Enduring Hardships: A Change of Perspective

Hardships of young girls
Nomad tribe girls from India © Beat Germann | Dreamstime.com

In life, we often face hardships and sometimes find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that hardships are inevitably a part of this life’s journey.

These situations often feel demoralising and may ultimately stop us from going about our daily lives in the way we would have expected or hoped to.

We go through many trials in our lives that we feel are unbearable, such as experiencing poor health, facing a financial loss, or the death of a loved one. It is precisely in these situations that we must remember that Allah told us in the Qur’an:

“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.” (Qur’an 2:155)

Whilst pondering on such verses, we may question how we are to overcome the difficulties of this life in a way that will help us to grow stronger and not lose hope. We must keep focused on our purpose in life, which is to please Allah.

We should remind ourselves that, as Muslims, we believe that this life is temporary. Accepting this, we should also understand that everything this life contains is also temporary. Our happiness, sadness, success, failures – nothing is eternal. We know that the nature of this life we are living was never supposed to be eternal.

Islam teaches us to remember Allah in every situation. Whether we perceive the situation, or what we are experiencing, as positive or negative, we should not lose sight of our purpose in this life. We should not focus solely on our present circumstances , whether they bring us joy or sorrow.

We must remember the One who has planned our lives. He is Al-‘Aleem (The All-Knowing). We mustn’t forget that “Allah is the Best of Planners” (Qur’an 8:30).

We find comfort in knowing that Allah, our Lord, is in charge of everything. We read in the Qur’an:

“And that to your Lord is the finality. And that it is He who makes [one] laugh and weep. And that it is He who causes death and gives life.” (Qur’an 53:42-44)

It is vital for us to keep in mind that when we are faced with hardships, we are given the opportunity by Allah to develop our patience and level of gratitude. We learn this is from the hadith:

“How wonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him.” (Sahih Muslim)

Ultimately, we should strive to cement in our hearts and minds that our self-worth lies only in our relationship with Allah, our Lord. We must never let this concept slip. We are reminded of this concept in the Qur’an:

Allah says, “Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” (Qur’an 49:13