Live in the present, not in the past or future

Reflection
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It is very important for us as Muslims to live in the present and not dwell on the past or stress too much about the future. Thinking about the past and future in a way that takes over our minds actually distracts us from doing the best we can in the present to be sincere believers. We lose focus of our purpose in this world. We must strive to accept what we cannot change and focus on what we can change. We should repent to Allah for our sins and focus on what good we can do in each day as it comes.

We ought to keep in mind that this life that Allah has given us is a journey, so we should be careful of just aiming to reach worldly milestones. When we do have that kind of mentality, our focus becomes too much on the milestones rather than our journey. Each time we reach a milestone, we feel happy, but after a while we feel lost again. Then we aim to reach another milestone – the cycle goes on and on.

We may live our whole lives not even realising that this is what we have been doing. Our focus should have been on Allah, throughout our journey – not our worldly milestones.

We must be careful about becoming hopeless as a result of dwelling on the past. This will cause us to become completely distracted from the good we could be doing in the present as believers. We read in the Holy Qur’an:

“Say, ‘O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.’ And return [in repentance] to your Lord and submit to Him before the punishment comes upon you; then you will not be helped.” (Qur’an 39:53-54)

Also, we should not be thinking about the future in a way that causes us to waste the time that we have to do good in the present. We should not become so consumed by our thoughts and plans about the future, forgetting that our main focus should be on Allah. Focusing on Allah in the present is what is actually going to help us. We read in the Holy Qur’an:

“And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.” (Qur’an 65:3)

As believers, we should not allow ourselves to become obsessed with worldly possessions and ambitions. Of course, it is part of our religion to push ourselves to achieve our best in this dunya, but certainly not in a way that interferes with our faith. We read in the Holy Qur’an:

“O you who have believed, let not your wealth and your children divert you from remembrance of Allah. And whoever does that – then those are the losers.” (Qur’an 63:9)