Many people frequently fall into despair when faced with an unexpected and sudden event. Take the example of those who have been unsuccessful at work, lost something they love, or failed an important exam. If such things have become their goals, they will be unable to cope with such unexpected results and experience great sadness, for they have placed all of their hopes and goals upon the chain of events happening as they had envisioned.
However, life does not always go according to one's plans, which means that people can face many unexpected events. For example, somebody who really wants to be an architect will study very hard for the entrance exam. All of her future plans are based upon becoming an architect. But something she never expects happens: She is accepted into another program. Having planned to become an architect, she now finds herself studying for an entirely different career.
Many unexpected events may befall people throughout their lives, for, in reality, no one knows what is going to happen even one second from now. The only thing that we know for sure is that everything in a person's life is determined long before he or she is even born. In other words, all events in a person's life are determined in "timelessness”. When the appointed day and time arrive, he or she will experience that event, because Allah has made it part of their destiny. Given these facts, it will come to pass.
Generally any event, whether cars crashing into each other or any other unexpected event, takes place within a matter of seconds. From the drivers' loss of concentration to the music playing and the clothes worn – Allah had created and planned every detail of that particular event in His destiny. The person who was going to have that accident wore those clothes, left home, and turned onto the street where the accident would occur. Nothing could have prevented it.
This is how Allah preordains events. At this point, people begin to use the following logic: "If only I hadn 't gone into that street" or "If only I hadn't been playing with the tape and had concentrated on the road." But such logic is quite faulty and incorrect and, moreover, leads to unending complaining and regret. Although many causes may be found for the accident, the reality is that the accident and its causes were created in the course of destiny.
A person coming face to face with this truth for the first time might think: "Okay. Well, what could I have done? If everything is already written in my destiny and Allah knows about them, how am I supposed to behave when these situations occur?"
The Qur'an answers the above questions very clearly, and so we turn to it to find the truth for everything. According to the Qur'an, the best way to act and the best attitude to have is to submit to our destiny, look for the best in everything, not to get upset or fall into despair, and to be a grateful servant under all circumstances.
Say: "Nothing can happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is Our Master. It is in Allah that the believers should put their trust." (Surat at-Taubah: 51)
Muslims who have faith in Allah, believe in the hereafter's existence, and fear Allah submit to our Lord, Who has created everything. In other words, they submit completely to whatever happens to them and do not despair, because they know that He controls everything and is their best Friend and Protector. Muslims know that panicking or losing hope are very wrong, because Allah, the most perfect Creator, has created every event. Thus, the event in question has been created in the most perfect way. Even though sometimes the events may appear to be negative, each believer knows that good comes out of everything.
Believers and unbelievers have very different reactions to events. For example, a believer may be late for an interview that she assumes will be good for her and thus lose a unique opportunity. However, assured that everything is predestined and that her being late is utterly under Allah's control, she sees a good in this unexpected event, thanks Allah for it, and hopes for a better end. She knows that it would be wrong to attribute this turn of events to such causes as traffic congestion or a flat tire. Indeed, if Allah had so willed, traffic congestion would have reduced or the tire would not have been punctured.
These or similar conditions are surely the apparent reasons for being late. Yet, more important than these apparent reasons is Allah's divine plan, which specially decreed that event long ago, and that destiny was only fulfilling itself as Allah willed.
All obstacles come into existence because Allah wills a good for believers. If people are to understand this submission fully, they must take Allah as their sole Friend and Protector and turn to Him in complete sincerity. A most telling characteristic of the morality that Allah wills for believers is that they do not become sad or negative or fall into despair, no matter what they may encounter.
Hopelessness indicates disbelief or weak faith, and is a consequence of one's failure to comprehend that everything takes place according to destiny. Allah draws our attention to this error, for under despair lies a mood and rationale opposed to the very values of the Qur'an. Such an attitude is forbidden, because Allah advises people to trust in Him, be hopeful, and see good in all that happens.
When confronted with the most negative events, and even such unexpected ones as being wounded or losing everything, believers display an extremely submissive and patient character, since they know that Allah creates every event. He creates every being, both the visible and the invisible, with a flawless design, and gives life to each of them. Allah, the Creator of everything, also created all human beings, regardless of time or place, and their individual destinies. The minor events experienced by a person living in a distant land also are under Allah's control, for He sees every thing and place, and hears every noise. Moreover, Allah creates the concepts of "space," "sound," and "image."
Given that He controls everything, giving way to despair is always an error, for the event will happen regardless of whether one wants it to or not. Besides, all events occur for some good reason. What is important here is to see the good in events. Those who do so will see how perfectly and flawlessly Allah creates events, and this attitude will enable them to obtain a more profound faith.
Such a line also exists between hope and despair. Hope befits reason and rationale, while despair is utterly against it. For instance, one may fail a test despite studying hard. Let's assume that he has been shaken and fallen into despair, since he worked so hard but still failed. He obviously does not benefit from such a mood, and the ensuing distress and trouble harms both his body and soul. But in reality, Allah wills another good for him.
Throughout their lives, people encounter events that seem to serve no clear purpose: They cannot get a job they like, lose some money they desperately need, lose something they cherish, or lose through theft possessions that they could buy only after years of hard work. Such events may happen to everyone. Indeed, Allah makes it clear that people are tested by their souls and possessions. In one of his sayings, our Prophet (saas) made this clear:
“Whatever Allah takes is for Him, and whatever He gives is for Him. Everything with Him has a limited fixed term (in this world), and so people should be patient and hope for Allah's reward." (Sahih Bukhari)
Thus, those who remain patient will attain good, whereas those who rebel and despair will lose.
It is vital to fully comprehend the importance of being hopeful and to be patient in order to gain Paradise. Being positive is obligatory, as the following verse shows:
“Do not despair of solace from Allah. No one despairs of solace from Allah except for people who do not believe.” (Surah Yusuf: 87)
As Allah commands that we have this attitude, we must realize that He dislikes any type of despair. Thus, we must take Allah as our Friend and try to act according to His will.
taken from 'Hopefulness in the Quran' by HarunYahya