In hardships and calamities, it is natural to get swept away by the affliction of the moment. During such trials of faith, unless we are careful, Shaytaan can inject fear and plant doubts in our hearts and minds.
Our beliefs in such vulnerable states may become overpowered by feelings of the moment resulting in the dwindling of our faith. Some of us start questioning the fairness and wisdom underlying such divine decisions while others get mired in a blame game. All in all, we may find ourselves lost, helpless and stalled, finding it difficult to gather ourselves and move forward.
For such situations specifically and others in general, Islam teaches us to stay in control by hanging on to the Mercy and Grace of Allah. We pray that Allah keeps us safe from the challenges and trials of life, but as Muslims we should know and understand Quran’s message and the Prophet ﷺ’s guidance for handling tough moments in life.
The following summarizes some of the key guidance related to this matter.
Believe in the divine decree
When facing difficulties, our weak faith can sometimes drive us to question the fairness of it all. In this context, we should remind ourselves that believing in Al-Qadr (Allah’s divine will and decree) is one of the pillars of Islamic faith. As the Prophet ﷺ said, it means belief in i. Allah, ii. His Angels, iii. His revealed Holy Books (Qur’an, Bible, Torah, Zabur), iv. His Messengers, v. Day of Judgment and vi. To believe in Al-Qadar (the divine decree) both good and bad.
As part of that belief, we should, therefore, recognize that Allah does what He wills for reasons that are only known to Him. Any attempt to comprehend the wisdom of it all using our limited faculties, or to understand how our current situation fits in His overall plan can only lead us to erroneous conclusions resulting in increased frustrations.
We, as Muslims, should accept Allah’s Decree both as it manifests itself around us and in our lives. It should be a relief to us that only Allah is the master of our destiny and we are only going to be tested about whether we reacted to what befalls us as true believers and Mo’mins, i.e. being patient in adversity and grateful in prosperity.
Ask for Allah’s Mercy and Grace for an Out from Tough Situations
As believers we should recognize that only Allah’s Grace and Mercy can deliver us from challenging situations. Allah tells us in the Quran:
ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُم مِّنۢ بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ ۖ فَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُۥ لَكُنتُم مِّنَ ٱلْخَـٰسِرِينَ
“They after that you turned away. Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allah upon you, indeed you would have been among the losers.” [Al Baqarah 2: 64]
Another way to ask for Allah’s Grace and Mercy is by asking for His forgiveness and seeking repentance. Allah tells us in the Quran:
وَأَنِ ٱسْتَغْفِرُوا۟ رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُوٓا۟ إِلَيْهِ يُمَتِّعْكُم مَّتَـٰعًا حَسَنًا إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى وَيُؤْتِ كُلَّ ذِى فَضْلٍ فَضْلَهُۥ ۖ وَإِن تَوَلَّوْا۟ فَإِنِّىٓ أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ كَبِيرٍ
And (commanding you): “Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace (i.e. the one who helps and serves needy and deserving, physically and with his wealth, and even with good words). But if you turn away, then I fear for you the torment of a Great Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection). [Al-Hud 11: 3]
Stay patient in hard times
One of the best remedies for tough times is to be patient. It requires that we do not resort to complaining, but remember Allah often.
Remember Allah in ease
We know from the Qur’an that when we remember Allah in good times, Allah will help us in tough times. We learn that lesson from the story of Prophet Yunus AS when he was swallowed by a whale.
Out of His mercy, Allah finally relieved him out of that calamity. He tells us in the Qur’an:
فَلَوْلَآ أَنَّهُۥ كَانَ مِنَ ٱلْمُسَبِّحِينَ
لَلَبِثَ فِى بَطْنِهِۦٓ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ
“Had he not been of them who glorify Allah, he would have indeed remained inside its belly (the fish) till the Day of Resurrection.” [As-Saffaat 37: 143-144]
So the point to understand is that Allah does place upon us some difficulties, but Allah has given us the ability to overcome them and is prepared to reward us immensely for bearing them.