A myriad of matters put weight on your mind. It heaves under the sheer pressure of it. Thoughts, actions, endless precipitant emotions all occupy this undefined space and define your outlook on life. It could be anything and everything: doubts, missed prayers, a glance, a stolen conversation, an act of pride, that shopping spree in which you redefined the word ‘shopaholic’ – the list is near infinite.
We travel through each day lugging all this emotional and mental baggage, and our life is spent in a perpetual state of “What if I had done it differently?”
It’s not meant to be like this.
What’s done is done. It is time to move on.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not propagating a carefree existence in which we shovel obliviousness into every recess of our mistakes, effectively burying them under a bed of thorn-less roses and skipping off into an ideal sunset.
What I mean is what the Messenger of Allah ﷺ (peace be upon him) taught us:
“Seek help from Allah, the Most High, and do not lose heart, and if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don’t say: If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so, but say:
Allah did that what He had ordained to do and you saying “if” opens the (gate) for the Shaytaan.” (Muslim, Book 33: Destiny, Number: 6441)
By moving on, what I mean is that don’t waste your life away in grim contemplation and exhaustion of a million different outcomes of what could have happened.
I understand you. I really do. I am only writing this because I can relate to it. And I am in no way free from the shackles of “what if” any more than you are.
This “what if” – two measly little words – can sow the seeds of doubt, give root to misery and blossom into something that Shaytaan would be proud of displaying in his prize plot of Muslim-downers. First it’s the “what if?”, then it’s the feelings of doubtful evaluation, then the grief, then you feel like slapping yourself and it goes on and on. You find yourself stuck in quicksand and you don’t know how to get out.
It is time for us to sever the root to this problem.
So, what should we do?
Firstly, keep in mind that nothing comes to pass except by the Decree of Allah, the Most Kind. If it happened, then it happened. Nothing could have averted it, nothing could have changed it, and that “anything other” never had a chance to begin with. It came to pass and happen it did. Accept it.
Secondly, know that Allah loves you. More than what the mind can comprehend and what the heart can ponder upon. I mean: this is my Lord and your Lord who has promised us that He will reward us for even the prick of a thorn! Do you think that Allah will not reward you if you persevere in patience?
It happened because He, out of His infinite Wisdom, wanted it to happen. He, the Best of Planners, wanted us to learn something from it – even if we didn’t gain something material at the end of it.
Experience is the best teacher and emotional upheaval is the best landmark to warn us of an impending danger. There is no harm in remembering what you did as long as you now see it as a light to guide you away from the previous mistakes, and not a grim mist to cloud your thoughts and sink you into depression. If your cause of regret is about a sin that you committed then repent and be happy on account of your regret because regret is a form of repentance itself and remember what `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
“The believer sees his sins as if he is sitting at the foot of a mountain fearing that it might fall on him, while the sinner sees his sins as a fly that lands on his nose – he just waves it away.” (Bukhari)
So learn a lesson from what you did because Allah, the Most Kind, is teaching you something.
Thirdly, make sure that you do not repeat what caused your grief. This may seem obvious but Shaytaan has known mankind for millions of years and he knows a billion different ways to make you follow the same plot again. So seek help in Allah, be patient and Allah will turn your grief into happiness.
Whenever you feel down, always remember that Allah says:
“And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him – He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. For Allah will surely accomplish his purpose: verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion.” (Qur’an, 65:2-3)
“…Allah does not wish to impose hardship upon you. Rather, He wishes to purify you; and to complete His blessings upon you; and in order that you may be thankful.” (Qur’an, 5:6)
Thank Allah for giving you the ability to realise you did something wrong. Thank Him for still preserving your faith. Ask Him to help you and guide you. Step on your grief and use it as a launch-pad to propel you to a threshold of servitude towards Allah. And keep strong by reminding yourself of what our beloved Messenger ﷺ taught us from what Allah had taught him:
“No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.” (Bukhari Vol 7, Book 70, Number: 545)
Jazaka’Allahu khairan for that beautiful reminder!
As’Salaam’Walaikum! Just like my username says; that was an amazing article with a set of amazing advice, reminders and examples. May Allah (swt) reward you for your effort. Sometimes people are their own worst enemies when it comes to harping on fretting on what has been done or happened in their life…it’s natural to do as we aren’t robots; however if we dwell on it…the pain exacerbates itself and spirals into a wall of stagnation towards growth, progress and moving on.
