As you were growing up, you wanted to do something great. Whatever it was… You wanted to make a difference right?
Perhaps there was a time when you went through something that touched you. Or the pain of the situation caused you to feel sadness and it evoked an emotion that was so strong, that even you were surprised at your own reaction. Through this you came to the resolve that you’re going to turn back to your Lord. You became convinced in Him, you will find justice and solace… And by turning back to your Lord, you decided to go one step further… You decided to change the world!
And somehow, somewhere along the way, your passion led you to do something great.
However, in our deep resolve at times, we become lost in our noble intentions, even now – when we’re involved in something amazing! Or perhaps the life of this world distracted us. Or our own doings led us astray and led us to lose focus… At times we forget that we have an enemy, he’s real, he exists and he is out to get us… And get us bad. I’d like to introduce Mr. Iblis!
*The other Shayateen give a round of applause and we mutter ‘auduhu billahi-minashaytaanir rajeem! (I see refuge in Allah from Satan, the cursed one).* As the month of Ramadhan is under way he is locked up, but very soon he’ll be back.
Why do I say this? One of the ways Shaytan tries to lead us astray, is making us forget about him… So it’s something whilst in the da’wah we should remember and remind each other about.
“Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods, lives, and the fruits of your toil. But give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Those who say, when afflicted with calamity.” [1. Qur’an: AlBakarah: 2:155]
So as you move forward in this life you will be tested, especially if you’re involved in Islamic work. There are several situations you will be tested by:
- Being overwhelmed by the work you do… That you just need a break! Take the break, but don’t forget this break is ONLY for a re-charge and not an opportunity to blame your Islamic work for your problems. Being ‘practicing’ and Islamic work is as good as YOU make it, don’t ever forget this! Your life is as beautiful as you make it.
- Sins, wa ma adhraka sins! Your sins will kill you from the inside. Shaytan wants to internally mess you up, so he does it by making you commit sins privately, until they show in your outer demeanour and when they do, he exposes you… So you lose the respect and honour this Ummah thrives on!
- Others! Shaytan at times finds it hard to get to YOU, so he uses others around you to lead you astray!
“And (remember) the Day when the wrong-doer will bite on his hands, saying: “Oh! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger. Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as a friend! He indeed led me astray from the Reminder [the Qur’an] after it had come to me. And Satan is ever a deserter to man in the hour of need.” [2. Qur’an: AlFurqaan: 25: 27-29]
What can you do to turn it around?
- Re-new your intentions – Take the time to contemplate why are you involved in the da’wah (calling to the way of Allah ) in the first place? Is it for entry into Jannah? If so, then you’re doing it for His sake and you know He won’t let you down.
- When you’re feeling down, turn to Allah first and foremost – How? By making solid du’a using His beautiful Names and Attributes and asking Him sincerely to make things easy for you. He will not let you down, this is His promise!
- Read the stories of the people of the past – Take the time to understand that through their trials they became great, their endurance made them stronger; as long as they saw there was ease on the other side.
- Seek advise – Allah doesn’t want you to suffer alone, turn to respected individuals around you and spend time doing fun and beneficial activities to get your mind off your hurdles.
- Look at yourself – Analyse your situation and try and understand the root cause of your hurdle and focus on solving it from the core, so you can move forward inshaAllah.
You need to just keep going! If it’s worth it and it will benefit you – don’t ever stop doing what you’ve embarked upon… I can give up and so can you – It’s pretty easy to do (we’ve all done it before!) Yet, to keep struggling and holding the fort, with the pleasure of Allah in mind is not easy. So keep going regardless of what comes your way, especially when those around you will understand your reasons for letting go (they will advise you at times to take a break etc), this is when we see the real you, and you become someone worth looking up to…
“Trials are a wakeup call for the forgetful ones, a means of achieving reward for the patient ones, and a reminder of blessings for everyone.” [3. Al Hasan B. Sahl
You are not a just a hero… Allah wants you to be Superstar!
Alima Ashfaq is the founder of I am Alima and hopes to transform it into the forefront of assisting women come closer to Allah (swt). She is the author of a number of publications, most notably Du’as of the Superstars.