We Get What We Give

Green waterfall and stream

By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

We get what we give. This is one of the laws of the dunya (this earthly life) and al-ghayb (the unseen) as well. When we give money to the poor and oppressed, God rewards us with more than we can imagine. When we share truth, greater truths are revealed to us. When we teach, we learn. When we show mercy, our Creator has mercy on us. When we smile, people smile back.

The same is true for love. When we give love, love comes into our lives.

Some people think, “I will open up my love when I meet someone who loves me truly.” Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. It’s only when we open up the gates and let our love flow, that loves comes rushing in.

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Article by Wael

Wael Abdelgawad is an Egyptian-American living in Fresno, California. He is the founder of several Islamic websites, including Zawaj.com and IslamicAnswers.com, and also of various technology and travel websites. He is a writer and poet, and has been a web developer since 1997. This project, IslamicSunrays.com, is very dear to his heart, as it has allowed him to express ideas that have growing inside him for many years. Wael is divorced and has one lovely young daughter. He practices and teaches martial arts (somewhat obsessively), and loves Islamic books, science fiction, and vanilla fudge ice cream. Wael is an advocate for human rights and blogs about these issues at AbolishTorture.com. He is also a volunteer with the MyDeen Muslim youth organization in Fresno. Wael tagged this post with: , , , Read 263 articles by
19 Comments Post a Comment
  1. friend says:

    asalamalaikum,

    but why then do we get betrayed when we are loyal and sincere, hatred when we are only loving, harmful intentions by others when we mean good. disrespect when when we respect.

    this world is not a place where you get what you sow. we are just sowing so that we can reap in the world hereafter. keeping it in savings account.

    ofcourse no good is wasted , if its done fisabilllah. To reach such piety that one does not get affected or expect from anyone is indeed difficult and we just have to keep striving for it.

    • Wael says:

      friend, these are excellent questions. In fact I started to write a longer post that addressed some of these questions, then I decided I would leave them for another article Insha’Allah. So I’ll try to follow up soon.

      To comment quickly, it’s possible that we could give love in this world and not receive it in return. However, it’s certain that if we withhold our love, we will not receive any in return.

      Also, I’m not suggesting that we should not be affected by others.

      I’ll try to write about these issues in more detail Insha’Allah.

      • friend says:

        iam looking forward to further posts.this one has certainly stirred up some sensitive strings.

        i used to beleive that if i do good only good will happen but ofcourse as you grow old you learn its not always the case. after being disappointed several times in many aspects of life , i just had to re think my thinking. i tried to respond to people or situations just the way they came tome Tit for tat policy, thinking it will give me peace but guess what felt even worse. could not sleep!.

        so came to the conclusion Eye for an eye will make the whole world blind! then there were people who also taught me that they are always ready to be there for others. patient, loving, caring . its just them, not a reaction from them because I have been good to them. i am sure we all have met such people. its through such people i learned that our environment has got a lot to do with how we are. ofcourse aggitators are there always.

        when i come across such aggitators, i used to linger on with anger feeling for so long that it would actually effect my personality. thats when i realised that i need to learn how to respond to specially negative feelings from others.

        ofcourse when one is hurt , emotions control a mega portion of response but it is at that time we need to have plan ready to save ourselves. like when iam angry i either cry or talk a lot about the problem that even a sympathetic ear gets fed up. even i get fed up of myself. so now practice to stay quiet. thats what our religon states , when you had a fight with a friend dont say things that are hurtful as you may regret it when you become friends again, that is so true.

        when a colleague stabs at your back , yes you can either make an even a nastier plan for him or go n tell him in private that you know what he has done to you and its wrong of him.

        if you want to take revenge from your enemy, make him think by doing a good deed. by smiling at them when they are frowing at you, by keeping your calm when they are all full of rage, by visiting them when they are sick even if they have been throwing dirt on you. of course this requires a lot of rehearsal , iam still at a stage where i am learning to be quiet when i have nothing good to say , or leaving the environment which provokes the bad in me.

        despite being nice to the world if we are still getting the worse from it, then its upto us to decide whether we would go to bed being hurt or as someone who has hurt others!

      • friend says:

        asalamalaikum wael.
        a week since anything to ponder on. hope you and family are ok.ameen

  2. Faith says:

    Assalaamu alaikum brother Wael,

    V short yet profound piece mashallah..took more time thinking over every sentence than reading it..
    Not quite sure but feel like it answered some queries I have with life currently. Subhanallah.

    Friend -yes many times our efforts r in vain with the creation..but never with the Creator inshallah.

    When we give love n break through the fences we have built around it, we will be returned with it ..rightfully said so Wael.

  3. Questioner says:

    ‘We get what we give’. So where is the concept of one’s sins being blotted out? Allah forgives and Allah wipes out what He chooses to, right?

    So if we planted a bad seed which resulted in destruction and we definitely reap what we sow (punishment), then where is forgiveness?

    Or is forgiveness something else? That you pay for the bad seeds you planted, but you have peace in your heart as you have connected with Allah through tawbah?

    • Wael says:

      Questioner, did you only read the title of the post? Please do not take one sentence out of context.

      If you read the post then you’ll see that I spoke of giving charity, spreading truth, showing mercy, showing love… surely you would not dispute that goodness brings goodness in return?

      “Is the reward for good [anything] but good?” – Quran 55:60

      On the other hand the Messenger of Allah (sws) said, “Whoever shows no mercy will be shown no mercy.”

