made we work day and night to see this through, and when it does not come into fruition. We lose all hope in Allah.
Otherwise, how can a Muslim (as we are told to be), be pro-active in society, home, work and social life? we are supposed to be the leading examples of our communities and localities.
You see, it is the sunnah of Allah that he has made means to give his servant the provisos for his/her livelihood. If we do not seek to use these means then how will our written provisions and needs be given to us & be fulfilled? It is only when we plan and have a realistic view of life only then we can be certain and have the correct approach life. Many people who hear this “one should not have high hopes and long aspirations in life. As this is a sign of the love of dunya”. Then seize to continue with whatever they were doing or to continue with trying to attain their end goals in life. Be that to become a doctor, engineer or a simple street cleaner.
In unison, the point to take is, not to become passive and lazy in the idea, that to plan for something is a bad thing. As it is a sign of the love of dunya! Keep reality in view, and see that you have rights of creation on your shoulders, your family, etc. If no plans and aspirations are made to earn the best livelihoods then how can we expect to have food on our tables? I remember Syyiduna Ali mentioning ” you should work in this world as though you will live in it forever and you should plan for the hereafter as if you are going to leave this world the next minute”. But, don’t become reliant on your plans. If things don’t turn out the way you planned. Don’t lose heart.