When I was a kid, my parents raised me on following what’s right and going away from what’s wrong. It was pretty simple to just tag some actions as right, others as wrong and to just follow this map.
But when I grew up, things started to be less clear. As what’s really ‘right’ or ‘wrong’?! My parents were really nice, they cleared up that it is not just what they clear that it is right or wrong, and that things might change, they might be wrong..and I should always work for myself to decide such a thing.
So at highschool, I started to really wonder about everything I do to decide what is exactly right and what is exactly wrong as a teenager. My thoughts by then were to create a good base of this clear map that I would live by for the rest of my life. You know it was going to be awesome if you just have this a lot of work to do at young age, then rest forever and enjoy living on this map, even though it might be boring, but more relaxing.
Yet, through out those last 8 or even 9 years ago, I always found that I don’t really ever get to this right, that is really right ever! I always have to be like a wheel in a car, I must be rotating always and always and always..there is no perfect position for me.
This thing appears in how I enhance my hijab, my believes about my duty in this world, if stopping some stuff is truly wrong or no. I always reach this state from time to time, where I am 100% sure of what I do and finally I got it..then again, I start to see mistakes in this right thing I reached and I start to change again.
Like if you an old reader, you would know that I stopped TV long time ago, yet I used to listen to music and I got no issues with. I used to take care of what type of music to listen to, so I used to listen to only Outlandish, Maher Zain, any good words songs..little Yanni from time to time. Then years later, I started to decide to listen to less songs as much as I can and that it is just acceptable and that’s it. Then years later, I decided to stop listening to islamic songs with music and that it is not really nice to listen to someone praying with a song..and that you should worship Allah in the way he says not like the way the song do it..anyways, not our topic..and at this state I only listened to music while running on my treadmill or exercising..then again..almost a year and half, I stopped 100%. It is not like I am going step by step, no I just follow what I believe in completely, what changes step by step is my perspective and my belief.
You know, same to every simple silly stuff. Like when it comes to kitchen, I used to love baking sweets most. I was known at my home by my very tasty brownies and cinnamon rolls. I was very happy when I learned this. I always thought it is such a great thing to do, and it must be a good deed the way I make my people happy. Also gifting people all the time by sweets and chocolate. Now, as I stopped anything that contains sugar 15 months ago, and I read a lot about this topic..I always feel may be I was wrong! Like, at this time my intention was to make people happier around me, but may be I was harming them a lot. Cinnamon rolls got a lot of sugar and butter and I used to do it myself, so I know how this crime is horrible, lol. It’s okay anyways.
Even details like studying and learning, when we were kids they told us study so you would please Allah, when I grew up I know it is not that simple. As it depends on what are you going to do with this study? some people actually use their knowledge for destruction?..may be you are studying something that is corrupting your religion and humanity..may be you were created for studying and working with something else?
Even work, friendships, culture, family, and even everything actually!
And there is always a mistake within what’s right, and there is always something that is more righteous!
What I mean is that by time you just realize that, you always need to be in this cycle in life, Of knowing that you are not good on your own. You are always having this test, you always need to think..yet not to think too much. Because at this moment when you think you feel everything is wrong actually, so you learn this feeling of, I am nothing without Allah. Because, some people believe they are good and righteous, and that they deserve heaven, but no wonder there is a hadith for the prophet Muhammad -peace be upon him- saying what means that no one goes to heaven by his own work, we go to heaven by Allah’s mercy. And that’s exactly how those feelings make me feel.
Now whenever I get thoughts like, may be this is not the right thing to do, may be I finally reached what’s right, or may be thinking that this thing you thought is wrong is not really wrong and anything a like, I just feel that verse in Surat Alkahaf that says:
وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ إِذَا نَسِيتَ وَقُلْ عَسَىٰ أَن يَهْدِيَنِ رَبِّي لِأَقْرَبَ مِنْ هَٰذَا رَشَدًا
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.”
So I just take a deep breath, and I just say..O may you guide me to what is nearer than this to right conduct! (in Arabic).
And it is totally the same with choices, you really never know what choice is right or wrong especially when it comes to work, marriage, family, ..or any kind of decisions. So you feel the real need to know that you are really just a little kid and you need Allah in every single detail, and there is no need to be really arrogant and over-rating how you may handle your stuff alone. So the more I grew up, the less I really pray in a certain way. I start to pray everything in terms of Istikhara, like if this thing is good for me, let me have it and if not, then let it go. I follow the specific hadith of istikhara prayer. Yet, you need to really keep that good balance of that you are actually seeking a nearer guidance by action, so whatever I said doesn’t mean to just wait!..no, it is really the opposite, like in the examples above, it is about not settling to where you reached! and always trying to find a nearer way to what’s right.
You know this thing is in my field too. When it is time to have a new project, I follow agile methodology. It got a a lot of good points, but one of them is always having a short term plan with the general vision. So you have the freedom to totally change the whole project any moment, also you don’t really try to handle all your decision/project choices from week one. You just keep trying to go for what’s more complete week by week. Like any website you are using, if you tried to remember how it looked like 5 years ago, it would be really horrible. So what makes this website special and still alive is how they always upgrade. If a website was arrogant of what it reached and really happy with it, they would not be alive today. So I experience this even while working on my projects. I always feel at the first output, that this is awesome and I am completely happy with it, then just after a week or two, I start to notice that actually it is not that good and we need to change and upgrade this application very fast and whenever I reach something it is not that perfect! and sometimes I get thoughts like is this project worth it? is it moving in the right way? should I stop working on?
And as you see it is just a universal principle. In nearly everything, our daily life, our knowledge, our work ..and it is really good when your everything is connected to Allah. And this feeling in all aspects of my life, even though it is annoying, but it ends up to be relaxing, as when your brain or people around you pressures you by the idea that your choice might not be right, you just feel like..nothing is right anyways! so if this is nearer, why not. we don’t have to be perfect from the very first step. Even though we seek perfection in every single step. Such an amazing balance that I wonder how it is placed in one heart.