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The Difference Between Surrendering To Allah Vs. Giving Up Hope

Surrendering to what Allah has decreed for you is part of trusting Him.

You could spend your entire life making dua for something but that doesn’t mean you’re going to get exactly what you asked for. It could be soo much better. It could be something completely new and equally satisfying. Perhaps the journey of becoming closer to Allah becomes so sweet and fulfilling, that you stop thinking about your end goal. There’s no guarantee that life will happen exactly how you’ve planned it to be. And this is where surrendering to Allah comes in.

Loosing hope happens when you’re so attached to a specific outcome, that you can’t see a life beyond it. When you’re attached to a certain path or goal that you forget that an entire universe of possibilities exists beyond it. I’m going to list below what surrendering and loosing hope looks like. Do you see yourself in any of these patterns? Within each point, the way out is there. Read this as many times as needed, I’ve tried to go in depth as much as I can (without boring you ;)). Let’s begin!

What does surrendering to Allah look like?

+ You’re not living for the future

When you surrender to Allah, there’s a deep sense of appreciation and acceptance for your life, as it is today. You’re not obsessed with the future or longing for something to happen. Longing for the future (not to be confused with having a healthy drive for the future), often indicates a feeling of lack or deep dissatisfaction with where you are right now. It’s completely normal to set goals and have dreams, what isn’t normal is becoming emotionally dependant on them, to the point where you ruin and no longer enjoy what you have in front of you. Your obsession with the future is making you forget that you have so much more than you realise.

Your life isn’t about the next big thing or the next step but truly relishing and savouring each moment. You’re not resisting and fighting with where you are right now. Of course, you would love for X, Y, Z to happen but you’re not centring your life around getting it.

+ You’re happy here & You will be happy there too

Wanting to travel the world and be financially abundant doesn’t mean you have to be miserable now. Wanting to marry the love of your life doesn’t mean you have to be desperate, lonely and clingy in the meantime. Wanting to have a baby is the most beautiful experience ever, but that doesn’t mean you need to obsessively check and hang over every pregnancy test. The space between you and your dreams can inspire and uplift you instead of draining you.

When you begin to enjoy your life as it is today, you’ll realise it’s not always as bad as your mind makes it out to be. If Allah has made you wait this long, you’re not going to fall apart by waiting a little longer. Your life does not have to be miserable in the meantime.

+ Living in the knowing that you have all that you desire within you (i.e having little attachment to things)

When you surrender to Allah, it doesn’t mean you let go of your duas and dreams. It means that you’re not holding onto them for your dear life. You’re not suffocating them with your fear that it might just not happen. You’re not emotionally dependant on these things happening to you in order to feel a certain way. You’re not relying on a certain person/specific outcome for you to feel happy, successful, relaxed or fulfilled. Your emotional well-being isn’t attached to this world. Instead, you realise that you will always have all that you need right now.

Whether it happens or not, it won’t massively change the way you feel. Nothing, absolutely nothing is responsible for your happiness but you. No special person, no designer bag, no fancy job, no city in the world, absolutely nothing can give you happiness if you’re not already experiencing it from within.

+ Expecting the best from Allah

Live in a state where you’re heart is overflowing with positive hope in Allah – where you just know that it’s going to be pretty spectacular. To be in this state, do not concern yourself with the ‘how’ and ‘when’. The moment a thought of doubt pops up, notice that it’s your inner mean girl/ ego talking and take your energy AWAY from it. Distract your thoughts and break that cycle of your mind obsessing over things.

Your heart doesn’t need reasons to trust Allah. Your heart doesn’t care about the logical possibilities about it happening or not. Your heart doesn’t need to see signs as evidence that it’s going to work out for you. Your heart doesn’t attach itself to the future (in other words you don’t really care about when and how) because you know that Allah is the One whose worked this out for you.

What does losing hope in Allah look like?

+ Feeling defeated

It’s an intense feeling of rage, anger, frustration muddled with deep pain, regret, shame. It’s when your dua’s become painful and you start to feel frustrated that you’re not where you want to be. This usually comes up when you’ve been making dua for a very, very long time and you’re not seeing any signs of it happening. Sometimes, you might be seeing the opposite – signs of it supposedly not happening, which adds fuel to the fire. #ohdear!

The beautiful thing about this (and yes there is some goodness here!) is that you feel this way because you trust Allah sooo much. Soo much that when you don’t see any signs of progress, your mind begins to freak out. The way out of this is to relax, give yourself a break (honey, you deserve it). Be firm in your duas and then let things be. You are not the one making this happen, so take that pressure of yourself. Take a deep breath, relax and realise that Allah is the One whose making a way out for you. Take a step back and let things be for a little while.

