Life is Greater than the Sum of its Parts

Turning Traditional Logic on its Head

Every individual goes through challenges in life. That’s a given. We all oscillate between the usual highs and lows, moments of glee and then stress and so much in between. Nobody can claim to have had a life of purely one state or the other.

In particular, if anyone does boldly (and erroneously) suggest their life has been only doom and gloom, then I can only say that person has not known gratitude. Because in between all the woe and misery, there is indeed some happiness to be found. The fact that someone is even alive and breathing is something to be grateful for in and of itself. But to train oneself to shift the focus from the negative to the positive is a process which takes time and a certain kind of maturity. My own theory is that the process will be infinitely more difficult if Allah is not in the equation. Without acknowledging His mastery and perfect wisdom, everything in life will continue to perplex us. That’s because we can’t look to humans alone to provide logic or reason for events that take place.

Instead, turning to Allah will invariably put our hearts and minds at ease. That’s because thinking of Him will necessarily remind us of our purpose on this Earth anyway. It is a recalibration of our thoughts – and that is a process that needs to happen often since we are a forgetful and fickle type. Worries about money, health, jobs, children, wounded hearts etc. will evaporate in minutes if we trust in Allah’s plan. A sense of calm should – and often does – descend over us. It is at this point when we realise that all events are out of our hands anyway. So, rather than question,’Why?‘ it would be wiser to simply accept some situations are beyond our control and comprehension. We just need to deal with them as best we can.

Bill, Bills and more Bills

Back to today, like so many people, I am bombarded by the sobering news about rising prices on practically everything. Financial stress is there, no doubt, but I must consciously try to zoom out and look at the entirety of my life right now. I have to force myself to take a step back and remember what things I still have to be grateful for. And there are many. I can confidently say that I am still blessed with so much – things I am aware of and things I am not. I must reiterate to myself that life is not defined just by rising petrol prices. I must balance negative thoughts with the positive things I still have. For example, I have my sons who are alive and well, Alhamdulillah. I have my own relatively good health, Alhamdulillah. I get to see the sunrise and sunset and the world in all its glorious colours, Alhamdulillah. And the list goes on…

So it is the same with our past. Whilst unpleasant events that have occurred in our own personal lives will definitely impact our future, we can either let these events consume us or use them to our benefit. From those experiences, there must be growth. To simply lament, complain and stagnate will not do. There is a higher purpose on this Earth. Let’s face it; it’s clear we were never going to have a life devoid of trials and tribulations. Mistakes and tests are what we build upon in order to navigate our way forward through time.

It is this mindset that sustains me in my darkest days. Every time I slump to the bottom of the pit, I ask myself, “Is this it? Is this the best I can do with my life? What happened to my fighting spirit?” Judging an event only in duniya (worldly) terms will make me unequivocally hopeless and bitter.

Needless to say, I know the totality of individual chapters or events in my life have all come together to prepare me for my passage into the next life. I didn’t get myself an education simply to confine myself within my four walls. I was not gifted the chance to be a mother just so my children would occupy my time. And I definitely haven’t given up on life after divorce because I am still able to see the wood for the trees.

The world still has so much to offer and I intend to take the opportunities where they present themselves. The only thing I try to remind myself is that those opportunities must feed into a higher ambition – to secure Allah’s pleasure. They must never be for ephemeral pleasures only. With that said, it’s also true that the things which slipped from my grasp were also no longer able to serve me for the life beyond this one. If I understand that and keep that thought alive, I am onto something far greater than I care to imagine, inshaAllah.

5 thoughts on “Life is Greater than the Sum of its Parts

  1. Hey man, I was first irked by the 2+2=5 picture lol, which I believe you put on purpose you mischievous little blogger you lol… Anyway, I was glad once I began to read. I do have a couple questions for you if you dont mind, all in the spirit of discovery of course.

