I remember meeting Mariya* shortly after her divorce. Life certainly did not look like a bed of roses but her positivity was hard to miss. A toddler to look after and a newly acquired job that barely managed to make her ends meet. Yet, she had a zeal towards life that lacks in us despite we are blessed with more endowments.
Speaking to her clearly reflected the affection she still held for her ex-husband. I don’t know why they separated. I never asked and she never hinted the slightest contempt towards him. It would be a lie to say I was not curious but then, it was unimportant. Any normal person would wonder why they parted ways when she had all good words about him. There was no custody battle. He would visit his son often and she never resisted. It was unusual.
What I appreciated the most was that she never adopted the “why me” attitude. With a smile and immense courage she lived through the hardships. She didn’t portray herself as the abandoned helpless woman. Rather, strove to survive with Tawakkul that it is Allah who provides. And surely He did.
Tough times got over. Few years later she got married. In fact, I am certain, to her those were “many “years. And she got married to the same man. As usual, I do not know the why and how. The cheer she had on her face on her wedding day was the brightest that I have ever seen. Perhaps it was relief. Perhaps it was more. They had another baby and its a blessed marriage. Alhamdulillah.
It has been years since I have spoken to her. The heart remembered her today nevertheless. To remember what sincere faith looks like. Devoid of any aggression, contempt, envy or apparent sorrow. She made post-divorce phase look so easy. The true meaning of relying on Allah and handing over your issues to Him. Who else sorts out all the issues anyway?
“… And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him of his matter ease. . .
. . .Allah does not charge a soul except [according to] what He has given it. Allah will bring about, after hardship, ease.” [Surah at-Talaq: 2 & 7]
When we think of trials and tribulations, I am certain we can recall at least one person who is suffering more than us. That victim of domestic violence, that person abandoned and shunned by family, the one struggling for two meals a day, the one whose children died, the Rohingyas, the people in war torn states, the homeless, the victim of drug abuse or the child who was raped.
To even think about their issues fills my heart with distress. What did I ever do to be here and they are there? Is it not purely the mercy of Allah? Even in my worst situations I was in a better position than them. And how ungrateful of me to even frown and clinch during my ‘tiny’ tests. What a bad performance.
I see those with huge problem smile and say “Alhamdulillah” and I see ones blessed with almost everything being depressed over small nothings.
Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you? They were touched by poverty and hardship and were shaken until [even their] messenger and those who believed with him said,”When is the help of Allah ?” Unquestionably, the help of Allah is near. [Quran, 2:214]
You know this verse. I know this verse. And we know innumerable other verses which tell us everything about our problems. Why they are there, how do we react to it and what do we get in return. Yet, we succumb. Making these verses mere theories. Ever experienced how it is to apply them and test reliance on The One?
Next time you feel life is tough, remember this:
On the authority of Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) who said: the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said:
“Look at those who are beneath you and do not look at those who are above you, for it is more suitable that you should not consider as less the blessing of Allah.” [Bukharee 6490, abridged & in Muslim (2963) in its completion.]
Your empty hands will be filled counting things you never worked for, yet you do not want to lose. Were they ever empty in the first place? Its overwhelming!