According to the Qur’an, a Muslim should always try to remain thankful to the circumstances the Almighty has ordained for him. Our objective as a Muslim is to surrender to His will since we know that He always means well for us. It is His will which has to ultimately prevail and it is to this will that we must submit. This resignation is the essence of Islam.

In this regard, the true philosophy of life should be understood. We have been created to be tested and tried regarding our deeds. This trial has been conducted through the circumstances which we are put in. If we are put through good circumstances, then our trial is whether we remain thankful to the Almighty, Who gave us without asking and without our having any right. If we are put through difficult circumstances, then our trial is whether we show perseverance and patience in these times or not.

Both these circumstances generally come in a person’s life. They are his real test. He cannot be given total happiness or total misery since that would make the trial profoundly difficult.

Though good circumstances often make us forget God, trying circumstances at times are a blessing in disguise: they strengthen our inner-self and increase our resilience to face adverse circumstances; similarly, they are a means of bringing us closer to God for in such situations we tend to remember God more; moreover, trials also bring to the fore our latent potentials and abilities because some abilities are only nurtured if the going gets tough. Finally, trials are a time of soul-searching and should push us to re-evaluate our moral blemishes.

It is evident from the Qur’an that the Almighty tests us through trials and difficult circumstances:

i. to punish us for our own misdoings (42:30),

ii. to shield us from greater misery (18:74, 18:79),

iii. to sift out the evil within us (3:179),

iv. to give us the opportunity to earn reward by showing patience (3:142, 76:12).

In such circumstances, it is expected that a person should surrender to God’s will and always seek Him. He is our only saviour and refuge – One Who we will never lose like our other relations.

(Dr Shehzad Saleem)

_______________