Creating Shifts: Remembering Allah in times of ease and difficulty

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him said:

‘Whoever would like for Allah to answer him during times of hardship and difficulty, let him supplicate often during times of ease.’

Sunan al –Tirmidhi.

During times of ease, I have found that it is easy to not remember Allah as much as when we are going through periods of difficulty. When things were going easy for me in my life, I found I was not remembering Allah as much, and only when a difficult situation arose, would I then remember and turn back to Allah. At this one particular time, I was in a good place personally and professionally: I was earning a good salary, life was great, yet I wasn’t remembering Allah as much as I should have. Sure, I was praying my five daily prayers, but not doing much else.

Then things became difficult – I was transferred to another branch of the school I was working at, and I was also in a different country without family. I didn’t have anyone close by that I could lean on, so I was felt isolated and alone. The school wasn’t as relaxed as the previous school I worked at, and I found it difficult to adjust – I felt overworked and my health began to suffer. It was at this time I began to turn back to Allah more. I made more sincere du’aa to Allah, I increased in giving charity and began making more thikr. It was through this experience that I learned to always remember Allah during the good times and not only when I was in a position of ease. Since then I have remembered to remember Allah during times of ease and not only during the challenging times.

Here are some things that I found helpful and that hopefully you can find helpful , too, during good and bad times:

During times of ease

Work your life around the five daily prayers and not the other way round during busy times – when the time for prayer comes make wudu and clear your mind in preparation for the prayer. Try to forget everything and concentrate on the prayer and communicating with Allah. After the prayer try to make dua. If time allows you can also engage in some short thikr.

Pray sunnah prayers and tahajjud prayer if you are able to, and be as regular in them as possible as consistency brings blessings.

Try going to Islamic classes or watching Islamic lectures and talks online – you want to have a firm foundation that you build in good times to see you through the bad times.

Read and listen to a set minimum amount of Quran. – the Qur’an is the “rope of Allaah,” and it was sent as a guidebook for life, and brings so many blessings with it.

Make plenty of dua and ask Allah for all that you need. Establish a duaa habit that allows you to spend time acknowledging that everything you are currently enjoying is a blessing given to you by Allaah, and build in yourself the knowledge and humility that without His Help, you cannot achieve or attain anything.

Make plenty of thikr. Thikr is the remembrance of Allaah, and it is ( as one of the scholars of the past said) for the heart, like water is to the fish – ie. we cannot live comfortably and fully without it.

Use this time to give sadaqah ( charity) if you can afford to, if not try helping others such as family and neighbours.

During challenging times

‘Allah does not burden any soul greater that it can bear’(Quran, 2:286).

‘Verily. With hardship comes ease.’ (Quran, 94:5).

Know that challenging times will not last forever. In life we all go through good times and bad times, but the key is to always remember Allah during these times. We will all be tested by Allah in this life.

During this challenging time we have ample opportunity to ask Allah to relieve us of whatever it is we are experiencing. Channel the pain and difficulty into prayers and duaa.

Keep on praying the five daily prayers, even if you feel you can’t. Shaytaan will tell you to let them go, that you can’t, but your prayers are your lifeline and link to Allaah ( the word “salaah” – prayer- has the same root as the word “silah”, which means link), so make these your non-negotiables for spiritual self-care.

Pray the sunnah prayers and tahajjud prayers. The more you do something, the better you get at it, right? So if you want to show up like a pro at prayer time, with a heart that is connected and focused, then you need to practice, and pray extra prayers!

Make plenty of dua to Allah, especially during the special times that Allah answers our duas – when it rains, between the athan and iqama, during the last third of the night and on Fridays.

Give in charity if you can afford to, if not try helping others, since that is also a sadaqah – Charity in any form is an act that brings you closer to Allaah, removes afflictions from you and reminds you of the blessings you have, even when you are in a challenging situation. It reminds you to always be grateful, and that no matter what, there is good that you can do.

Make plenty of thikr.

‘Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: ‘We believe,’ and will not be tested.’(Quran 29.2)

“No misfortune or disease befalls a Muslim, no worry or grief or harm or distress – not even a thorn that pricks him – but Allah will expiate for some of his sins because of that.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5641)

Allah tests those that he loves the most. We are all tested in this life. We are tested not just during trials and tribulations, but during times of ease. It is key that we remember Allah during the good times and the bad times. Allah tests us with hard times and blessings to see who will obey him and who will not. Trials and tribulations can be an expiations of sins.

We should remember that Allah is always with us and that we are not alone during trying times. The trying times will pass and ease will come again. No matter what you are going through Allah is with you and will not forsake you.

About the author

Iman was born and raised in London. She is a former teacher who taught English in Saudi Arabia for almost a decade. She loves reading, writing, travelling and learning about other cultures.

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