Much as I wish to live a happy life I am compelled to live a miserable one. My aspirations are shattered and my dreams are eroded beyond repair. The peace and serenity I plan to bring to my life is somehow impeded by the irony of fate. One after the other obstacles keep popping up, eventually leaving me weary and tired. Paradoxically, the more perseverance I demonstrate, the more trying circumstances I am put through. Increased patience, instead of attracting the favors of Heaven, adds to my misery and grief. So much so, the friends and the relations I trust and hold dear seem to have little time for my recurring problems. The earth appears to be narrow despite all its spaciousness while the Almighty seems to be so apathetic to inequity. As I deliberate, this hum of complaints turns into a full-blown pandemonium engendering in me feelings of hopelessness and confusion. My desperation reaches to the extent that I clutch my head between my fists to stop the echo when suddenly a voice whispers in my ears and says:

‘This is so typical of humans. They jump so quickly to conclusions no matter if it is their Creator and Cherisher they are going to pronounce a judgment against. How could it be that their Master would be ignorant of their circumstances? It is He who places some in difficulty and some in prosperity according to His own ordained scheme. The underlying objective, however remains to test them to see which one of them is best in deeds. The truth is that nothing can ever escape the watchful eye of the omnipresent and no notion passes through a person’s heart but He is aware of it. The fact that must be appreciated is that He is completely devoid of the hastiness that man is brimful with. He neither rushes to punish the wrongdoers nor does He hurry to reward the pious. His scheme is firm and His strategy is based on an all-embracing wisdom and sagacity. He has indeed laid down many objectives for the pains and agonies that a person has to suffer in this world:

 

a)         To shield him from greater misery (18:74, 18:79),

b)         To give him the opportunity to earn reward by showing patience (3:142, 76:12),

c)         To make him mend his ways (30:41),

d)         To punish him for his misdoings (42:30).

 

Hence, if it is not to prevent him from attracting more problems then it is for affording him a chance to show perseverance in order to win fabulous rewards. If it is not for cleansing him of his sins, it is for him to suffer punishment in this very world to avoid the greater one in the Hereafter. In a nutshell, as one test fulfills the first objective, the next begins to achieve the second one. Thus move on the wheel of life always in favor of the rider provided he understands and appreciates the scheme of the Almighty by surrendering to His will in all circumstances.

Another fact that a believer must keep in mind is that the Almighty has ordained that relief shall immediately follow hardships (94:5-6). He should be hopeful that ease would replace difficulty when the appointed time comes. The virtue of patience if adhered to will illuminate his path to help him cruise through difficulties to his destination. No doubt, there come times in a person’s life when the flame of this virtue flickers and a sudden upsurge of emotional weariness endeavors to extinguish it for good. Then the Almighty has provided him with another weapon to protect and nourish it. A prayer rekindles the flame of hope and gives the seeker strength and courage to better combat the tough circumstances. He should place all his feelings and emotions in his stretched hands and present them humbly before his Master. The Ever Merciful would surely accept the ‘gift’ and always return the seeker with a better one…’

 

You who have done great things,

O God, who is like You?

You who have made me see many

troubles and calamities

will revive me again;

from the depths of the earth

You will bring me up again.

You will increase my honor,

and comfort me once again.

  (Psalms, 71:20-1)

(Jhangeer Hanif)

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