God’s Secret

This past month has been energy sapping, but the most fulfilling of 2008 so far. It is a strange combination of a very loose grip on what kind of certainty the future holds as well as resounding faith that He has a very big plan. The latter, excites DH and I of course. We are waiting, in firm faith, for the very gentle, enveloping wind.

We have had a very peaceful closure to losing Cookie to the urban jungle, and are very centered on the fact that he was either rescued and taken in by another pet-lover in the neighbourhood, or had died. Both ways, we are thankful for the many fun moments we had with him, even those days when he peed on our pants every time we try to take him to the vet! Those were the days. Cookie remains a special pet to both of us (although between DH and I, the number of pets we had combined can somewhat qualify to be a mini-zoo!). We remember him very fondly, and talk about him often. We left his fate to God, and make constant du’a for his wellbeing if he is alive. The rest, is really not in our hands.

In replacement, Smokey was sent our way. It was a very strange turn of events where Smokey, who lived in the Mission home, was left without anyone taking her in when we all moved out (she is fed and watched over while the house was in the market for sale). There were a few families interested to take her in, but my FIL (who loves Smokey dearly) was reluctant to agree. So her new home status was somehow left in the air. When Cookie went missing and the search for him remain fruitless, DH and I could not stop thinking that perhaps this is all God’s arrangement to ensure Smokey gets a new home, and that new home is actually ours. We took her in late December, and she has been the sweetest cat ever since. She is a hunter and was the one who taught Cookie most of his hunting and outdoor skills, when we all lived in Mission.

There are a few things brewing on the workfront, and I find it very rewarding navigating the maze. I am so thankful at how much help God has given me this past year, and how He guided me to tread the tempestous waters of TV broadcasting here. Such invisible hands. I really don’t want to lose that, insya’allah.

And so this entry was a quick insight that I felt during yesterday’s Tafsir class. I have been very mindful of the popularity of The Secret worldwide, and know of many instances where people attribute their new successes to The Secret’s principles of self-empowerment and visualing positive thoughts. On a very superficial level, critics would dismiss The Secret as a pop-version of positive thinking, without the psycho-babble. Normally, I would have been okay with that. But I felt that there was more, but I couldn’t point a finger at what it was that I find uncomfortable about The Secret.

Yesterday, I think I finally got it. It was this resting of your destiny and fate in your own hands, a manifestation of arrogance and pride – that does not rest well with me. It is antithetic to taqwa, in surrendering and remembering God. I want to work hard for my keep, only if God wills it and the keep makes me closer to Him. I am frightful of wanting something , that will make me loose that taqwa grip. It is so easy to do that. We are all no saints. I am sure we can agree on that at least.

So the principles of The Secret, if you are not careful, will bring you to that point where you do not surrender in its true sense. You can be whispering to yourself “I am visualising positive things, but I know God will determine if I get it or not” and think that is okay. Would that mean we are asking first, giving (to Him) second? I think so. Giving in this context refers to increasing our taqwa, abiding His commandments and contributing to the ummah.

I feel that if we ask the “universe” for what we want, as how The Secret people puts it – we are weaving a very thin line of arrogance (to God’s mercy) and ungratefulness (to what He has given us). Even if by the term “universe” – they are actually referring to God and making Him pop-culturish. It is like without paying the rent, you ask the houseowner if you can stay for the next year.

It is no secret that we have to say our thanks to God for many things, including your ability to move your eyes right now to read this blog post this far. Just check the 3 books of the world’s monotheistic faiths, and count how many times He asks mankind to remember and be thankful to Him.

And that, is no big secret.


  1. Darling,

    No wonder i’ve been so resistant toward these positive-thinking-kiss-your-neighbour-and-tell-him-you-can-conquer-the-world type things. You’re absolutely right — some marketeer out there must have come up with that brilliant plan to mix God and pop culture. Thanks for this, I’ll keep my money, thank you very much. *Flushes the secret down the jamban*

    Good to hear you’ve got closure with Cookie’s disappearance.

    Get online babe, got stories to tell! Hugs, and love you always, Az

  2. God does not change people’s condition until they change themselves [Qur’an 13:11].

    As usual, another beautiful eloquent post about something I’m sure all of us ponder at one time or another, or many times over our lifetime.

    I agree with you about surrendering to God’s will. Absolutely. However, I think some of us, me included, sometimes use it as an excuse not to make any effort at all.

    I think having a plan and striving towards it is really important for good mental health. Positive thinking like those Secret people believe is essential but definitely not a guarantee by any means. Positive thinking doesn’t have to be driven by or rooted in arrogance, pride, or misguided self-empowerment strategies; it can be based on hope and belief that our souls are safely in His Hands.

  3. The verse from the Quran I quoted in my previous comment should be disregarded. I compared it to other English translations, and it turns out it isn’t the most accurate one.

  4. Azreen: Kesian buku tu, recycle lah.
    These past weeks have been busy for me…. but insya’allah will log in and find you 🙂

    Anonymous: I hear you. Thanks for sharing that.

  5. Sayang Bom,

    1) A beautiful reflection on God’s mysterious way which makes me even more thankful and humbled by His mercy on all of us

    2) Smokey punye lah ‘kawaiiii’ (dat’s Japanese for cute – sejak demenjak ajar budak2 Jepun ni).. There is a reason for everything and I am pleased to know that Smokey is in very good hands and insya Allah so is Cookie…

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