Sometimes your plans and Allah’s plans are the same. Sometimes you decide to go somewhere and Allah decides to let you go also. And sometimes you decide to go to a college and Allah gives you admission into that college also. You decide to graduate early, and Allah lets you graduate early also…
So things go according to your plan. All that means is your plan and Allah’s plan was the same for that one thing.
But sometimes your plan and Allah’s plan are not the same. Some times you want to stay in that job for ten years, but you get fired after six months.
Sometimes you apply to this school and you had the best application, but you still didn’t get in, and people with worst application than you got in. And it happens.
Sometimes your plans and Allah’s plans are not the same.
Except [when adding], “If Allah wills.” And remember your Lord when you forget [it] and say, “Perhaps my Lord will guide me to what is nearer than this to right conduct. (Quran 18:24)
These verses are recognizing that not everything will go according to my plan. I will still have to make a plan; I will still have to put in the effort, but at the end of the day, it is Allah who will decide whether this plan will come through or not. This is:
And remember your Lord when you forget.
But then the most powerful part of this verse and this is really one of the most beautiful lessons in the entire Quran, in my opinion. If the Muslim understands this, their life becomes easy:
And say, "Perhaps my Lord will guide me to what is nearer than this to right conduct."
Have Hope in the Future
These words are a dua. And more than a dua, they’re a statement of optimism. Let’s introduce it that way:
You’re thinking about the future just because of the use of the Arabic word “’asa” which is used to express hope.
Allah is teaching us in this verse that the Muslim has to have hope in the future.
My iman and the Quran make me optimistic about the future. I don’t care what the news says, I don’t care what happened yesterday and the day before… I will not be among those Muslims who sit on a table and say the situation of the Ummah keeps getting worse and worse. Things are getting much terrible. And there is another tragedy coming, I guarantee you, watch what happens…
This attitude is directly against this verse, just in the word “’asa”.
You’re supposed to be full of optimism and hope that Allah will make things better for you, for the people around you, for humanity. You’re supposed to have that attitude.
What should you say about your own future?
Perhaps my Lord will guide me.
What is the most optimistic thing you can have in your future?
Everybody wants a better job, a better financial situation, a better family situation, a better health situation… We want all of these things, but you know what?
The most fundamental you and I need, more essential than the oxygen that we’re breathing, is Allah’s guidance. So once you have that, everything else will work out. When you don’t have that, you can have everything else and you have nothing.