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By Selma Cook


thinkRemember when you were very young and loved to play in the kitchen with all the gadgets? Very likely, your mother would let you play with some things but not with others. Then when you got older you wanted to try different things and go many places and perhaps your parents let you try some but disapproved of others. At such times, you would feel frustrated and even angry that you failed to get what you wanted.


Now you are older and facing life yourself. Your parents have done their job and raised you, protected you and taught you as much as they could. Now you are on your own – just you and your Creator.


Are you still frustrated and angry when you do not get what you want from life?

Imagine what would have happened if your parents let you play with sharp utensils and remember how you stomped and pouted when they took them away. Imagine what would have happened if your parents let you mix with that gang of kids and remember how most of them later ended up in trouble with the police.


Our parents love and care for us and they took dangerous things away from us and they loved us enough not to care how angry we were with them. It is also important to keep in mind that Almighty Allah loves us more than our parents do. In life He takes some things away from us because they are harmful – even if we do not understand the nature of that harm.


Just like we all had to have our immunization shots to prevent illness, in life we undergo many challenges to strengthen our inner selves so we will be prepared for whatever comes across our path.  


Almighty Allah wants us to turn to Him for help, guidance, forgiveness and support. Out of His wisdom, Almighty Allah leaves us free to make decisions and explore life but He is there when we call on Him and turn to Him sincerely seeking His pleasure. Almighty Allah knows we will make mistakes and He sends us people and situations to test us and to help us learn. Sometimes, He the Almighty takes things from us but if we are patient and trust in Him, He gives us something better.


Almighty Allah says: “…it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing that is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” (Al-Baqarah 2:216) 


Al-Hasan al-Basri said: “Do not resent the calamities that come and the disasters that occur, for perhaps in something that you dislike will be your salvation, and perhaps in something that you prefer will be your doom.” 


Almighty Allah tells us many times in the Qur’an that He is the most merciful, the most compassionate. Everything in this universe was created with love and compassion and if we keep this in mind as we steer the course of our life, we will see His signs all around us.


Therefore, we must have faith in Almighty Allah and trust in Him and even though sometimes we may not understand the reason behind certain things that happen, we should be sure that as long as we seek to obey Him, whatever happens will be for our betterment.


Maybe now, instead of the kitchen gadgets, we might be after a car or a house. Only Almighty Allah knows if those things are good for us and if they will lead us on the straight path and be beneficial for us. So if He chooses to not grant us these things, we should trust in Him and say ‘Allah knows best’.


Perhaps we have to face sickness or some kind of calamity and surely this is not easy.  Remember that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

“There is nothing that befalls a believer, not even a thorn that pricks him, but Allah will record one good deed for him and will remove one bad deed from him.” (Muslim)


Can you imagine that you would leave this world without bearing any sin? Well, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Trials will continue to befall the believing man and woman, with regard to themselves, their children and their wealth, until they meet Allah with no sin on them.” (At-Tirmidhi)


The great scholar, Ibn Taymiyah said: “A calamity that makes you turn to Allah is better for you than a blessing which makes you forget the remembrance of Allah.”


So, our success in this life and the next depends on how we react to what happens to us. The most important thing we have to learn is to trust in Almighty Allah. We must be sure that along with the hardship and troubles, He gives us His mercy, help and support. Everything in life has meaning and every lesson we learn can bring us closer to Almighty Allah and all the peace of mind and insight which that entails.


Almighty Allah says in a hadith qudsi: “I am as My slave thinks of Me and I am with him whenever he remembers Me.' (Agreed Upon).


If we fall short and only focus on the hardship and fail to pay attention to the lessons, then we may undergo that hardship without really gaining anything from it. No matter how much we might have to go through, there are always countless things to be grateful for. Sometimes the test is to recognize the blessings and be grateful.


Our minds are limited and as human beings we are incapable of perceiving the wisdom of Almighty Allah and His infinite mercy.


“And when someone puts all his trust in Allah, He will be enough for him.” (At-Talaq 65: 3)


The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “If you put your trust completely in Allah, He will arrange for your sustenance in the same way as He provides for the birds. They go out in the morning with their stomachs empty and return filled in the evening.” (At-Tirmidhi)


So trust Allah! There is great reward for those who learn to do that. Hardship can be a sign of Allah's love for a person. Difficulty can be like medicine: even though it is bitter, in spite of its bitterness you still give it to the one whom you love.


“The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allah loves a people He tests them. Whoever accepts that wins His pleasure but whoever is discontent with that earns His displeasure.” (At-Tirmidhi)