Hardships – a winner’s perspective

Slowly, I lifted up my head from the ground. Trying to gather the broken pieces and regain strength. But, was not the matter too overwhelming? How would I battle such a rough sea? The test seemed so new and different. I felt so disturbed.

I was not new to Islam. I had been given tests earlier. This was not the first time. But, why did I still feel so lost?

The Guidance

Why? Perplexed my eyes got stuck at the paper on the wall. Long time ago, I came through a beautiful ayah in the Qur’an which I had written down and stuck on my wall. And this was the time it showed me the guidance. It said:

“Whoever believes in Allah, He will guide his heart…” Surah at-Taghabun, 64:11

And so I asked myself, what am I being directed towards? Where am I being headed?

Sincere action. I realized it was sincere action of the heart. Sincere belief!

My heart calmed slightly. But I knew I needed more knowledge and strength to get past the problem and settle down completely.

And so another paper on the wall caught my attention. This time it was

And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from where he does not expect.And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Surah Talaq, 65:3

I asked myself again, what am I being directed here to? Where am I being guided?

Yet again I unfolded that I was being directed to ‘Action’. Sincere action of the heart and limbs. Taqwa in the heart and the manifestation of it in the limbs.

And then I was in salah. I was reciting Surah ‘Asr and I had not chosen to recite this surah purposefully. However, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) guiding my heart to this surah was not purposeless.

“By time, Indeed, mankind is in loss, Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.” Surah Asr, 1-3

It was in this very conversation of mine with my Lord that I had this reflection. And so, I repeated. What was I being directed to in Surah ‘Asr? Where am I heading? Where am I being guided to?

It was amazing and soothing at the same time. I was yet again being directed to ‘Action’. Sincere action. Of the heart and body.

The wisdom behind it

Immediately I realized my way out. I realized the purpose behind the test. It was to direct me to the purpose of my creation – worship of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), besides Whom there is no true ilaah (deity). Worship which is complete only when both the heart and limbs are present.

So I understood the reason behind the perplexity. I understood it came without no purpose. I understood I had to focus on the most important relationship of my life. And so I tried to focus on my relationship with Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), the purpose of my creation. I made *mad* du’a and no later were the problems I was engrossed in were solved in the most unprecedented of ways. Allahu Akbar!

This particular problem inspired me to this piece of writing. And I derived a few powerful lessons from this incident, Alhamdulillaah.

Hardships are inevitable and inseparable from life. Hence, a few things we all should be realizing and remembering at the time of the hardship:


[paranum]Understand priorities

When hardships come it is important to know and understand our priorities. In every situation our priority is Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and His worship. If we focus on that, the purpose of our test is served. But if we focus on the test itself, the entire purpose of the test is defeated. As Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) clearly tells us in the Qur’an:

And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me. Surat Adh-Dhariyat 51:56

[paranum]Know your purpose

Hardships do not come to break us. They come to purify our beliefs and as a strong reminder of the purpose of our creation. They rectify our actions and bring us back *on-track* when we seem to go derailed. Hence, staying patient and strong throughout is a must .Look at what the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) told about the believers undergoing hardships. It does give you an extra chill down the spine!

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “The example of a believer is that of a fresh tender plant; from whatever direction the wind comes, it bends it, but when the wind becomes quiet, it becomes straight again. Similarly, a believer is afflicted with calamities (but he remains patient till Allah removes his difficulties.) And an impious wicked person is like a pine tree which keeps hard and straight till Allah cuts (breaks) it down when He wishes.” Sahih Al-Bukhari – Book 70 Hadith 547

[paranum]Make immense du’a

One of the ways we come closer to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) from every hardship is by making du’a with certain belief that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will help me get past this, no matter how impossible it seems. A du’a that our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) taught us for overcoming hardships:

Overcoming hardships dua

“Oh Allah! Nothing is easy except what You have made easy. If You wish, You can make the difficult easy.” Ibn Hibban in his Sahih (no.2427), taken from Hisnul Muslim

[paranum]Help is near

The process through which Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) guides us is no shortcut. We have to wait for hours and rather than growing impatient we must allow that time. As the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) told us: The prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) told as a part of a longer hadeeth:

“And whoever remains patient, Allah will make him patient. Nobody can be given a blessing better and greater than patience.” Sahih Al-Bukhari – Book 24 Hadith 548

[paranum]Take action

One also has to show one’s patience during hardship by stepping up. A lot of time, we take patience as sitting down and taking no action to overcome that problem. Rather patience is to be content with the decree of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and stepping up to overcome the problem. The solution will not come unless you step up. And once again, always remember that taking action is the purpose of your test itself! To overcome one’s problem, one *has* to strive to find the way out. One *has* to give the effort to come out of the problem. One cannot choose to numb the feeling and try to overlook the problem. One has to be brave enough to face it and fight it and All Praises belong *only* to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) Who makes it possible for whoever He wishes!

[paranum]It is His will, help and mercy

We may be practicing Islam for a long time, but that does not make us *experts* in overcoming the hardships. If we were able to overcome, we were only able by the will of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). And that is how it goes on. And I realized that that feeling of being lost, directionless, helpless was to purify my belief that no matter for how many years I have been giving the tests of life, not a single one I will be able to pass except by His Will, Help and Mercy. The hardships in life remind us of our humbleness and that our tawakkul at all times has to be completely on Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).


Be the winner!

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) wants us to be winners. And He is the very One to put hardships in our path towards Him. And hence, hardships were to make us winners and never losers. Embrace the hardships and move on and perceive them from a winner’s perspective!

The Author

Faria Alam is a young aspiring student who seeks to help young females educate themselves. She is a freelance writer and loves to read books of different disciplines. She takes great interest in personal development.

2 Responses

  1. Humaira May 30, 2013 / 3:23 pm

    Jazakillahu khayrun for the write up. Jazakillahu khayrun. Jazakillahu khayrun katheeran. May Allah swt bless you with the highest of Jannah and ease all your hardships on its way, ameen. <3

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