PROBLEMS – Why? When? How?
If a person does not know the answer to the following three questions:
i) Why is there a problem?
ii) Where did the problem come from?
iii) How to deal with the problem?
then the problem will lead to frustration. The person will then make inappropriate statements like “Why did Allah Ta’ala do this to me?” etc. At times during the height of frustration a person may even assault his own self to give vent to his frustration. He may even assault his wife and children.
The various challenges of life can be overcome by pondering upon verses 155, 156 of Surah Baqarah. Allah Ta‘ala say:
And certainly, We shall test you with some degree of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.) Those who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.”
The above verses answer all three questions.
Q. Why is there a problem?
A. Allah put us in various challenges of life to test our Imaan and to see how we respond to those challenges.
Q. Where did the problem come from?
A. If the problem is not due to one’s own shortcomings, sins etc. it just came upon a person, then it is a test from Allah Ta‘ala.
Q. How to overcome the problem?
A. Allah says, Be patient and exercise restraint. Say:
Inna Lillahi Wa Inna ilayhi Rāji῾ūn.
“Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.”
In essence, during difficulties, turn to Allah Ta‘ala and make the zikr of Allah. Yunus Alayhi Salam was trapped in three darknesses. The darkness of the night; the darkness of the huge waves of the sea; and the darkness of the belly of the whale.
Outwardly, there was no way Yunus a could be relieved from such a difficulty. Yunus Alayhi Salam beseeches Allah Ta‘ala from within the belly of the fish.
… فَاسْتَجَبْنَا لَهُ وَنَجَّيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْغَمِّ o لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنْتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ
…’There is no one worthy of worship except You(Allah). You are pure. I was among the Zalimeen (who went against your orders). ‘We responded his prayer and saved him from grief… (Qur’an 21:87-88)
While we adopt means to address our difficulties, making Zikr is an effective way of invoking the mercy of Allah. It is through the blessing of Zikr, Allah Ta‘ala guides a person to the solution of his problems.
Allah Ta‘ala say:
Behold, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find content!
An outstanding characteristic in the life of our pious predecessors was making Zikr. This was their shield against all challenges. A person who does not make the Zikr of Allah Ta‘ala is uneasy. A poet characterises the heart of such a person:
Forgetting the Zikr of Allah Ta‘ala is the death of the hearts of people.
The physical body is a grave before reaching the grave
The poet attributes the empty and miserable feeling of the heart to the absence of Zikr.
Allah says; those that confront the challenges of life with the Zikr of Allah invoke the mercy of Allah and such people are guided.
Take out some time every day to make the Zikr of Allah and make dua to Allah Ta‘ala after the Zikr. Duas after Zikr are most definitely accepted.
Mufti Ebrahim Desai