Gift, not a Trouble

burdenHave you ever thought that you have come to the end of your tether? Or that you have suffered a lot? That everyone is against you? That people do not understand you and that the course of events always works against you?

You may be going through a difficult time, but the situation may not be as you imagine.

God deliberately creates all difficulties. They are like specially wrapped presents, tailor-made for each individual. Everyone has different flaws: some people are impatient, some are restless, some are distrusting, some are uneasy, some are prone to negativity and others are quick to anger.

God deliberately creates all difficulties. They are like specially wrapped presents, tailor-made for each individual

Troubles, sickness, losses and deficiencies are all blessings for one to overcome these flaws, beautify one’s soul and improve one’s moral values. Our Lord knows what every person needs, and He knows best how much they can stand. If there is something troubling you, it will not exceed your capacity to cope with it; as a matter of fact, if you are a believer, it will strengthen you.

Some people, who encounter times of trouble, may think there is no way out, that they have come to the end of the road and that their difficulties can never finish. Some people may even behave in a rebellious way; however, all of this is but apprehensions whispered to them by Satan.

God creates different events for everyone on Earth. The observances commanded by God, the difficulties He creates to test us and the responsibilities He places on us are all proportional to our strength.

Our Lord knows best what people can cope with and how much. God is infinitely Just and Forbearing toward His servants. Our Lord will never impose a greater burden than one can bear, nor a responsibility one’s conscience cannot accept; no one would ever be wronged. That is God’s promise. It is a manifestation of His being the Most Compassionate and the Most Merciful.

All sorts of tests, sicknesses, accidents, material and psychological difficulties and all the rest, are set out within the individual’s ability to cope with them and are events that God has ordained specially for them in their destiny;

“And We tax not any person except according to his capacity, and with Us is a Record which speaks the truth, and they will not be wronged.” (Al-Muminun 23:62)

Nothing is coincidence, there is wisdom behind everything

Everything in the life of this world is realistic and takes place as the result of causes. For that reason, some people think that the time allotted to them in this world will never end. The fact that everything gradually decays and that people grow old, even the existence of death, does not make them admit that irrefutable fact. They imagine that the life of this world is absolute and are reluctant to think about the Hereafter or even to consider a life after death.

The troubles and difficulties sent to such people, who fall into the error of thinking that they should constantly strive for worldly things, never end. For that reason, in order to see the goodness and wisdom in events and realize that ‘everything happens for the best’, one must first not forget that this world is only a transient place of trial.

A sincere believer must know the truth that no matter what befalls him; it will be something in the face of which he can exhibit moral virtue and fortitude. No matter what hardship befalls him, it will be something he has the strength to cope with and face with patience.

The joy of faith

Believers never lose their joy, if there is a decrease in their blessings, if they are sick or face some other affliction. On the contrary, they regard troubles as a gift. They have no need for special reasons to be happy. For them, faith itself is a source of joy and gratitude.

The joy of faith is a heartfelt, sincere happiness that people, who live without faith in their hearts, cannot replicate.

They trust that all troubles in life are created to test them and that they will receive a fine reward in the Presence of God for their fortitude in the face of troubles; that idea is their source of happiness. Since they act in the light of their conscience, they make comparisons and through comparison, better realize the value of blessings. That is the joy of faith.

The joy of faith is a heartfelt, sincere happiness that people, who live without faith in their hearts, cannot replicate. This is a fulfilment of the heart of the believer, who hopes for God’s approval, mercy and eternal Paradise, with joy from Him.

This joy-filled life that believers enjoy in this world will, by the mercy of God, continue increasingly without any interruptions in Paradise.

“Then as for those who believed (in the Oneness of Allah Islamic Monotheism) and did righteous good deeds, such shall be honoured and made to enjoy luxurious life (forever) in a Garden of delight (Paradise).” (Ar-Rum 30:15)

No matter what befalls you, do not forget that you are strong enough to cope, and that you can face it with fortitude and pleasantness.

A final reminder

When you are troubled or made uneasy by something, have a look at the situation of other people in the world and think about those, who are starving to death in war, those who are trying to survive by eating grass, those waking up to the sound of bombs and finding their homes crashing down around them. Think about those who cannot find water to drink.

Give thanks for all the good things in your life. Think of the people, who have never even dreamed of those shoes that you may have worn for years, no longer like and are planning to throw in the trash. Always remember to give thanks for what you have.

Give thanks to God for all the blessings He has bestowed on you. Make a resolution to see the goodness in everything by saying: “Alhamdulillah, thanks be to You, my God.”

