Problems are not “the Problem”

Ok this time I am going to tell you a strange story… it is strange because it is comprised of only one sentence… an ordinary looking sentence on the outside but in reality it was so extraordinary that it changed my thinking forever!!

It so happened that I was working on the long and hard project of writing surah reviews and I felt like I was not able to put in the time and effort it required. There were too many gaps which were getting longer and more frequent than I liked. So I started getting very frustrated at myself but this only made the situation worse. I felt like too many things were stopping me from my work… and so one day I wrote to my teacher to explain why it was taking me so long to complete my project… giving her the long long list of my “reasons” and “problems”…

I started to feel some relief just by pouring out all that was burning inside my heart and began to wait eagerly for her reply… hoping that she will give me some gem of wisdom by which I could conquer all the obstructions of my way…

In a couple of days I got my answer… she had written only one sentence:

“there are so many people who don’t have these problems which you are facing but even they are not doing anything for the Book of Allah”

At first I took it as a compliment because I thought she was acknowledging the fact that I was still doing so much more than most people even though I had to cross so many hurdles… My nafs really enjoyed this feeling of appreciation but after a little while I started having these alarm bells in my heart that this sentence meant more than what appeared…

So I opened the mail again and read these words… slowly the meaning of this statement began to open in front of my eyes… what she had meant was that if my problems were the reason for not working then the people who do not have these problems should be doing great work for the sake of Allah. But since they are not doing it means that there must be some other reason for not working for Allah… and that reason has nothing to do with external problems that we face in life…

The real reason is that we do not think of Allah’s work as important or urgent… we do not think of it as if our life depended on it… we might claim that we are so eager to serve Allah but deep inside our heart we have this excuse that it is ok if we cannot conveniently complete our targets. And this is the reason for procrastination…

This has changed my thinking forever… because now I understand that problems are only tests from Allah to make me see the level of my faith in him and the Akhirah… If I am certain that he is all powerful and can make me cross any barrier with his help then I would continue to strive…

If I am certain that my salvation depends on Allah being pleased with me then I will not entertain any problem as an excuse for not working for him…

We give up only those things which we think we can do without…

So the thing to ponder upon is: “can we do without Allah??”

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