The Unknown Future and Our Ultimate Dependency on Allah

No amount of worry can change the future, and neither can perfect planning alter the fate of Allah.

No amount of worry can change the future, and neither can perfect planning alter the fate of Allah.

“…No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allah is the All-knowing, well-acquainted.” (Qur’an 31:34)

Does the future really exist? Or is it merely the fragments of our imaginations and thoughts of the possibilities that might or might not happen?

It appears as an illusion yet it could be a reality as well. Time is one of the factors that decides that. What are the outcomes that I would still be alive for the future or even the next minute? No probabilities. Not even 50/50. 

Speaking of this, long back I listened to Ustaz Nouman talk about the future, on something to do with free will which his teacher shared with him.

The scenario is as such:

“You are actually invited to a party A. If you attend party A, your names would be inside the lists of those who attended party A. The twist here is that the list is already preplanned but no one knows actually whose names are inside the list. If you don’t attend, then your name will not be on the list. The only way you can see the list is by actually attending party A. Ironically, if you attend party A, your names will be there and if you don’t, it won’t be there. Now, imagine party A as paradise. Your good deeds are definitely bringing you to paradise but again your name is already on the list of those going to paradise. So, the only way you and I will know whether we will be entering paradise is by actually entering it as in performing all the acts that are going to bring us to paradise.”

So that’s how Allah has made our free will or future. Planning for it is something good though but worrying about it won’t benefit anyone.

I sometimes worry about my future, what it may carry. Anyhow, we decide possibilities of the occurrences of the future in regard to the present. I realized then this whole worrying business is of no use as the situation we are living in itself isn’t permanent. It constantly changes. By all means, it even might get tougher.

But at the end of the day, I know that my Beloved is looking after me and my future is taken care of well by Him. And that’s all I need. The future might be looking bombastic, but then I asked myself, is it bigger than the power the Almighty has?

Clearly, in the above verse of the Quran, Allah clarifies the fact that we will never know what we will be earning tomorrow or which place we will be dying. There is a solid reason why Allah emphasizes those two things. If we think deeply, these two are the main aspects of the future which many of us will be worried about. 

Worries about our financial well-being are something that relates to almost every one of us. Wealth is one of the biggest tests for all of us. There are many questions that will haunt our minds always; will I be able to get the job that I want? When will I get an increment of salary? Why money isn’t enough always? When can I afford the things that I have always wanted?

With all these questions already bothering us, now we have new overwhelming worries that concern us, which includes whether can I sustain my job and ultimately will I still be able to earn tomorrow like today because of the current circumstances that we are pressurized with.

On the other hand, there are certain people who are tested with lives. Especially as it relates to the current scenario, as much as many of us are afraid of disease and death, globally many are afflicted and tested by them severely.

Speaking of these two major crises (health and economic) which is the center of attention worldwide, Allah already clarified these facts in the ayah above that none of us will have surety and guarantee regarding these two things. No amount of worry can change the future, and neither can perfect planning alter the fate of Allah.

Above all, one profound meaning we could derive from these situations is that ultimately our higher dependency should always rely on Him. These scenarios in themselves become proof of how much we are in constant need of Him, and how He is not in need of any of our favors.

Isn’t He the ultimate master that controls every affair?