مَا أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَمَن يُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ يَهْدِ قَلْبَهُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ
“No calamity befalls anyone except by Allah’s (swt) Will. And whoever has faith in Allah, He will rightly guide their hearts through adversity. And Allah has perfect knowledge of all things.” (At-Taghabun 64:11)
Productive Muslim is an excellent organization that is serving Muslimeen around the globe. Recently, they highlighted the sensitive issue of ‘how a painful work experience can turn into a powerful opportunity for peace and growth’.
In the age of automation and materialism, sometimes we fail to realize that humans are not machines. They will always react or respond with negative or positive thoughts and actions.
- How do you take ill experiences happening at your workplace?
- Do you pause to reflect on their deeper meaning?
- Do you allow them to teach you something new?
- Or do you ignore everything and react in your usual way, numbing your mind and heart?
Everything in life happens for a reason – and it is always meant for the betterment of a believer’s Dunya and Akhirah. How can you cope with tests at the workplace?
- Check if your heart is alive.
If you reflect over the problem and can figure out your own mistake or shortfall honestly, you have a thriving heart. Blaming yourself is not easy – it is hard on the ego. But it does reduce further deterioration of the situation. It also sets new paths and goals for us to strive for. It also enables us to become mature in our thinking and master our actions.
- Hold yourself accountable before Allah (swt) does.
Allah (swt) has created us for Jannah. So He wants us to meet Him in the most purified state in order to earn His mercy. For this, Allah (swt) states: “I do swear by the Day of Judgement! And I do swear by the self-reproaching soul!” (Al-Qiyamah 75:1-2) Allah (swt) swears by the rebuking soul, who is ready to fix itself and grow.
- Who is your judge: your manager or Allah (swt)?
This is extremely important to know. Do you reform simply to please your manager or for a higher salary? Or do you mend your ways, because it is the honourable thing to do and expected of a slave of Allah (swt) who is always ready to meet the highest standards and submit to Allah (swt) for His sole pleasure?
- Know that your pain is valued.
When a mother disciplines her child, she goes through a higher degree of emotional pain than her child. But she does it in the interest and care of her child to strengthen him in the long run. Likewise, our Creator lets the creation suffer a little in the world as a consequence of their evil, so that they are prepared for the eternal Paradise that awaits them.
- Practice patience and earn Paradise.
Allah (swt) states: “…We have made some of you a trial for others. Will you not then be patient? And Your Lord is All-Seeing.” (Al-Furqan 25:20)
Every bit of stress that you earn from your organization – be it your mocking colleagues, a harsh boss or a difficult customer – can become your greatest reasons for reward and opportunities to change the way you perceive life. When you are being wronged and you practice patience, you are in the company and care of Allah (swt). “Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” (Al-Anfal 8:46)
“Productive Muslim” also brought to light another interesting aspect of the Arabic words. The word for ‘blamed’ in Arabic is ‘Lam’. The same three alphabets also form ‘Alm’, which means ‘pain.’ The rearrangement of the same letters again forms ‘Aml’, which means ‘hope’.
The message is clear. Self-blaming leads to pain and disappointment; yet, this is also the very state, from where hope needs to arise of a better you. Hope in the mercy of Allah (swt) that encompasses everything. Hope in Allah’s (swt) promise that with every difficulty come two reliefs.
Tests in life are planted by Allah (swt) to bring His slaves closer to Him and to give them a more focused perspective of life and beyond. They are meant to elevate our status. Someone who refuses to introspect and take self-account, and instead continues blaming others and his situation, is incapable of altering his thoughts and resulting behaviour positively. Such tests can eliminate his faith, instead of illuminating it.
As they say, “Allah (swt) gives His hardest battles to His strongest soldiers.” Rise to the challenge and submit to Allah (swt) as His Abd (slave). Indeed, He will favour you, Insha’Allah.