Connect with us

#Islam

A Strengthened Heart: Connection To Allah During Difficulty

Published

One of the best ways to know Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is through His words, and through that, develop a strengthened heart. Every story, description, admonition, and advice give us insight into how Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) interacts with us and helps us to connect to Him, as well as understand our own role in this world and the nature of the world itself.

Part of being in this world is that we will go through periods of hardship. I recently found myself in an unexpected position, one that no person I knew could help me with, and one that I had no means to face on my own. At first, I so wanted human support. But the realization came to me that the lesson here is to turn to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) first. Support from those around us is a means that can only be facilitated by Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). And when people can’t be there for us, it is a reminder that truly, we only have Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) – and that is all we need. This is the secret in the remembrance that we recite every day in the morning and evening:

حَسْبِـيَ اللّهُ لا إلهَ إلاّ هُوَ عَلَـيهِ تَوَكَّـلتُ وَهُوَ رَبُّ العَرْشِ العَظـيم

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

“Sufficient is Allah for me, in Him I put my trust and He is the Lord of the formidable throne.”

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said that whoever says this seven times in the morning and evening, Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) will spare him what worries him [Abu Dawud].

We may recite this absent-mindedly, failing to internalize the meanings, but when Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) wants us to learn, these words suddenly come to life and become a life-line. And the lessons in the Qur’an suddenly hit much closer to home, and our hearts are strengthened by something inexplicable because, on the outside, there is no reason for calm. Yet with an understanding of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), al-Salam (the Source and Giver of Peace), al-Mu’min (the Granter of Security), al-Muhaymin (the Controller), that grows in our heart, the external troubles are minimized.

This is how the Muslims were able to face their enemies when the odds were against them. We are told:

 

 

 

‘Those to whom hypocrites said, “Indeed, the people have gathered against you, so fear them.” But it [merely] increased them in faith, and they said, ‘Sufficient for us is Allah, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs.”’ [Qur’an; Surah ‘Ali ‘Imran:173]

Serenity During Difficulty

For those of us with seemingly insurmountable struggles, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) reminds us over and over in the Qur’an how trusting in Him grants us the internal fortitude to face these difficulties, even if it seems that nothing is changing outwardly.

When the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) were being hunted by the Quraysh, who were hell-bent on killing him ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), they hid in the cave of Thawr. His pursuers followed him there, getting so close to them that if they were to look down, they would see them. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) reveals to us what happened in these moments:

 

‘…While they both were in the cave, he reassured his companion, “Do not worry; Allah is certainly with us.” So Allah sent down His serenity upon the Prophet, supported him with forces you ˹believers˺ did not see…’ [Surah At-Thawbah:40]

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) sent His serenity upon the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). Sometimes, in the midst of turmoil, we may find ourselves calm. And this can only come from what He gives us, when we turn to Him and realize that “Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is certainly with us”.

Similarly, when Pharaoh was chasing Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and Bani Israel, it appeared on all fronts that they were doomed. Pharaoh was adamant and had the stronger army. Bani Israel wailed, “…We are overtaken for sure!” [Surah Ash-Shu’ara:61]. Bani Israel did not trust in Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), on the other hand?

 

 

 

 

‘Moses reassured ˹them˺, “Absolutely not! My Lord is certainly with me—He will guide me.’” [Surah Ash-Shu’ara:61-62]

The previous examples were of the greatest prophets; the beloved of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and the one spoken to directly by Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Is it possible to expect the same serenity?

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) talks about giving calmness to the believers in the Qur’an. We are also taught the nuances in the serenity – one can have trust in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), while still feeling sad due to loss, and possess internal calm while still having moments of apprehension. In the story of the mother of Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), she was inspired by Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to throw her son in the Nile. By the will of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), baby Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was picked up by Pharaoh’s palace. What was the reaction of the mother of Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him)? The next day, Moses’ mother felt a void in her heart…’

The mother of Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was a devout believer, trusted in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), and was beloved to Him; yet, she still felt a void in her heart. And what did Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) do?

 

‘…If We had not strengthened it to make her one of those who believe, she would have revealed everything about him…’  [Surah Al-Qasas:10]

The mother of Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was given the strength she needed to protect Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and to refrain from revealing everything. And so Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) may give us the strength required to deal with our hardship, even if we do feel the pain at the same time.

Connection to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)

Does trusting in Him mean that things will work out the way we want all the time? Not at all – but that is the meaning of trust. We do what we need to do – what is required of our outwardly and inwardly – and trust the outcome to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). The mother of Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) wanted her child with her, protected; he landed in the belly of the beast, the house of Pharaoh, the butcher of babies. Yet he was protected, but in the house of his enemy.

Sometimes, the point of the lesson is not a miraculous external change, or even a gradual one, but an internal connection to the Most High that actually fulfills the purpose of the hardship: submission to and love for Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) in all circumstances. Asiya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was the embodiment of this; she had everything this world could offer, yet professed her belief in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to her tyrannical husband, who claimed to be god. And she was killed for this. Yet, her heart was strengthened. She supplicated to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for what she wanted the most, for what truly gave her peace: ‘My Lord, build for me near You a house in Paradise.’

The next time you feel overwhelmed by your troubles, and see no way out, remind yourself that you have Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). For what do we have, if we do not have Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)? And if we have Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), have we really lost anything? And when you are washed over with calm despite unsettling circumstances, and feel a deep sense of strength when there is no logical reason for it, remember that that is al-Salam, bestowing upon you true peace, and al-Aziz, giving you the ability to withstand from within.

 

Related articles: When Faith Hurts: Do Good Deeds = Good Life?

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

inan Yousef has been an author for over a decade, and most recently published the book, "Reflecting on the Names of Allah" (Al-Buruj Press, 2020). She has been a student of Sheikh Akram Nadwi for many years, and currently studies tafsir at Al-Salam Institute. Jinan teaches classes on the names of Allah for SWISS online. She is passionate about helping Muslims connect to Allah through knowing Him by His names.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Trending