In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
When you wake up in the morning, do not expect to see the evening — live as though today is all you have. Yesterday has passed with its good and evil, while tomorrow has not yet arrived. Your life’s span is but one day, as if you were born in it and will die at the end of it. With this attitude, you will not be caught between an obsession over the past, with its anxieties, and the hopes of the future, with all its uncertainty. Live for today: During this day you should pray with a wakeful heart, recite the Quran with understanding, and remember Allah with sincerity. In this day you should be balanced in your affairs, satisfied with your allotted portion, concerned with your appearance and health.
Organize the hours of this day, so that you make years out of minutes and months out of seconds. Seek forgiveness from your Lord, remember Him, prepare for the final parting from this world, and live today happily and at peace. Be content with your sustenance, your wife, your children, your work, your house and your station in life.
…So hold that which I have given you and be grateful. (Quran 7:144)
Live today free from sorrow, bother, anger, jealousy, and malice.
You must engrave onto your heart one phrase: Today is my only day. If you have eaten warm, fresh bread today, then what do yesterday’s dry, rotten bread and tomorrow’s anticipated bread matter?
If you are truthful with yourself and have a firm, solid resolve, you will undoubtedly convince yourself of the following: Today is my last day to live. When you achieve this attitude, you will profit from every moment of your day, by developing your personality, expanding your abilities, and purifying your deeds. Then you say to yourself:
Today I shall be refined in my speech and will utter neither evil speech nor obscenity. Also, I shall not backbite.
Today I shall organize my house and my office. They will not be disorderly and chaotic, but organized and neat.
Today I will be particular about my bodily cleanliness and appearance. I will be meticulous in my neatness and balanced in my walk, talk, and actions.
Today I will strive to be obedient to my Lord, pray in the best manner possible, do more voluntary acts of righteousness, recite the Qur’an, and read beneficial books. I will plant goodness into my heart and extract from it the roots of evil — such as pride, jealousy, and hypocrisy.
Today I will try to help others — to visit the sick, to attend a funeral, to guide the one who is lost, and to feed the hungry. I will stand side by side with the oppressed and the weak. I will pay respect to the scholar, be merciful to the young, and reverent to the old.
O’ past that has departed and is gone, I will not cry over you. You will not see me remembering you, not even for a moment, because you have traveled away from me never to return.
O’ future, you are in the realm of the unseen, so I will not be obsessed by your dreams. I will not be preoccupied about what is to come because tomorrow is nothing and has not yet been created.
« Today is my only day » is one of the most important statements in the dictionary of happiness, for those who desire to live life in its fullest splendour and brilliance.
La Tahzan (Don’t be sad)
By Aaidh ibn Abdullah al-Qarni
Translated by: Faisal ibn Muhammad Shafeeq, 2nd ed. Riyadh 2005
Publisher: International Islamic Publishing House
ISBN Hard Cover: 9960-850-36-6
ISBN Soft Cover: 9960-850-44-7