Skip to content

May 12, 2011

19

Hardship and ease…

by Umm Muawiyah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Note to self: End of break. Back to work.]

So, I was thinking about hardship and ease….

Those who want ease in the next world (i.e. Paradise) will have to pass through some hardship in this world. [Remember that we will get tested?]

And those who want to have all the ease in this world (i.e. by being disobedient to Allah), will get the hardship in the next world (i.e. Hell).

حفت الجنة بالمكاره . وحفت النار بالشهوات

Anas ibn Malik (radiallahu anhu) reported: “The Paradise is surrounded by hardships and the Hell-Fire is surrounded by temptations.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 6778]

So, one has to choose between:

1) Getting hardship first and then ease

or

2) Getting ease first and then hardship

That’s not the whole story though.

See, the ease that the disbeliever gets in this world is nothing compared to the ease that the believer gets in the hereafter. Remember, the latter ease is everlasting.

Also, the hardship that the believer gets in this world is nothing compared to the hardship that the disbeliever gets in the next world. That’s because the disbeliever’s hardship is eternal. His/her punishment will NEVER come to an end.

يقال لأهل الجنة : يا أهل الجنة خلود لا موت ، ولأهل النار : يا أهل النار خلود لا موت

Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam)  said, ” It will be said to the people of Paradise, ‘O people of Paradise! Eternity (for you) and no death,’ and to the people of the Fire, ‘O people of the Fire, eternity (for you) and no death!” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Hadith No. 553]

So, the choice looks more like this:

1) Getting hardship first, then

EASE

or

2) Getting ease first, and then

HARDSHIP

That’s still not the end of the story though.

See, the believer’s life is not all gloom and doom – not even close. He has many blessings from Allah and he finds delight in these blessings as well as in his acts of worship. So, his life has both ease and hardship.

[Question: Why do many Muslims always assume that becoming religious means living a dry, bland and joyless existence? Perhaps they view it in this way because they secretly believe that Islam is a joyless religion? Something to think about.

And a reminder: Islam is not a joyless religion at all. Rather, if one practices it properly, it makes ones life easier and not more difficult.]

And the disbeliever’s life is not all about ease. He gets hardships as well. So, he too has both ease and hardship.

So, the choice looks more like this:

1) Hardship and ease and then

EASE

or

2) Ease and hardship and then

HARDSHIP

That’s still not the end of the story though.

See, in reality, the hardship of the believer is easier than the ease of the disbeliever.

Huh, say what?

Alright, one more time then.

What really makes a person calm and happy in this world? What is it that puts his heart at rest?

Allah, the one who made us and our hearts, tells us:

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ ۗ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

“Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah. Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” [Surah Rad (13) : 28]

So, one really attains peace by worshipping Allah alone and not in any other way, and we can all attest to this when we look back at our own lives.

When were we really calm and happy? Wasn’t it when we doing taraweeh in Ramadan? Wasn’t it when we were attending an Islamic gathering in the masjid? Wasn’t it when we were doing tawaf around the Kabah? Wasn’t it when we were helping the needy? Wasn’t it when we were doing some good deed or another?

Think about it. Didn’t we feel calm when we were obeying Allah? And didn’t we have that nagging feeling deep in our hearts when we were disobeying Allah?

Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to have in-depth discussions with hundreds of sisters, alhamdulillah. Quite a few things struck me after observing them:

1) The more religious ones (from what I could see anyway) were generally always more calm. They also smiled away despite any problems they were facing.

[Oh and the problems that they were facing were huge.]

Some of these sisters were educated, others were not. Some were very rich, whilst many others were very poor. Some were old and some were young. There were people from all walks of life.

2) The sisters who were not religious (they had difficulty even praying five times a day) got stressed out very, very easily.

They thought that their problems were very, very huge, whilst in my opinion, they were really mild compared to the first groups’ set of problems.

This group just moaned and groaned, and were incredibly depressing to be around, whereas I felt really happy to hand around the first group because they were really an iman boost.

3) Many of the sisters in the first group pointed out how different they felt after embracing/practicing Islam.

Some of them were doing well before Islam (or so they thought) but deep down they had always felt some sort of emptiness.

And this is something that many of my classmates and students have also told me. They all say that when they keep attend gatherings of knowledge, they feel so happy and calm, whereas they feel really empty when they get bogged down by all the worldly stuff (e.g. university, office, family, etc).

[I agree because I feel that way too. I always wonder how people who do not worship Allah can remain sane. If I didn’t have Islam, I don’t think I would have had a modicum of sanity.]

I vividly remember having a talk with one particular sister who was quite rich. She said something like this: “Even with all this money, we’re not happy. But if I give some charity, I feel calm.”

