Staying Positive in Moments of Hardship
Nobody in this world is exempted from trials and tribulations. Regardless of a person’s social status, no one escapes from challenges for they are part of life.
Some days it can seem as though life is grim and depressing. You look around only to read crumbling news about terrorism, violence, crimes, poverty. On another note, in your personal life, things may not go as planned.
But while there are some things we can’t control, one thing we can do is try our best to stay positive in moments of despair. Find your inner strength to look on the positive side and use adversity as an opportunity to reconnect and be closer to Allah SWT.
American Islamic scholar Hamza Yusuf said in a video, the best worship is waiting for the ease from Allah to come when you’re in hardship.
“If Muslims would just have that perspective, they would realize that if I’m just patient here, with all these tribulations I’m in ibaadah (worship). You could just be sitting in your house and if you’re muhtasib (engaged in hisba) with Allah you’re in ibaadah,” he said.
Here are some things to remember in those moments of hardship.
DWELLING CHANGES NOTHING
When you are engulfed with such negativity during those moments of hardship, know that complaining and dwelling over what should or could’ve been won’t change anything. If you need to vent to a loved one or a friend to relieve the stress away, there is certainly no harm in that. But once you have expressed yourself, it’s best to pick yourself up again and move on.
Hamza said: “If you’re there complaining, why always me and everything’s horrible and it’s doom and gloom, and it’s all black and it’s all dark, Allah will give you more things to complain about.
“He’ll give you some real things to complain about because there’s a Hadith, if you complain about small calamities, Allah gives you great calamities.”
EVERYTHING IS TEMPORARY
Everything in life is temporary. Nothing in this world is permanent. After a horrible storm comes to light and rainbow. Bad times don’t last forever, just as much as good times won’t either. Don’t train your mind into thinking that everything in this Dunya is permanent and will last forever.
Yasmin Mogahed once wrote in an article titled “Why Do People Have To Leave Each Other?” – “We are told in the Quran: .. whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And God hears and knows all things.” (Quran 2: 256).
“There is a crucial lesson in this verse: that there is only one handhold that never breaks. There is only one place where we can lay our dependencies. There is only one relationship that should define our self-worth and one source from which to seek our ultimate happiness, fulfillment, and security. That place is God,” she wrote.
When you are experiencing a calamity, know that it is temporary. Tribulations are seen as a test from Allah. In the end, it is just a reminder that we need to strengthen our relationship with Him.
In a hadith narrated by Anas, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Great reward comes with great trials. When Allah loves people, He tests them, and whoever accepts it attains His pleasure, whereas whoever shows discontent with it incurs His wrath.”
THERE ARE BLESSINGS IN EVERY TRIBULATION
Whenever difficulty strikes unexpectedly, it can be hard to view things in a positive manner. But we must always remind ourselves that things could be worse. There is a reason everything happens the way it does but as we are told by the Quran: “Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear.” (Quran 2:286)
Hamza said there are blessings in every tribulation. “It could be worse than it is, that it’s in your worldly matters and not in your deen. If you lose money, it’s money but if you lose deen, you lose everything. That’s a ni’mah (blessing).
“You lost your job – Alhamdulillah I didn’t miss my prayers. Alhamdulillah, I didn’t lose my Iman (faith). Alhamdulillah, there is wudu (ablution) and a place to pray.
“Jobs come and go, but deen, once it is gone, Allahu Alam (Allah knows best) if you’ll ever get it back.
Another one would be that as long as the musibah (difficulty) is in this world, it’s a ni’mah.
“The real musibah is the musibah in the next world. So if you look at that and realize, we’re in blessing. Some may be more than others outwardly, more observable, but the whole of Ummah is in blessing,” he said.
With all that in mind, pick yourself up and know that you are stronger than you think. As they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? Perhaps the calamities that happened in your life are there to make you come back stronger and better than before. Sometimes, Allah SWT has his ways of reminding us to stay grounded and to remember that we should only seek help from Him and no one else.
Be steadfast in your deen and instill a positive mindset. Whatever state our level of faith is, use that to improve yourself and turn to Allah SWT for one should never underestimate the power of prayer.