بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
By Zahra Anjum
Sorrow and smiles are intertwined in our life. In the test of this world we all face situations that make us tense, fearful and sad. A Muslim, however, has the best of affairs. Faith in Allah gives them the strength and courage to face the ups and downs of life without losing hope.
Loss of a beloved one, financial struggles, a tough family situation, accidents, break-ups and illnesses: reasons for sadness may be many. And yet, our guide and healer the Qur’an gives us a system of belief to pass through these hardships with patience.
1. The dunya is temporary:
Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an: “this worldly life is only [temporary] enjoyment, and indeed, the Hereafter – that is the home of [permanent] settlement.” (Surah Ghafir 40: 39) This life and its happenings will pass by and come to an end sooner or later. What remains is how we act and react. It is the nature of the dunya that it is difficult, for it was meant to be an examination. True peace and enjoyment is only in the hereafter, where for the righteous there shall be no fear or grief.
Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) said: “Among the inmates of Hell, a person who had led the most luxurious life in this world will be brought up on the Day of Resurrection and dipped in the Fire and will be asked: ‘O son of Adam! Did you ever experience any comfort? Did you happen to get any luxury?’ He will reply: ‘By Allah, no, my Lord.’ And then one of the people of Jannah (Paradise) who had experienced extreme misery in the life of this world will be dipped in Jannah. Then he will be asked: ‘O son of Adam! Did you ever experience any misery? Did you ever encounter difficulty?’ He will say: “By Allah, no my Lord, I neither experienced misery nor passed through hardship”. (Muslim)
2. Allah loves you:
Allah is Ever Loving (Al-Wadood) and All-Wise (Al-Hakeem). Whatever He has put in our life is for reasons that we may not comprehend. We may see the bend in the road but not the beauty that lies after it.
Trials are not a sign of Allah’s wrath; those most afflicted with trials were the people He loved most; the prophets, their followers and the righteous. It is only after the duckling’s mother pushes it into the water that it learns to swim. Similarly, Allah (swt) takes us to the depths not to drown us but to cleanse us, teach us and thus elevate us. He does not burden a soul except with what it can bear.(Surah Baqarah 2: 286)
3. With hardship comes ease:
“Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.”(Surah Sharh 94: 6) After each night there comes day. It is in the dark that the stars twinkle and with tough times come good times. Have firm faith in this verse of the Qur’an. The sorrow that you suffer today will soon be followed by a period of pleasure and joy. This is the promise of Allah, and who can be more truthful in their promise than He?
4. On Sabr is Ajr:
“Indeed, I have rewarded them this Day for their patient endurance – that they are the attainers [of success].” (Surah Mu’minoon 23: 111)
Drops of water dripping into a bucket may seem to be very slow. However, if someone were to see the bucket after an hour or two it would be already half full. The same is the case with Sabr (patient perseverance). While in the midst of a problem every moment and every second seems lengthy and patience appears hard. However, the time soon passes, the problem goes away and what remains is just the memory. Each passing moment only adds to the reward.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “When one of you looks at one who stands at a higher level than he in regard to wealth and physical structure he should also see one who stands at a lower level than he in regard to these things.” (Muslim)
Thankfulness is a lifestyle. Whatever you are going through, think of those who are going through something even worse. This will develop in us the virtue of contentment and gratitude. If you are sick, know that the hospitals are full of people suffering from chronic diseases worse than yours. If you have lost a relative, remember the orphan who lost all his family in a war–stricken region. There are people going through more than what you have suffered. Thank Allah that he did not afflict you in the same way.
Islam gives us a positive and realistic outlook on life that leaves no room for depression, anxiety and gloom. So, “be happy, at peace, and joyful; and don’t be sad!”
Zahra Anjum is an aspiring writer who loves to write about Islam, Eemân (faith) and the Qur’an.
© IIPH 2014