Allah knows what is in our hearts

Keeping a Strong Faith During Tough Times

During hardships and calamities, it is natural to get swept away by the affliction of the moment. During such trials of faith, unless we are careful, Satan can inject fear and plant doubts in our hearts and minds. Our beliefs in such vulnerable states may become overpowered by feelings of the moment resulting in the dwindling of our faith. Some of us start questioning the fairness and wisdom underlying such divine decisions while others get mired in a blame game. All in all, we may find ourselves lost, helpless, and stalled finding it difficult to gather ourselves and move forward. Allah says:

اتْلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ

“Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Verily, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, but the remembrance of Allah is greater.” (Surah Al-Ankabut 29:45)

Allah has promised good in this life and the next towards those who put their trust in Him. Trust in Allah is one of the best ways a servant can worship his Creator.  It is internal worship residing within the heart. The true believers realize that nothing happens except with the Will of Allah and that He never Wills anything except that it has wisdom behind it. Our love of Allah is the basis of our worship, and our fear and hope are like two wings. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ ذِكْرًا كَثِيرًا وَسَبِّحُوهُ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا

“O you who believe, remember Allah with much remembrance and exalt Him in the morning and evening.” (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:41)

Allah is near and he responds to the prayers of the supplicants. It is well known to us that Allah Almighty loves His creation 70 times more than a mother loves her child. Allah says in the Quran, “Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him.” He has instilled love in us as well as a sign of Him:

Here are some facts about Allah Almighty that all Muslims should know:

  1. Allah is very Gracious and Kind to His slaves
  2. Allah is everything in His own accord
  3. Allah is the one, Who has no partner
  4. Allah is the Supreme, the Sovereign
  5. Allah is the Bestower of Sufficiency
  6. Allah knows what is in our hearts
  7. Allah gives us many chances
  8. Allah is the Absolute Truth
  9. Allah is the Only Creator
  10. Allah has no family
  11. Allah is All-Knowing
  12. Allah is the Most Merciful
  13. Allah is the Impartial Judge
  14. Allah is the Maintainer of life
  15. Allah is First, Last, and Everlasting
  16. Allah is All-Powerful, absolutely Just
  17. Allah’s knowledge compasses all things
  18. Allah is very Gracious and Kind to His slaves
  19. Allah promises who obey Him to enter Paradise
  20. Allah knows what we conceal and what we reveal

Ways to Keep Your Faith Strong in Tough Times:

Do not feel helpless: Even when all doors appear to have been closed, as true believers we should never let feelings of helplessness succumb us.

Revive Your Faith: As mentioned in the hadith above, a strong faith can help us to hold our heads high. When faith seems to be dwindling, we should get back to Quran and remind ourselves that only Allah can let us out of our ordeal and problems. You must, therefore, keep that faith and not let Satan instil thoughts that could weaken your faith. Allah says in the Quran:

Have a relationship with the Quran: Building a relationship with the Quran begins with reading it frequently and branches out to developing multiple ways of connection – read it, talk about it, study Tafseer

Make massive dua: Making massive, heartfelt duas is life-changing. We, as Muslims, should accept Allah’s Decree both as it manifests itself around us and in our lives. It should be a relief to us that only Allah is the master of our destiny and we are only going to be tested about whether we reacted to what befalls as true believers and Mo’mins, i.e. being patient in adversity and grateful in prosperity. Allah says:

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ

“And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way.” (Surah Baqarah: Ayah 186)

Let go of the outcome: Pour your heart into your work and life but leave the rest to Allah. As part of that belief, we should, therefore, recognize that Allah does what He wills for reasons that are only known to Him. Any attempt to comprehend the wisdom of it all using our limited faculties, or to understand how our current situation fits in His overall plan can only lead us to erroneous conclusions resulting in increased frustrations.

Ask for Allah’s Mercy and Grace for an Out from Tough Situations: As believers, we should recognize that only Allah’s Grace and Mercy can deliver us from challenging situations. Allah tells us in the Quran:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَالَّذِينَ هَادُوا وَالنَّصَارَىٰ وَالصَّابِئِينَ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

“Indeed, those who believed and those who became Jews and the Christians and the Sabians – who believed in Allah and the Day [the] Last and did righteous deeds, so for them (is) their with their Lord and no fear on them and not they will grieve.” (Surah Al-Baqara: 2:64)

Think positive of Allah: As humans, we have the tendency to overthink and worry about uncontrollable matters. Became your heart doesn’t need reasons to trust Allah. Another way to ask for Allah’s Grace and Mercy is by asking for His forgiveness and seeking repentance.

Stay Patient in Hard Times: One of the best remedies for tough times is to be patient. A state of patients requires that we not resort to complaining, and remember Allah often. We take this lesson from the story of Prophet Yousuf (A.S.) who went through various ordeals in life only to be rewarded with a large kingdom in his later years. Allah says:

إِن يَنصُرْكُمُ اللَّهُ فَلَا غَالِبَ لَكُمْ وَإِن يَخْذُلْكُمْ فَمَن ذَا الَّذِي يَنصُرُكُم مِّن بَعْدِهِ وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ

“If Allah helps you, then not (can) overcome [for] you, and if He forsakes you, then who (is) the one who can help you after Him? And on Allah – let the believers put (their).” (Surah Al-Imran 3:160)

Remember Allah in Good Times: We know from the Quran that when we remember Allah in good times, Allah will help us in tough times. We learn that lesson from the story of Prophet Younus (A.S.) when he was swallowed by a whale. Out of His mercy, Allah finally relieved him out of that calamity.

To summarize, the next time when you are in a tough situation that may potentially test your will and faith, remember these points:

  1. Do not let yourself get to a point where you feel helpless
  2. Revive your faith by reciting the Quran and pondering over Allah’s words
  3. Recall your faith in the Divine Decree
  4. Ask for Allah’s Mercy and Grace for an Out from Tough Situations (by making all the Dua that the prophet (s) taught us)
  5. Remember Allah in good times.
  6. Stay patient until Allah guides you out of the tough situation you are in.

A strong faith can keep you focused on the fact that Allah alone ultimately controls all destinies and has power over all things. Remembering that fact alone at the moment of affliction can help you in conquering the pain and provide you with hope and the energy to keep moving forward.

قُل لَّن يُصِيبَنَا إِلَّا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَنَا هُوَ مَوْلَانَا وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ

“Say: ‘Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is our Maula (Lord, Helper, and Protector).’ And in Allah let the believers put their trust.” (Surah Towbah: 9:51)

Islam teaches us to stay in control by hanging on to the Mercy and Grace of Allah. We pray that Allah keeps us safe from the challenges and trials of life, but as Muslims, we should know and understand the Quran’s message and the prophet’s guidance for handling tough moments in life. The following summarizes some of the key guidance related to this matter. Remembering God is thus the life force of faith, without which it fades and withers away.