Trials and Tribulations

Photo credit: BarbaraWilli / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: BarbaraWilli / Foter / CC BY

Every human on this planet has to come across hardships in life. Not only us but also our ancestors had to face certain trials and tribulations. Some of us manage to go through difficult times by being patient, while others hand themselves over to depression. Some grieve over lost possessions, while others cry upon seeing their loved ones in pain. This is the principle of life that differentiates the believer from the hypocrite, steadfast from the shaky, and claimer from the doer. If man manages to know, why he is made to suffer, he will soon find out the reason behind his existence. This is the truth that most of us do not yearn to look for. This is the knot that we still need to untie by sparing sometime to think about us, and about our self!

Humans often do things that they once claimed not to do and vice versa. How many times it happens that we tell someone not to reveal our secret, yet we find people talking about us the next day? Students, at times, fix the date for a particular test with mutual agreement, and still they are not prepared for it on the fixed day. But, it is not a universal truth for all; as there are people who keep secrets and students who prepare for the test as planned. Same is the case with the believer who acts upon his/her own claims. The believer can only be a believer when by actions he/she displays his firm belief in Allah (swt) Almighty. Trials and tribulations befall us by the command of Allah (swt) Almighty to see if we truly believe in Him, as we claim.

Allah (swt) says, “Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: ‘We believe,’ and will not be tested.” (Al-Ankabut 29:2)

From entering a medical college to getting a driver’s license, everybody has to go through a test, without which such goals cannot be achieved. Same is the case with a sports person, who practices all day long to have what he had wished for. In short, every achievement has its own criteria of eligibility. The one who manages to fulfill such criterion simply has it. We, humans, are also tested by Allah (swt), so that He would know, which one of us is righteous in deeds. The ones, who will ultimately manage to pass all the trials with patience and strong faith in Allah (swt), will, Insha’Allah, get the greatest reward – Jannah!

Allah (swt) says, And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.).Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” They are those on whom are the Salawat (i.e. blessings, etc.) (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided-ones.” (Al-Baqarah 2:155-157)

There is no doubt about the fact that we all will be tested. But what is more important to know is that the burden we will be subjected to would not be something unbearable.

There is no doubt about the fact that we all will be tested. But what is more important to know is that the burden we will be subjected to would not be something unbearable. This shows Allah’s (swt) mercy, as our Lord despite of testing us, creates ease for us.

Allah (swt) says, “Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Maula (Patron, Supporter and Protector, etc.) and give us victory over the disbelieving people.” (Al-Baqarah 2:286)

Allah (swt) Almighty, the Most Merciful, the Most Generous, has put before us examples of prophets to follow. The life of each prophet portrays a lesson for the believers. One can relate to their stories, while going through the walk of life. Hearing of trials and tribulations, prophet Ayoob’s (as) name comes to my mind. Allah (swt) Almighty tested him in everything that he had. He lost his children, wealth, health and even his closest friends. Yet, after going through such tests, he showed patience and prayed to Allah (swt). Regarding Ayoob (as), Allah (swt) says:

“And (remember) Ayoob (Job), when he cried to his Lord: “Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.” So We answered his call, and We removed the distress that was on him, and We restored his family to him (that he had lost), and the like thereof along with them, as a mercy from Ourselves and a Reminder for all who worship Us.” (Al-Anbiya 21:83-84)

Living and trying to face our problems with patience is better than giving it all away to depression. Especially, when we know that it is something, which we can handle. Burying our head in the sand to avoid danger would not change the reality. We are going to be tested when there is time for us to be tested. So, it is better to strengthen our Iman (faith) before that time comes. In order to increase our faith in Allah (swt) Almighty, we must increase our knowledge about Islam. And to do that, let’s just spare a few minutes from our busy lives learning about Islam, in order to nurture our soul and manage our highs and lows.

[Infograph] How to Overcome Hardship

It would not be an understatement that a “perfect life” that is free of problems and difficulties can only be experienced in Jannah. In this life, true believers will always face tests of faith, of loss of wealth, of distressing situations and many others. What are the Sunnah ways of dealing with these hardships? Productive Muslim and Islamographic bring to you an informative infograph outlining the different ways of attaining relief from hardships. (Posted here with permission from


A Believer’s Attitude During Fitnah and Tribulations


We are living in times frequently interspersed with a myriad of trials, tribulations and natural disasters. These disturbing events, whether natural or human-incited, cause depression, despair, chaos and socioeconomic problems. Earthquakes, war, civil strife, tyrannical ruling regimes, rebellious social uprisings, crime, permissive youth culture, family breakups and terrorism have become daily headlines. Yet, the harshest tribulations that undermine peace and security in the Muslim Ummah today are internal discord, dissension and divisions.

