“Would any of you wish to have a garden with date-palms and vines, with rivers flowing underneath, and all kinds of fruits for him therein, while he is striken with old age, and his children are weak (not able to look after themselves), then it is struck with a fiery whirlwind, so that it is burnt? Thus does Allâh make clear His Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses) to you that you may give thought.” (Al-Baqarah 2:266)
by Heba Alshareef
I had forgotten my favorite Barbie at my friend
Fatima’s house, and when I got my dolly back, all her hair
was chopped off and her scalp was painted an awful blue
color. I cried for days, but I eventually forgave Fatima,
and our friendship was still strong. Fatima and I had so
much in common, so many of the same dreams and aspirations.
We would sit in my father’s car and fantasize about our
So one weekend when we were about 15 years old, we were at
her house with a bunch of other girls celebrating
something. I don’t know what the occasion was, but I do
remember that we were all dancing Lebanese wedding style,
holding hands and whirling in a circle.
Suddenly, I felt her had slip out of mine. She fell to the
ground. And the rest is a blur. Our moms rushed in. The
ambulance came. She was in the hospital. She lost all her
hair. She looked like my disfigured Barbie.
My best friend Fatima had a brain tumor. She had cancer in
the late stages. My best friend was dying.
Enter the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Since 1980, they’ve been
granting wishes of terminally ill children around the
world. Fatima was eligible. You know what she wished for?
She wished for a brand new bedroom set.
Three weeks later, they literally sent her home from the
hospital to her newly delivered polished all wood death
The Make a Wish people do great things, no doubt, but their
power is limited. They do not have the ability to grant the
highest of humanly wishes. That wish is not a new bedroom
set, or a chance to meet a famous actor, or even a trip to
The greatest wish, the most significant wish, the dying
wish, brothers and sisters, is the one we belittle the
most, the one we minimize the most.
Sure, we all wish it, it does have a place on our wish
lists, but not with the passion befitting its status. You
all know what that wish is. I hardly need to tell you, but
I will, because the reminder benefits the believers.
It is the wish for jannah. It is a wish that is wasted.
Advice abounds around us: Don’t waste your time! Don’t
waste your money! Don’t waste your health!
Today, I want to add to that: Don’t waste your wishes!
Don’t waste your wishes!
Ibn Umar used to say, “If you survive till the evening, do
not expect to be alive in the morning, and if you survive
till the morning, do not expect to be alive in the evening,
and take from your health for your sickness, and (take) from
your life for your death.”
You are alive now. Yes, but how long does NOW actually
Jannah is the loftiest of wishes. Allah SWT says in surah
al sajida, “And no soul knows what has been hidden for them
of comfort of the eye as reward for what they used to do.”
In another ayah, Allah azza wa jal says: “You can tell in
their faces the radiance of the blessing.”
The inhabitants of Jannah shall be in: “Gardens and
rivers.” The inhabitants of Jannah are: “Most pleased with
what Allah gave them from His bounty.”
We may be fooled by the wish making methods of those around
us. There’s the “make a wish and blow out the candles”
mentality that has us hoping that the nicely wrapped boxes
won’t contain useless gifts like an itchy sweater or yet
There’s the “jenie in a bottle mentality” where you only
have 3 wishes, so you better make the most of them or
We are Muslims, there is nothing odd or strange about the
methods in which we make our wishes. We do not ask of a 2
cm long candle stuck in gooey pink icing. We do not seek of
a large blue man wearing a turban that fits in a small oil
We are Muslims, we understand that the underlying theme of
a wish is to articulate hope and to identify goals.
Our wishes are found on our dua lists. Our hopes and
aspirations, are found on our dua lists. Our dua list is
our wish list.
And whom do we ask of? We ask of Allah, the creator of the
ultimate wish. Seek it brothers and sisters, bring the wish
close to your hearts. Wear the wish in all of your actions
and reactions. May you all be granted this wish. Say