The Gift

A Gift came, in the form of a close friend.

The foolish man spent years and months talking to the Gift, sharing common dreams and hopes of the future, showering it with care and was always there whenever it needed him. Then, as suddenly as it had appeared in his life, it left.

A Gift came, in the form of a dream.

The foolish man indulged in the infinite possibilities of what-ifs, saying, “Oh! I’ll do this soon, and then I’ll be happy, I’ll have a nice life!” And one day, the dream left; it was no longer possible to continue pursuing the aspiration that he once had, and emptiness filled its place.

A Gift came, in the form of a promise given. 

“We’ll do this together.” Or, “I’ll bring you there with me, soon.” Or, “This time next year, it will happen.” And it surrounded the foolish man with indelible expectations and hopes of the future, of what could be. He forgot that the future was not a certainty, and once the Gift disappeared, like the other Gifts before it, he was left frantically grasping, in an effort to salvage whatever remained of the Gift.


Foolish man, do you remember the days you spent endlessly thinking about that one Gift in your life, your life carefully formulating itself day by day around that person or thing, until you made it an absolute certainty that you could no longer live on without it? That Gift was meant to be temporary, yet, the way you treated it seemed as if it was already determined to be eternally bound to you.

Then, one day, you had that hope dashed, that promise broken, that loved one lost. And then your world came crashing down, and you no longer knew what to do. That gift that had kept you awake and smiling silly at night had now gotten you weeping inconsolably into your pillow, and you’ve lost the motivation that kept you going everyday.

“Don’t love that gift too much, because if you do, it will be taken away from you.”

Guard your heart, because the only one deserving of your endless thoughts and the only one who lives up to your expectations isn’t going to be anything that can die or disappear. It’s the only one who isn’t temporary: the Gift-Giver.

And the truly wise ones will love the gift for the sake of Him. 

They love as a way of showing gratitude for what has been given to us by Him.

They love as a way of easily accepting that the gifts can be taken away as easily as it has been given by Him.

The gift asked, “Do you love me?”

And the wise man answered, “I love you for the sake of Allah.”

“God continuously gives us gifts, to bring us closer to Him, and to help us thank Him. These gifts we have in our hands aren’t for us to keep forever; we don’t own them, God does. We just have them for a short period of time.

“We attach our hearts to the physical gifts we have in our possession. We love the gifts, we spoil the gifts, we hold tightly to the gifts, we ignore the gift-giver. Then when He takes the gift away, we become angry and ungrateful, as though we were the true owners of that something, or that someone. We own nothing; we don’t even own ourselves.”

-A Temporary Gift, Asmaa Hussein

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