If we look at people all around the world from the very rich to the very poor, the one thing which we all have in common is that we all go though times of extreme hardship and difficulty. One of the questions that people ask, especially those who are religious, is why does Allah allow us to go through this hardship? Why can’t life be smooth and easy? If we are praying, fasting, and being good Muslims, why doesn’t Allah make our lives easier? We still go through times where we are pushed to the breaking point. What is the reason behind these difficulties and tests?
Allah directly talks about this in Surah Baqarah, Verse 155, where He says: “Truly, we will put you to the test with some fear, hunger, and some loss of wealth, lives, and children. So (O Muhammad) convey the good news to those who are patient…” Here in the Quran, Allah clearly tells us that He is going to test us with things which are going to be unbelievably difficult. Why would Allah do this? Isn’t He the All-Merciful Creator? Isn’t He the one who controls everything in the universe?
The answer to this is that we go through tough times in life because it is hardship and difficulty which allow us to grow as human beings and become stronger and better people. For example, if we decide one day that we’re too weak and puny, and we have to put on some serious muscle, what do we need to do? The answer is that we have to lift heavy weights which stresses our muscles to the point of failure. And when we do this, our muscle grow stronger and our bodies become hard and sculpted. This is a universal rule which applies to everything in creation. When we are placed in hardship, we grow, not just mentally, but also spiritually as well. Allah allows us to undergo hardship so that we can become a better version of ourselves and to become a better version of ourselves and to become more capable servants working in His path. Now this is all fine but difficult, so I wanted to mention two points that we can use when we are going through these hard times. InshaAllah, they will help us through them faster and easier.
Firstly, do your best. to remember Allah.
He has power and control over everything in this universe. Remembering this allows our hearts and minds to become strong and we are able to deal with the difficult situations better.
A practical way of doing this is to spend some of our time each day reciting the Qurʾān and reciting various supplications. The dhikr, or the recitation of Allah’s names and praises, such as saying Allāhu Akbar, Allah is the Greatest, or alḥamdulillāh, all praise is due to Allah and the use of the tasbīḥ (rosary), to keep count of the recitation of these noble names and praises of Allah, will help us remember Allah and connect with Him more deeply. It makes tough times much easier to deal with.
Secondly, always rely on Allah through tawakkul (reliance and trust in Allah).
The next thing we can do when we’re going through a tough time is to rely on Allah to help us get through it. Tawakkul is the idea of always relying on Allah and trusting in His plan. If we are in a difficult situation, there is something that we have to learn from it. We are in that situation for a certain reason. Try to understand what that is and trust in Allah to help us get through it.
Allah in the Qurʾān says:
مَن يَتَوَكَّل عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسبُهُ
“…And whoever puts his trust in Allah, Allah will be sufficient for him…”
In this verse, Allah makes it clear that when we put our trust in Him (while also doing our part), then He will get us through that difficulty.
In a narration from Imām ʿAlī (ʿa), he says: “Whoever has tawakkul, that which is difficult will become easy and the means will fall into place.”
Here, Imām ʿAlī (ʿa) explains to us that when we trust in Allah and understand that He truly has our backs, the things which we see as extremely difficult, suddenly become easy for us. Because of the trust that we have in Allah, He solves our problems for us.
Next, seek counsel from qualified individuals. Another thing that we commonly saw in the life of the Prophet (s) is that he encouraged people to seek advice and consult with others. Many times, we are looking at our problems from our perspective and we get stuck- we don’t know what to do. But when someone sees the issue from another perspective, they might help us with a solution we hadn’t thought of. Of course, it’s very important that we find people who are wise and qualified; if they lack in this way, they might get us stuck even deeper in our issues.
Lastly, spend time reflecting. An important way that we can help get through tough times is through thinking and self-reflection. If you are going through a difficulty, thinking about what is happening and trying to understand it will help get you through it. In some cases, tough times are designed to make us stronger or to prepare us for something that we’re doing wrong that has gotten us into that situation. Thinking through it will help us to know which type of situation it is and how we can best get through it.
Ultimately, my friends, this life is a life of tests and trials. If situations become overwhelming, will we become hopeless and angry, or will we keep our faith and steadfastness? We can’t control what happens to us in this world, but we can control how we react to it. We haven’t been put on this earth to live in comfort and ease – that comes later in the hereafter. Always remember that Allah is carefully watching over us and guiding us, and He has given us all the tools to succeed. InshāʾAllāh, we pray that Allah will continue to guide all of us and help us during the tough times.