Understanding and dealing with hardships

We all go through thick and thin. Nobody can claim or wish to be living an ‘Alice in wonderland’ life, for no one is deprived from hardships. But who would not like to get into the skin of Alice for a moment. However, life is nothing akin to it and our purpose here is not to be living a fairy tale life but to pass a far greater test. And Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has never said that life will be too much to handle.

“It is He who has made you successors on the earth, and raised some of you in rank above others so that He may test you in respect to what He has given you. Indeed your Lord is swift in retribution, and indeed He is all-forgiving, all-merciful.” [1. An-Anaam: 165]

During the moments of hardship where our vanity and anxiety would make tasks sturdy, we desperately wish for things to be different as we oft-times cannot see why things happen the way they do. However, Allah knows what is best for us and even in hardships we must say Alhamdulillah, as it acts as a cleanser that expiates our sins and purifies our heart. And Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) does not inflict us with something that we cannot bear. He knows what is in our heart and He tests us according to our level of Iman.

The prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

“Trials will continue to befall the believing man and woman, with regard to themselves, their children and their wealth, until they meet Allah with no sin on them.’ [2. Tirmidhi- saheeh by al-Albaani]

When Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) in His infinite wisdom tests us with a situation which we find difficult or takes away something that we think is good for us, that might not always be the case. If Allah does not grant us the thing that we want, there is no need to antagonize or be depressed about it. Rather by remaining patient and keeping faith and trustin Him, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will grant you something better in return as He is All-wise and All-Knowing.

Allah says:

“…and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” [3. Surah Baqarah: 216]

In another ayah, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:

“And when someone puts all his trust in Allah, He will be enough for him.” [4. Surah at-Talaaq:3]

Let’s assume that life was just in rose every time. We would have never been bothered to get down onto our knees to our Sustainer and ask Him. Therefore, Allah puts us to trials so that we can better our relationship with him and to get closer to Him. Everything that happens, happens for the best, no matter what is it.

Ibn Taymiyah said:

“A calamity that makes you turn to Allah is better for you than a blessing which makes you forget the remembrance of Allah.”

In our times of trouble when we go through pain and suffering , Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has given us a weapon to make use of – Du’aa.

Du’aa is the biggest weapon a Mu’min (believer) can use whenever he is afflicted with hardship. In other words, we need to seek help through patience and prayer as Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has commanded us through this ayah:

“And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah ].” [5. Surah Bakarah:45]

However, we cannot believe nor assume that we are going to be surrounded only by hardships. There is always a light at the end of our dark tunnel. When we are encountered with difficulty, we will also be encountered with ease. An example could be where we  may have lost a job which may have a detrimental impact upon our lives and on the other hand we have our good health. So, although something is at a pivotal point, there is something positive on which we can have repose. One thing should be clear, that total happiness or total sufferings lies in the Akhirah – it is either Jannah where we will be dwelling in total comfort or Jahannam where we will be in total agony.

Even the Prophets and the Sahabahs were not deprived from troubles. What they went through is nothing compared to what we go through. Yet they were firmed in their Imaan (faith), and sought help from Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) in perseverance and Sabr (patience). So, who are we, simple human beings as we are not to be tested and assessed?

“The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allah loves a people He tests them. Whoever accepts that wins His pleasure but whoever is discontent with that earns His wrath.” [6. Saheeh al-Tirmidhi]

The difficulties we face are a call for us to return to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and ask for forgiveness from Him and to raise our hands in supplications with humility.

The Author

This blog is updated and maintained by the editor and her team with exclusive articles and all that's going on at 'I am Alima'. To contact us, email blog@iamalima.org.

2 Responses

  1. abdulwahab April 10, 2013 / 5:43 pm

    Very true I remember when the bigest calamity hited me I stoped watching movies talking loudly I bcame soo humble till my friends wuld ask if am humble alhamdulilah all passed well

  2. Sumaiyya Patel January 26, 2014 / 12:46 am

    A.w.w, it says in the article:-
    “What they went through is nothing compared to what we go through,”
    I don’t get it, isn’t it ment to say that what we go through is nothing compared to what they went through (as in the sahabas)
    Lovely article though.

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