+ Feeling like a victim

Oh this is huge! There’s a saying that goes “the devil’s work is to make you feel like a victim because then you don’t see your part in it”. #Truthbomb dropped like gluten free hot cakes 😉

Look I get it, life can be really crappy sometimes. There are people that you love, that’ve hurt you soo much. There are things that you’re praying for with all your heart, that other people take for granted. You pour your entire heart in your duas daily and each day still appears to looks the same. You have every reason to feel like a victim but don’t. By becoming a victim you keep yourself stuck in that destructive cycle. By becoming a victim you start to feel powerless, forgetting that you have Allah. Forgetting that what you want is possible for you.

The ayah in which Allah says: “Verily, Allah will not change the condition of people as long as they do not change their state themselves” [Surah al-Ra’d 13:11] Being a victim is what makes you forget that you have to work on yourself too. It’s when you forget that you played a part in it too. And for things to change, you need to look within yourself too.

+ It’s reflected in your mood + attitude

When you’ve lost hope, it shows up in your mood and attitude. It shows up in the littlest of things. It shows up in the way that every, little (supposed) set-back breaks you. The way you take things to heart even if it wasn’t intended like that. The way your mind runs with one negative experience and weaves it into a horror story, that simply isn’t true. It’s when your mood becomes fickle and every little thing set’s it off.

+ You’re on a time constraint

For some reason, you have this idea that X needs to happen within the next few months/ within a certain time frame. This creates a huge pressure and obsession with things happening the way you planned it to be. Except that it rarely does. Instead of dropping those unrealistic pressures, you prolong the time frame. So now four months becomes a year in waiting, a year becomes a few years in waiting. What if we just dropped the waiting and desperation all together? When you’re in this mindset, everything becomes a logical battle (i.e. will this give me what I want/ is this a sign that it’s not going to happen etc.) And you become confined to everything that’s in front of you. Your mind begins to obsess with how things will happen because your heart doesn’t believe it’s happening.

Instead… I know how hard this is. I know it feels like I’m telling you to give up on yourself. Or give up on everything you’ve ever dreamed of as a little girl. It’s like you’re losing apart of you. Gently let go of the timelines, deadlines and dates you’ve set upon yourself. There are some things in life that are beyond your control. Not even the best time management system or goal setting tool can predict some things. Where it’s no longer serving you, where it’s stressing you instead of uplifting you, where it’s causing more worry than faith, let go of these time constraints. Let Allah (as He does most perfectly) deal with that.

For you is to let go of the stories that you’ve been telling yourself/ identities that you’ve held onto/ conditions and expectations from others… let it all go. The stories that you need to have it by a specific age/ time or else you’re falling behind in life or that you’re going to find it much harder later on and what are people going to say, what are your parents going to think of you? Drop all of it. It’s coming to terms that your life may look very different from what you’ve planned. And that’s okay.

P.s. If you’d like to explore further in letting go, strengthening your connection with Allah, getting aligned with your heart’s desires, working through any inner hurdles that are holding you back, releasing pain from the past so that you can show up fully as the happiest version of you, click here to book in a free 20 min coaching chat xx

18 Responses

  1. Subhan’Allah, you know when you hear a lecture and you think, wow Allah sent this for me? That’s literally how I feel with this article. I couldn’t have read this at a better time. I’m at a age where I feel like life has NOT turned out the way I imaged (I can guess many of us feel like that at some point). Anyways, I’ve been praying and praying for a few things in particular and I start to get so impatient and lose hope that Allah will answer me, astagfiruallah. I love how you touched on not letting go of the dreams, duas, or goals, but letting go of the deadlines and timelines. To still want and hope, but not to the point that you’re life is centered around it. And my favorite that I may have to quote you on at some point “you will always have all that you need right now.” Jazak Allah khair for this sis!

    1. Awww barakAllah fee ? I’m sooo touched to hear that. We’ve all gone through phases like that, just know that one day soon it’s going to be pretty spectacular. You can have what your heart desires inshaAllah. Those low moments will be the foundation and rock to all the ease and happiness that comes you way. Just like we cry out of pain to Allah, one day those tears will be from gratitude and happiness. You’ve got this my love xx

  2. Loved this post, masha’Allah!
    Alhamdulillah, I don’t think I struggle too much in this area but I think many other students do with studies, exams and things. Still, this was a lovely, insightful reminder to take things one step at a time and remain positive and hopeful. Baraka’Allahu feeki.


  3. wow! This is some really beautiful inner work you have done. Masha’allah.. it really reminds me of shaykh Moutasem al-Hameedy’s teachings on inner work and his ebook “Pure Soul”! Very inspirational! bookmarked this page!

  4. MashaAllah, I really appreciate your views and encouragement. Everyone woman should have access to such resources.

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