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Remembering Allah in Ease and Difficulty


In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate

By  El-Sayed Amin

Many are the times we fall into difficulty in this world not knowing what to do. We feel baffled and torn from within. We do stop time and time again thinking of a way out. However, almost all the time we do it the materialistic way, thinking only of the worldly means and solutions.

But has any of us tried the costless, yet valuable, solution at times of difficulty? Have we referred the difficulty we face to our Lord while being quite confident that through Him there will be a way out? Allah is the Creator Who created us and knows us far better than we know ourselves. He, the Omniscient, knows what will make our life happy and what will make it sad. He commanded us to refer to Him in simple and complicated situations alike. If we really remember Him when we are happy and high-spirited, He will never let us down in times of difficulty and distress. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) quoted Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying,

He who would like Allah to accept his supplication at times of difficulties and anguish should increase his supplications at times of ease. (At-Tirmidhi)

Let us compare the following two illustrative examples. Prophet Yunus (peace and blessings be upon him) was rescued by Allah from drowning after being thrown in the sea and being gobbled up by the whale because he, according to the Qur'an, continuously remembered Allah. Referring to this, Allah Almighty says,

(Had he not been one of those who glorify (Allah), He would have tarried in its [the whale's] belly till the day when they are raised (Day of Resurrection)(As-Saffat 37:143-144)

In his commentary on the verse, Imam Al-Baihaqi stated in his Shu`ab Al-Iman (Arabic for "branches of faith") that Imam Al-Hassan Al-Basri used to say while explaining this verse that Prophet Yunus used to supplicate Allah a lot in his prayers during times of ease, and, in turn, Allah rescued him in the time of difficulty.

On the other hand, Pharaoh was the epitome example of arrogance and pride. He never resorted to Allah or believed in Him. Rather, he dared declare himself to be god, challenging Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) and those who believe in him. He had no precedent of good deeds when his painful doom approached. Therefore, Allah Almighty addressed him saying,

((Do you believe) now? And before [that] you readily disobeyed, and you were (one) of the corruptors.) (Yunus 10:91)

Thus, when we turn to Allah at times of ease, we, indeed, refer to the All-Powerful (Glory be to Him) subhanahu wa ta`ala. If we are in the company of Him, then certainly we will be the winning party. Even if we happen to lose material gains, we will never lose our spirits and, above all, we will have our reward intact on the Day of Judgment.

With all this in mind, we should try our best to make returning to Allah our second nature. Gradually, it will become a natural inclination from within, reflected in our continuous remembrance of Allah; our preoccupation with what pleases Allah; and our abstention from forbidden acts.

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