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Monday, December 26, 2005

Chase Those Cares Away!

By Anthea Davis Oct 23, 2005

Problems! Problems! Problems! There is no end to them. If it seems
that I have no problems, do not worry, just wait a little while and one
will surely come. It is either something bothering me, a family member,
a friend, or the world at large. Can I ever be free of them? Or at
least can I solve them instead of ignoring them, grumbling about them, or
making them?
Allah the Almighty tells us that with every problem comes the answer
to that problem: [But lo! with hardship goeth ease. Lo! with hardship
goeth ease] (Al-Inshirah 94:5–6) Just as with every disease there is a
cure. It is simply a matter of finding the cure; hence the importance of
gaining knowledge.
The next question is, what should we do once we find the cure? I know
lots of people who have a certain problem and grumble about it and
actually find a kind of joy in the attention they get from complaining. So
in this way it is not so important to them that the problem is solved
because they get happiness from complaining! I also know people who try
to solve their problems without the help and guidance of Allah the
Almighty and so actually end up making more problems. It is like a man who
wants to renovate his home but he does not have the knowledge and
expertise to do this. So he fumbles along, happily thinking he is doing a
fine job only to discover in the end that he has destroyed more than he
has fixed! Such a person may even blame his failure on his tools, the
materials, other people, and a mountain of other flimsy excuses instead
of admitting that he was acting without knowledge.
Allah the Almighty gave us the knowledge to live our lives in the
right way, to have sources to refer to in order to solve problems—instead
of trying to fix them ourselves using our limited knowledge and
experience and allowing ourselves to be controlled by our desires.

When we find ourselves in a problem, we should turn to the Book of
Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet (peace be upon him) because in these
we will find the solution to every problem we might face in life. For
example, many problems in life are found in marriage where the couple
juggle what they think is each other's rights and obligations. They can
argue about their opinions all their lives without coming to a workable
solution. However, if they only referred to the sources of Islam, they
would find everything clearly mapped out for them in the spirit of
tolerance, generosity, and forgiveness. It's as simple as that. The
problem, then, is not knowing what the solution is, but actually putting the
solution into practice. The challenge is actually aligning our lives
with the teachings and principles of Islam.
As another example we can look at how many problems and strife come
from squabbles over inheritance. Again, so many people try to grasp as
much wealth as they can without thinking or caring about the others.
Such situations can destroy the relations between people—just because of
some wealth! If only the people involved referred to the sources of
Islam, all their troubles would disappear. If they did so, the inheritance
would be shared out fairly and everyone would be content knowing they
were following Allah's way and would have barakah.
But then, in order to know what Allah the Almighty has guided us to
do, first we have to learn and gain knowledge. We have to do some
research, ask a scholar for a fatwa, ask a good Muslim for advice, or read
the works of scholars who have already done the effort of researching.
The knowledge is there for the taking, but first of all we have to
acknowledge that whenever man tries to solve his problems using his
limited mind and insatiable desires, things usually get worse. Look at the
world today and all the problems, turmoil, and strife that have come
about because of man's waywardness, greed, and manipulation.
Allah the Almighty tells us to establish peace and justice, to speak
the truth, to help the poor, to be kind to our neighbors, to take care
of our families, and to generally be a source of love and goodness
wherever we are and whomever we are with. Follow these guidelines and see
how good, kind, happy, and peaceful the world will be!
But all this means putting Islam into practice—not just arguing and
debating over its principles and reading it in theory. It means really
doing what it says because Islam is the cure of all the ills that man
suffers from. It is the way to guide us through the problems and
difficulties of life. It shows us the way to be close to the Creator and how to
earn His pleasure and reward. It guides us to fulfill our potential as
individual human beings and to come to the stage that when we leave
this earth, we will leave a trail of goodness and positive action behind
us.
So no doubt, life is full of problems and troubles. But what makes me
wonder is that there are so many Muslims in the world today and yet
there is still so much trouble and strife. Surely, if all the Muslims were
standing up for peace, equality, and justice, and spreading piety
wherever they are, the world would calm down and be more stable and happy!
So what has happened?

We have the cure (the Qur'an and the Sunnah) and Muslims all over the
world recite the Qur'an in Arabic and even hold competitions for
recitation. So what is missing? I think it is something like this:
What do you think of a person who is ill and goes to the doctor, then
the doctor writes out a prescription for the medicine that will cure
the illness. After that the person, instead of going to the pharmacy and
getting the medicine and using it, puts the written prescription around
his neck and reads it every day. After some time he still complains
that he is not well yet! He may even grumble about the medicine and
question the doctor! What advice would you give such a person in order to
chase those troubles away?

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