The COVID-19 pandemic has made way for an unprecedented shift in life as we once knew it, affecting each and every one of us – irrespective of our age, race or financial status. We have encountered a Ramadan without the pillar of taraweeh, and without the communal love and enjoyment of social iftar gatherings. Being locked down has meant being stripped of visiting our loved ones, stripped of the masajid and of many actions we once took for granted. Yet, how does the Ummah of Muhammad (saw) respond? Alhamdulillah!
Likewise, Muslims are bombed, beaten and bruised on a daily basis – from XinJiang to Syria, Kashmir to Palestine. Yet, amidst sheer rubble and desolation, the Ummah of Muhammad (saw) binds its hands in prayer and recites what? Alhamdulillahi rabbil ‘aalamin!
How is it, that despite whatever calamity befalling the believer, he is taught to respond with optimism – giving thanks and praise to his Creator (swt)?
In today’s world, this is seen as outright bizarre – a mismatch of reality and reaction; an exception to the norm. Today’s norm is that of complaint, misery and despair when met with hardship!
Why is this? One simple fact – without the acknowledgement of a Creator in one’s life, man is left to his own devices, devoid of guidance and the correct lens with which to view all of life’s affairs – the good, the bad and all that is in between. Thus enabling the bleak doors of pessimism to inevitably fling wide open! Yet, alhamdulillah, the Muslim is given a perspective on every single matter he encounters, with our deen of Islam being one which extinguishes pessimism and shines bright with optimism!
You’re content knowing Allah (swt) will expiate every speck of suffering by washing away your sins through it!
“ مَا يُصِيبُ الْمُؤْمِنَ مِنْ وَصَبٍ وَلاَ نَصَبٍ وَلاَ سَقَمٍ وَلاَ حَزَنٍ حَتَّى الْهَمِّ يُهَمُّهُ إِلاَّ كُفِّرَ بِهِ مِنْ سَيِّئَاتِهِ ”
“Nothing afflicts a Muslim of hardship, nor illness, nor anxiety, nor sorrow, nor harm, nor distress, nor even the pricking of a thorn, but that Allah will expiate his sins by it.” [Sahih Muslim 2573]
Lost your job?
You’re energised to look elsewhere by the fact that your rizq has already been fixed by Allah (swt) and will come to you no matter what!
اللَّهُ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ ۚ وَفَرِحُوا بِالْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا فِي الْآخِرَةِ إِلَّا مَتَاعٌ
“Allah increases the provision (rizq) for whom he wills, and straitens (it from whom He wills), and they rejoice in the life of the world, whereas the life of this world as compared with the hereafter is but a brief passing enjoyment.” [TMQ Ar-Ra’d 13: 26]
Your house has been bombed to smithereens by the colonial West?
You remain patient and steadfast upon Allah (swt)’s commands, knowing that this life is very short and that the palaces of Jannah will suffice you far better!
أُولَٰئِكَ يُجْزَوْنَ الْغُرْفَةَ بِمَا صَبَرُوا وَيُلَقَّوْنَ فِيهَا تَحِيَّةً وَسَلَامًا
“Those will be rewarded with the highest place (in Paradise) because of their patience. Therein they shall be met with greetings and the word of peace and respect.” [TMQ Al-Furqan 20:75]
The unique optimism of Islam – with all of its noble values which allow the believer to steer through life with surety and tranquility – is a favour from Allah (swt) not to be taken for granted. Amidst a time where many around us are feeling a heightened sense of despair and helplessness, our gratitude to Allah (swt) for such a favour must be shown not only through embodying the Islamic way of life, but also by propagating it to our neighbours, colleagues and society at large. Providing those who are desperately seeking a solution to this daily despair with an alternative outlook from the bleak and pessimistic secular way of life.
وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ قَوْلًا مِّمَّن دَعَا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا وَقَالَ إِنَّنِي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ
“And who is better in speech than the one who invites (people) to Allah, does righteous deeds, and says: “Indeed, I am of the Muslims?” [TMQ Fussilat 41:33]
Despite what may be perceived as hardship and being stripped of the things we hold dear to us, we must hold firm in our belief that Allah (swt) burdens no soul more than it can bear. May Allah (swt) enable us to be of those who are content upon His decree, who are steadfast regardless of whatever He has in store for us, and who appreciate that with hardship, comes ease.
“عَجَبًا لِأَمْرِ الْمُؤْمِنِ إِنَّ أَمْرَهُ كُلَّهُ خَيْرٌ وَلَيْسَ ذَاكَ لِأَحَدٍ إِلَّا لِلْمُؤْمِنِ إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ صَبَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ”
“How wonderful is the affair of the believer for there is good for him in every matter and this is not the case with anyone except the believer. If he is happy, then he thanks Allah and thus there is good for him, and if he is harmed, then he shows patience and thus there is good for him.” [Muslim]