When hard times come along, hope is what will pull us out of the test. Here are 5 types of difficulties in which the Muslim can find hope.
When you’re poor, life seems to constrict and close up. Your options are limited. Just because your money is low, does not mean God has abandoned you. It’s really important to remember that it’s all a test from God.
“God gives abundantly to whoever He will, and sparingly to whoever He will….”(13:26)
This truth is expressed in more than 10 times in the Quran, about God’s power over material goods in this life. You do not control your provision. What you have, and when you have it, is in the hands of God.
Others may have more than you, and others may have less. These things change. It’s all in the care of God, and God never does anyone any injustice.
Imagine that you’ve got a large home, a loving spouse and many beautiful children. Imagine also that you enjoy a healthy, strong body, and are blessed in every way.
Then imagine it all being taken away. What would you miss the most?
The Messenger Job missed his wife the most. God tested him by taking away his children, his wealth, and his strength and health, and he worshiped God even more. But when his wife left, too, he cried to God:
“…‘Suffering has truly afflicted me, but you are the Most Merciful of the merciful.’” (21:83)
People need other people. It’s human nature. God knows that, and He will send someone for companionship exactly at the point when they are best for you. And what happened to Prophet Job?
“We answered him, removed his suffering, and restored his family to him, along with more like them, as an act of grace from Us and a reminder for all who serve Us.” (21:84)
Nothing reminds us about the blessing of good health than when we are sick. Some illnesses we recover from, and others affect our daily lives.
When we are tested with a change in our health, we are weak, and unable to do things as we like. It is a great reminder about how God controls things.
“If God touches you with affliction, no one can remove it except Him, and if He touches you with good, He has power over all things.” (6:17)
We seek out cures for our sicknesses, and take remedies that will help us feel better, but we do not rely on these medicines to cure us on their own. When we are sick we are reminded that God is managing all of our affairs, even our own bodies.
If our illness is due to some neglect on our part, we should remember that our bodies are on a loan from God. We must try to be careful and look after ourselves better to avoid illness.
“There are two of God’s favours that are forgotten by many people; health and free time.” -Messenger Muhammad
God is in control, and will never give you more than your body can handle.
We pray to God alone for relief.
Fear has a lot to do with being alone. For some people, merely the thought of being all alone is frightening. For the rest of us, we at least like to have a team. You want to know someone has your back.
During a really tense moment in the life of Messenger Muhammad, he was hiding in a cave from tribesmen looking for him. His companion in the cave was Abu Bakr, who expressed concern when the tribesmen drew close.
The Messenger of God turned to him and asked him, “Oh Abu Bakr! What do you think about two, when God is their third?”
God would not abandon you. And He supports the believers. When you have the support of God, no one can knock you down.
When you are alone and afraid, you can find hope in your fear by remembering God has promised that in Paradise, there is no fear.
“Those who believe, do good deeds, keep up the prayer, and pay the prescribed alms will have their reward with their Lord: no fear for them, nor will they grieve.” (2:277)
5. No Time
Time slips past so quickly. There doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. When life is a blur, recall that God is in control of the passage of time.
Prophet Muhammad also told his followers, “Do not curse time, for God is the one who crafted time.”
When you lose track of time, it may be due to you wasting time on something instead of important stuff. When this happens, remember that we will be asked on the Day of Resurrection about how we spent our time.
“Humankind will remain standing on the Day of Resurrection until he is asked about four things: his life and how he spent it, his youth and how he used it up, his property and how he acquired and managed it and his knowledge and how he utilized it.” -Messenger Muhammad
The tests of life are there to purify us and bring us closer to God. That is why we must look at every test as an opportunity to grow, and learn.