A Recipe for Dealing with Hardships of Life

As a child, my siblings and I passed through many difficulties. Our parents abandoned us, my brother and sisters grew up in orphanages, and died early deaths – a loss I would grieve throughout my life.

I never felt wanted in the home of the family that I lived with, but through my experiences in nature, I developed a deep belief in God.

As a young adult, I endured immense poverty, praying for someone to rescue me. The turning point came when I met and married my husband, who took full responsibility for my life.

And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Saabiroon (the patient). Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: ‘Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.’ They are those on whom are the Salawaat (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones. (Quran 2:155-157)

Belief in Prayer

I am a full believer in prayer. Throughout the hardships of life, my prayers have been answered.

During one particular hardship, my husband was admitted to intensive care for multiple heart attacks in one day and waiting for emergency bypass surgery.

The doctors let me stay with him knowing that he could die. I prayed over him the whole night, reading the Quran, and told him that he was going to make it. Allah answered my prayers, and my husband survived the surgery.

Belief in Allah

Life is full of hardships, twists, and turns; and the unexpected. We are living through difficult times with COVID, unemployment, and political situations, the likes of which we have never seen in our lifetimes.

In many of the roughest moments of my life, I felt like giving up, but I realized that to overcome them, I had to become stronger.

The greatest lesson I learned about life is to have patience in the deepest part of my heart, that whatever the situation, in the end, I always chose Allah the Almighty. Maybe the circumstance would not change, but Almighty Allah gave me the strength and patience to pass through the trials.

God does not burden any soul with more than it can bear. (Quran 2:286)

If we simply surrender to prayer and reflection, solutions will appear. But if the situation does not change, prayer will still get us through it.

Prayer Changed My Life

Because I prayed a simple prayer asking Allah the Almighty to bless me with an honorable husband, within a month, my life was transformed. I was delivered from my hardships – just as He promised:

So, surely with hardship comes ease. (Quran 94:5)

I held onto a deeply rooted faith that Allah Almighty would provide. It was that faith, my strength of character, and integrity that my husband admired.

Dealing With Loss

The deaths of my brother and sisters brought pain to my heart and life that felt insurmountable. But I am blessed that I believe there is an afterlife more beautiful than this life where, insha’Allah, we will all be reunited.

Those who have love in their life, patience, and faith in Allah the Almighty can survive any situation with optimism, and determination to never give up but to have the strength to overcome.

How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good. If something good happens to him, he is thankful for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is also good for him. (Muslim)

Gratitude

I am grateful for the comfortable life Allah the Almighty has granted me. Every morning I begin with Al-hamdulillah.

Allah Almighty says:

If you are grateful I will give you more of my blessings. (Quran 14:7)

Al-hamdulillah, I have a comfortable bed to sleep in, a roof over my head, food to eat, and a wonderful family.

Sometimes it seems boring to have a routine, but at least we have one that I can be grateful for, because in reality – nothing stays the same.

Life can change in the blink of an eye, so for every moment we are granted in this life, we should be grateful. There are others less fortunate than ourselves, and maybe homeless, that we should support whenever we can.

Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah ] from that which you love. And whatever you spend – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it. (Quran 3:92)

Even for the smallest thing, we should be grateful. We may lose everything financially or may have experienced a disaster, but at least we have each other.

For those who do not have anyone, know that you are not alone. You still have Allah the Almighty. The strength that you receive from Almighty Allah will give you the ability to change your life. 

Allah the Almighty has given us great purpose in this life, and a will to survive. I know this from personal experience.

Our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

Even our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) went through many trials. Even though my parents were living, I could identify with his being an orphan because I felt as though I was an emotional orphan.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) faced numerous obstacles in his life, but because of his honesty and integrity, he became a successful merchant and married a well-established businesswoman, Khadija. He also experienced the loss of his children.

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) first became a Prophet, he suffered a great deal and endured great loss, yet Allah the Almighty made things better for him in the end. 

Trials and calamities are a test and a sign of Allah the Almighty’s love for a person. According to an authentic hadith:

The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allah loves a people He tests them. Whoever accepts that wins His pleasure but whoever is discontent with that earns His wrath. (At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah)

I feel the love and presence of Allah Almighty every day, and through faith, patience, and prayer, everything changed for the better.

Prayer Changes Things

Prayer changes situations likewise we should have patience and a sense of responsibility for our circumstances.

We can’t sit back and wait for change to happen.

For each one there are successive angels before and behind, protecting them by Allah’s command. Indeed, Allah would never change a people’s state ˹of favour˺ until they change their own state ˹of faith˺. And if it is Allah’s Will to torment a people, it can never be averted, nor can they find a protector other than Him. (Quran 13:11)

Without strength and motivation to change our circumstances, how would we escape such things as war, illness, financial ruin, starvation, or homelessness, other than through a will to survive, with the hope of a better life in this world and the next, and through strengthening our faith and being steadfast in our prayers.

Love of Allah and Love for the Sake of Allah

Often we find strength in the love of those around us, for His creation, the life He has given us, and through our love for Allah the Almighty.

Now, no matter what happens in my life I feel great love for those around me and love for Allah the Almighty.

I am filled with a sense of responsibility to stand up for what I believe in, to give generously, and to live by the compassion and mercy that Allah the Almighty has shown to us through the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

For every second that Allah the Almighty grants us life, we should be grateful, because no one is promised tomorrow. Our actions and deeds will become our legacy.

Let the memory we leave with others be, that we lived righteous lives.

Whatever we do in life, we should live for the Day of Judgment, and the well-being of others.

To have meaning and purpose in our lives, we should have faith and believe in Allah the Almighty.

We should always have patience and purpose in our lives, and Allah the Almighty gives us that purpose.