I was talking to a friend and she asked me a strange question just as an intellectual exercise… She said that suppose someone becomes ill, and it might be some serious disease; what should be the attitude of that person? Should he keep crying and asking Allah to make him well again; or should he be a grateful servant of Allah by thinking that Allah gives everything for a good purpose so he should just compromise on that disease and accept it as part of life?
I told her that my immediate response is that we should always ask Allah for everything that we need, thus we should ask for health and recovery from illness.
But then is it being ungrateful? Don’t we trust Allah that he will do everything for a good reason? Why do we then want change from a difficult situation?
That really got me thinking and I reached the conclusion that whatever happens to us is a test from Allah. What makes it good or bad is our response or reaction to that test. In this case the disease or illness is a test. It can be made good by being patient and refrain from complaining against Allah or putting the blame on fate or other people. Asking for recovery to good health is not against gratitude rather it shows our trust in Allah’s power of healing us from even the most complicated diseases. Positive attitude is to accept that everything happens from Allah and that life is meant to be a series of tests. Our duas should be for ease and comfort so that our test does not burden us beyond our capacity. But the thought that bearing pain or difficulty in this life will gain us reward for the hereafter makes it easier to endure and prevents us from negative attitude.
On the other hand if we get some good thing in life, it can be turned into “ bad” by boasting about it, or giving credit to our own goodness that we have “earned” it; or looking down on others who have been deprived from these blessings; or forgetting Allah; neglecting prayers and other forms of Ibadah etc etc
Therefore goodness is in sabar and shukr; in other words “patience and gratitude” make everything good. Same goes for people… we are neither absolutely good nor bad. Allah has put the potential of goodness in all of us. Now it is up to us how much we work hard in developing our goodness so that we might benefit our own selves as well as the whole humanity. Simultaneously our efforts should be in controlling our weaknesses and get rid of the negative attitudes. None of us can become perfect but Allah will count how much effort we made. So let’s make the most of life while we have it and not waste it in hopelessness.