While tests and trials are an unavoidable part of life, the way we choose to deal with them can either alleviate or further precipitate the situation. One thing that helps me tremendously is making really long sujood. A sajdah that lasts as long as possible with you focussed on removing every inkling of worldly concern from your heart and mind, is an escape that gives you clarity in thought and hope for what has yet to come.
I was feeling really down a few days ago, just from a whole bunch of things going on and more than anything, I was upset that I wasn’t being as patient as I should have been. So that night I decided to elongate my sujood for as long as I could without falling asleep. I began with the usual glorification of Allah and gradually started making du’a. Instead of focussing on the challenges I was dealing with, I made Allah my concern. I thought about His attributes, subhanu wata’ala. He is the One who sees me, knows me, created me, formed me, nurtured me, He knew me long before my parents knew me. He, ‘azzawajal guided me, granted me countless ni’am so that at that very moment, I could turn to Him for help. He tested me, and will test me for as long as I am alive and just the fact that I was able to lower my head in submission is huge blessing in itself. I thought about the ayah in Surah Qaf.. وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ. While Allah was/is closer to me than my jugular vein, at that exact second, He Subhanwata’ala was running the affairs of trillions of other people and creatures. He was feeding one person, curing another, afflicting someone, giving life and death to whomever He willed, forgiving someone, guiding someone. At that moment, Allah ‘azzawajal was running the affairs of the Jinn, of the Angels as they carried out commands, of those who were being punished in the grave and those who were looking through a window into Jannah, patiently awaiting the Day of Judgement. He was providing for our shuhadaa’ as their souls rested in the hearts of green birds and ate from the provisions of Jannah. He was running the celestial bodies as they went through their precise cycles. He was changing the day to night and the night to day. He had complete knowledge of the before and the after, the manifest and the unseen. No sleep or slumber could ever overcome Him, but he created sleep as a means of rest for His creation. I thought about the meanings of His Asmaa’ was Sifaat.. the meaning of al Hayy, al Qayyum, al Jabbar, al ‘Aziz, as-Sami’, al Baseer, al Ghafoor, al Hakeem, al ‘Aleem. The existence of everything from the depths of the oceans, to the peaks of mountains, to the vast arrays of the universe were all known to Him, jalla wa’ala. Not a single leaf fell, nor did a (seemingly) great calamity occur except by His knowledge and permission. Love, fear, hope, laughter, tears, time, and all the intangibles of dunya were all under His supreme control. He, subahanahu wata’ala was aware of how these intangibles would be distributed amongst his creations 50,000 years before his first creation of our father, Adam (‘alayhis salaam). Allah ‘azzawajal was caring for every single living creature, calculating the rizq of every living being. He determined which leaf was going to fall down onto which animal so it could be a source of provision for a fly. SubhanAllah ‘adada khalqihi.
I thought about the beautiful du’a a bedouin Sahabi made, not knowing the Prophet (‘alayhis salaam) was in his presence listening attentively. He (salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) heard him say, “O the One who eyes cannot see in this world, minds cannot comprehend His Greatness, people cannot praise Him as He deserves to be praised, incidents do not change Him, He does fear the passing of time, He knows the exact weight of all the mountains in the world, He knows the exact volume of all the oceans in the world, He knows the exact number of drops that fall from the sky, He knows the number of leaves on all the trees in the world, He knows the number and detail of everything that the night hides in its darkness and the day illuminates with its light. One sky cannot shield another from Allāh. One ground cannot shield another from Allāh. A mountain in its deepest, darkest cave cannot hide anything from Allāh. The ocean with its depth cannot hide anything from Allāh.” Then he made du‘ā’ to Allāh and said, “O Allāh make the best part of my life the last part of my life. Make the best of my actions the last of my actions. Make the best of my days the day that I will meet You.”
I became so overwhelmed and engulfed in these thoughts but I continued to think. I thought about all the du’as Allah ‘azzawajal never left unanswered (the ones my memory could recall). I slowly went through every minor difficulty I had faced till now. SubhanAllah, I thought to myself.. if Allah ta’ala was so generous and merciful to me through all those difficulties, what made me so sure that I would have to face my current challenges all alone? Allah was there then and He is always with me now. How could I possibly worry about matters that my Most Merciful Lord has already ordained? After some more reflecting, I lifted my head and sighed a sigh of relief. :)
Next time you’re stressed, just make sujood. Let go of your obstacles and make du’a. Think about it – You are transferring a situation from your power and ability to the power and ability of Allah. You are moving obstacles from yourself to the One who has no obstacles.
وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ فِي نَفْسِكَ تَضَرُّعًا وَخِيفَةً وَدُونَ الْجَهْرِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ وَلَا تَكُن مِّنَ الْغَافِلِينَ
And remember your Lord within yourself in humility and in fear without being apparent in speech – in the mornings and the evenings. And do not be among the heedless. [7:205]
“You don’t know what the future holds, but you know who holds it”