In this world and the Hereafter, Allah Almighty is my hope only. Sometimes It creeps up on you —knowing that you’ve changed. You didn’t realize, and still don’t know, how it happened. And the scary thing is that this change has become a fundamental part of you. You were all you thought you were. It was your destination, journey, goal, and purpose. But you lost it!!!!! Unknowingly, unthinking, unwittingly, you lost it all, like it was never there at all. Now, you feel distant from God, GOD, Who was at one point your only purpose of Life and breath.
Allah, My Hope
Losing a connection to God is the scariest thing to happen to a person. You can remember what it felt like to sleep remembering God and wake up thinking of Him. Allah was my Best Friend and my hope. You remember how you molded your character to be something that Allah loves. Do you remember when every cell of your body was energized, ready to work hard for Allah’s sake? And most of all, you remember the tranquility. You didn’t worry. You knew Al-Wakeel (the Trustee) Allah would take care of you.
But right now, you’re in such a different place. You don’t even recognize yourself anymore. You want to be in that place you were before so much and know how you didn’t even notice the gradual fall. Can you even go back?
Ask the one who was trapped in the belly of a whale. Ask him how he felt about that fall from grace. The guilt, the humility, and the longing can all be summed up in the phrase he repeated over and over:
لا اله الا انت سبحانك اني كنت من الظالمين
“[…] There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.”
And what was the result? God tells us,
فَلَوْلَآ أَنَّهُۥ كَانَ مِنَ ٱلْمُسَبِّحِينَ
“And had he not been of those who exalt Allah,لَلَبِثَ فِى بَطْنِهِۦٓ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ
he would have remained inside its belly until the Day they are resurrected.”
So Prophet Yunus (Jonah) (peace be upon him), the companion of the whale, was saved. Allah was saved because he turned to Allah and never gave up. We can remain in darkness if we choose to. It is those, and only those, who believe that there is no way back who never return.
To those that say, “I used to be religious,” or even, “I was never religious,” there is always a way back. When the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) tells us,
“Allah is happier about the repentance of one His slaves than one of you would be about finding your camel which had strayed away from you in the desert” (agreed upon).
He (PBUH) is also talking to those who have strayed. Tawba is to return. It is not simply to repent after committing a hideous sin, although that is a big part. He(PBUH) also talks to those who wonder if we can ever recover or achieve that zeal, energy, and purpose. We need to return.
So don’t give up. Please don’t give in to that feeling that tells you to do the bare minimum; he is my hope. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala (exalted is He) would not make you a useless addition to this world. You can be something special—something unique to Him—if you don’t give up. If you take that step. Why are we reminded by the Prophet in so many sayings that Allah (swt) accepts the servant who returns? Why are we told when we come one step closer to Allah (swt), He comes to us at speed? It is to remind us that Allah (swt) wants us to reach our potential, to take that first step even though the first step might be the hardest.
Suppose you haven’t woken up for fajr (the pre-dawn prayer) for years. Set five alarms today. Make a sincere du’a’ (supplication) to Allah (swt) before you sleep. Do it over and over again. Seek forgiveness and plead with Him to let you pray. You will not be disappointed. If you once had a big dream for your community but were discouraged by people telling you to “be real,” pick up where you left off. Even if they are right and you never make it, you already made it because your intention was for Him. Any achievement in this dunya (worldly Life) is temporary, but
وَمَا هَٰذِهِ ٱلْحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنْيَآ إِلَّا لَهْوٌ وَلَعِبٌ ۚ وَإِنَّ ٱلدَّارَ ٱلْءَاخِرَةَ لَهِىَ ٱلْحَيَوَانُ ۚ لَوْ كَانُوا۟ يَعْلَمُونَ“And this worldly life is not but diversion and amusement. And indeed, the home of the Hereafter – that is the [eternal] life, if only they knew.”
Don’t give in.
إِنَّهُۥ لَا يَا۟يْـَٔسُ مِن رَّوْحِ ٱللَّهِ إِلَّا ٱلْقَوْمُ ٱلْكَٰفِرُونَ
“[…] Despair not of relief from Allah. Indeed, no one despairs relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.”