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“If Only”

“If only I had remained at home, I would not have been involved in the accident.” “If only I had come a minute earlier, I would have been able to save the child.” “If only . . . ” Often such exclamations are heard from people who have been afflicted by some calamity. They then brood over what has already happened and rebuke themselves for the incident. While Islam teaches us to be careful and to take whatever precautions are at our disposal, similarly we have been taught to believe that whatever is destined to happen will certainly take place. Nothing can stop it.

Hence Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has warned: “Do not say “if” (with regard to something that has happened) for verily “if” sets in motion the actions of shaitaan” (Mishkaat). What this Hadith implies is that after something has already happened, by now saying “if this…” and “if that…” one will open the door to serious problems. It may lead towards falsely accusing others , or at the least towards self accusation. Self accusation could pave the way towards dejection and depression. Therefore, one should rather resign oneself to the will of Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala alone in His infinite wisdom knows why something happened in the way it happened. Indeed one should take a lesson from the past and adopt strategies to safeguard oneself in the future. However, these aspects are just the means. Allah Ta’ala alone controls everything.


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