Happiness is inspired by strong faith

Hardships in Islam

Life is incomplete without hardships. If you are facing some of them now, do not consider yourself unlucky. Allah puts His people in hardship. This world is an examination hall, with life being an exam and Allah being the teacher who will grade us on the day of judgment on how we perform in our exams. Life is filled with struggles, even if you do everything that pleases Allah. There is no need to worry as He promises the good people the gift that will bless their lives for eternity. Allah says:

مااصاب من مصيبة الا باذن الله ومن يؤمن بالله يهد قلبه والله بكل شيء عليم

“No disaster strikes except by permission of Allah. And whoever believes in Allah – He will guide his heart. And Allah is Knowing of all things.” (Surah At-Taghabun 64:11)

Hard times will pass and suffering will end. Believe in Allah and don’t fail in the test of Allah. Every difficulty is an opportunity for growth. Allah tests us in many ways, and if we are patient, we’ll be stronger. The greater the hardship the greater the reward. Be faithful and know that Allah can take back just as fast as He gives. Hold on to your faith in tough times by turning to the Holy Book. Allah says:

الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ

“He Who created Death and Life, that He may try which of you is best in deed: and He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving.” (Surah Al-Mulk 67:2)

Good times and bad times cycle through life just like day becomes night. Don’t be grieved nor be sad. If Allah can turn for us night into the day then He can turn our hardships and burdens into a blessing. Trials are a wake-up call for the forgetful ones, a means of achieving reward for the patient ones, and a reminder of blessings for everyone. The remembrance of Allah is the light that guides you to your next destination. When going down that tunnel, remember that it won’t be dark forever. The sun will shine again very soon. Keep digging yourself out of it. Allah says:

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

“Those who believed and find satisfaction their hearts in the remembrance (of) Allah. No doubt, in the remembrance of Allah find satisfaction the hearts.” (Surah Ar-Rad, 13:28)

Being grateful to Allah is not about doing so only in times of happiness and ease. The real meaning of ‘being grateful’ is only experienced by those who say ‘Alhamdulillah’ and mean it in times of hardship and sorrow as well. Whenever you encounter hardships in life, remember that this is Allah’s plan for you. The outcome of His plans will be a great blessing.

Here are some guidelines which are very important to observe when seeking a cure:

  1. Hardships are God’s design to subject people to various tests
  2. Hardships decreed by God to cleanse the people of sins
  3. Hardships going through suffering makes us normal
  4. Hardships help us to know the true value of ease
  5. Hardships may learn patience and endurance
  6. Hardships help us sail in the hardest of times
  7. Hardships define our sole purpose in life
  8. Hardships make us turn to God in times
  9. Hardships help us in the balance of life
  10. Hardships expiate our sins
  11. Hardships put our trust in God
  12. Hardships are inspired by strong faith
  13. Hardships make us stronger and better
  14. Hardships give a picture to near to God
  15. Hardships more attached to the hereafter
  16. Hardships remind us of the impact of our sin
  17. Hardships make us less attached to this world
  18. Hardships are also an effective reminder for people
  19. Hardships create opportunities to perform good deeds
  20. Hardships can be a sign that Allah intends good for us

Hardships in life make us stronger so never lose hope, trust in Allah and overcome hardship by having sabr. There’ll be hardship and struggle just like there’s happiness and ease. It’s the nature of this life. Don’t let the difficult times consume you. Try to focus on the good things in life. It helps you to appreciate what you have. Above all, protect your heart and your soul. Allah says:

فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُم مَّنَـسِكَكُمْ فَاذْكُرُواْ اللَّهَ كَذِكْرِكُمْ ءَابَآءَكُمْ أَوْ أَشَدَّ ذِكْرًا

“So when you have accomplished your Manasik [rituals], remember Allah as you remember your forefathers or with far more remembrance.” (Al-Baqarah 2:200)

Challenges throw themselves at you every day. Hardships seem to have a never-ending relation with your life. Sorrow and despair seem to be an everyday affair for you. Never allow hardships of different moments to turn you into a bitter person, for indeed, it may be through those hardships that Allah wants you to come closer to Him, and in the process, become more beloved to Him. Allah says:

رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيم

“Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.” (Al-Baqarah 2: 127)

Never be sad when you face hardship or trials. Allah created us to test us. Real-life is hereafter. He tests different people with different trials because everyone has different levels of patience, tolerance and level of Imaan. May Allah have mercy on us and make us successful in his tests. For every struggle you face, Allah is sending multiple blessings on you, so remember Allah during times of hardship.

Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:

  • “For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” (Quran, 94:5)
  • “Nay verily! With me is my Lord, He will guide me.” (Quran 26:62)
  • “….and harm them not. And put your trust in Allah.” (Quran 33:48)
  • “Therefore remember Me and I will remember you…” (Quran 2:152)
  • “And put your trust in Allah if you are believers indeed…” (Quran 5:23)
  • “Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Quran 13:28)
  • “Do people think they will be left alone and they will not be tried?..” (Quran 29:2)
  • “Seek Allah’s help with patient perseverance and prayer. It is indeed hard except for those who are humble.” (Quran 2: 45)

God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites so that you will have two wings to fly, not one. Islam teaches us not to let tough times destroy us, not let the good times distract us, and remember that life in this world is a test. The only disability in life is a bad attitude. Look for the positives, for verily with hardship comes ease.

Islam taught us how to deal with hardships through:

  • Directly speak to Allah from your heart through dua
  • Falling in hardships and tests by Allah is inevitable
  • Remind yourself of all the blessings you have
  • Work on your ideas and read the Quran
  • In hardships need to remain hopeful
  • Give a lot of sadaqah
  • Recite Quran with translation
  • Don’t let Shaytaan play with you
  • Faith Allah Who never leave you alone
  • Give lots of charity, as much as you can
  • Remember, Allah and forget seeking revenge
  • Acknowledging the positive things in your life

In the Islamic faith, we believe that all matters are in the hands of Allah. However, for some of us, our faith can get shaken during times of trials and hardships. It is during those times though that we should remind ourselves that a believer’s position and rank is raised in front of Allah and that such a hardship may very well be a sign of Allah’s love for the believer. This can help us in maintaining and even strengthening our faith. Allah says:

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ ٱلْخَوْفِ وَٱلْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ ٱلأَمَوَالِ وَٱلأَنفُسِ وَٱلثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلصَّابِرِينَ

“Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:155)

During the struggles and hardships of life, it is important that we, as Muslims, follow what Allah, His books, and His messengers have taught us. Allah guides us on the best way how to deal with hardships. The life of our messengers is the perfect example that is to be followed. Tawakkul lives in the heart of the believer. Tawakkul is at the very core of our spiritual well-being and practice. It provides the lens through which to form one’s outlook and actions to bring about the best outcome. Allah says:

الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ فِي السَّرَّاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

“They are those who spend in charity during ease and hardship and who restrain their anger and pardon the people, for Allah loves the doers of good.” (Surah Al Imran 3:134)

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If Allah allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been. Sometimes hardships are blessings…Allah is with those who have patience. May Allah forgive us and ease our hardships, cleanse our hearts, rectify our affairs, mend our broken hearts, heal our ailments, and increase us in love for Him (Allah). Aameen