“I never think of the future - it comes soon enough.” ― Albert Einstein
Future is something that we can never predict. Even a gypsy with a crystal ball is not able to tell you the exact future despite insisting that she can.
One thing for sure is that the future is only known to God Al-Mighty. It is because of tomorrow is not known to us, led us to develop this fear of the future.
We are afraid that we will face poverty in the future that it prompted us to become workaholics in order to save a lot of money as a safety net for the future. This is also the fear of running out of money in the future that we are reluctant to part with the money that we have in hand, for charity. In our anxiousness to accumulate material things, we tend to lose sight of things that really matters such as spending time with loved ones and most important of all, spending time with Him and for Him. How many time have we told ourselves the ‘excuse’ that we don’t have time for charity or attend Islamic lectures or to perform sunnah acts? God created ‘time’ and yet we use ‘time’ against Him.
The question is, why do we fear the future? One thing for sure is that we can never be certain of our outcome no matter how much we prepare for it. Let me give you a living example. When I was pregnant with my first child, I made sure that I did everything in the book to prepare for the perfect birth. I dragged my poor husband to ‘lamaze’ classes and made him learn breathing techniques so that he could remind me how to breathe when I was in labour. I ate every food that has been said to be good for the baby’s development and also food that could facilitate easy delivery. I walked as much as I could so that my delivery will be fast and smooth. I packed my ‘hospital’ bag and made my poor husband memorised the ‘emergency exit’ plan. I thought my plan was full-proof! Boy! Was I ever so wrong….
One fine night, when I was already at 37 weeks, I discovered that my water bag was leaking. I alerted my husband and was ready to follow the emergency exit plan. Instead, my husband, who watching football final on tele, had other plans. After making sure that I was not in any pain, he asked if he could watch the game till the end, which according to him was soon. So I sat down, waiting, until the game ended which was an hour later. So much for my emergency plan exit! Then, when the game ended, my husband calmly drove me to the emergency ward and the nurse admitted me in. 24 hours after that, I was still walking around with my huge belly. My daughter was showing no sign of wanting to come into this world. I wasn’t not feeling any pain despite the graph detector which was attached to my belly was going crazy up and down, recording the contraction level. That is when I discovered that I have a very high pain threshold. So my doctor put me on the drip to expedite the labour process. After a few hours, things were pretty much the same. My doctor then decided to break my water bag. Then, hell broke loose…
O.M.G!!! I told my husband earlier that I didn’t want to take any painkiller as I wanted the birth to be as natural as possible but after my water bag burst, the pain was unnaturally unbearable. I was ranting on like a lunatic until my doctor begged me to take the painkiller.
To make the story short after 1 hour of pushing hard, my daughter decided that she was not going to come out the normal way so I had to be wheeled into the operating theatre for a emergency C-section.
Nothing that I had painstakingly prepared for all those months, was put into practise that night. The breathing technique? Ooh, when my husband wanted to coach me through I told him to ‘shush’ because I was in too much pain to even concerntrate.
The bottom line is, no matter how much we worry about the future and try to prepare for it, only God will decide how it will turn out. If the future does not turn out the way we anticipated it, then we must learn to accept it and move on. Now, that is what we call ‘believe in pre-destination or divine destiny’ and it is the 6th pillar of eaman.
“Iman (faith) is to believe in Allah, His angels, His revealed books, His messengers, the last day, and the predestination of all things both (those which appear) good and (those which appear) bad.
“Say: "Nothing will happen to us except what Allah has decreed for us: He is our protector": and on Allah let the Believers put their trust.”
Surah At-Tawbah 9:51
One thing that I learn is that losing sleep or getting all stress up about the future is actually pointless. Having said that, it does mean that we basically don’t do anything at all just because everything is written. What it means is that we try to the best of our abilities and let nature takes its own course. However things turn out to be, just accept it as being the best for us even though it might not be as what we had planned. If we get upset with the turn of events, trust me, we will not find peace in our hearts. By questioning ‘why’ will not change the past but we are actually questioning God’s Will and decision.
Every time when we pray we recite, “RABBANA ATINA FID DUNYA HASANA WA FIL AKHIRATI HASANA WA QINA AZAB AN NNAR, "Our Lord! grant us good in this world and good in the hereafter, and save us from the chastisement of the fire.", that means we have to put our full faith in God Al Mighty. What He gives us is ‘good’ for us in this world though it may not be what we wanted.
For me and my husband, we learnt our lessons and decided then after to take things as they come when it came to deliveries of our children. No more Lamaze class or emergency exit plan or breathing exercises, much to my husband’s delight! All of my birth deliveries were topsy- turvey so it was a good thing that we didn’t have anything planned. Furthermore, none of my other 3 children were born on their due date. In fact, all 3 decided to make their grand entrance much earlier than their elder sister.
Looking back, I realise that indeed God has given me the ‘good’ in this world despite the chaos……Alhamdulillah
“.But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you.But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.”
Surah Al Baqara 2:216