Be ambitious, keep climbing and always have hope. Beware of falling, and remember that life is minutes and seconds. Be like the ant in hard work, patience and perseverance.

Always keep trying, and keep repenting. If you go back to sin, then repent again. Memorize Qur’an, and if you forget it, go back and memorize it again and again.

The main thing is that you should never feel defeated or frustrated, because rationally speaking there is no such thing as the last word or the bitter end, rather there is always trial and error, and learning from your mistakes.

Life is like a body that may undergo cosmetic surgery; it is like a building that can be renovated and rebuilt from scratch, with new decor and paint.

Do away with all thoughts of failure, and stop thinking of calamities and problems, for Allah, the Almighty, says: “… and put your trust in Allah if you are indeed believers.” (Qur’an 5:23)

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…better than a lot that makes you miserable.

The part of your life that really counts is that in which you are happy and contented. As for greed and panic, they do not count at all. They are bad for your health and rob you of your beauty.

Remain content with Allah and with what is decreed for you; believe in al-qadar (the divine decree) and be optimistic about the future.

Be like a butterfly, which is light-hearted and beautiful, not attached to mere things; it flies from flower to flower, from hill to hill, from garden to garden.

Or be like a bee, which eats good things and produces good things; when it lands on a branch or flower, it does not break it; it takes the nectar and does not sting, and produces honey and does not sting, and buzzes with love and glad tidings, reflecting a sense of contentment, as if it is a heavenly creature that has come down to earth.

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…seeking forgiveness.

A woman said: “My husband died when I was in my thirties, and I had five children, boys and girls, from him. My world turned dark around me, and I wept until I feared I would lose my sight. I complained about my bad luck and fell into despair and depression. My children were small, and our income was not sufficient. I was spending carefully from the little money that our father had left to us. One day in my room, I turned on the radio, and tuned into the Holy Qur’an radio station. I heard a Shaykh saying: “The Messenger of Allah (Blessing and Peace be upon him) said: ‘Whoever prays to Allah a great deal for forgiveness, Allah will grant him relief from every distress and a way out from every hardship.'” So after that I began to pray a great deal for forgiveness, and I told my children to do likewise. Only six months later, the developers came, bought some old property of ours, and paid us millions for it. My son became the first student in his region to memorize the entire Qur’an, and he became a focus of people’s care. Our house was filled with blessings and we attained the best standard of living. Allah has kept all my sons and daughters safe and sound, and has taken away my worry, grief and depression. I have become the happiest of women.”

If you give in to despair, you will learn nothing and you will never find happiness.

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When morning comes, remember that the sun is shining upon thousands of miserable people, but you are blessed; it is shining on hundreds of hungry people, but you have plenty to eat; it shines on thousands of people who are imprisoned, but you are free; it shines on thousands of people who have been stricken with calamity and lost their children, but you are happy and healthy. How many tears flow down people’s cheeks, how many mothers’ hearts are filled with pain, how many screams come from people’s throats – but you are smiling and happy. So praise Allah, the Exalted, for His kindness, protection and generosity.

Sit and think, and be honest with yourself; look at the numbers and statistics. How many things do you own, how much wealth do you possess, how many blessings do you enjoy, how many things do you have that bring you delight? Beauty, wealth, children, shade, a home, a country, light, air, water, nourishment, medicine? Rejoice and be of good cheer.

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You have to seek reward with Allah. If some worry, distress or grief befalls you, remember that it is an expiration for sin. If you lose one of your children, remember that he will intercede for you before Allah. If some disability or sickness befalls you, remember that it brings its own reward from Allah, which is preserved with Him. Hunger, sickness and poverty all bring their own rewards from Allah. Nothing is ever lost with Him. He keeps it as a trust with Him until He gives it to its owner in the Hereafter.

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Avoid everything that wastes time, such as looking at immoral magazines, indecent pictures, bad ideas, heretical books or immoral stories. You should seek out that which is beneficial and useful, such as Islamic magazines, beneficial books and articles that will benefit a person both in this world and in the Hereafter. Some books and magazines instill doubts in the heart and lead one astray. This is the effect of the decadent culture that has been imported to us from the world of disbelief and has spread throughout the Muslim world.

Remember that with Allah are the keys of the unseen, and He, the Almighty, All-Merciful, is the One Who brings relief from worry and distress. So turn to Him and call upon Him, and always repeat this du’a:

Allahumma inni a’udhu bika min al-hammi wal-hazan wa a’udhu bika min al-ajzi wal-kasal wa a’udhu bika min al-bukhli wal-jubn wa a’udhu bika min ghalbat ad-dayn wa qahr ar-rijal. (O’ Allah, I seek refuge with You from distress and grief, and I seek refuge with You from incapacity and laziness, and I seek refuge with You from miserliness and cowardice, and I seek refuge in You from the burden of debt and from being over-powered by men).”

If you repeat this often and ponder its meaning, Allah, the Almighty, All-Gracious, will grant you a way out of your distress and worry, by His Leave.

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Look how many generations have passed away. Did they take their wealth with them? Did they take their palaces and their high status? Were they buried with their gold and silver? Did they take their cars and planes with them to the Hereafter? No! They were stripped even of their clothing, and placed in their graves in their shrouds, then each of them was asked: Who is your Lord, who is your Prophet, what is your religion? So prepare yourself for that day; do not grieve or despair about any worldly comforts, for they are cheap and transient. Nothing will abide except righteous deeds. Allah, the Exalted, says:

“Whoever works righteous – whether male or female – while he [or she] is a true believer [of Islamic Monotheism] verily, to him We will give a good life [in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision], and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do [i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter].” (Qur’an 16:97)

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