FAITH IN DIFFICULT TIMES
Faith in difficult times
By Jubair Ali al-Sayed
When we look at today’s headlines in the newspapers and magazines, or perhaps hear a brief news report on the radio or television, or read the latest news updates on the internet, it is quite easy for a person who does not have the Qur’anic perspective and thus fails to consider that there is good in everything that Allah creates to be overwhelmed with a feeling of the darkest foreboding.
Unemployment is on the increase in many of the world’s largest economies; financial markets are unable to shake off their doldrums for very long; the twin scourges of homelessness and hunger are on the rise, violence has become a common phenomenon, disasters (both natural and man-made) are on the increase. The high rate of violent disturbances, bloodshed, insincerity, corruption, has made many people to start feeling great anxiety about their lives and expectedly their children’s futures. No place is secure in this present time.
At difficult times like this, it is of the most vital importance for the believers to never forget that all these manifestations are not cause for us to resign ourselves to feelings of hopelessness. We must always remember that it is our Lord, Almighty Allah, Who is in supreme control of all affairs, and all things happen through His All-powerful Will.
It is incumbent upon us as believers to profess our great devotion and deep faith in Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, He upon Whom all things depend, and for us to give our constant praise and thanks to our Lord for all the innumerable blessings which He has chosen to bestow upon us through His endless bounty. In times of difficulty, it is of course natural for us to turn to Allah for help in removing our afflictions; but we must also never forget to turn to Allah in heartfelt thanks in times of plenitude and show Him our deeply felt gratitude for the boundless blessings He has granted us. In these volatile times, we must also humbly implore Almighty Allah to give us the strength we need so that we may remain steadfast and continue on His path, and to seek refuge in Allah from the “…….whisperer who withdraws, who whispers into the hearts of men among jinn and men.” (Surat an-Nas, 4-6).
Additionally, it is also important for us as believers to remind ourselves in times of difficulty the lessons we may learn from the glorious examples of the Prophets of Allah, all of whom faced enormous difficulties in His way. We need only think of the example of our Prophet Muhammed (saas), who faced slanders, lies, threats of physical harm against him, and expulsion from his home. Yet through all these tribulations, our beloved Prophet (saas) remained wholly steadfast in his faith in our Lord, and his profound faith was rewarded by Almighty Allah, not only in this world but in the Hereafter as well. We may reflect upon the Prophet Moses (pbuh) who faced difficulties in Allah’s path chiefly through the machinations of that most arrogant of men, Pharoah, a disbeliever whose arrogance led him so far as to consider himself a living god, and to compel his subjects to worship him (surely Allah is beyond that).
We should ponder upon Prophet Abraham (pbuh), who faced the threat of death not only from his own people but from his own father, when he reproached them for their persistent worship of false gods. Let us contemplate Prophet Noah (pbuh) who was mocked by his people although he persistently appealed to them to repent of their mistaken ways and to worship Almighty Allah alone. All these Prophets were despised by their respective people when they made every effort to turn their respective people away from the Wrath of Allah, and to set them on the path to the True Religion. Indeed, no matter the difficulties we may face in our everyday lives, they surely pale in comparison to the enormities encountered by the Prophets in their heartfelt attempts to turn their fellow men on to the path of our Lord.
O brother and sisters in Islam! We must not let us ourselves become disheartened or discouraged by the deplorable conditions we see around us in this world; we must always remember that the true life is the life to come in the Hereafter. However, we must not neglect our duties to our Lord in the life of this world, either.
As believers, we know that we will stand before our Almighty Lord on the Day of Judgment, and will be given a full accounting of what we did, and did not do, as His humble and faithful servants.
“The best of faith is To know that wherever you may be, Allah is with you” Prophet Mohammed (may God bless him and grant him peace)