STEADFASTNESS IN THE FACE OF DIFFICULTIES By Aaminah Qasim Oniwarere
Islam, as a total way of life, has given detailed guidelines on our day-to-day activities. As Muslims, we are expected to learn, grow and strive to attain perfection by abiding with these guidelines.
These days, it is not uncommon to see Muslims who would not miss any of their five daily salat finding it difficult to observe sawm during the month of Ramadan. Muslim women who have memorized a sizeable portion of the Quran has no will to adorn the hijab appropriately, or those who abide by the five pillars of Islam and understand the articles of faith find the concept of polygyny ridiculous.
Allah has blessed us differently and will also put us to test differently. If you are lucky to have faith to the extent of not questioning a single commandment of Allah, either publicly or privately, please, be humble and give thanks to Allah. No one knows what tomorrow holds, and it is only Allah that can guarantee who will die in the best state.
The prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) once said the hearts of human is between two fingers of Allah and He turns it at will. Thus, he recommended us to supplicate thus:
“Yā Muqallibal-qulūb, thabbit qalbī `alā dīnik”
‘O turner of hearts, make my heart firm upon Your religion.’
“I said to Umm Salamah: ‘O Mother of the Believers! What was the supplication that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said most frequently when he was with you?” She said: ‘The supplication he said most frequently was: “O Changer of the hearts, make my heart firm upon Your religion (Yā Muqallibal-qulūb, thabbit qalbī `alā dīnik).’” She said: ‘So I said: “O Messenger of Allah, why do you supplicate so frequently: ‘O Changer of the hearts, make my heart firm upon Your religion.’ He said: ‘O Umm Salamah! Verily, there is no human being except that his heart is between Two Fingers of the Fingers of Allah, so whomsoever He wills He makes steadfast, and whomever He wills He causes to deviate.’
(Jami` at-Tirmidhi 3522).
Therefore, when you are tasting the sweetness of faith, be humble and remember it is Allah’s favour over you and not plainly your efforts.
It is however important to note that finding an aspect of the deen difficult to practice is different from sheer arrogance and defiance. Be sincere with yourself, take baby steps and pray. The above prayer can be a great help when said sincerely. Most importantly, do not publicize your sins. Be remorseful and seek sincere help from respected scholars of Islam.
May Allah accept all our strivings and ease for us the deeds of Jannah. Aameen.