How often have we heard people say things like, “If only we had thought of this before,” or “If only we had postponed our jour¬ney” or even, “If only we could have lived in a different century!” All these statements indicate a feeling of unease or distress at a sequence of events which we feel might have been different. If we had postponed our journey, we wouldn’t have had an accident. If we lived in the next century, life might be more comfortable than it is now, and so on. Things, we feel, could have been better ordered in terms of our own personal destinies. But, recorded in the sayings of the Prophet, we find these portentous words of God: “Do not speak ill of Time, for I am Time, all is in My Hand; I make the night and the day succeed one another.” (Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 2246) This profound and awesome statement leaves us in no doubt that everything which takes place in this world does so according to the law laid down by God.
Just as the passage of time, and events in nature, conform to this law, so do certain sets of circumstances come into being at the exact points in time allotted to them by God. To rail against this system and to wish that the order of events could be different is nothing short of speaking ill of God’s law and amounts to an act of rebellion against God. Why then indulge in such a pointless exercise?