“Fate protects us from death.” -Ertugrul Bey
This is a quote that comes to mind when looking at our recent panic-stricken times.
What this means, in a nutshell is a gentle reminder for us to go into life all-in. Remember that our life is written already. So be fearless and do what you’re supposed to do. Go live life, with wisdom of course. What’s the worst that can happen? After all, what is scarier than death, right?
You won’t die because your fate will protect you from that… and if it doesn’t, well that just means it was your time. Whilst it may seem sombre, I think it’s almost poetic in its simplicity. In fact, it’s liberating and should make one fearless.
I understand the need to display caution in such times, of course. Be sensible, minimise risk and don’t put others or yourself in harms way. All of that stuff makes sense.
What doesn’t make sense is the constant media fear-mongering, over zealous insistence on the nonsensical and general chaos. The mandatory masks manned. Strictly locked up like caged animals. The almost dogmatic reliance on vaccinations as the ultimate saviour and how polarised we are when we should be sticking together.
We’re now at a stage where people are almost frozen in fear — so traumatised by ‘potentially’ dying that they’re not living.
But we need to think about it differently. Mindset is everything. If done correctly, acceptance of one’s tribulation is freedom — as opposed to lamenting about life.
In Hebrew, did you know it is impossible to say the word ‘coincidence’ — there is simply no word that exists in that language that comes close. This is interesting as it shows they believe that everything is ordained and directed from God. Nothing is by chance, nothing is lucky or unlucky. It is what it is. Deal with it.
It’s one of the same principles we have in Islamic finance — and why having insurance is seen as against the Islamic spirit and ethos. Trials are from God and they purify you. If you are compensated for your trial, perhaps you will not learn the lesson intended. Perhaps there is a spiritual growth meant for you not occurring as a result.
Instead of seeing what is now lacking in your life, is there anything that is happening as a result of this enforced change that is beneficial? More time with family, more time to worship, more time to think about setting up a business for yourself, perhaps.
Khalid Bin Waleed, at the battle of Yarmouk was heavily outnumbered by the Byzantine army — with conservative numbers suggesting 41,000 to 140,000. When he faced the mighty Persians, he had only 2,001 men against the superpower of the day. He won both battles, convincingly.
Why? He was fearless and fully believed that the help of Allah would descend. With Allah’s help, ANYTHING can be achieved, no matter how unrealistic it seems. If you are of substance, you are sincere, and you have tawakkul, Allah’s help will descend, no matter how bleak things may look.
Pattern interrupts are often necessary for lifestyle and habit change.
I wrote a short article last year on the subject of decluttering and detoxing. At the time, it was literally just on how powerful taking timing out to reset can be.
It’s actually become quite apt and almost symbolic in these times. Not only as a forced lesson upon us that our way of living was always unsustainable not only on our own body and mind, but also for nature and the environment around us.
I’ve read since lockdown, how air quality has improved something like 40% and pollution is way, way down and that animals such as dolphins have been seen in areas that they haven’t been for a long, long time. You can keep abusing but eventually, you’ll have to take a break. It’s like any addict. You can have sugar every single day but eventually, you’ll get to a point where the body just needs a salad, or anything but sugar otherwise it will reject it or crash.
It’s why we look forward to Ramadan so much. It’s the one month of resetting our system after 11 months of gluttony and gorging.
The world and how we treated it was like that. The overconsumption, pillaging, the sheer abuse of its resources day in, day out without a care. We’ve been doing it for years, decades even. The lockdown, unnecessary and overblown as it is, and despite damaging the economy and perhaps even the human condition beyond repair has at least done one good thing. It has made us mindful, made us realise what we really crave — human connection and above all (I hope) it has made us grateful for the things we used to take for granted.
Of course, I don’t intend to come across as insensitive, as I am very conscious of the loss incurred by many throughout this year long battle, to our finance, family and health. But I do hope, if and when the lockdown is lifted that some of these deep lessons stay with us — instead of it being a return to the old norm.
To end, this is really a reminder to myself first, to replace fear with freedom, fury with forbearance and frustration with a focus on fate. Remember, what sets people apart in times of crisis is good old decent humanity. Rallying around and helping others. A sense of camaraderie, community, connection and above all, a mental toughness to ride it out. To do all of that, you need to stay sane. Focus on your mental health and practice self-care — never has it been more important than now. .
When the world has descended into mass frenzy, we must always keep a cool head if we want to be able to navigate through the storm.
A lifelong learner, avid reader and passionate writer, I am the founder of KNOW and a serial entrepreneur.
I am a huge believer in personal development and am also the co-founder of Muslim CEO.