I have revisited this quote countless times this week and I feel I will visit it countless more. A reminder of the nature of affairs.
Fatalism, as an attitude to life in general, is retrospective. Only when something has happened can we say that it had to happen. The notion that it makes people inactive is disproved by experience. The courage of the Prophet’s Companions, going into battle against overwhelming odds, must certainly have owed something to the conviction that the outcome of the battle was in God’s hands, not theirs, and that they would die not a moment before or after “a time appointed”. If their time had not yet come, the enemy’s weaponry would prove to be no more dangerous than a child’s toys; if they were fated to meet their end that day, nothing they did could prevent this. In our time, countless men and women suffer extreme stress in their work and this is often due to the belief that “everything depends on me”. For the Muslim, everything depends on God; nothing “depends on me”. Paradoxical as it may seem, the conviction that all is pre-ordained is liberating, whereas belief in total freedom of choice creates, for those who hold it, a prison of anxiety and uncertainty. It is for us to act. The outcome of our actions is God’s business, not ours. It is for us to do what is right under all circumstances. Subsequent failures does not mean that right action was, after all, wrong.
From Charles Le Gai Eaton’s book Remembering God
A supplication taught to Muslims by the Prophet Muhammad. On reflection, it is easy to adapt this into your life no matter what your religious inclination.