“Satan rejoiced when Adam (peace be upon him) came out of Paradise, but he did not know that when a diver sinks into the sea, he collects pearls and then rises again.”
Imam Ibn al Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah
Our Prophet (pbuh) taught us many duaa (supplications), so that we could be mindful of Allah, even when carrying out our most mundane daily routines, like checking ourselves out in the mirror and getting dressed.
When it comes to waking up from sleep, he has taught us this duaa :
الحَمْدُ لِلهِ الَّذِي أَحْيَانَا بَعْدَ مَا أَمَاتَنَا وَإِلَيْهِ النُّشُورُ
(Praise be to Allah who has given us life after causing us to die, and to Him we return)
Nouman Ali Khan shared an interesting interpretation of this duaa, as he explained that it is in fact an encouragement for us to live in the present and to begin with a new slate. Sleep can be thought of as a metaphor for death. When we wake up in the morning, we are blessed with a new day, or a new life. Yesterday is gone, and so are our past self and our past mistakes.
After all, today is the only day which we are living and breathing in.
As Dr Aid Al-Qarni wrote in his book Don’t Be Sad, “Your life’s span is but one day, as if you were born in it and will die at the end of it. With this attitude, you will not be caught between an obsession of the past, with all its anxieties, and the hopes of the future, with all its uncertainty. Live for today : During this day you should pray with a wakeful heart, recite the Qur’an with understanding, and remember Allah with sincerity.”
He added, ” ‘Today is my only day’ is one of the most important statements in the dictionary of happiness, for those who desire to live life in its fullest splendor and brilliance.”
So, dear reader, let’s make the most of what we have, which is this moment. As I’ve written in another article, don’t wait to do good. Don’t worry so much about your heart, and don’t second-guess yourself. Because the actions lead, and the heart will follow.
You might feel that you’re unworthy of doing good. I know. We all feel that way. We all make terrible mistakes. But Allah doesn’t judge us by who we were, but by who we want to be, and the efforts that we make to get there.
As the Prophet (pbuh) mentioned in a hadith verified by Tirmidhi, “Allah the Exalted has said, ‘O son of Adam, I do not care if your sins reach the clouds of the sky, then you ask for My forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, if you come to Me with an earth-load of sins, and meet Me associating nothing to Me, I would match it with an earth-load of forgiveness.”
And if you need yet another reminder of His love and grace, remember this verse from the Qur’an (2:186) :
“And when My servants ask you, (O Muhammad), concerning Me — indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me (by obedience) and believe in Me that they may be (rightly) guided.”
If you take a close look, you would notice that in this verse,
- Allah could have used the pronouns “We” and “Us” as He does in other verses to signify His greatness. Instead, He uses “I” and “Me”, indicating how remarkably close and personal He is with us.
- Allah is speaking to our Prophet (pbuh). Yet, He doesn’t say, “tell them that indeed I am near.” Instead, He jumps to saying, “Indeed I am near,” as if He is so eager to speak with us directly.
- Allah doesn’t say “If My servants ask you, (O Muhammad)..” or “If he calls upon me”. Instead, he says “When” — again signifying how excited and hopeful He is to hear from us.
- Allah uses the word “supplicant” or “caller”. He doesn’t set a bar or a standard for how good we need to be for us to be able to call onto Him. As long as we simply call unto Him, He would already welcome us lovingly and wholeheartedly.
Today is our only day, so let’s make the most of it. There’s no such thing as having made too many mistakes. We’re all human, and the only thing that matters is that we all do the best that we can.