    I was wondering why people who follow abrahamic faiths pretty much across the board anthropomorphise Allah in your case to be male? It’s not just Islam which does this, Christianity and Judaism (Torah observant Hebrew speaking non Talmudic Jews) which does this too. I’ve always wondered is this human beings nature, to put a face we would recognise onto God who is of course outside of all our ability to comprehend? As in, we say “he” when referring to the God of the book (which I believe I am right in thinking is the same God just in 3 different faiths communicating with us over time) it is so we can “relate” better? I can understand that, especially in the context of a more ancient man’s mindset, because I view the creator as “that which is not” and as formless in essence – existing outside of all creation as a necessary function otherwise how else could creation not exist and then be “created” in the first place?

    I guess I wanted to ask you if a person was to say Allah actually was female, would that change or affect your belief in Allah? Is being male non negotiable in your faith? It really does appear logical to me that if a creator exists and it had to take a dualistic form that a divine feminine would be far more likely given that we are all female in the womb, are born from the waters of a woman and throughout history many cultures have viewed our very planet as “mother” earth. I imagine a cow and a baby suckling milk as a symbolic representation of life and its relationship with Earth with all life as the baby suckling calf.

    I’ve always believed that God is unknowable in terms of experience, having no true form or “characteristics” as we would understand them because of our small life span and dualistic in built way of processing reality. I think that God or a creator “could” take on any form should they wish to if they wanted or needed to appear before a human prophet for example. Do you believe that Allah is masculine in nature explicitly? If so, in a world of dualism how would Allah’s creation unfold without the divine feminine opposite to orchestrate creation and all of its processes? A male or female only God would be unbalanced, do you think?

    Please, do not feel offended I am not challenging or meaning to be rude I ask respectfully and with a heart of curiousity on what you feel about it. Other then that, I love the “submission” theme you wrote about regarding obstacles in life as they arise, often in quite difficult moments or times when you are powerless to change a thing. It is kinda back to front logic to spiritually know the answer to a situation that is out of your control and provokes a strong desire in us to “fix the problem” – is in fact to actually release even more control and allow “divinity” or grace to take care of the details in a way only it can. Thats a beautiful way of living with the grain, while building graceful character in ourselves.

    Would like to hear your views, my blog is also spiritual in nature. Somewhat different to yours, but I am going to follow your page – I like your writing style.

    Take care my friend 🙂


    1. Hi, thanks for taking the time out to read and write back. I am not offended at all at your comments/queries. It’s great to have dialogue. You have valid questions and I will reply to you properly in due course so please watch this space..


      1. Oh, brilliant I am more than happy to wait. Thank you for taking me seriously on what I said, I wasnt sure if I was getting my point across well or not. Speak to you more whenever you are ready


    2. Hey, sorry it’s taken so long to reply to your question. But in answer to it, as a Muslim (and I guess I speak for most, if not all, Muslims who practise their faith), I use the pronoun, ‘He’, only because it would be strange not to use any. But why is not Allah given a female pronoun? Of course, it’s not because we believe Allah is one gender or the other. However, in traditional thought, the male is seen to be the dominant form and embodies a position of power. I must emphasise that Islam does not consider human man better or superior over a female. We are simply different. In our temporal existsence (esp in the Muslim world) it would appear that woman is inferior to man; she has less rights etc. However, as a Muslim woman myself, it’s difficult to explain ‘equality’ if someone else already approaches that word/theme from a Eurocentric or modern world persepctive of what it means. Equality, in worldly terms, will always seem unfair and biased towards men. In fact, it’s difficult to quantify equality. There are nuances in Islam which cannot be understood if one hasn’t lived the life of a Muslim and seen it from the inside. I speak from experience.
      Interesting that you ask why Allah isn’t spoken of in female terms given life originates in the womb. I actually think that is actually an argument to support the fact that Allah does not have progeny and therefore human life, as in Jesus/Isa (peace be upon him), could not have been borne from a God that is not human himself. This is where we split roads with Christianity.
      As a Muslim, I know that my knowledge of the Divine is limited and always will be. Having seen life from both sides of the fence, so to speak, I actually can say I have found peace in this faith. It isn’t a cop-out religion; questions which do not have answers in this life will become clear on the other side. A test of faith is to trust in someone. Therefore, I trust in Allah and His decisions and commands. I don’t always understand everything but I know His wisdom is incomparable to my own limited one. Hope that helps you a bit. Thanks for the original question.


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