Often time, challenges pop-up, holding us back from achieving great dreams and great visions that we plan to fulfill.
We get stuck, slowed down on our journey to fulfilling our potential and living life with purpose and passion.
These past years has been an immense example of being sidelined by nearly everyone.
These challenges to achieving our dreams often come in the form of some sort of loss. In the Quran, God tells us:
“By time, indeed man is in a state of loss. Except those who believe, and do good and enjoin each other on the truth, and enjoin each other to be patient.” (Surat Al-Asr, Qur’an 103)
And we are also told:
“We will certainly test you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and fruits (earnings); but give glad tidings to the persevering and patient” (2:155).
These verses explain that human beings are naturally going to experience some sort of loss throughout the course of their lives.
Some loss of health, some loss of wealth, some loss of loved ones, some loss of loved things.
Whether the loss be a career or a dream or in some extreme cases, safety and freedom.
Arguably, if these losses are not managed properly, they can amount to an ultimate loss.
We can lose a strong connection with Allah, happiness in the after-life, and peace and contentment in this life.
Loss is Inevitable
So the question is, how can we overcome these losses that are inevitable?
How can we carry on with our lives to fulfill our ultimate purpose and maintain a strong connection with Allah?
How can we heal those wounds and overcome those worries so we can live life to the fullest?
Don’t we want to be ourselves, doing what we can to make a positive difference in the world?
First, it helps to remember that loss is a natural part of life. Everything is transient, passing, and temporary.
We can experience great sadness and pain, but we can also experience great joy and relief. Allah (SWT) tells us once again in Surat Al – Najm – that:
“And that to your Lord is the finality, and that it is He who makes [one] laugh and weep and that it is He who causes death and gives life.”(Quran 53:42-44).
Our health, wealth, and loved ones are all blessings and gifts. They belong to Allah and He lends them to us for some time.
We just tend to forget what these gifts are. We end up attached to the gift and not to the one who blessed us with the gift, even when He, in His infinite mercy, chooses to take the gift away.
And we know that for the believer, being tested or being blessed are opportunities for patience and gratitude.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was reported to have said:
“Amazing is the affair of the believer, verily all of his affair is good and this is not for no one except the believer. If something of good/happiness befalls him he is grateful and that is good for him. If something of harm befalls him he is patient and that is good for him.”(Muslim)
And once again, we’re guided in Surat Al-Asr to the way out of this state of loss and how to overcome and cope with it, moving on to more contentment and success by the will of Allah.
The keys mentioned in the verses cited above are:
1) Belief in Allah
2) Doing Good
3) Enjoining each other to truth
4) Enjoining each other to patience
1 – Belief in Allah
Our belief in Allah and in His Prophet (PBUH) and in His book (The Quran) allows us to understand that we were given this life as an opportunity, a chance, a way to achieve happiness both now and later, in an after life, if we can observe those keys to salvation. We are told in the Quran:
“He’s the One who has created death and life, so He may test you which of you is best in deeds. And He is that All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.”(Quran 67:2)
2 – Doing Good
We’re also told, that:
“Whoever does good, righteous deeds, whether male or female, and is a believer, most certainly We will make him (or her) live a good life, and most certainly We will pay such as these their reward in accordance with the best of what they used to do.” (Quran 16.97).
So literally, we are here for a limited time. We are in a race to do good, including the multitude of recommended actions in our faith. And all of the beautiful moral characteristics that the Prophet (pbuh) had.
So our good moral character includes kindness, generosity, forgiveness, justice, faithfulness, etc.
This hadith and the oft-mentioned virtues of good moral character in both the Quran and the Sunnah.
It emphasizes the five pillars and acts of worship are supposed to shape, enhance, and perfect our good moral character.
Our implementation of these should be our fuel to take care of the world and make a positive difference.
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“I was only sent to perfect good moral character.”