Ibn Al-Arabi summed up the meanings of Fitnah, when he said: “Fitnah means testing, Fitnah means trial, Fitnah means wealth, Fitnah means children, Fitnah means Kufr, Fitnah means differences of opinion among people, Fitnah means burning with fire.” (Lisan al-Arab by Ibn Manzoor)

During Fitnah, the Haqq (truth) and Baatil (falsehood) become blurry. Fitnah leaves most lay-Muslims going about their daily lives often very confused about what to do. How to keep anxiety at bay and hopes high? Whom from the two propagators of opposing views to consider on the right path? Whom to applaud and whom to condemn?

Our Prophet Muhammad (sa) forewarned us about an onslaught of tribulations and discord near the time, when the mankind will be in its last era. He said: “Time will pass quickly, good deeds will decrease, miserliness will be thrown (in people’s hearts), Fitan will appear, and there will be much Al-Haraj.” The Sahabah enquired: “O Messenger of Allah! What is Al-Haraj?” The Prophet (sa) replied: “Killing! Killing!” (Bukhari)

Even though we cannot claim that mankind has entered this time, the fact is that even since the last century, there has been a great surge in the diverse kinds and regularity of Fitnah.

The question is: what should a believer’s attitude be like during Fitnah?


Part of Sabr, or forbearance, is for a believer not to show an immediate outburst or be hasty in judgment. This includes the incidents of killings or religious conflicts and natural disasters, which end thousands of livelihoods and sweep away entire towns. Silently, the believer deliberates and slowly takes it all in at first.

When Fitnah or dissension is at its peak, opponents on either side of a debate or conflict pressurize religious authorities, influential political figures, governments or even the laypeople to take sides immediately, especially in this age of powerful digital online media and instant communication. In such a situation, a believer’s silence is perceived as betrayal – if he or she remains quiet, their loyalty to Islam itself is questioned.

Refraining from Jumping on the Bandwagon and Taking Sides

When confusion, chaos and opinions are streaming in from all sides, a cautious Muslim endeavors to obey the Prophet’s (sa) advice and keeps his mouth shut, absorbing the influx of content with an unprejudiced mind.

Any wise person knows that nowadays media reports are mostly sensationalized, exaggerated and intentionally repeated numerous times, in order to sustain consistent viewership and acquire sponsors. Even in written publications, scathing write-ups penned by emotionally-charged journalists invite readers to form a strong opinion without being objective.

Abstention from Expressing Opinions Publicly

In today’s age, the multifaceted, round-the-clock media avenues entice a layman to express an opinion about specific individuals, organizations, governments and figures of authority.

Blogs, websites, Twitter and Facebook status updates overflow with a deluge of accusations, rants, abuse, hate speech and public disparagement of others, especially famous celebrities, supposedly “wayward” religious groups and, primarily, leaders and politicians.

Whether the stimulus is a crime committed in broad daylight or the nature of the crime itself in the light of Islamic jurisprudence, television, online media and smartphones churn out incessant opinion editorials, blog posts, articles, live phone calls made on air, Fatwa’s and heated discussions.

The wise Muslim knows that adding another voice to this cacophony will just add fuel to the fire. Hence, difficult though it is, he or she tries to avoid forming or voicing a hard-line opinion, when news of a fresh event reaches them, as they know that doing this will cause no benefit.

Turning to Allah (swt) and Making Dua

It is a teaching of Islam that we should never draw final conclusions about anything, unless a clear proof exists.

A believer knows this and thus turns to Allah (swt). Following the occurrence of a Fitnah, he or she makes the earnest Dua and Dhikr as well as establishes devout prayers late at night, in order to ask Allah (swt) to make the truth about matters and people become clear to him.

Not Passing Verdicts Against Others

Today, the Muslim Ummah is blessed with numerous Islamic scholars. One issue that often arises is how the `Urf Makan (the set of customs of a country or continent, where Muslims reside) differs from that in place elsewhere on the globe.

Hence, every scholar is not equipped to pass verdicts regarding situations faced by Muslims in another part of the world. This means that Fatawa, which apply to Muslims in one place, might not apply to those in another. Average Muslims, however, overlook this factor, when they quote Fatawa from one scholar that are apparently contradictory to those issued by another. Result? Blurring of truth from falsehood.

The optimum approach is to adopt a dignified silence, not get into arguments and avoid quoting Fatawa at the merest enticement. When we have qualified scholars and certified Mufti’s among us, we should leave their work to them.

The Prophet said, “Whoever among you lives (for a long time), will see many differences. I urge you to follow my Sunnah and the way of the rightly-guided Khalifahs, which come after me. Hold on to it firmly…” (Ahmad and at-Tirmidhi)

Advice given by Prophet Muhammad (sa) and the words of his noble companions are like preserved gold. Obeying their words will enable us to save our hearts from disease and will provide us relief from the destructive effects of oft-occurring trials and tribulations.