Finding Hope in Going Through Hardship
Stress, worries and anxieties are part and parcel of living our lives in this temporal world. As human beings, it is natural for us to feel sad, unmotivated and lost. There is a proverbial saying - when life gives you a lemon, make lemonade. It is an often-mentioned quote to instil positivity and optimism in our lives.
As Muslims, we hold dearly to the Quran as The Book of Guidance that provides us with a reliable compass that helps navigate our lives. Stories from the Quran are more than just historical narrations that we read. In it are lessons and inspirations that uplift and motivate our lives.
Various verses, chapters, and passages from the Quran speak to us as we go through our life challenges. It helps to heal our hearts, ease our pains, and add meaning to our lives. We may sense the lights illuminated from these verses that brighten our day and provide us with hope and determination.
Here are five of the many verses in the Quran that may help to uplift our lives and give us hope as we deal with the stresses and challenges of our lives:
1. We Are Not Responsible for Matters That Are Beyond Our Control
In Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 286, Allah s.w.t reminded us,
لَا يُكَلِّفُ ٱللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا
“God does not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear”
(Surah Al-Baqarah 2:286)
According to Tafsir Ibn Kathir, this verse emphasised to us that indeed “Allah does not ask a soul what is beyond its ability.” Therefore, through His mercy, love and compassion, we will not be held accountable for matters beyond our power, ability and authority to take action.
This verse has indeed provided respite to the Companions r.a. They had expressed their worries and anxieties over another verse,
وَإِن تُبْدُواْ مَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ يُحَاسِبْكُم بِهِ اللَّهُ
“And whether you disclose what is in yourselves or conceal it, Allah will call you to account for it.”
(Surah Al-Baqarah 2:284)
This shows that although we will be questioned and be accountable for our actions, we are being reminded that we will only be liable and responsible for actions that we can perform and from actions that we have the ability and capacity to avoid. God is Most Just and Most Compassionate. With His immerse mercy, Insya’Allah, we will not be subjected to answers and be accountable for matters beyond our control. Indeed, Allah s.w.t knows us and knows what is within us and what is beyond us.
At the same time, we also believe that our challenges are within our limits and capacity to overcome. Therefore, do not give up and find the strength that God has promised for us. Instead, it is for us to unleash that ability and resilience in facing the challenges of our time.
2. With Hardship, Comes Ease
One of the most uplifting verses in the Quran is this verse:
فَإِنَّ مَعَ ٱلْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا
“So, surely with hardship comes ease”
As human beings, we are constantly faced with challenges. There are moments that we have to live with hardships. However, let us continue to believe that, indeed tough times don't last. We may have faced various challenges and trials in many parts of our lives, and we have been resilient in overcoming those challenges. We tend to think we will not get over this period. However, if we look back, how we have overcome tough times previously, we should believe that we can handle difficult things in life.
God has promised us that indeed, with hardship comes ease. There are many stories of the Prophets that would make us discover how this has been the reality for those who have dealt with challenging moments in their lives. We will overcome this, Insya’Allah.
3. God Speaks To Us
In the Quran, Allah s.w.t responded to the plea of a woman who her husband mistreated. She had met the Prophet s.a.w to find solutions, but she didn’t get the answer she was expecting that could resolve her issues. Nevertheless, she believed that she would find a resolution. So she waited. Indeed a revelation came that addressed her plight directly. In Surah Al-Mujadilah, verse 1, Allah s.w.t revealed,
قَدْ سَمِعَ ٱللَّهُ قَوْلَ ٱلَّتِى تُجَـٰدِلُكَ فِى زَوْجِهَا وَتَشْتَكِىٓ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ وَٱللَّهُ يَسْمَعُ تَحَاوُرَكُمَآ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ سَمِيعٌۢ بَصِيرٌ
“God has indeed heard the words of her who pleads with thee concerning her husband and complains Unto God. And God does hear what you both have to say: verily, God is all-hearing, all-seeing.”
(Surah Al-Mujadilah, 58:1)
When one is feeling down, hopeless, and unable to find any solutions, be conscious that Allah s.w.t is All-Hearing and will provide us with guidance to find solutions for our problems if we come to Him.
4. God is Close to Us
وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا ٱلْإِنسَـٰنَ وَنَعْلَمُ مَا تُوَسْوِسُ بِهِۦ نَفْسُهُۥ وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ ٱلْوَرِيدِ
“Verily, it is We who have created man, and We know what his innermost self whispers within him: for We are closer to him than his neck-vein.”
(Surah Al-Qaf, 50:16)
We are never alone. Whatever problems that we may be facing, know that indeed God is with us. We put our trust in God, and we believe that he will not forsake us. In a hadith qudsi, Rasulullah s.a.w mentioned to us that God has said,
وَمَنْ تَقَرَّبَ مِنِّي شِبْرًا تَقَرَّبْتُ مِنْهُ ذِرَاعًا وَمَنْ تَقَرَّبَ مِنِّي ذِرَاعًا تَقَرَّبْتُ مِنْهُ بَاعًا وَمَنْ أَتَانِي يَمْشِي أَتَيْتُهُ هَرْوَلَةً وَمَنْ لَقِيَنِي بِقُرَابِ الْأَرْضِ خَطِيئَةً لَا يُشْرِكُ بِي شَيْئًا لَقِيتُهُ بِمِثْلِهَا مَغْفِرَةً
“Whoever draws close to Me by the length of a hand, I will draw close to him by the length of an arm. Whoever draws close to Me by the length of an arm, I will draw close to him by the length of a fathom. Whoever comes to Me walking, I will come to him running. Whoever meets Me with enough sins to fill the earth, not associating any partners with Me, I will meet him with as much forgiveness.”
5. God Will Help Us
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ إِن تَنصُرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ يَنصُرْكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَكُمْ
“O you who have attained to faith! If you help [the cause of] God, He will help you and will make firm your steps.”
(Surah Muhammad 47:7)
As believers, we know that God will be there for us, and He will help us. The verse from Surah Muhammad reminded the believers that if we help God by establishing His commandments, fulfilling our duties, and being part of the mission in manifesting the message of Islam, God will help us achieve our goals. InsyaAllah, He will grant us victory against any adversaries.
As we find ways to get our hope high and move forward from being hopeless and depressed, we know that we can turn to faith. However, we should not turn to it blindly. Our faith also tells us to seek relevant human intervention. Seek help from appropriate channels, such as talking to mental health experts or counsellors and even being open to confiding with those we are comfortable with. (Get in touch with Dr Syed Harun for consultation session)
We should not go through life challenges alone. God will send us many helping hands insya’Allah that will be with us to go through the challenges together. So we should try to live life the best we can while putting hope and trust in Him and striving to do our very best.