Why is it that a single problem in a particular aspect of our lives cripples us? Causes us to crumble, and becomes an obstacle that prevents us from succeeding . Does success call for perfect conditions? Fact is no. I think often of Prophet Nuh (Alayhe Assalam) and his mission to give Da’wah. What was life for him at home with a wife and son working against him? It’s hard enough when the outside world is against you, but even harder when those close to you and in your very own home—your oasis—are no different. Did this prevent Nuh (Alayhe Assalaam) from accomplishing his mission, and succeeding in it? No. Against all odds he continued for 950 years. How was he able to do this? It appears to me that he isolated his social/familial problems and prevented them from affecting other aspects of his life. Today we’re going to reflect on this, and perhaps learn how to deal with our own problems or obstacles. We all have them. Conditions aren’t always ideal, actually they’re never ideal. There are always kinks to straighten out and bumps to smooth over. But first, what are these four aspects. They are: spiritual (our relationship with Allah), material (our finances, careers etc), social (our relationships with others ), and health. We can be inflicted with problems and face obstacles in any one of these four. The problem is not in them , but in allowing a problem in one of them to affect all the others. In other words, allow them to be in your life, but do not by any means allow them to stop you moving forward.
Take comfort in in a number of things. One is that knowing that defeating the odds and overcoming obstacles is one of the reasons for rising in status with Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) .That’s why Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) has spoken about the rewards of Al Muhajiruun and Al Ansar as being more than those who victories Islam after the Conquest of Makkah:
“Not equal among you are those who spent before the conquest (of Makkah) and fought and those who did so after it. Those are greater in degree than they who spent afterwards and fought . But to all Allah has promised the best ( reward) . And Allah, with what you do, is Acquainted.” (Qur’an 57:10)
Al Muhajiruun and Al Ansar supported the Prophet (Salah Allah Alayhe Wa Salam) at a time when the world they knew stood against them . Secondly, the Prophet (Salah Allah Alayhe Wa Salam) showed us how to isolate one problem and deal with it, without having it affect other aspects of our lives. For instance, to those suffering health issues he would say,
“Whenever a Muslim experiences any hardship like sickness (etc.), Allah Ta’ala wipes away his sins just as a tree sheds its leaves during autumn.” (Bukhaari and Muslim)
So, sickness is an opportunity to expiate one’s sins strengthen the spiritual side—the opportunity to grow closer to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala). Sins stand between us and Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala). In that way the Prophet (Salah Allah Alayhe Wa Salam) was able to make the sick strive to strengthen their spirituality, so that they can live with their illness but in closeness to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala). What if we are struggling financially to put food on the table? The Prophet (Salah Allah Alayhe Wa Salam) says,
“Food for one is enough for two and food for two is enough for three and food for three is enough for four.” (Al Tarmidhi)
The Prophet (Salah Allah Alayhe Wa Salam), at times of financial difficulties, has made us rethink our food portions; asked us to look closely at our plates and realize it is enough for two people.And in another hadith it is said the
“Companions of the Messenger (Salah Allah Alayhe Wa Salam) complained: “O Messenger of Allah, we eat but are not satiated.’ The Messenger of Allah (Salah Allah Alayhe Wa Salam) said: ‘Perhaps you eat separately?” They replied that they did. He said: ‘Eat your food together and say Bismillah before you start, that will bring blessings into your food.’” (Abu Dawud)
Furthermore, when financial issues strike any household it breaks marital and social ties, so the Prophet (Salah Allah Alayhe Wa Salam) asks us to eat together to strengthen our social our bonds during hard financial times.
Let’s give each problem it’s weight in attention, and not let it take over us and affect our entire our life. And if you happen to have a chronic problem or obstacle that cannot be resolved, live with it in beautiful patience by reminding yourself of Allah’s graces : “ So remember the favors of Allah that you might succeed.” ( Qur’an 7:69). There are always many graces that are supporting so many other aspects of your life, so look at the bigger picture.
O Allah grant us safety from all that we fear . Ameen.