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How to Overcome Difficult Times (Part 1/2)

True believers are the most patient among all human beings, the most steadfast in hard times, and the most contented in calamities. This can be understood in light of the following:

Life is short

They realized the shortness of this present life compared with the eternity of the hereafter and, therefore, they did not wish to exchange the paradise of Eden with this perishable, present, short life,

{Say (unto them, O Muhammad): The comfort of this world is scant; the Hereafter will be better for him who wardeth off (evil); and ye will not be wronged the down upon a date stone}. (An-Nisaa’ 4: 77) and, {…The life of this world is but comfort of illusion.} (Aal `Imran 3: 185)

The Prophets’ example

They learned from the biographies and life stories of their Prophets and Messengers that the latter were the most suffering humans in life and at the same time they were the least to enjoy any of this present life’s luxuries or ornaments.

Therefore, the believers did not wish to be better than the Prophets in terms of enjoying any of the luxuries or ornaments of this life. They took the Prophets as their prime model examples in application of Allah’s saying,

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{Or think ye that ye will enter Paradise while yet there hath not come unto you the like of (that which came to) those who passed away before you? Affliction and adversity befell them, they were shaken as with earthquake, till the Messenger (of Allah) and those who believed along with him said: When cometh Allah’s help? Now surely Allah’s help is nigh}. (Al-Baqarah 2: 214)

Full trust in Allah’s Wisdom

They knew that all the trials and ordeals that may befall them are not purposeless strikes of fate; rather, these are exercised in accordance with a perfect plan, predestined scheme, eternal wisdom and divine ordainment.

Therefore, they believed in that whatever befell them was never to miss them and whatever missed them was never to befall them,

{Naught of disaster befalleth in the earth or in yourselves but it is in a Book before We bring it into being – indeed that, for Allah, is easy.} (Al-Hadid 57: 22)

Allah’s Mercy is always there

They learned from the divine attributes of Allah that when He decrees something not seemingly good, He simultaneously coats it with absolute kindness, and when He, Glory is His due, puts someone to the test, He simultaneously relieves him and alleviates his pain,

{Lo! My Lord is tender unto whom He will. He is the Knower, the Wise.} (Yusuf 12: 100)

And, they learned from the kindness and mercy of Allah that all these misfortunes and distresses are nothing but experiences from which they can derive lessons and examples that can be of great value to their religion and life.

Difficulties make greatness

They knew that only through these lessons and examples their souls would be purified, faith would be polished, and hearts’ rust would be removed. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said,

“…No Muslim is afflicted with any harm, even if it were the prick of a thorn, but that Allah expiates his sins because of that, as a tree sheds its leaves.” (Al-Bukhari)

Now, one can say that faith achieves balance in this present life. Where humans may have their own calculations and considerations in all they do and all that is done to them, it is true that Allah may have other schemes that are called ‘fate’ or ‘predestination’ with which He runs and controls all affairs of His creation,

{That which Allah openeth unto mankind of mercy none can withhold it; and that which He withholdeth none can release thereafter. He is the Mighty, the Wise.} (Fatir 35: 2)

To be continued.

About Dr. Ali Al-Halawani
Dr. Ali Al-Halawani is Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Translation Studies. He is an author, translator, and writer based in Canada. To date, Al-Halawani authored over 400 original articles on Islam and Muslims, most of which can be accessed on and other famous websites. He has recently started to self-publish his articles and new books, which are available on Amazon and Kindle. You can reach him at [email protected].