So, when she remembered Allah (by giving in charity), she felt happy but apart from that, all that wealth didn’t bring her any happiness.

It’s not surprising that wealth, status and fame do not bring any joy. What IS really surprising though is that people still believe that these things will bring them that joy even after having witnessed proof to the contrary.

What “proof to the contrary”, you ask?

Just look around you. Look at all these celebrities. They have wealth, fame and status.

Are they happy?

Well, let’s see. Many of them get married and divorced and then remarried and divorced again.

Then they go on Oprah to tell us how sad they really feel, and how many problems they’ve had in life despite their fame and fortune.

Of course, another group just bypass Oprah and kill themselves.

And no, I’m not kidding. We hear about celebrity suicides or “accidental overdoses” quite frequently.

So….where’s all the joy?

There’s no joy, just delusion.

So, after thinking long and hard, I think that we can summarise it in this way:

A disbeliever’s life: Some ease which they cannot even enjoy because they do not worship Allah and because the heart does not feel at rest except with His worship. After this, they get eternal hardship.

So, that’s hardship and then

HARDSHIP

That looks like a lose-lose situation to me.

A believer’s life: Some hardships which are eased by remembering Allah and then eternal ease.

So, that’s ease and then

EASE

That looks like a win-win situation to me.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree?

PS. Hope that whole thing made sense, insha-Allah. I think my blogging skills may have gotten rusty after 3+ weeks off.

19 Comments Post a comment
  1. Umm Abdillah
    May 12 2011

    Assalamu alaykum,
    Maa shaa Allah a very comforting post and yes It does makes sense (at least to me)
    You’ve come back well polished ma shaa Allah
    – not rusty at all.

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      May 20 2011

      Wa Alaikum Assalam.

      Jazakillahu kheira.

      Reply
  2. Aliya
    May 12 2011

    Asalaam alaikum

    Welcome back and what a refresher!

    A really thorough and well explained post and a real booster too.

    Some points to ponder on…definately.

    Well presented.

    Jazakillahu kheira

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      May 20 2011

      Wa Alaikum Assalam.

      Jazakillahu kheira.

      PS. I’m still trying to figure out what “well presented” means…

      Reply
  3. Umm Moosa
    May 12 2011

    Walaikum Assalaam warahmatullahi wabrakkatuhu
    Yes, makes good sense.
    Alhamdulillah nice to see you back. Missed your post.

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      May 20 2011

      Assalamu Alaikum.

      Jazakillahu kheira. Glad that you’re happy.

      Reply
  4. Fatima
    May 12 2011

    Assalamu Alaikum

    Welcome back! Hope you had a good break.

    I was wondering where the post was heading half way thru, but it all made sense towards the end, alhamdulillah! Ease + Ease = Double Delight!

    (Btw, when are we getting our exam scores?)

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      May 20 2011

      Wa Alaikum Assalam.

      What “break”?

      I like the “double delight” thing…

      PS. I’m as clueless as you are about the exam scores…

      Reply
  5. Umm Zakariyya
    May 12 2011

    Wa ‘alaykumu-s-salaamu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.

    Welcome back!

    And yes, it all makes sense, alhamdulillaah.

    Jazaaki Allaahu khayran for the post.

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      May 20 2011

      Assalamu Alaikum.

      Glad to be back.

      Wa iyaaki, and jazakillahu kheira for the big welcome.

      Reply
      • Umm Zakariyya
        May 21 2011

        Wa ‘alaykumu-s-salaamu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.

        Wa iyaaki.

        Reply
  6. N
    May 13 2011

    Jazakillah kul khair, wa barakallahu feeki. Not rusty at all

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      May 20 2011

      Assalamu Alaikum.

      Wa iyaaki.

      Alhamdulillah.

      Reply
  7. Farishta
    May 13 2011

    SALAM
    Welcome back
    i was missing your posts .
    jazakaALLAH for such beautiful aritcles

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      May 20 2011

      Wa Alaikum Assalam.

      Jazakillahu kheira. Hope you’re doing well.

      Reply
  8. Amatullah
    May 13 2011

    Masha Allah, this is a really beautiful post. May Allah bless you and grant us all ease [at the end of the journey!]

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      May 20 2011

      Assalamu Alaikum.

      Jazakillahu kheira and ameen to your dua.

      Reply
  9. R
    May 13 2011

    Salam. Glad you are back, I cannot believe though it has been 3 weeks already. So dare I ask how was your break? Fruitful? Productive? One should hope so.

    R.x

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      May 20 2011

      Wa Alaikum Assalam.

      Well, my 3 weeks went quite slowly so….

      Well, it wasn’t a “break” and no, it wasn’t very fruitful, unfortunately.

      Reply

Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments