Mehreen Farhan

[Ramzan, 13] Welcome to Day 13 of the Ramzan Writing Series.

Today’s topic is “Gratitude In Hardships”.

When faced with a calamity, the response of a believer should be that of patience and gratitude.

I could understand the “patience” part but couldn’t understand how to show “gratitude”. What kind of gratitude was expected of me? An ignorant person that I am, I asked Allah to teach me the things I didn’t know and to answer my very basic, very childlike questions.

The beauty of talking to Allah is that He always responds. The answers do come, sooner or later.

I didn’t know what being grateful in hardship was until I was thrown in a position where all I saw ahead was a possible hopelessness in life. The only other option was that which was not in my control; only Allah could make it easy for me, if He willed it so. That day, I cried on my prayer mat, asking for nothing but hope.

Needless to say, I made it through that time and indeed Allah pulled me out with exactly what I had asked for: hope. It was then that I realized how important it was to have hope in our lives. When nothing in life makes sense, you make it through just by the power of hope. My instant, consequent reaction was of gratitude! An important thing to note here was that my test wasn’t elevated entirely, I was given hope in the dire situation I was in.

The answer had come. I had understood what being “grateful” in hardship meant.

* Grateful in hardship meant you thank Allah for saving you from worse,
* You thank Allah that if He tested you with a problem, He gave you the strength to bear it too.
* You thank Allah that He provided you with all the tools to help you through. (Surah Baqarah, ayat 45, “And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah]”)
* You thank Allah that in return of all that you are suffering, He is erasing your sins.
* You thank Allah that with every thing He takes away, He replaces with something better.
* You thank Allah because He promises that tomorrow will be better than today.

In the end, always remember, it is Allah’s Mercy that He chose you for this particular test. It was tailor made for you, according to what you can bear and will rise you in status. A chance to be someone of distinction in front of Him.

While we practice patience in hardships, which is in itself difficult, the “mohsineen” (the ones who practice Ehsaan, previously covered) will strive to stay grateful in the same hardships.

And can you imagine how much you will be loved by Allah if you not only remain patient but grateful also? These feelings are beyond what human language can capture.

My sisters, I want you to sit today and think about that one big test in your life. Think about how Allah is helping you manage through it even though it gets very difficult at times. Are there any silver linings of joy attached to it? Brief moments of “sakoon” (calmness)? Did your test teach you something you wouldn’t have learnt otherwise? Did it bring you closer to Allah? Did it elevate you in dignity in front of others?

Hardships are exactly that: they are “hard”. Be happy to know there is indeed Someone who is counting all your tears and listening to all your fears and feelings of sadness. He is the greatest “qadardaan”. Be happy and thankful!

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