We really only have control when we realise that we really don’t have control and that all we really have control over is how we respond to a situation. You have to attempt to organise and arrange your life in a way that is pleasing to Allah. Planning as long as it is done in the proper way, with the proper etiquettes, is not blameworthy. At the same time as you do this though, at the level of your heart there must be a deep surrender.
One of the ways to have this is that in terms of asking for things that you know are good for you, such as asking Allah to be a sincere person, you ask Allah. And as for the things that you don’t know whether they are good for you, a specific job, a marriage, and other things where you can’t say hundred percent that the matter is good for you, it is ok to ask for them, but at the same time as you’re making dua, assign your affairs over to Allah and don’t ask for that thing unconditionally. You should have in your heart the sense “Ya Rabb grant me this if this is what is good for me”.
If you overly rely in yourself, age, health, people, whatever the thing might be, Allah will break that for you. Allah ultimately wants each and every one of us to rely solely on him. But that doesn’t negate the means.
Imam Ghazali says that if you think that you should throw yourself like a rag on the floor and you think that is tawakkul, you are mistaken.
We are now building communities in the west, and there are ways to learn sustainably and see the fruits of your progression. But we have to be real about the deen. We have to be willing to work hard and give up our privilege. The nature of privilege is that if you have it, you have to be willing to give it up to make a change. (Read Tim Wise –> critique on privilege). Whether we are studying fiqh or seerah or whatever, we have to make them relevant for the context in which we are.
In closing, you are required to do whatever is needed for your own life. To regulate your life. To make time for dhikr, study, plan your life. You should plan because you’re commanded to do so, but you should be open to the bounty of Allah. If something comes your way beyond what you’ve planned, see it from Allah and welcome it.
~Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, Nov 24th, Habib Kadhim Muwasala Tour.