All Good Comes From Allah

Sunlight behind the clouds

By Wael Abdelgawad |

Everything that Allah does for us is an expression of His mercy. This is true for the blessings we see and recognize, and the countless ones we don’t.

All good things come from Allah, while evil comes from our own hands. Theft, lying, abuse and murder – these things come from human hands.

“What comes to you of good is from Allah, but what comes to you of evil, [O man], is from yourself. And We have sent you, [O Muhammad], to the people as a messenger, and sufficient is Allah as Witness.”
– Quran 4:79

From Allah come the crops that grow, the fruiting trees, the sunshine and rain, and the earth beneath our feet. From Him come a thousand daily blessings, unnoticed by us in our busy lives and limited viewpoints. From Him come the Prophets and the Books, the angels and the fitrah (the natural inclination to do good) in our hearts. From Allah comes my sweet daughter Salma, my healthy body, and the jar of almonds on the table beside me as I write this. Look around yourself and catalog all the blessings you see, just in the space around you. Don’t forget to count the air you breathe.

As for the tests that befall us that are decreed by Allah – such as illness, natural disasters and death – they are not evil. They are trials that define the boundaries of our existence on this earth, which itself is a fleeting test and a proving ground. And even those trials having blessings hidden within them. I know that sounds trite, but it’s true.

Think well of Allah and be grateful, because all good things come from Him, and His mercy never stops.

Going to Allah when we need Him

Standing on a cliff

By Wael Abdelgawad |

Do we think we can go to Allah only when we “need” Him?

I’m not saying that it’s wrong. I’m saying that it’s impossible.

We need Allah every hour, every day. Every heartbeat, every breath, every bite of food, every ray of sunshine. We need Him when we are poor and sick, and when we’re rich and robust. We need Him when we’re starving in the gutter, or cruising on top of the world. We depend on Allah more than a newborn baby depends on its mother, even when we don’t see it.

Our failure to see this reality does not change the fact that it is true. We can achieve nothing without Allah. I write this article only by His will. You get out of bed, pour your cereal, hug your children, go to work, run that 5K race, and breathe, all by means of the gifts He has given.

When we’re doing well, and everything is butter, that’s the time to turn to Allah even more, with gratitude and praise. If we do that, then when we’re having hard times He’ll be there for us, He’ll rescue us and lift us up, even if we don’t ask.

This not my idea. I did not make this up. The Messenger of Allah (sws) said, “Remember Allah during times of ease and He will remember you during times of difficulty.” (Tirmidhi)

Remembrance of Allah is not only a matter of prayer. It is also kindness to others. If I have an excess of energy, I need to use that to help someone who is ill, weak, depressed, or lost. If I have been blessed with wealth, intelligence, knowledge, or talent, then I need to use that to bring someone relief.

I need Allah , I know that. I feel it.

We need Allah with every rotation of the earth. So yes, go to Allah when you need Him – at every moment in time.

Five minutes of health

Desert wild flowers

Desert wild flowers. These flowers bloom after a rain, then die within a matter of days. That is the example of this life.

By Wael Abdelgawad for

“Five minutes of health comfort the ill one.” – Bengali proverb.

In other words, a person who is ill would get comfort and relief from just five minutes of health.

This reminds me of my friend Hisham, who has an autoimmune disorder and has been confined to a wheelchair for many years. He is the same age as me, and we grew up riding our bicycles together. He was an avid cyclist and even participated in a ride all the way across the United States and back. In his twenties he was diagnosed with MS, and his health began to go downhill.

Recently a physical therapist has been working with him, and last week he stood on his feet and took five steps for the first time in three years, Alhamdulillah! He said he felt very tall, being on his feet again. It was an inspiring moment for him… SubhanAllah. He literally got comfort from “five minutes of health.”

That’s really something to think about, for those of us who have our health and fitness and take them for granted as if they were nothing. We moan and complain about small things, while ignoring the huge blessings in our lives. “Then which of the favors of your Lord will you deny?” – Surat Ar-Rahman. Allah has given us so much, so much.

And let me add that although I used my friend Hisham as an illustration of the proverb, that does not mean that I pity him. He also has many gifts, for example he is highly intelligent and articulate, and he has accomplished a lot in his life. I am overjoyed for him that he was able to stand again. Allahu Akbar!

Of course we must be grateful for every blessing, and thank Allah from the bottom of our hearts. But it’s important to understand that gratitude is not just a feeling in the heart. It is expressed through action.

  • Are you grateful for your healthy body? Then use it to bow down in prayer.
  • Are you grateful for the ability to see? Then look at that which is beautiful and halal.
  • Grateful for the ability to speak? Then praise Allah, recite Quran and spread the message of Islam.
  • Grateful that you are mentally and emotionally healthy? Then use your gifts to do good in the world. Show love to those who are grief stricken, and kindness to those in pain. Spend your money in Allah’s cause, don’t hold on it it until it can do you no good!

That’s why the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, in the famous hadith that we have all heard:

“Take benefit of five before five:
your youth before your old age,
your health before your sickness,
your wealth before your poverty,
your free-time before your preoccupation,
and your life before your death.”

(Narrated by Ibn Abbas and reported by Al Hakim)

Right? He didn’t only say, “be grateful,” he said, “take benefit”! That means USE what you have been given, while you still can, before the end of this brief life that is but a moment between a sleep and a sleep, or a desert flower blooming and then fading away.

Glory to Allah the Most High.

Try to count Allah’s blessings in your life

Photo of the rising moon taken from the Valley of the Moon, California

Photo of the rising moon taken from the Valley of the Moon, California

By Wael Abdelgawad for

Today, try to count Allah’s blessings in your life.

Start with your breath, your beating heart, your ability to see, smell and touch, and the ability to laugh…

Continue to your favorite foods, the roof over your head, and the people who love you…

From there move out to the blue sky, the beauty of a single tree, the sunshine on your face, and the majesty of a rising moon…

Keep counting…

Don’t forget your imaan (your faith) and your knowledge of Allah. That is the greatest blessing of Allah and the truth is that you did nothing to earn it; rather it was a gift from Allah’s infinite mercy.

Also do not forget your safety. So many people in this world live in unsafe conditions; in war, poverty, starvation, refugee camps, political imprisonment, and other forms of extreme hardship. Just to wake up in your bed in the morning and know that your life is not in immediate danger is a great blessing.

Keep counting…

Allah says:

“[…] and if you should count the favors of Allah, you could not enumerate them,” (14:34).

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Pieces of a Dream