Sorrow. Anxiety. Anger. Melancholy. As much as we try to live a steady, happy life, discomfort of the soul is inevitable. Our peace of mind will one way or another be challenged at some point of our lives. Living with a troubled soul from time to time is far from pleasant, but along the way, we will come to realize that that is what makes us human.
This is perhaps rather a cliché, and is probably the last thing we would want to hear at times of hardships, but believe it or not, life really is a test. So it has been mentioned multiple times in the Holy Qur’an. Like it or not, our Creator will test us in various ways. Mental and physical discomforts may be the obvious ones, but don’t think that the beautiful and so-called perfect lives we have are none of these we need to think about. Worldly pleasures and contentment are tests too. In short, we have been created to be tested. If there are no tests, there will be no victories and so, there will be no spiritual ascension either. One would be trapped at a particular level forever.
We were not created for no reason. The heaven and hell were created to serve a purpose. The heavens above are divided into levels and this too has objectives. It has been stated in the Qur’an that “Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tested?”(29:2) It can be understood that being Muslims does not exempt us from life tests. They are preordained and unavoidable, but there are several lessons about the tests from God that I have personally picked up along the way.
The night prayer is probably one of the best anti-depressants available. There is no word to describe the beauty of the night prayers and you will only understand it once you wake up a while before dawn, get down on your knees and talk to the Lord that created you. Pour your heart out. Say what you want. Ask for what you desire. Cry if you must. He is listening; you are not alone. The peace that follows is impeccable.
When you are constantly praying and talking to God, your trust in Him distinctively increases. The closer you are to Him, the more you realize how dependant you are upon Him. Allah is the best of planners; He only wants what is best for His servants. Praying, then leaving everything to Him plays a significant role in the elevation of our worries and in our achieving of happiness.
We must always remember that no matter what situation we are in, Allah has chosen it for us. He knows best and He will give us nothing but the best. Continue praying and believing, for once we have Allah on our side, we really have nothing to worry about. Allah takes care of what is His. He keeps reminding us of this compelling truth time and again in the Qur’an. Thus, just make sure to be His genuine servant alone: that your life, death and whole being belong to Him only.
Amidst all the tension, try to pause and take a look at the people around us. Everyone has his own concerns; some may be experiencing issues unimaginably worse. Doing this gives you a slight comfort as you know that you are not alone; everyone has a battle they are enduring.
Acknowledging this makes us thankful and appreciative. It gives us the strength and patience to work our way through the tough times. Pause and say Alhamdulillah. Thank Him because you are still alive. Thank Him because you have supportive family and friends. Thank Him because He did not give you a greater test. Happiness will never come to people who do not appreciate the blessings they have already been granted.
Life is a roller coaster; it has its ups and downs. How we manage it is entirely up to us. The better we manage our lives at times of hardship, the better believers we become. God tests those whom He loves to bring them closer to Him; to strengthen their faith and expiate their sins.
Hence, despite the pain, we should take advantage of the situation by mending our relationship with Allah Almighty as nothing matters but Him. When He is on our side, we have absolutely nothing to worry, but everything to cheer, about.
By: Maryam Spahic
International Islamic University Malaysia
Maryam Spahic is a third year Mass Communication student in the Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia.