It is reported that Shurayh said:
“If I am afflicted with a calamity, I praise Allah for it four times: I praise Him because it wasn’t worse than it was, I praise Him when He gives me the patience to bear it, I praise Him for enabling me to say al-istirja’ (‘To Allah we belong and to him we will return’; see Quran 2: 154-156) in hope of a great reward, and I praise Him for not making it a calamity in my religion.”
Each and every one of us encounters stages in our lives when we are challenged by events. From death to relationship breakdown to problems at work – life is full of struggles.
These troubles can be things that leave us wondering why our lives cannot be perfect. We may look around and look on at awe to those who seem to be living in complete bliss.
We have a picture in our minds that life is meant to be flawless. When the reality does not match, we are deeply pained and upset. What we must come to understand is the picture we painted is merely that – a creation of our own hands. It is not a reality.
Life was never meant to be this construct of perfect days put together to form a life that is easy with no challenges or tests. When looking to the life of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions, they encountered the biggest of difficulties and often multiple at the same time.
If the people who were closest to Allah and the best of Muslims were tried and tested repeatedly, who are we to think our lives would not be the same?
Many of us will be able to acknowledge one issue subsides and it is not long before a new problem or issue arises. Within this is a lesson that we should learn to deal with our situations in a positive way and continue to live our life in peace the best we can.
If we were to wait for a day when our life is no longer tested, we would be waiting until our death. This world is not our home; it is not Jannah that it will be immaculate without problems. Here are some simple yet important points to keep in our mind when dealing with whatever situation arises in your life:
- Seeking Allah’s Help
Prophet Muhammad said:
“Whoever tries to be patient, Allah will give him patience, and no one is given a better or vaster gift than patience.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 1469)
No matter what situation you find yourself in, you should take it upon yourself to always turn to Allah. Ask Him for the strength to continue to withstand the troubles being faced.
Patience is an important concept within Islam. Difficulty is a test of faith and patience is how a person passes this test. This does not mean a person is alone and must never speak of the difficulty they are facing. Rather, it is about turning to Allah and acknowledging it is only through Him that issues can be resolved. No human being has the power, knowledge or ability to change your life – only Allah does.
- Understanding Qadar
“And know that what has passed you by [and you have failed to attain] was not going to befall you, and what has befallen you was not going to pass you by. And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and hardship with ease.” (40 Hadith Nawawi 19)
As Muslims we must hold firmly to the belief that Allah is aware of all the situations that we are finding ourselves in. Nothing happens which He does not know about; it is through His decision that it takes place.
This piece of vital information is key in attaining peace within times of difficulty. While we may look at others and question why we face with this dilemma, it is important to remember that this problem was going to always come your way. It is your problem the same way in which other peoples’ problems are theirs.
- Looking for the Good in the Situation
Remember, within each situation there is something good. Nothing is ever totally dark and gloomy. We allow our minds to think in such a way that we turn off the lights ourselves.
Yes, sometimes looking for a positive requires you to remove the debris and rubble of sadness and upset in order for you to find it. However, it can be done in each situation because everything happens by the will of Allah. Each situation is there to teach us something and it is up to us to take the step to finding that lesson.
- Remembering the Good in your Life
Often, we focus on the bad and forget the good. Our lives are made up much more than one single situation or problem. There is many good things about life which we should be focusing on when we are upset or troubled. This will allow us to be grateful and utter the words of “Alhamdulillah”.
By doing so, we increase our ability to withstand and have patience because we are consciously aware that there is a bigger picture outside of our difficulty. Even if the good seems minuscule compared to the hardship, we should do our best to focus on it.
What can you do to find the good in life?
Sit down and make a list of absolutely everything that you have. From the ability to see to the food on your table to the opportunities you have received in your life. If your mind makes this difficulty, look to others and notice the hardships they are in. Say Alhamdulillah for not being in those positions, too.
(This article is from Reading Islam’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.)