Many people are overwhelmed by regret for things that happened in the past or they agonise over afflictions which might have befallen them. Some become angry when a trial or sickness strikes them – they question why Allah (swt) would cause them to go through that suffering. The Prophet (saw) has cautioned against such behaviour in a hadith in which he said: “And seek help from Allah and do not lose heart. And if anything befalls you (calamity, misfortune, trouble) do not say: ‘If I had done that it would not have happened so and so’ but say: ‘Allah did that which he ordained to do’ because “if” is an opening for Satan’s actions.” Allah (swt) has further forewarned the believers not to think that they will be exempt from trials, simply because they profess faith in Him. He (swt) says: “Alif Lam Mim. Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, ‘We believe’, and that they will not be tested? We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false.”
From this the Muslim comes to know that whatever befalls him, does so by the decree of Allah (swt), and he therefore accepts it. Whatever has happened has happened and he knows that no amount of regret or sorrow will change the past. Even if all of mankind were to try and assist him to change what has already passed, they would not be able to do so. He comes to the realisation that “the pen has been lifted and the pages have dried”. So the Muslim is satisfied with the decree of Allah (swt): if evil afflicts him, he bears it with patience and if any good comes his way then he is thankful for it. The Prophet (saw) has described the believers in this way in the hadith: “How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for all his affairs are good, and that is for no one except the believer. If something good happens to him, he gives thanks, and that is good for him, and if something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.”
 Sahih Muslim.
 Al-Qur’an 29: 1-3.
 Sahih Muslim.