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How Realizing That God Is The Ultimate Owner Of Everything Makes Us Stronger


Letting go of grief

 

Loss is an eminent part of our life.

Philosophers have for long meditated on the nature of loss and concluded that the world around us is ever changing!

In fact change is the only permanent element of the physical realm. Everything else is transient. And loss is just another aspect of this constant change.

But we humans are emotional beings. Dry logic doesn’t appeal to us in time of need. And thus we are left grappling with the question of the aftermath of ‘loss’ and ‘change’ – grief!

Have you ever lost somebody or something you love? How did it feel?

For me losing a cherished object or relationship is all consuming. I tend to forget my surroundings and can think only of the severance. A drama plays out in my heads, about the joy I had derived from the object (or relationship), how empty my life will be without the source of happiness and obviously the ever-green and popular ‘The world is unfair and everything nasty happens to me’.

I am sure most of you have your own version of this litany and can identify with what I go through.

We can find comfort in knowing that this is only natural. As a part of our ‘human’ legacy we have been blessed with the ability to hold on to things and even intangibles like opinions, concepts and relationships and give them a special kind of meaning only we can relate to. In fact we make sense of the world around us through these objects and precepts.

It doesn’t really matter if the loss pertains to something replaceable like a phone or something far more valuable – like an idea or a relationship, our instinct is to focus on what it meant to us and our life and lament its loss.

With each little something we lose, we lose a part of our identity and existence and yes, that is bound to hurt.

Doomed To Grieve? Why You Should Make An Effort To Let Go!

Grieving is a natural process we go through when we lose something. And it is okay to mourn.

For a while!

But it is definitely not natural or healthy to fall victim to the ‘rut’ of unhappiness and distress and taint everything in your life with its effect.

I have frequently crossed paths with individuals who never recover from the loss of an idea, an object or a relationship. They walk through life unaware of the several hundred other blessings God has showered on them. As a result they:

  • Lose touch with reality and can’t successfully get on with their daily life.
  • Allow their healthy relationships to degenerate into loveless, compassionless interactions.
  • Invite into their lives hundreds of diseases like cancer, immunological dysfunction and hypertension. Without good health, coping with grief becomes even more of a challenge.

None of the scenarios are appealing and prolonged grief is now officially treated as a disorder.

There is a simple way using which you can take a more rational and ‘god-centric’ approach to the whole concept of loss and mourning. Let me share this with you!

Surely We Belong To God And To Him Shall We Return:

In Muslim culture, when someone hears the news of a person passing away, the first words to utter are:

“Inna lilahe wa inna ilayhe rajaoon” (Quran 2:156)

For a long time I didn’t understand the meaning of this line and thought it’s something people said just to console the bereaved.

But when I took time to look up its meaning, I felt it had a very profound message; a message that can help people overcome their grief by pointing them to a universal and divine truth! “Inna lilahe wa inna ilayhe rajaoon” literally translates into “Surely we belong to God, and to Him shall we return”

I found that by meditating on the meaning of this verse, I could think of all the objects in my life as transient. I understood (or rather re-realized) the fact that no matter what I did, how well I performed, how much I loved or how hard I held on to something, I was not its rightful ‘owner’ and I would not be able to stake permanent claim on it!

In the end everything, including I myself, will leave the physical plane and begin the journey to reach and become one with His divine light.

As soon as I stepped into this mind-set, I could let go of the scarcity mentality. Even something as pragmatic and mundane as a goofed presentation no longer mattered because it was just one opportunity out of a thousand and since nothing was permanent, something better would come along eventually. The important thing was to praise my courage for taking action!

Every day through the magic of “Surely we belong to God, and to Him shall we return” I focus my attention on the lessons I can learn from my loss and the whole experience.

Putting Wisdom Into Action:

My advice is: Whenever you’re suffering from grief, meditate on the verse “Surely we belong to God, and to Him shall we return”

Through this gem of a thought you can perceive things around you for what they truly are – a form of trust, given to you for safe-keeping, which will ultimately change hands or revert to their ultimate owner, God our Lord.

Once you make this reality a part of your life, you will no longer feel a sense of debilitating grief when you lose or have to give up on something (or someone) precious to you. Instead you will be able to dissect the experience and ‘introspect’ to gain insights like:

  • What can I learn from this?
  • What can I do to change my situation?
  • How can I grow?
  • What area do I need to improve on?

This exercise will leave you enriched after every loss or severance. You will be full with the knowledge of how the world functions and what you can do to elevate yourself and your skills to make the most of your life and opportunities.

Loss is inevitable! Grief is natural! But it shouldn’t be protracted and all consuming. Grieving for something makes you a gentle human being capable of appreciating value but letting go makes you someone with courage and fortitude.

Remember God owns every grain of sand and every puff of wind on this earth and by entrusting your cherished possessions to his care; you can relax and move on with your life.


Mohammed Ali Vakil

Comments

S.
Reply

Thank you. That is a very kind and wise approach to the dilemna of loss. Dilemna because I want to honour what has been lost yet also release it from attachment to my life. By recognizing that is not MY life, afterall, but G*d’s, I can be happy to release the pain, sadness, anguish and grief that loss inevitably brings me. It is with G*d. Thank you.

Sheima Salam Sumer
Reply

Bismillah. MashAllah this article is so profound and moving. I was missing your posts/emails and Alhamdulillah I got this one today. Please do keep up this excellent and blessed work you are doing. This article is so powerful. One point (among many) that I loved is that you said we should “praise ourselves for our courage” when we “fail” because at least we had the courage to try.

Ahmed Adam
Reply

Sub’ha’nal’laah! As I started reading this article, I began speculating on what “solution” you have for prolonged grief. When I read your solution, I was startled since it applies to me. In Brief, I have developed spinal and brain injury for last 10 years (with daily, on-going deep pain); lost my job, lost my use of my strength, lost many memories, lost my health, lost my career (as a Medical Doctor), lost my ability to drive etc. However, through all of this, I considered my illness as a great Gift and Blessing from Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, since it taught me many lessons such as Gratitude, Sab’r and Shu’kr and gave me the Companionship of the Qur’an. About 5 years into my illness, during a phase when I was feeling very low, I had a dream about my late mother (May Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, Grant my parents Jannat-al-Firdous Insha-Allah). In the Dream, my mother kept saying: In’na Lil’laa’hi wa-in’na I’lay’hi Raa’ji’oon! As soon as I awoke, I thought that the dream meant that the Angel of Death would be visiting me soon. I went to the graveyard and for many weeks after that, I kept pondering on this Beautiful Verse (which is usually said on hearing upon the Death of someone). That is when I received the insight, Al’ham’du’lil’laah, similar to yours, that my dream did not mean that my Death is near, but that it meant that I must accept my illness and all its associated losses, and focus on all the Favours of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful; some of His Greatest Favours are: Kalimah; Permission to recite His Beautiful Attributes; and the fact that we Belong to Him, and everything that He has Created Belongs to Him! Sub’ha’nal’laah! It is now 5 more years since that dream (which brings my illness to 10 years of Sab’r and Shu’kr), Al’ham’du’lil’laah! Thank you for a wonderful article, and may Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, Reward you, Insha-Allah, warmest regards, Dr Ahmed Adam [South Africa].

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