O Allah, grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

And wisdom to know the difference.






Is this not a beautiful prayer?  It’s one of my favorites from my non muslim days, and something I still keep close to my heart.  It reminds me of this hadith of the Prophet (saws) that was related to us by Abu al-Abbas Abdullah bin Abbas (ra):

“O young man, I shall teach you some words:

 Be mindful of Allah, and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you.

If you (have need to) ask, ask of Allah; and if you seek help, seek help from Allah.

Know that even if the Nation were to gather together to benefit you with something, they would not benefit you with anything except that which Allah has already recorded for you, and that if they gather together to harm you with something, they would not be able to harm you with anything except that which Allah has already recorded against you.

The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.”

Allah (swt) has already written what will happen to us.  We seek His help and guidance to determine what it is that has been written, and to accept it.  If it is meant for us to act, we should seek His help to act.  If it is meant for us not to act, we should seek His help in that too.  And in every action or non action, we should seek serenity to accept it.

It is hard, to accept the Qadr and Qada of Allah (swt).  Our nafs are selfish.  They want only what they think is best for themselves.  They are short sighted, and do not see the bigger picture.  That bigger picture is Allah (swt).  He, who is without time or space, who exists in a reality that our feible little brains cannot even begin to comprehend.  What we experience, what we suffer, what we revel in here in this world, is small potatoes compared to Allah (swt) and the akhira.  

Our nafs wants to make the world in our image.  We want to be able to change anything and everything simply because it is what we want.

But that’s not the way the world works.  The world works according to the will of Allah (swt). 

Oh Allah, grant me the serenity to know what I cannot change.

Oh Allah, grant me the strength to change what I must

Oh Allah, grant me the wisdom to submit to Your will.

The pictures are by KıRmıZı_(away).  Absolutely beautiful.


9 thoughts on “serene

  1. Ohhhh I LOOOOVE the serenity prayer. We have it engraved on a small piece of marble that my grandmother gave us I think and I learned it when I was really young. It is still one of my favorites even after I converted.

    Thanks for the post!

  2. The Serenity Prayer, which you love so much, is to the Christian God, not A_____h. It is the inspiration behind “Alcoholics Anonymous” in which one of the major steps to overcoming addiction is to recognize that there is a power higher than ourselves and to submit to Him. I don’t believe it’s right to replace “God” in this Christian inspired poem to another God when it is specifically referring to the YAWEH, Father of the LORD Jesus.

  3. I think you’re missing a few letters in Allah (swt) there ;-)

    Seeing as how I learned the serenity prayer while still a christian, I am shockingly aware that the original author (most likely Reinhold Niebuhr) was in fact a christian.

    When AA adopted the prayer, he de christianafied it for AA. Also in AA, participants can chose their own higher power, who doesn’t necessarily have to be the God of the bible, to turn to. So playing the AA card in fact bolsters *my* use of the prayer, and not your argument ;-)

  4. By the way, you may have been a christian (in name) but obviously not “born again”.
    I am not attempting to “bolster any argument; just pointing out the fact that a prayer to “Yaweh” is most definitely NOT a prayer to “A____h”.

  5. Andybrown

    Muslims believe in the same God as the Jews and the Christians. Allah is simply the Arabic word for God. Arab Christians refer to God by the name of “Allah”.

    UmmS can do whatever she pleases with that prayer. It is a man made prayer. It isn’t like she is changing verses from the bible or the Torah.

    The God of the Jews, the God of the original Christians (minus the latter triune God head) the God of the Muslims, THE ONE SINGULAR GOD OF ALL OF HUMANITY is considered to be one in the same God by according to Muslims. There is no “Yaweh vs Allah” as they are one in the same.

  6. Thank you sabiwabi :)

    Andy, I just find it humerous that you take issue with me making the serenity prayer my own while citing AA, when *they* have taken the prayer and made it their own, non denominational, non christian, general higher power prayer. It’s not like I’m breaking with tradition here or anything.

    If I were ever find a need to be in AA, I don’t think they’d chide me for praying to Allah (swt).

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