What to do, when life is good???
As a Muslim when one is doing well religiously, financially, health wise and in relationships with his family and friends, he can be considered to be having a good time in life. So what does a Muslim in this position do in order to maintain this position in life and to maximize the use of this position in order to benefit him in the Hereafter? Well for a starter, he has got to realize that this success in life is because of Allah’s guidance and His blessings on him, he must also understand that he has been blessed either because his deeds have been righteous or because Allah is taking a trial of him. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth. He enlarges provision for whom He wills, and straitens it for whom He wills. Verily He is the All-Knower of everything.” (42:12)
What this means is that instead of letting your worldly success get to your head and singing praises about your business abilities, what you really have to do is to see this worldly success in light of an additional responsibility, which is to make the most of this worldly success for your salvation in the Hereafter. This Verse also tells us something that a lot of us refuse to pay heed to much to our own detriment and that is that your wealth and provision is something that is in the Hands of Allah and Allah alone, and so it is much more beneficial to us if we, for example, ask Allah sincerely and passionately for an increase in our wealth rather than spend endless hours networking and entertaining people in power in order to get potential favors that may or may not increase our wealth. The important point here being that we should depend solely on Allah for our provisions and not on our ‘contacts’ or friends, for who can be a better friend to have in times of need than the Lord of the worlds Himself? Furthermore, if we remember Allah when our fortunes in life are good then it is more likely that Allah will remember us when our fortunes aren’t that good and we ask Him for help. Once a Muslim realizes that all his success is due to Allah’s guidance and blessings, he has got to thank Allah for His guidance and blessings. The best way to thank Allah is by praising and by worshipping Him, especially by prostrating to Him. By thanking Him in this manner you are also benefiting yourself as now Allah will increase His blessings on you as Allah says in the Qur’an:
“And He listens to those who believe and do deeds of righteousness and gives them increase of His Bounty: but for the disbelievers there is a terrible penalty.” (42:26)
It is also very important not to get corrupted or get used to this success in life, for Allah will test us by taking some of it away and since this life is only temporary, we should not regret that. Instead we should use this success as a motivating factor to increase our worship so that we can live with this much ease in the Hereafter which is in fact our permanent abode. And no matter how successful we get in this life, we must remember what is making us this successful and not lose track of our religion.
What To Do, when Life is not good???
“Whatever good (O man!)happens to you is from Allah; but whatever evil happens to you is from your( own) soul. And We have sent you as a Messenger to (instruct) mankind: and enough is Allah for a witness.” (4:79)
It may not be very easy to see immediately the brilliance of the message in this Verse from Allah to us, but as I put this Verse into context later in this page, the meaning of the Verse is going to become clear very quickly. But first I would like to take a moment to describe certain points in a Muslim’s life where his faith in Allah is tested when some of the luxuries of this life are taken away from him. For example Allah may test a person’s faith by making Islam look like something that is holding the person back from riches or good relationships with friends. Or Allah may take away the person’s health and wealth and see if the person is still a good Muslim under trying circumstances. The golden rule therefore is that any time a Muslim is under distress; his faith is being tested by Allah. Thus whenever you find yourself struggling in life, remember this golden rule, this is a test from Allah, so don’t fail in it by abandoning your religion for the sake of worldly pleasure, and remember that you are going to be rewarded for being patient when being tested, as according to a Sahih Hadith the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, no believer is stricken with fatigue, exhaustion, worry or grief, but Allah will forgive him for some of his sins thereby—even a thorn which pricks him.” (Ahmad 2:303, Sahih Hadith)
So, whenever you find yourself being tested, remember that you are being rewarded at the same time. Now before we try to find solutions to the problems in our lives, we must understand the real causes of the problems in our lives and according to the Verse I quoted on the previous page, “whatever evil happens to you is from your (own) soul”, so what does this mean. This means that all the problems in our lives are of our own creation. And what action of ours creates these problems? The answer is our sins. This can be proven using the following Hadith, Imam Ahmad recorded that ‘Aishah (May Allah be please with her) said that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:
“If a person commits many sins and has nothing that will expiate for them, Allah will test him with some grief that will expiate for them (Ahmad, Sahih Hadith)
So all our problems in this life are due to the sins we commit. This may be a little tough to swallow initially, so I want you to look deep into your life and find examples in your life that prove this statement, at first it was tough for me to accept this fact too, but upon further study I was able to find a direct link between the problems in my life and the sins that I have committed.
Now we know what is the root cause of all the problems in our lives, so what is the solution? Simple—yet not known to many Muslims, what I am about to tell you now has the potential to solve all your life’s problems. The two-part solution to all your life’s problems is given below:
a) Sincerely ask for forgiveness for all the sins that you have committed and make a pledge to mend your ways, i.e., not to commit sins anymore as much as possible.
b) Increase the time and the quality of your worship.
When being tested by Allah, remember to be patient and hang in there with Paradise as a motivation to struggle through the hardships of life without losing your faith. And remember that the solution to all the problems in this life is to reduce your sins, to repent and to increase your good deeds. When in need of a morale boost start doing Dhikr of Allah, reading the Qur’an, and also take a look at the ‘compilation of uplifting Verses from the Qur’an (coming later in this chapter) to help you through rough times in life’. There is a book named, “Real Life Lessons From Holy Quran” by Darussalam Publishers, which I found the best to Thank and Repent Allah (SWT) for His blessings and our sins. The content of the book is supported by authentic Quranic verses and Ahadeeth. Also, one can find the dhikrs and best possible ways to repent and thank Almighty Allah.