When I was younger, whenever I was faced with hardships and trials, I would always look for a way out. In my mind I thought there was a place somewhere on earth that I could be where life would be free from any struggles or hardships.
أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوا أَن يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ
وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ فَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ الْكَاذِبِينَ
Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested? And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) of those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allah knows all that before putting them to the test). (Surah Al-Ankabut: 2-3)
أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَن تَدْخُلُواْ الْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَأْتِكُم مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ خَلَوْاْ مِن قَبْلِكُم مَّسَّتْهُمُ الْبَأْسَاء
وَالضَّرَّاء وَزُلْزِلُواحَتَّى يَقُولَ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مَعَهُ مَتَى نَصْرُ اللّهِ
أَلا إِنَّ نَصْرَ اللّهِ قَرِيبٌ
Or do you think that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, “When (will come) the Help of Allah”? Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allah is near! (Surah Al-Baqarah:214)
As I matured and grew up and learnt more about the religion, I came to the realisation and acceptance that life is a continous struggle. No doubt there will be good days but there will be bad days too. And our best course of action would be to prepare for those bad days.
So here in this little blog of mine, under the category “A Fortress of Reminders”, insha-Allah I hope to build a list of reminders that I can go to again and again to help cope with those stressful times. (smiles)
Of course the degree of our trials and tests is only equivalent to our level of eman and my own little tests are in no way comparable to the trials faced by the prophets or scholars. But it is humbling to look at those who have been tested to a greater degree and see how they passed through the tests successfully. Insha-Allah their stories will serve as inspirations in dealing with our trials.
One such example is the life of Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) who led a life of poverty and was imprisoned and severely tortured towards the end of his life.
Due to the hardships and trials that Imam Ahmad was going through, his son Abdullah asked him, “O my father, when is relaxation (from all this pain and poverty) going to come? And Imam Ahmad’s answer was, “With the first step into jannah”.
Insha-Allah, I hope that the days when I feel stressed out I’ll remember this and be more patient. (smiles)
The story of Imam Ahmad was mentioned in a really inspiring khutbah by Muhammad AlShareef; ‘Have you tasted Jannah?’ and you can listen to it here.