I’ve realized that surrounding one’s self with good company is an additional key to overcoming negativity. One’s environment is critical; and it should be as conducive as it can be to positivity and awareness of God consciousness. Islam is way of life for a reason…it isn’t seen as just a way of life during jummah, Ramadan or while someone prays their salat during the day…but it is an application to apply in every aspect of life; with just rhyme and reason.
When one is their own worst enemy; they are their own worst friend…being the worst friend to one’s self; one’s soul can never befriend Allah swt and be at ease….rather; it seeks company of certain manifestations of the devil (self loathing being one of them). I’A let’s all (including myself) strive to implement consciouses PROGRESS out of situations that WILL present themselves to all of us at one or more points in our lives. Ameen!
I needed to hear these words at this time! JAK for an outstanding piece! May Allah swt grant us patience in every difficulty. Ameen.
MashaAllah, a beautiful article. I hope to see more like this.
Jazakallah khair for this very insightful article! Its just what I needed now!
JAK for such a wonderful article. Just as someone had already said, these words are something I really needed to hear especially during this difficult time for me. May Allah keep us on the straight path.
This is exactly what I needed to hear (or read) at the moment. Jazakallahukhair for reminding me of Allah (swt) mercy.
Maashallah I love this site because I find what I’m looking for and this article one of those I needed to read really. Keep going guys may Allah increase your wisdom and understanding
SubhanAllah. This spoke to me. JazakAllah kheir.
Masha Allah. A good reminder fr me, needed at times like this. Jzk and keep them coming!
Subhanallah! so touching! It made me cry for I was like that in my troubles before Masha Allah! this writing u have made melts my heart that i can’t help my tears for falling down.Jazakkallahu khairan may these post u made be a lesson to all muslimeen.
Jazakallah I loved this article! I needed this 🙂
May God bless you Inshallah and May Allah Subhanu a Taala guide us all to the right path and forgive our sins-Aameen
amazing article. Thank you. Quick Sands and the Lies its where the trouble starts.
You have written what my heart was longing to hear. Jazakum Allahu Kheiran! May Allah Subhana wata ala increase your ability to speak of that which our hearts harbor inside. Ameen!
As requested here is the feedback you asked me to post that you agree with too 🙂
mA really amazing article. many congratulations 🙂 it’s just really sad that we can’t change our past, our only option is to move on. that’s unfortunately the bitter aspect of life 🙁 also with these articles theres always a danger of people who have done great sins reading it and feeling okay we should move on and although yes they eventually should if they have sincere regret but there needs to be a lot of time spent on regret and repentance in accordance with how great a sin is especially if their actions have hurt others cz it’s not fair while others suffer they have a positive outlook on life. also I think you should have mentioned the importance of never stopping repenting for our sins cz we can never assume we are forgiven
jaazakallahumma khairan may allah reward you abundandtly and us all
this article really helps you see the light in your life
and see the blessings of allah everywhere
[…] “The believer sees his sins as if he is sitting at the foot of a mountain fearing that it might fall on him, while the sinner sees his sins as a fly that lands on his nose – he just waves it away.” (Bukhari) – Taken from What’s Done is Done […]
I’ve read many, MANY articles. And while this was so simple and a reminder of what has already been taught to us, I finally feel connected. I read this every time my heart turns back to doubt, anger, regret. JazakAllahu khair for your encouraging words. May Allah swat reward you.
Beautiful writing. Love this.. Many thanks Mr Ruzky Aliyar
This gave me hope.
JazakAllah khair! Thank you so much for writing this article, it has helped a lot. May Allah reward you.
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Thank you for giving back hope and a positive view.
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masha Allah, it is really an awesome article. it boosted up my soul. alhamdhulillah.
jazakallah khairan.. 🙂
JAk . i needed this so much. im 23 now and gave up on the best proposal i coulD have had till now in 2012. had i known it At that time i would never have done that. on the contrary i would have clung on to it and would give my 100% to make it work.
to see him married and living happyly ns beatifully unvolntary make’s me wonder what if ? in a thousand ways and thousand posibilities while im still single. no proper proposal in sight. i know i’t a gateway for devil to mess with me. and i can’t bring myslef to marry someone who is atleast on par with the man i gave up on so easily.
i ask allah’s help. help me ya allah have mercy on me and give me patience.
let this be a lesson for me to make a bettet future.
insha allah !!