      If we forgive others, Allah forgives us.

      If you ponder this, you’ll find the answer to your question. Allah forgives whoever He wills. However, Allah does not forgive one who is purely and unrepentantly evil. He forgives those who have some element of goodness or mercy in their hearts, however small. So again, goodness brings goodness.

      As for love, I do not believe that someone whose heart is closed, or who is suspicous or mistrustful, will have a chance to experience genuine love. The same is true for someone who is deeply fearful. To feel the embrace of real love in this life, we must allow ourselves to love. We must open our hearts, and relate to other human beings from a standpoint of kindness, care, gentleness and compassion – all of which adds up to love. And that is the heart of my message in this post.

      • Questioner says:

        I didnt read it out of context at all. I read the whole article and agreed with it. I understood your message too.

        What I asked above was from a different perspective and focussed just on the first line, as I kept reading it and then the concept of forgiveness came to mind.

        ‘If we forgive others, Allah forgives us’. I just needed that little reminder. That was all.

  4. Amy says:

    “I do not believe that someone whose heart is closed, or who is suspicous or mistrustful, will have a chance to experience genuine love. The same is true for someone who is deeply fearful. ”

    Wael, you are exactly right. Those who are missing out on love or acceptance etc may be missing it for reasons other than it not being given. How many times does someone repel the affection or care of others, even Allah, because they have built a giant forcefield around themselves because of past hurts? It’s akin to someone walking around on a rainy day with the best and biggest umbrella, and wondering why they are not getting wet.

    Experiencing the beauty of attributes such as love, forgiveness, mercy etc require a vulnerability that some people are very uncomfortable experiencing. However, if they can push past those barriers and let those walls down, they will find that being able to experience the joy, healing, and comfort that results outweighs the pain it took to reach it.

    • Wael says:

      I like the rain and umbrella analogy.

    • wafa says:

      Peace to all, I agree with all that you have said Amy… Some people let their ego and pride take over while others do not know how to let go and be in the moment. There’s a book that i have read called the ‘power of now’.. it’s beneficial to those who are unable to be in the moment and think that they can control.. If you let go and give allah totally control he will help and guide you and give you signs in which most people dismiss because of their emotional feelings..

  5. Zamzam says:

    We get what we give, but we should wait for the fruits of our giving patiently. They may come early or late. We may enjoy them in the worldly life or be kept for us in the hereafter. I enjoy contemplating on this hadeeth. The Prophet salla Allah alayhi wa sallam said, “The most privileged people in the worldly life from the people of the Fire will be brought on the Day of Judgment. Then, he will be dipped in the fire once, then it will be said, “O son of Adam! Did you see any good? Did you experience any comfort?” He will say,” No, by Allah. O my Lord!” Then, the most miserable people in the worldly life form the people of Paradise will be brought, and be dipped in Paradise once , then it will be said, ” O son of Adam, did you see any hardship? Did you experience any distress? He will say, “No, by Allah. O my Lord! I did not see any hardship or experience any distress.”
    We should go through the journey of this life, doing good and expecting good patiently. We will get what we give.

  6. fawzia says:

    sometimes …
    we wont get what we give …
    and the impact of these leave a big scars within …
    leaving you speechless ..
    leaving you numb …
    you cant utter a words …
    only silence …
    fills your heart ..

    • Amy says:

      a drop of pain inside the heart
      is tended by the hand that feeds
      words so sour, sharp and tart
      cause the heart to endlessly bleed

      told it can never be more than nothing
      told its progress is lost in meaninglessness
      told its existence was all for wasting
      told its being was never meant for this

      a drop of pain inside the heart
      planted by careless and selfish ones
      a lifetime spent trying to put it apart
      from a small hope that from the Creator comes

      believes that everything it trusted was delusion
      believes that care was just caprice
      believes that discarding is the conclusion
      of this life’s final puzzle piece

      a drop of pain inside my heart
      will never leave even with all my strength
      trying to find my brand new start
      seems like phantoms only gained

      crying at the hopelessness
      crying at the emptiness
      crying for anything but this
      crying unheard in this silence
      A drop of pain inside the heart
      is protected by the love that lives
      reaching for my brand new start
      within the hope that the Creator gives
      Filling your scars with healing balm
      Filling your mouth with thankful words
      Filling your senses with soft comfort
      Filling your silent heart with His fullness

    • Amy says:

      a drop of pain inside the heart
      is tended by the hand that feeds
      words so sour, sharp and tart
      cause the heart to endlessly bleed

      told it can never be more than nothing
      told its progress is lost in meaninglessness
      told its existence was all for wasting
      told its being was never meant for this

      a drop of pain inside the heart
      planted by careless and selfish ones
      a lifetime spent trying to put it apart
      from a small hope that from the Creator comes

      believes that everything it trusted was delusion
      believes that care was just caprice
      believes that discarding is the conclusion
      of this life’s final puzzle piece

      a drop of pain inside your heart
      will never leave even with all your strength
      trying to find your brand new start
      seems like phantoms only gained

      crying at the hopelessness
      crying at the emptiness
      crying for anything but this
      crying unheard in this silence

      A drop of pain inside the heart
      is protected by the love that lives
      reaching for your brand new start
      within the hope that the Creator gives

      Filling your scars with healing balm
      Filling your mouth with thankful words
      Filling your senses with soft comfort
      Filling your silent heart with His fullness

      (sorry the other post was sent without the proper editing!)

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