How to use belief to promote a positive outlook on life even when things are difficult
Belief and faith are individual to everyone, and where we are in our journeys to being better Muslims is different for all of us. Belief is not just about how you practice your religion, but it is the part of you that accepts the things that are not tangible, and understands that there is a higher purpose to why we are here.
In today’s age we are taught that we are the “master” of our own destiny and that everything is achievable, which can be positive in helping us to develop and push ourselves to our full potential. However, if we are unable to achieve a set target, it can leave us feeling disappointed or frustrated. For many people, the feelings of a lack of control and disappointment can lead to worrying and getting depressed. As a society which works towards goals and targets, disappointment can be a key driver in making us doubt ourselves and what is possible for us.
However, what belief in Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala allows us to reconcile is, that it’s ok for things not to go to our plan, that Allah , glorified and praised is He, has His own plan for us and if something is not meant to be, then we can allow ourselves to let it go, and in doing so, we will be free of the burden we may have imposed on ourselves. ‘Nothing will happen to us except what Allah has written for us; He is our protector; and in Allah let the believers put their trust’ (Quran 9:51).
While we continue to work towards the outcomes that we desire, and do so with “ihsaan”, or excellence, believing and knowing with full certainty that the outcome is ultimately in the hands of Allaah allows us to step back from the worry, the stress and the self-doubt…it’s not because I don’t deserve it, it’s because He has a better plan.
Both prosperity and adversity are from Allah and when we realise that our control of a situation or what we physically own do not dictate the paths our lives may take, it will help us conduct ourselves with a better attitude in life and allow us to make peace with a situation when things don’t go as we intended them to.
For me, my belief in Allah is empowering and teaches me how to deal with challenging times or events in my life, and keep a positive attitude through my test, for ‘Allah planned. And Allah is the best of planners.’ (Quran 3:54).
I do not pray to Allah to fix everything and change an outcome, I pray for the strength to deal with the test I have been sent. For if we relied on powers of prayer to fix all our problems and then we don’t get what we prayed for because Allah the Most High has a different path planned for us that we cannot see, we may be disappointed. We need to stay strong in the belief that Allah knows best and that there is a reason for everything. It may sometimes be hard to see, but if you keep strong and maintain your belief in Allah, He will deliver to you what is best for you; not necessarily what you have envisaged for yourself. I always remind myself of the hadith ( saying ) of the Messenger of Allah, Peace and blessings be upon him, where he said: “The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allah loves a people He tests them. Whoever accepts that, wins His pleasure but whoever is discontent with that, earns His wrath.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi , no.2396 and Ibn Maajah, no. 4031).
I often hear people say ‘if there was a God, He wouldn’t let that happen’. What they cannot understand is that because there is a God, challenges are put in our lives to help us be better, to help us see the important things and to help us to earn the greatest reward of all, a place in Jannah. When life is hard, the most powerful thing we have is our belief in Allah, to help us see the silver linings in the test we face.
About the author:
Sobia Darr is a full time mum of two young children Alhamdolillah, who keep her very busy! Originally from Yorkshire, Sobia now lives in London where she enjoys spending time with her family , and when she gets the time, to indulge in her love of reading.