Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions knew something that is not often displayed today.
They were able to face difficulty with a certain determination in their hearts, grateful for even the seemingly small blessings. They took pleasure in praying at night while the people were asleep.
What they knew was this: if they sought God they would not be let down.
This is the secret to the statement of Abu Bakr to the Prophet during the battle of Badr, when the Prophet was crying out to God in an impassioned dua (supplication) until his cloak fell from his shoulder. Abu Bakr said:
“O Messenger of Allah, this prayer of yours to your Lord will suffice you, and He will fulfill for you what He has promised you!”
And He did – the battle was won by the Muslims.
Human desires are insatiable. And for this reason, the more we chase after this world, the less we are satisfied. If we chase after the love of a human being, especially in ways that are not lawful, inevitably we will be let down because no human being is perfect.
We go after money, power and status – but it won’t end there, because we will always want more. And our hearts will always be perturbed because these things are temporary. Once we have reached the goal, the pleasure we feel will wear away and we will want more.
If we find ourselves in that position, these words are hard to read because we don’t want to give up the chase. We think, perhaps, somehow, we will find that which we are looking for.
We may have heard this verse a hundred times before. However, one thing we must know is that if we truly want that comfort in the heart, it must be through seeking Him.What is meant here is not that we shouldn’t seek to be successful in this life. Rather what is meant is the way in which we do it.
Look at the Prophet. He could have compromised his principles when Quraysh offered him power and wealth for him to tone down his message. They even tried to negotiate a power-sharing agreement whereby the other gods would be worshiped on some days and the one God would be worshiped on others.
Declining these offers caused the Prophet physical hardship, but he was at rest in his heart.
Because he knew that ultimately to seek dunya (current life) for the sake of this world was not the goal. He knew that whatever he gave up was temporary, because the real comfort in this world is with God. And he was not let down.
So when we read the Quran, and God tells us He is with the patient – let us take comfort in that. When the Prophet tells us that God is too shy to turn away the hand that asks Him with nothing, let our hearts find rest in that God indeed has heard our dua and will give us something.
Let us take the Prophet as the example we should aspire to. He knew that if he followed the path to God, no matter the physical hardships, God’s promise would prevail. And that gave him ultimate peace at heart.