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Saturday, July 28, 2007

God grants ease with every hardship

God has given us the good news that, by His grace, He will create ease with every hardship when testing people in this world. God tells us this good news in the following verses:

For truly, with hardship comes ease; truly, with hardship comes ease. (Qur'an, 94:5-6)

When we look at the Prophet’s (saws) and pious people’s lives in the Qur’an, we find it striking that, in every seemingly hard situation they encounter, God creates simplicity. God, with his attribute “The Conqueror,” opens up and simplifies all paths.

The Qur’an gives examples of believers who had to leave their homes, that is, they had to emigrate, because of the reactions and abuse they experienced when they were struggling in the name of God. These people had to leave their jobs, houses, gardens, and belongings and emigrate to strange lands where they knew no one. When looked at from the outside, this seems like a hard situation. But, in Surat An-Nisa’ God informs us that He made the situations of the believers who had to emigrate easier and that He blessed them:

Those who migrate for the cause of God will find many places of refuge in the land and ample sustenance. If anyone leaves his home, as a refugee for God’s and His Messenger’s sake, and he is overtaken by death, it is God Who will reward him. God is Ever-Forgiving and Most Merciful. (Qur'an, 4:100)

Consequently, God proved His promise to the believers living in our Prophet’s time. The Companions of the Prophet (saws), who didn’t give importance to worldly goods and who selflessly undertook any hardships in the name of God, were given means of sustenance and sheltered in the best possible way by God. God made their work much easier compared to other people’s work. The ease and mercy the companions received are mentioned in the Qur’an:

When you were few and oppressed in the land, and afraid of your enemies’ onslaught, He gave you refuge and supported you with His help and bestowed great benefits upon you, so that hopefully you would be thankful.
(Qur'an, 8:26)

Other experiences in the lives of the other prophets are clear example of making life easy for the believers.
For example, this alleviation of hardship is obvious in many incidents in the life of Prophet Joseph (peace be upon him). After being thrown into a well by his brothers, the Prophet Joseph (peace be upon him) was found by a caravan. The people who found Joseph (peace be upon him) sold him to a vizier, (minister), as a slave. Shortly afterwards, Joseph (as) was accused of wrongdoing and thrown into jail, even though he hadn’t done anything wrong. The turn of events in Joseph (as)’s life may at first sight seem very difficult. But, God rewarded him for his demonstration of good morals and gratefulness, and showed that He willed ease along with hardship. The Prophet Joseph (as), through seemingly negative events, was placed at the head of the treasury and became an important minister.

God supports the believers by alleviating the hardship the Prophet Moses (as) experienced. The Prophet Moses (as), in his struggle against one of the most ferocious people who ever lived, Pharaoh, gains superiority with God’s help and support. When Moses (as) prays to God to give him his brother Aaron (as) as a helper, God answers his prayers. Besides this, by equipping Moses (as) with miraculous powers, God enables him to defeat Pharaoh’s sorcerers. And the Prophet Moses (as), even in the most trying times, doesn’t forget that God’s help is with the believers. When being followed by Pharaoh’s army and the Red Sea blocking their way ahead, Moses (as) reminds his companions that God’s help is always with them and that God will show them a way out:

He said, “Never! My Lord is with me and He will guide me.” So We bade Moses: “Strike the sea with your staff.” And it split in two, each part like a towering cliff. And We brought the others right up to it. We rescued Moses and all those who were with him. Then We drowned the rest. (Qur'an, 26:62-66)

Another illustration from the life of the Prophet (saws) is the occasion when the Prophet Mohammad (saws) is being pursued by the unbelievers and he hides in a cave along with a believer. There being a believer who supports Prophet Mohammad (saws) when he is under the threat of unbelievers, is one of the examples of the easing of hardship that God provided.

If you do not help him, God will help him as He did when the unbelievers drove him out and there were two of them in the Cave. He said to his companion, “Do not be despondent, God is with us.” Then God sent down His serenity upon him and sent to his aid invisible warriors, so that he routed the unbelievers and exalted the word of God. God is Almighty, All-Wise. (Qur’an, 9:40)

Actually, when a person looks at the inner meaning of things, he can see how God facilitates everything at every moment of his life. But, people who can see this reality are those who fear God, who put themselves in God’s hands, who know that whenever they face a difficulty it is in their fate, and who have faith in God as their only real friend and guardian.

In His verses, God informs us that He will bless these kinds of people when they least expect it and make their tasks easier:

… This is admonishment for all who believe God and the Last Day. Whoever has fear of God—He will give him a means of salvation out and provide for him from where he does not expect. Whoever puts his trust in God—He will be all-sufficient for him. God will surely bring about what He decrees. God has appointed a measure for all things. (Qur'an, 65:2-3)

He who has plenty should spend according to his wealth, and the poor man should spend from what God has given him. God does not demand from any man more than He has given him. God, after difficulty, will bring ease. (Qur'an, 65:7)

As God tells us in His verses, He simplifies things for those who sincerely abide by His commands. Those who believe in this, never show any weakness in the face of hardships.

In Surat al-Inshirah, God gives us the good news that there is ease with every suffering again, and that it is He Who lifts the burdens from people:

Did We not lift up your heart and relieve you of the burden which weighed down your back? Did We not give you high renown? For truly, with hardship comes ease; truly, with hardship comes ease. (Qur'an, 94:1-6)

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How perfect You are O Allah, and I praise You. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except You. I seek Your forgiveness and turn to You in repentance.

'Our Lord, give us good in this world, and good in the hereafter, and safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire.'
(Qur'an, 2:200-201)

With kind n humble regards,
Your Sister In Islam
Umme Safoora

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