“WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME?!”
At one point in life, we have all said it. But have you ever actually answered the question? I mean, truly answered the question. We sit and complain about our situations, we often think there’s no one else going through anything worse, when in actual fact there always is and always will be someone being tested more than you.
“Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you? They were touched by poverty and hardship and were shaken until [even their] messenger and those who believed with him said, “When is the help of Allah?” Unquestionably, the help of Allah is near.”
(Surah Al-Baqarah: 214)
Think back to the time when people used to insult and throw rocks at our beloved Prophet ﷺ, or the countless times people plotted and planned to kill him ﷺ. What about the times when he ﷺ and his Sahaba had to tell their wives, their children, their own families that they may never see them again because they were going to battle, to fight for the very deen we take for granted today; Islam.
“Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tried?”
(Surah Al-Ankabut: 2)
Hardships and trials are inevitable. Our Prophet ﷺ was so loved by Allah ﷻ, yet look at the large amount of trials and tribulations he ﷺ went through. One of the greatest trials the Ummah faced was the death of our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Yet, we sit here in our heated homes, in our warm clothes, with our delicious meals (alhamdulillah) but when the slightest thing goes wrong and knocks our moments of ease, we begin to whine. But why, are we still not surrounded by many blessings?
The majority of us will view hardships in a negative manner; we approach trials and ask ourselves “Why me?” and then we start questioning The Most High. We begin to search for the solution everywhere. First with the creation, but what do they do? They fail us, they fail us at the time we need them the most. So then we look for another solution, we try to resolve the issues ourselves. We enter so much worry, so much fear and a large amount of unnecessary stress, why? Because we look for help in all of the wrong places, the one who will truly save us is the one who has brought the test to us – Allah ﷻ.
“No disaster strikes except by the permission of Allah. And whoever believes in Allah – He will guide his heart. And Allah is knowing of all things.”
(Surah At-Taghabun: 11)
What we need to realise is exactly that, nothing happens except by the will of Allah ﷻ, and He ﷻ is the best of planners, The Perfectly Wise. If we try to resolve a situation by ourselves, it will not be easy and would probably cause us more stress. In contrast, nothing will be difficult if we seek the help through Allah ﷻ – He ﷻ will guide our hearts, our hardships are our cures.
However, to utterly convince ourselves that our hardships are indeed curing us, we need to understand why we go through hardship. Ask yourselves, if this life was so perfect and if this temporary world was so great, then why would we even care about Jannah? If we did not go through hardships, then how would we know Allah ﷻ is The Reliever, the one who heals? Truth is, we would not.
Through hardships we begin to realise this, it allows us to identify our weaknesses and work on them. Many times we make dua asking Allah ﷻ for many things including strength and patience, right? But if we did not go through hardships would we truly gain these attributes? Similarly, if we look at ourselves in a time of ease, do we call for the help of Allah ﷻ as much as we would during hardships? For many of us, the answer will be no. We get too comfortable with ease, we drift away from our Creator and lose sight of the eternal life.
“Jannah is surrounded by hardships and the Hell-Fire is surrounded by desires.”
If we were not brought to hardship would we have ever turned back to Him ﷻ? Or would we keep striving for the dunya and continue to be a slave to our desires? Probably the latter, we get too comfortable. Even when we know the dunya is designed to break our hearts we still try to find contentment within the dunya and not Allah ﷻ. This hadith teaches us that nothing will help us reach Jannah except going through hardships. This very hardship right now could be what saves you from Jahannam. So are you not grateful?
We are also told by our Beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ:
“There is nothing that befalls a believer, not even a thorn that pricks him, but Allah will record one good deed for him and will remove one bad deed from him.”
How merciful is our Lord? He would rather put us through a test to eliminate our sins, rather than leave us to wonder around neglectfully! He ﷻ prefers that we suffer in this world for a short while and turn back to Him ﷻ through remembrance and prayer, rather than continue to walk around mounting up sins and face punishment and suffering in the eternal – The Akhirah (The Hereafter).
“Verily, with hardship there is ease.”
(Surah Ash-Sharh: 5)
Not after hardship, but WITH hardship there is ease. SubhanAllah. If this was such a huge punishment, do you think a Lord as forgiving as ours would give us ease? He ﷻ gives us ease during the hardship so we can continue through it, He ﷻ gives us an opportunity to seek Him ﷻ. He ﷻ opens a door for worship, a door that we were once far from opening during our times of ease. He is saving us from darkness and a harsher punishment in the hereafter. Hardships are an opportunity for us to go back to Allah ﷻ and enable us to stop being so careless, they bring us back to our true duty – to be a slave to Allah ﷻ and not to our desires.
“The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allah ﷻ loves a people, He tests them. Whoever accepts that wins His pleasure but whoever is discontent with that earns his wrath.”
If only we realised how much we are rewarded when we have patience through a trial and how much closer we can get to Allah ﷻ through this. These problems we face here are temporary, they are not eternal unlike the akhirah. They are curing us and they are allowing us another chance to obey our Lord before we return to our Lord. So view hardships as a motivation to get closer to Him ﷻ, and to attain that everlasting life – In Jannah. If we lose Him ﷻ, then we truly have nothing.
“I have never seen anyone more in the habit of smiling than Allah’s Messenger ﷺ”
If he ﷺ could smile the most, even in the hardest of situations, then why can we not do the same? We need to train our minds to think positively and perceive hardships as an opportunity rather than a barrier. They are an opportunity to gain closeness to Him ﷻ, a closeness that we may have once lost. He ﷻ loves us so much that He ﷻ wants to change our hearts and purify us through trials. He ﷻ wants to transform us into a better person and an obedient slave. He ﷻ does not need us, but we certainly do need Him ﷻ.
Another point we also need to remember at the times of trial is that:
“Allah does not burden a soul with more than it can bear.”
(Surah Al-Baqarah: 286)
If He ﷻ brought us to it, He ﷻ will bring us through it. Life is a test, so it is inescapable that we are going to be tested. However, we are never too weak to get through any hardship. No hardship is ever meant to break us, rather it is the making of us. They enable us to reap in countless benefits so stay optimistic and place your trust in The Almighty. If you did not go through a particular hardship in the past, or even one now, I guarantee you would not be the place you are today. If we did not move, how would we notice the chains of dunya holding us back? So say Alhamdulillah the next time you are faced with a hardship, have patience and trust in The Most High. The designer is perfect.
“So which of the favours of your Lord would you deny?”