Why Are You Still Here?

Sun rays over city skyline

By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

Three days ago I was driving north on Highway 99 in California’s Central Valley. This stretch of 99 is under construction and the shoulders are closed off with concrete barriers. So the road is two narrow lanes, with nowhere to go on the sides; in spite of that, many cars hit 80 or 90 mph in the left lane.

Suddenly a truck a few cars ahead of me swerved into the left lane to avoid a slow-moving truck on the right. The fast-moving cars skidded this way and that to avoid the truck, but there was nowhere to go. I slammed on my brakes so hard that the smell of burning rubber filled the car. I swerved right but the slow-moving truck was there. In my mind’s eye I saw myself crashing into that truck at 50 mph. At the last second the truck that started the whole mess swerved back into the right, creating an opening, and averting a disaster. I drove on, my heart pounding in my chest.

Yesterday I was not so lucky. I stopped at a traffic light in Los Banos, with Salma strapped into her car seat in the back. Out of the blue a pickup truck slammed into us from behind at a high rate of speed, knocking my car into the car ahead of me. I felt my head snap backward then whip forward. For some reason the airbags did not deploy. I checked Salma and she was okay, though she had bumped her head on the car seat, and she was frightened. After reassuring her I pulled to the side of the road. The entire back end of the car was crushed. It’s a miracle that Salma was not hurt. Thank God, thank God.

I’ve had many close calls like this, not only in traffic but in other situations as well. I can think of a few instances where death was literally only inches away.

You may have had similar experiences. Many people have. So why are you still here, when so many others are not? Why didn’t you die in that car accident? Why didn’t I?

I can’t say for sure. I don’t know what’s behind the veil of the unseen. But I wonder. Could it be that God has a special purpose for you in this life? Could it be that He is not done with you? Could it be that you are one of His blessed tools for earthly transformation?

Could it be that there is a mission that can only be accomplished by you – not just anyone, but you, with your particular failures and successes, heartbreaks and joys, and all the things you’ve seen and done that make you unique? Is there someone whose heart needs to be touched by your kindness? Someone lost in darkness, who needs your light? Some child needing your love? Something important on this earth, some cause that requires your skills? Some evil to be stopped, or something to be built?

And what of those who did not survive? Those who were taken “before their time”, as people say? Who died young, precipitously or catastrophically? Were they then not special, or not needed by God on this earth?

I choose to believe just the opposite: that they were so special, so innocent or full of light, that God desired to have them close to Him. He made a place for them in Paradise, where they are like jewels who shine in His garden.

These are pretty thoughts, but are they real? I can’t provide evidence, but they feel real to me. They have the ring of truth in my heart. You decide. But I remind you that God is a God of Mercy and Forgiveness, and that He does nothing without purpose.

I believe in you, my friend. I believe in your purpose here on this third planet from the sun, at this exact age in the history of man, in this place where you now sit, reading these words. Not by accident did you come here. You might think, “Me? A blessed tool for earthly transformation?” Yes, you brother. You, sister. Have faith in God to guide you to your unique destiny, and have faith in yourself to fulfill it.

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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 266 articles by
6 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Memoy says:

    Believe it or not ,
    my best friend died one month ago due to a car crash ,
    till now , I can’t believe it ,,,
    unless I go and visit her grave
    and make sure that’s her in it,
    **I’m in denial ,
    (( she was one of the prettiest and kindest girls ,
    I’ve ever known in my life ,
    ,, I keep saying : Why her ??
    she wouldn’t hurt an ant ,
    why her??

    • María says:

      Peace be with you, Memoy,

      I am sorry for your loss and I ask God to help you to accept it and ease your suffering.

      I would like to share with you some thoughts I have if you don´t mind, when we love someone, we share heart waves with that person, for some period of time we are in tune with them, when they are not anymore with us, we feel the emptyness and the heart cries out for them. Then, after the suffering, we realize that the love felt is still alive and stop being a source of suffering because we understand that unconditional love survives death and we keep all the people that we love alive within our hearts.

      Death is not a punishment, it is the natural step that brings within life, but doesn´t matter we know it, we acknowledge it, it hurts and it is difficult to let go specially when someone close to us leave us or someone too young or …,I choose to believe as Wael does, they are so pure and so full of Light that God makes us the blessing of sharing them with us for a period of time to enjoy, keep memories and live the Beauty of their Beings, … You are blessed you met her and for her friendhsip, she was blessed to meet you and for your friendship, too, but now it is time to say thank you for having been in my life the time you were, thank you for having been my friend, thank you for having been who you were and for having helped me to be who I am.

      Thank you for being who you are and sharing with us what you are going through. All my Unconditional Love and Respect,


      • MUSLIMA says:

        Salam Maria,
        Your answer to Memoy seems to be written for me. My Mum passed away 5 years ago, but every day of my life my thoughts are with her. I know that as muslim I have to accept but it is so hard. Thank you for your words.

  2. María says:

    La Paz sea contigo y tu familia. Gracias a Dios que Salma está bien. Espero que tu madre esté bien también.

    I ask myself other kind of questions, … The vulnerability that brings with it bad situations that cannot be avoided makes me feel like a blind person that needs to be guided through an unknown path by the only One that can give true guidance, …A powerful, deep feeling of humbleness makes me surrender once and again, after being shook by life events, even being conscious of it and walking everyday to soften my heart as much as I am able to, there is always a step more to climb on the stairs of this journey called life.

    You have had a call to stop and take care of yourself, thank God it was just what it was. A couple of days ago, I was going to write that what we don´t have, it is just as big blessing as what we have, even when sometimes it is hard to appreciate, this is the way it is. Thank God for what we have and thank God for what we don´t have.

    Eat well, rest, breath consciously and follow the doctor prescriptions,…Ah! and let others take care of us when need it, I mean too, to ask for help when need it, just some general, physical, down to earth advices. 😉

    All my Love to Salma, your mum and you.

    Queda en Paz.


  3. Reader says:

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    Thank Allah for his countless blessings and the gift of life. Glad to hear you and your little one are doing well.

    I believe things happen for a reason. Sometimes the reason is obvious, other times it is not. As believers, we submit to the will of Allah and ask Him to protect us.

    Ya Allah, ihrisna bi aynuka alati la tanaam.


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