The Disease of Expectations

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In the name of Allah the Most Gracious and Most Merciful, the Ever-forgiving (Al-Ghafur), the Preserver (Al-Hafeez), the Nourisher (Al-Muqeet), and the Giver of life (Al-Muhyiy).

How beautiful are the names of Allah, and everything that they represent about Him? If we dwell deeper into the understanding of the ninety-nine names of Allah and His attributes, we come to understand one very simple thing;

If you must pray, then pray to Allah alone. If you must obey, then obey His commands and everything that the Prophet Muhammed (Pbuh) taught us through His revelation. If you must love, then love the One (Al-Wahid) and if you expect, then put all your expectations on Allah, the Bountiful, the Generous (Al-Karim).

As simple as it is, the understanding of these names is something that most of us do not ponder over. If we sit down and think over these beautiful names, we come to realize, that every single thing in the entire Universe was created, placed, and perfected by Allah Al-Sammad (The Self-sufficient) on such a level, that every known and unknown creation and its life depends on Allah alone. An example of it can be seen in the Quran, in Surah Al-Anbya.

“And We placed within the earth firmly set mountains, lest it should shift with them, and We made therein [mountain] passes [as] roads that they might be guided.” (21:31)

“And it is He who created the night and the day and the sun and the moon; all [heavenly bodies] in an orbit are swimming.” (21:33)

So, why do our insignificant human souls expect so much from each other, when all our expectations should belong only to Allah? Why do we not realize that our needs and our desires cannot be sufficed by another person? Why do we complicate our lives with the disease of expectations?

In all walks of life, I have seen people succumb to this disease from time to time. I have heard people say “I am the only one who keeps calling her to my house, she never calls me” or “I am the only one who gives my neighbor, a share of the food I prepare at home, she never bothers to give me anything”. One of the most common complaints is within blood-related family members who expect so much from each other, that their relationships get severed.

This desire for support, sympathy, and recognition is like an inbuilt software. Allah created every human with this vulnerability and need so that we could turn to our Lord, for His mercy and console. But we tend to direct this feeling towards our fellow brothers and sisters, in hope that we receive what we expect from them.

I have heard people complain that “Such a loss occurred in my family, and he did not even bother to call me, or even utter a word of sympathy.”

In all honesty, are we really in need of that sympathy? Do we really need the words of a fellow friend to overcome our losses? If we think about it, the only thing we are in the real need is the mercy of Allah, yet we expect words of sympathy from friends or family.

I agree that it is the Sunnah of our Prophet, to be kind and caring towards one another, but just because we follow it, does not mean everyone should. Just because we do good things for other people, it does not necessarily mean that they must do the same for us.

With this train of expectations, we are destroying even the little brotherhood we share among ourselves. In a generation of independent living, selfish desires, and exaggerated needs, it’s high time, that we as Ummah stop expecting and start accepting our differences. Do everything for the sake of Allah alone, with a heart that yearns only for the love and pleasure of Allah.

If you ask, Ask from Allah alone. If you give, then give for the sake of Allah. If you are hurt by the actions of your fellow brothers, forgive them for the sake of Allah. If you rely on, then rely on Allah alone.
Because Allah reminds us in the Quran, multiple times

“It is You we worship and You we ask for help.” (1:5)
“Remember me, I will remember you” (2:152)
“Oh, you who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer, for God is with those who patiently persevere.” (2:153)
“Unquestionably, the help of Allah is near” (2:214)
And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. (65:3)

May Allah forgive us, protect us from the trials of fitnah, safeguard our Tawheed and grant us peace in our worldly affairs through His mercy.