The Storm; Finding Our Shelter
Natural disasters; by the will of God they happen everywhere. More frequently than before, we see these types of warnings on the news. What do people do when they hear of a storm approaching? Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, they gather their essential belongings and seek shelter or they run to find an alternative shelter.
Panic and fear are evident on everyone’s faces as the danger period draws closer. The storm is vastly approaching and many are frantically searching for shelter. Life jackets are distributed but with the force of the storm brewing they are useless. People then turn to the creation; they beg mankind to rescue them and to relieve their anguish. They call upon friends, family and the so called leaders of the world. They are panic-stricken, desperately calling out for help but every means is completely hopeless at this point; there is nothing anyone can do except to wait – and pray.
“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?”
(Surah Al-Baqarah: 214)
Many of us are faced with trials and tribulations which are a part of life, but who do we turn to? We turn to the creation. We beg them to help us but they cannot understand what we are going through. We plead with them to help us, to mend us and to cure us of this storm we are desperately trying to escape, but they do not have the power or means to do so. We search for another means, and eventually become stuck in a rut.
When faced with a storm myself I began to notice every time that no matter how much advice someone had given me it never fixed my situation. It helped to lift my spirits but eventually they fell again – even harder than the first time. I was madly attempting to seek help and in the meantime the storm only seemed to feel worse than it initially was. The more I searched to find the solution to my storm the more sadness and impatience I was gaining.
Afterwards desperation arrived and I began to feel distressed; I had used all of the means I could. I had exhausted every avenue and I felt as if there was no escape from the darkness of the storm. I was trapped and I could not find a ray of light through the gloomy clouds. I knocked on every door I could through worry and all I was left with was disappointment when the creation could not help me.
“It was We Who created man, and We know what his soul whispers to him: for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein”
(Surah Qaf: 16)
There is something about this ayah that makes me realise something I would never have realised unless I had been put right in the middle of the storm. The importance of the jugular vein is vital for our survival; if it is cut then we simply meet our death. However, we are told that Allah ﷻ is closer to us than our jugular vein. Not the creation, but The Giver of Life.
And then it hit me, I was pounding on the doors of everyone in a bid for help, I was seeking help from the creation and they were failing me. The doors were being slammed shut in my face time after time. This is when I realised that through exhausting all of the means I finally found the one who is essential for survival, the one who is closer to us than all of the assistance I had searched for in the creation. He ﷻ is essential for our survival in our short stop in this temporary world.
“Is He [not best] who responds to the desperate one when he calls upon Him and removes evil and makes you inheritors of the earth? Is there a deity with Allah? Little do you remember.”
(Surah an-Naml: 62)
You see, when the sun is beaming and the rain has subsided we have no urge to run indoors to collect an umbrella in order to protect ourselves from the downpour. Similarly, in times of ease we often forget our creator. This is why we are put into these storms, so we can remember that no one can remove anything from us but Him ﷻ. So we can return to our shelter – Allah ﷻ. He ﷻ saves you from drowning in the storm.
“Allah alone is sufficient for us and he is the best disposer of affairs”
(Surah Al-i’Imran: 173)
As humans we are created weak and fragile, that is our human nature. So why do we attempt to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders? We are told Allah ﷻ alone is sufficient enough for us, then why do we seek the creation first? Why do we make The Ever-Living, The Light, The Guide, our last resort? If we had relied and turned to Him ﷻ earlier rather than the creation, we would have saved ourselves all of that stress, desperation and frustration.
By relying on Allah ﷻ alone, we simply accept the storm as His will. It enables us to feel at peace knowing our future is in the best hands, we begin to see the storm as a small and temporary problem and when we seek protection from The Most High, we become victorious. We cannot choose what storms we enter, but we can take comfort knowing they are inevitable and have been decreed. We are in control of our responses to the situation.
“But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not”
(Surah Al-Baqarah: 216)
So the next time you are placed in a storm remember the things you will gain; tawakkul (Trust in Allah) and closeness to The Protector. The storms we go through are not a wrath, they are an absolute mercy. They enable us to realise that there is no other in this world that can assist us than the one who brings the trials to us, He ﷻ is the one who will show us the light from the darkness.
There is help closer to us than our jugular vein. Prayer and patience is all we need; it is impossible for things to remain the same in this world. Let these storms be the means that strengthens your faith.
“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.”
(Surah Al-Baqarah: 153)