It isn’t always easy to make the correct decision, here are four questions you can ask yourself to help you make the right decisions in life.

By Nabi Raza Abidi

There is a common approach to worldly problems across religious communities – be they Muslim or Christian – that posits that we should leave everything to God and thus withhold any serious decision making. Although in principle the notion of “leaving everything to God” is true, its understanding has often been faulty. Some have understood the concept as meaning that no decision should be taken and that somehow God will do everything for us. Unfortunately, this an incentive for some to take the backseat and avoid tough decisions in life.

From an Islamic perspective, we as Muslims have been created by God and tasked to make important decisions. However, after we make the decisions, we leave the results to God – this is what we mean by “leaving everything to God”. This is – in part – one of the many aspects of tawakkul (reliance on God). Now the question here is how do we make decisions? In my view, there are four questions we should ask ourselves before making any decision, particularly important ones:

1) Is what I am doing permitted in Islam? Is it haram? Obviously if it is haram I should not consider it.
2) If it is halal, is it the wise thing to do?
3) Is this something I really want to do?
4) What are the long-term effects of this decision and what is the cost of going back on it, if possible at all?

It is not always easy to make the right decision and when we think we did, they sometimes don’t yield the kind of results we want. But remember, most of the time we can’t know with pinpoint accuracy what God really wants from us. What we are tested on is how compassionate and sincere our attempt is.

Waʿlaikum as-Salam,
Yours Faithfully
Nabi Raza Abidi
Resident Imam of the SABA Islamic Center
San Jose, California