When I was younger, God did help me when I called out to Him. Overall, He has blessed me with good things in this life. Recently that has changed.
Having the good things in life is what most people think is God’s blessings. But Islam teaches us that the good things in life are a contingent blessing! That is, if one thanks God for them by being good and faithful, then they are a blessing indeed. But, if one becomes occupied with them or does not thank God for them and starts to think that he deserves them, then they are a curse and not a blessing. Why? Because “the Hereafter is the life, if they only knew” (29:64). Thus, anything that does not improve our chances for Paradise is not a good thing even if it looks like a very good thing.
Likewise is hardship! Even hardship is contingent. If one endures it with faith in God that He will alleviate it, then it was a blessing in disguise! If one cannot bear them out and starts to feel discontentment or resentment, then it was a punishment. A test of faith they failed in.
I recently went through a very, very terrible heartbreak. My soul has not healed, and because I am grieving so badly my soul is still not healing. I am dealing with many losses.
Heartbreaks can be as wrenching as the loss of a loved one. When my father died, may God bless his and my mother’s souls, I honestly didn’t know how any day could pass. I felt constant torment and time wasn’t moving. Grief is legitimate and weeping for loss is allowed. But endurance and acceptance are the lessons to be learned from loss and hardship. The longer it takes for those lessons to be learned, the longer it takes the soul to heal.
People tell me to keep praying and things will turn around for me. I believe that, but at the same time I’ve never known it to happen to others. Its like I am looking for water in a desert.
Perhaps you are. Your grief is legitimate but it has put you in a box. You have predefined what God’s answer should be! If, on the other hand, you are confident that He has already answered your prayers, then you have freed yourself from that box. God’s answer is not always obvious.
Why doesn’t God answer my friend’s prayers? After all of her suffering and loneliness, why couldn’t God give her a nice husband and children, instead of a bad car accident and more loneliness?
Now you’re predefining what God’s answer should be for other people too. God does not forget anyone. He gives everybody what is best for them. We will see it all in detail and finally understand it on the Day of Settlement.
I ask myself…am I being unrealistic in praying for my own Zamzam (water well that sprung under Ishmael’s feet), so to speak? I have prayed for over 10 years for my Zamzam…a loving husband…healthy babies…joy in my life…
Not if you will recognize your Zamzam when it comes to you. This, of course, is easier said than done. That’s why faith, as Islam defines it, is not easy. It’s a balance between trust in God, acceptance of what He gives us, and working hard to achieve our goals. All are required!
and for a few brief months at age 39 I CAME CLOSE but it all fell apart. Has God given me my answer?
Not necessarily. One pitfall people fall into a lot is that they interpret things as God’s will and stop trying. Everything is by God’s will, and part of His will is that things follow the earthly laws He created and set in motion.
What I am having a harder time with is, if God did not want to answer my prayers, then why did He not give me peace in my heart, instead of a broken heart? And now that I have a broken heart and a terrible sense of grief over lost love and the lost opportunity to have a family of my own, why isn’t God repairing my broken heart so that I am content with what I don’t have?
It works the other way around! First, you accept and be content, then God grants you peace of mind. “He knew what is in their hearts, so He sent down tranquility upon them, and granted them a near opening” (48:18)
God answered your prayers, but you can’t see the answer just yet. You will in time.
What do you mean, by grief has put me in a box?
So should I accept that God has given me His answer — if so, doesn’t that mean that to obtain peace in my heart I have to stop praying for what (and for whom) my heart desires?
I mean that you are unable to think beyond the loss. That’s understandable for the time being. But if you start thinking beyond the loss, you’ll gradually accept it, open up other opportunities for yourself and get the wisdom of what happened. It takes time but it also takes initiative.
What is perplexing me is that I should accept that certain joys will bypass me, and instead I should wait patiently for death. But dying alone and unloved is a hard, bitter pill to swallow, especially when you are 40 and have (potentially) another 30 years to go!
No. That’s not it at all. You should see the bigger picture. How do you know that the marriage you didn’t get would not have been a curse that would ruin the rest of your life? Only God truly sees the whole picture.
My post was not an advice for you to wait! It was an advice for you to accept and be content, then move on. When you do that, the world opens up and you start to see what you couldn’t see before. Other opportunities start coming your way and, which is the best part, you actually see them when they come.
What do you mean, God answered my prayers? I just don’t know how to interpret that! When you say that I will see the answer in time….again this goes back to my heartrenchign question…do you mean, I will see the answer upon my death?
I mean that the answer has arrived though you cannot identify it just yet. You can’t in your current state of sorrow and confusion. However, if you start thinking that way, it will start to become clearer to you. That is an important ingredient of faith.
Am I presumptious in thinking that God will hold me as dear as the wife of Abraham, and grant me what I desire?
Are you as faithful as Haajar (Hagar), peace be upon her? When her husband left her and her baby in the middle of an arid, uninhabited desert of a foreign land, what did she say? She asked him, “Did God order this?” When he said yes, she replied, “Then He will not leave us!” Do you have the same level of faith? That God did not and will not leave you?
Did you work hard to achieve your goal? Haajar walked and ran seven times between the two hills of As-Safa and Al-Marwa looking for water or people or an oasis. Have you exhausted all lawful means available to you to achieve your goal?
If the answer is yes to both questions, then God holds you as dear as Haajar and your Zamzam will spring out when you don’t expect it!
Do I ACCEPT that the Zamzam I want is unattainable and instead focus on alternatives?
Not unattainable but may not be attained. Big difference. The former is despair from God’s mercy and the latter is pragmatic.