Considering all the tragic and heartbreaking events happening around the world, I and many others reading this are infinitely blessed.
Indeed, the Prophet Muhammad says,
“Whoever wakes up safely in his home, and is healthy in his body, and has provisions for his day would have acquired all the worldly possessions he is in need of.” (Al-Tirmidhi).
People around the world are being tested by losing their homes, their families, their lives, and everything dear to them. So then, what is our test while being blessed?
Our test is how we will use those blessings to make this world a better place.
Showing our gratitude for the blessings by bringing more goodness to humanity.
Our test is: What will we leave behind when we die, and what kind of difference will we have made?
Let’s not be stopped by guilt, feelings of helplessness, and despair.
As life goes on, we must go on to cultivate courage and build a better world, because that is our job.
And it is He (God) who has made you successors upon the earth and has raised some of you above others in degrees (of rank) that He may try you through what He has given you”Qur’an 6:165
What Are You Responsible For?
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said,
“Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of people is a guardian and is responsible for his people. A man is the guardian of his family, and he is responsible for them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and his children, and she is responsible for them.” (Bukhari, Muslim).
Thus, once again, we each hold a responsibility.
The unbearable suffering we see happening in the world needs to move us, motivate us, and push us to take on that responsibility and do our part.
Figure out your talent, your skills, your knowledge, and your experiences that you can use to help others around you.
Do you write, speak, draw, design, educate, mentor, parent, fundraise, or advocate?
Me and you can and will do something. We just need to find it and run with it.
Are You Blessed With Choice?
Each and every one of us may have reason to feel hatred, anger, and fear, but we can absolutely choose to spread love, hope, and courage instead, in spite of all the suffering we see around us.
We can choose to advocate for justice, equality, and peace through respect, foresight, and wisdom.
Choose to teach our children compassion, kindness, and empathy because we want them to live in a better world than we did.
We can choose to trust that, in the end, there is an All-Seeing, All-Hearing, All-Compassionate God that is taking care of every single soul that walks this earth.
Choose hope. We can choose love. And we can choose courage.
Find that courage, embrace it, and let it fuel your ability to make a profound difference for the betterment of humanity.
And if you’re still feeling fearful, uncertain, or anxious, please try the following steps to cultivate courage in order to build a better world:
1) Accept Your Fear
Fear is a natural human response that keeps us safe from life-threatening situations.
However, fear is also a “learned behaviour” that is fed by our environment, such that our brain has almost become trained to be “fearful.”
To “re-wire” our brain, if you will, we need to accept and allow ourselves to feel our fears instead of avoiding or fighting them.
Then we need to ultimately face them.
Most of the time, it is not the fear of wild animals or jumping out of airplanes that you have to overcome.
Rather, the fears that are common to many people, such as the fear of failure or the fear of what others think stand as an obstacle in our way.
And the way to overcome such fears is to simply go ahead and try.
Even if you “fail,” and even if others think negatively, because at the end, every “failure” is a stepping stone. Ultimately we should not worry about the creation when we have the Creator on our side.
2) Talk to a Trusted Person About Your Fear
Sometimes you don’t really know what your fears are or why you have them until you have a chance to discuss them with a trusted, experienced friend, coach, therapist, or mentor.
You may even wish to discuss it online if you wish to remain anonymous.
As adults, when you face certain situations, and may act in ways that ultimately demonstrate there is fear deep inside.
You may need a trusted individual to help you dig back in and identify the events and feelings that caused that fear so you can overcome it.
Then you can move on to demonstrate more healthy patterns of interactions with others in your future experiences.
3) Take The Time to Reflect
Taking the time to reflect and be mindful can help you overcome your fears.
Through our daily prayers and supplications, this can be the best practice for getting over fear.
When praying, share with the Creator your deepest fears and ask Him to replace those fears with courage and strength.
Visualise yourself overcoming your fears, having more courage, and doing the things you have always wanted to do, knowing that they will bring goodness to humanity.
4) Have Faith in Yourself Based on Your Faith in God
The greatest place to feed that faith in yourself is your faith in God, because He has created you in the best way possible, and with Him, everything can be possible.
We are told that:
“We have indeed created humankind in the best of molds” (Quran 95:4).
Yes, some of us are born with illnesses “flaws“, and what society may label a “disability.”
But did any of us think that God actually created us “perfectly” in many ways, not just physically?
Those ways include our spirit, our willpower, our emotions, and our ability to love, forgive, and long for Allah.
Many of us have self-defeating and disempowering beliefs, not knowing that this can actually be contrary to how Allah wants us to view ourselves.
If we keep putting ourselves down and holding ourselves back, how can we fulfil our role as successors on this earth and give our best to the world?
If we keep beating ourselves up over failing at one task and wondering why we fail at “everything,” how will we ever have the courage to keep trying?
We have to believe in Allah, who does not make errors when He creates.
He, in His infinite wisdom, created us in a way that is perfect for us, our situation, and our current time.
Remember, “Progress, Not Perfection”
The important point to remember is that this does not mean that all of our actions are perfect, but to remember that, as per Prophet Muhammad’s hadith (authentic tradition):
“Every child is born in a state of fitrah, which means in a state of goodness and purity.
We were created with an inner capacity for spreading compassion and equality.
Never ever lose that faith in yourself, bestowed on you by the Creator of the Universe.
5) Persevere in The Face of Fear
Facing your fears and doing something different will inevitably mean that you will encounter failure, criticism, and setbacks.
However, you can reframe all of those into “experience,” “feedback,” and “stepping stones.”
Every “failure” taught you a great lesson that you may not have learned elsewhere.
Every “critique” can either be constructive feedback that you take to improve yourself or simply idol talk that you ignore.
That strengthens your ability to not define yourself by the opinions of others but only by the opinions of God.
Every “setback” that you experience can actually be a “stepping stone” to something greater that you will achieve.
Do not allow difficult circumstances to diminish your mental and spiritual power.
Know that every great person achieved their greatness by persevering in the face of fear.
Starting with the Prophets (PBUH), all work through their fear.
So in summary, to cultivate more courage for a better world, accept your fears, talk about them with a trusted individual, take the time to reflect, do something different, have faith in yourself based on your faith in God, and persevere in the face of fear.
You can choose courage. Choose courage so we can build a better world together, Insha’Allah.
This article is from our archives.