Have you ever felt “thrown away”? Cast aside like trash that is no longer valued or wanted?
It’s not a good feeling, isn't it?
Sometimes we feel this way when we’ve been rejected by someone we love; or when we are relentlessly criticised by a spouse, parents, family or friends. We can also feel this way when it seems like we’re not living up to society’s expectations.
Feeling this way makes you doubt yourself, makes you wonder if you are a worthwhile human being, if you have anything meaningful to offer, if you are someone worthy of love and praise.
When you feel this way, you might begin to act this way. You stop valuing yourself, and you start behaving as if you are worthless, ugly, invisible, and unredeemable. You do things that you know are bad for you, either because you no longer care, or you think no one else cares. Or maybe just to fulfil the negative labels that others have put on you.
I want to tell you something very important: Allah does not make “throw away” people. He does not create waste.
We humans do that. Increasingly in this modern society, we manufacture cheap items that are meant to be used once then thrown away. Disposable razors, diapers, soda bottles, packaging… hospital visitors are given disposable gowns and gloves… Our oceans are filling up with garbage. There is a floating plastic garbage patch in the Pacific that is the size of Texas. It is known as the Pacific Gyre and contains 3.5 million tons of trash.
We human beings do that. We create such waste.
Allah does not do that.
Look around at what Allah has created: the oceans, mountains, clouds and majestic trees; birds and animals from the eagle to the elephant; the stars, sun and moon; the four seasons, each with a special beauty; and a treasure-trove of amazing, healthy foods like olives, mangoes, almonds, oranges…
Allah says in the Quran, Surat Al-Imran, 3:190-191:
“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding. Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying], “Our Lord, You did not create this in vain; exalted are You [above such a thing]…”
Allah created nothing in vain. Nothing that He made is disposable or worthless. Every one of His creations is precious and has a profound purpose, from the smallest bacterium to the greatest nebula. Everything is beautiful. Including you.
Allah did not create you to be thrown away. You are not disposable. Whether or not you are ready to admit it, you have a profound purpose in this life. You are priceless, beautiful, unique, redeemable, and worthy of love. Because Allah just made you that way.
We must begin valuing ourselves according to how Allah has valued us. Those people who would devalue us, they are not walking in our shoes, living our reality. They’re not responsible for our souls, and we are not responsible for theirs:
“No bearer of a burden can bear the burden of another.” (Quran 6:164; 17:15)
If others are not responsible for us, and cannot bear our burdens, then they have no right to value or devalue us. Allah has given us honour; therefore our honour is with Allah, not with the people. Allah has given us purpose; therefore our purpose is with Allah, not with the people.
Every person has a dignity and value that has been granted by Allah. It is inherent in our makeup and cannot be taken away by anyone. Every person is a gift. Every person is a miracle. Including you.