Unlocking Possibilities Through Our Decisions
This life is indeed filled with infinite possibilities, let alone the individual paths that we choose to take as travellers. This is beautifully reminded by Prophet Muhammad SAW in an authentic hadith.
In the Book of Sahih al-Bukhari, ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar reported that Prophet Muhammad SAW said,
كُنْ فِي الدُّنْيَا كَأَنَّكَ غَرِيبٌ، أَوْ عَابِرُ سَبِيلٍ
“Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a traveller”
(Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 81, Hadith Number 5)
Whenever we embark on any path, we will come face to face with unforeseen struggles which make it difficult for us to see the fulfilling journey ahead. We are then placed at countless crossroads from time to time; ones that require us to decide. That in itself is a struggle for most of us. Small decisions that lead to big impacts and big decisions that create a wholesome shift. The outcome of the decisions will never be within our control but the choices that we make hold great importance.
Decisions are the keys to unlock the endless possibilities. They teach us to take chances and create the kind of life we want to live, to consider what may potentially be the next best thing. They show us that Allah SWT’s mercy for mankind is blessed through one’s ability to decide. These decisions are on a lot of things – on work, studies, companionship, marriage, treatment, help, struggles, life in general and so much more. And with every potentially unlocked possibility, we are given three options.
Option one, give up.
Giving up will always be the easiest option at hand and the temptation of doing so increases in strength when the going gets tougher. When at one’s wit’s end, to keep going seems far fetched and to hold on only chips away at the pieces of our being. The choice to give up, too, could potentially be influenced by fear: the fear of getting it all wrong and the start of believing that nothing could ever go right. Sometimes in doing so, we miss out on incredible opportunities and potential possibilities.
Option two, give in.
Giving in is usually the approach of the generous, understanding, kind-hearted individual. This is different from giving up, which involves quitting and withdrawing. Giving in is the act of allowing something to happen, most times without considering one’s own needs or capacity of doing so. We have probably heard words uttered like “it’s okay”, “of course we can”, “never mind”. Many times, giving in has saved a lot of circumstances. However, too many attempts of giving in may lead to one being taken advantage of and unable to experience other breath-taking possibilities.
Option three, give all.
Giving it our all requires courage, strength, and perseverance. It is giving our best and undivided attention despite the circumstances. It is making the maximum effort possible regardless of the degree of hardship, struggle, and trouble it may bring. Truth be told, it is not an option that everyone is willing to take up. A lot may be at stake, especially when all we have to strive through it is ourselves and our utmost belief in the possibilities of the coming days.
My take on this is to analyse our unique situation and the context in which we are facing them. Some days may require for us to give our all, without halting, without thinking twice. And that is fine. While other days may require us to give in to things, people, and situations. And that is alright too. But some instances might just require you to give up and walk away. The choices will always be in our hands; the decisions to unlock the next best possibility discreetly waiting to be unravelled.
Thus, keep in mind that all the good, all the bad and everything in between makes up the nature of the possibilities of this life. It is in fact a series of ups and downs, like a roller coaster ride. A daily reveal of episodes in which we never expect its outcome. But for those who intend to seek the truth, they will surely be guided by Allah SWT.
In the Noble Quran, Allah SWT mentions in Surah al-A’raaf verse 89,
رَبَّنَا افْتَحْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ قَوْمِنَا بِالْحَقِّ وَأَنْتَ خَيْرُ الْفَاتِحِينَ
“…Our Rabb, decide between us and our people in truth, and you are the best of those who give decision.” (Quran 7:89)
Thereby when each day comes for us, intriguingly wrapped in the unimaginable possibilities at stake, and decisions are needed to be made, we must ensure we know clearly why we have decided upon something. Avoid diverting. Dismiss the need to follow suit the decision of others and never not have a stand. As Believers, remember to always make plenty of du’as and seek His guidance.
At the end of the road, there is no guarantee for the desired outcome. But Believers need to try regardless, for every effort exerted in the journey will be rewarded tremendously. Truly, there is virtue in trying, in hoping, in believing, and in keeping the faith. For if the possibilities unravelled are those which are good, we are prompted to practice gratitude. If otherwise, we are reminded by our best example to practice patience.
Remember, as long as Allah SWT is around, there will still be hope and the unanticipated possibility for every decision that we make. May our decisions continue to be guided by Allah SWT; to what is right and to what is best for us and those around us. InshaAllah.
In the Book of Sahih Muslim, Suhayb reported that Prophet Muhammad SAW said,
عَجَبًا لِأَمْرِ الْمُؤمنِ إِنَّ أَمْرَهُ كُلَّهُ لَهُ خَيْرٌ، وَلَيْسَ ذَلِكَ لِأَحَدٍ إِلَّا لِلْمُؤْمِنِ:
إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ، فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ، وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ، صَبَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ
“Strange is the matter of the Believer for there is good for him in everything. And this is not the case except for anyone except the Believer. If something good happens to him, he is thankful for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him”. (Sahih Muslim, Book 55, Hadith Number 82)