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IslamQA: On failing to achieve something despite years of effort

Hi. There was something that I've been working very hard to achieve. In fact I've spent a few years of my life, sincerely working hard for it. When the time came, I didn't get that thing. In fact I keep getting hurt more and more and it seems as if all doors are closed. I feel like all my hard work went down the drain. Everytime I heal and try to make peace with my situation, I fall down again and again, like a never-ending cycle. (Continued...)


I did not find the second part of your question, maybe it failed to submit. But to answer the question as it is: that is an experience that many of us have had. There is no help for it but to submit to God’s decree, knowing that He is in charge and that we are not in charge.

Always keep in mind that God is in charge and that He can give you the greatest success in an instant if He wanted. Ask yourself why He does not do that. The answer is that God has no need for us or our works. Whatever we hope to achieve, He can achieve it without our help. This teaches us that we should not be attached to achievements, but to God. We must re-orient ourselves toward Him, asking Him to help us have useful and productive lives, and accepting whatever happens to us as His decrees. We have not truly understood God until we are fully content with His decrees: rather than thinking we deserve better or that this should not be happening to us, we must learn to fully submit, knowing that God is in charge and that nothing escapes Him.

Once you realize that God is the source of all good things and all blessings, you will stop being attached to achievements, knowing that achievements are nothing but a gift from Him that He gives when He wants. It is God who should be first in our minds; we cannot achieve anything unless He allows it, and if He does not allow it, there is nothing in this world that can help us achieve it. So keep going back to God, stop rejecting your situation and instead accept it, knowing that God can end it and replace it with something better whenever He wants.

This does not mean that you should stop your efforts. We are God’s agents on Earth and we have work to do. But rather than being attached to results, we must be attached to God and let Him take care of the results. Whether we fail or succeed does not matter; what matters is for God to be pleased with us.

For more please see my essays below:

The Road to Maturity: On Dealing with Life’s Unsolvable Problems

God has not abandoned you: Regaining your sense of purpose when life feels spiritually empty, lonely and meaningless

And God knows best.
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