Biggest Lesson I Learned in 2017


There's a concept that I stumbled upon in 2017 that has completely shifted my view on my life; inevitably strengthening my relationship with Allah. It wasn't until I attended a halaqa at a local mosque that I began to understand that:

No amount of success
can be attributed to myself;

only thru God is any success possible.

Before the halaqa, I had never thought of my life in that way. Obviously, I always saw any accomplishment a result of God blessing me; but never put thought into how much of the process that led to my success was attributed by God vs myself. That was where I started thinking.

I asked myself, "what part does God play in the steps leading to my success?" The apparent answer was "all the steps." I've known that God is involved in every aspect of our life, not just specific parts. He is everywhere. But I just kept digging deeper to finding out who was responsible for my accomplishments. My thought process (me thinking to myself):

"A personal success of mine: I got accepted into the top design school."
"How'd you get in?"
"I got accepted because of the portfolio I, myself put together."
"What made you put together such a strong portfolio?"
"My creative mind."
"Who gave you your creativity?"
"Who gave you your mind?
"Who woke you up every morning that you worked on your portfolio?"
"Who gave you the time to work on the portfolio?"
"God. And God."

This means the success of me getting into the school, following the chain of responsibility, was attributed purely to God, not me. This then led me to the thought: "if every step was the direct result of God's work, that means absolutely none of it was a result of my own work." And it can't be a team effort between me and Him, He's the Creator, I'm the creation—there's no sharing of responsibility or power for I exist only because He created me. He gave me a soul. A body, and mind. God isn't semi-present in my life, he's omni-present. He's not just there in the end, He's been there since the beginning when He wrote my acceptance into the school before I was even born. He has planned every success in my life a lifetime before my parents thought to have me.

He let me succeed. He blessed me with the resources to develop my creative skillset. He provided the food that gave me energy to work on my portfolio. He kept my heart pumping when I submitted the application and he kept my lungs going when I received my acceptance letter. It's all from Him.

So how can I say ANY of it was the work of my own hands? I can't. That is what true submission is, giving every single part of yourself: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually—to the One who created you. It's handing the responsibility of any good in your life to God.

Allah—the Most Gracious, the Most Giving.

Feel free to share your thoughts below—I'd love to hear 'em.