In our lives we are often faced with trials that make life difficult. Have you ever relaxed after suffering a major crisis in your life, only for another much larger problem to come your way? Whether at work, through an illness, the death of a loved one, marriage issues or even our children, we find trials in every aspect of our lives, whether we like it or not.
Allah the Exalted says,
“Do they not see that they are tried every year once or twice but then they do not repent nor do they remember?” [At-Tawbah: 126]
“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient” [Al-Baqarah: 155]
It is hard not to feel sad or even a sense of desperation when suffering from a calamity, and we are allowed to feel these emotions to some degree. However, as Muslims, we cannot let our emotions seize control of our minds and dictate our actions. Some people get so angry, they lash out at loved ones, sacrificing their personal and work relationships. Others end up neglecting their physical health because stress has driven them to bad eating habits, or even smoking and drinking alcohol. Some people desperately seek refuge through any means possible, even by turning to things that are considered as shirk (associating partners with Allah), such as fortune-tellers or magicians. In our clinic, we see the devastating effects that occur when someone turns to negative solutions for their problems. Believing that the end justifies the means can be a dangerous concept and lead to many haram (forbidden) acts. In hindsight, many of these individuals feel guilt at the lengths they went to when trying to find solutions to their trials, but this is what happens when desperation pushes you to try anything!
When facing a trial, when feeling that desperation pushing you towards haram, it is vital not to lose hope. Remain focused on Allah, the Exalted, have sabr (patience) and be persistent. You have the strength and ability to face any problem that crosses your path, as Allah has told us He will not burden us with more than our soul can bear – You are stronger than your ordeal!
“Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity…” [AL-Baqarah: 286]
Through the Qur’an, we know we will all be tested several times throughout our lives and we have the power to face each test. That will always be our lifeline, so when facing a trial, we should not let negative emotions get the best of us. Often, it is not the trial itself which negatively impacts our lives but our negative thoughts which create negative behaviours. We should keep following Allah’s guidance and put our trust in Him, remain patient and continue performing good deeds.
“Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah , the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveller, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfil their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.” [Al-Baqarah: 177]
We must realize that life is constantly in motion and no period of adversity will last forever, and a better time is just around the corner. Sunshine always follows rain, summer always follows winter and daylight will always follow the night.
“For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” [Ash-Sharh: 5-6]