Some pain is essential to help us grow
By Gilla Barre
New Delhi, India
I have always been amazed by the words of the Qur’an and mesmerised by its infinite power to heal.
Every time I come across a certain ayah, it moves me so much that I’m compelled to pause, reflect and ponder over the divine wisdom and mercy of Allah’s words.
Through our lives,we have a relationship with the Quran that can vary anywhere from total attachment to complete abandonment. As I have shared in this article earlier, even though I was surrounded by the Qur’an, it never moved me. I either read it absentmindedly or without reflection. After years of heedlessness and soul searching, I eventually reconnected with the Qur’an and found immense peace in its words.
Whatever your Qur’an story, there is always an ayah that deeply resonates with us. Even though each and every word of Allah has the power to soothe and comfort us, there is always an ayah that we cling to, that strengths our hopes during calamities.
I came across the one that healed my troubled soul in grade one. It was in the last surah that we had to memorise that year.
إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا
Verily, with every difficulty there is relief
Even though this ayah had no profound meaning in my life initially, it is through my journey of self-discovery and self-healing through the Qur’an that I was introduced to its profoundly comforting message and I gradually let it sink deep into my conscience. So much so that the way I perceive events in my life, both the good and the bad, has changed dramatically and for the better.
The ayah reminds us that in the midst of the most powerful trials in life lies ease and relief. In these trials, Allah has placed blessings that we do not know of. But we are so busy dwelling in the grief and so blinded by worldly life that we fail to see the bigger picture and often miss the beauty of the test and the lessons in it. We do not know what evil Allah is protecting us from and what good He is giving us in exchange.
Allah says in the Qu’ran:
… عَسَىٰ أَن تَكْرَهُوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ وَعَسَىٰ أَن تُحِبُّوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَّكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
… And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.”
We human beings have very limited power and knowledge. We fail to reflect on the important things and choose to waste our time in things that leave us miserable. Perhaps, in these troubled times, there’s something that is beneficial for us that we do not know of. Maybe that dua you made was never fulfilled because it was never meant to be, or worse, it would’ve brought you more harm than good. Perhaps Allah is giving you a chance to be awakened from the heedlessness you are in while you are drowning in the this worldly life so that you come closer to Him.
But we see these trials as punishments. And the pessimist in us chooses to see the negative side of things only. A tragedy or calamity is a sign of Allah’s love for someone, for Allah tests those He loves.
Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
“If Allah intends good for someone, then He afflicts him with trials.”
Sahih Bukhari 5321
The beautiful verses from Surah Al Inshirah taught me another important lesson. Even good times are tests in themselves. Ask yourself, “Did I thank Allah for this blessing that I’m experiencing?”, “Am I grateful for what Allah has given me?”,”Did I thank Him enough today?”
I have learned to evaluate the way I respond to both the happiest and the most difficult times of my life.
The verse also compels you to leave all your affairs to Allah and hold the firm belief that whatever difficulty you are experiencing, Allah has placed something far bigger and greater in it for you through His divine knowledge and wisdom. By putting your trust in Allah, you free yourself of the numbing grief that we feel during hard times because you begin to see the good in your (supposed) misery rather than focusing on the negatives.
Someone once rightfully said:
“There’s a blessing hidden in the folds of every hardship, every heartbreak and every disappointment.”– Unknown
Let’s embrace the storm, knowing it’s only for the better. Let’s quit questioning Allah’s divine wisdom when He tests us. I have realised that in life, some pain is essential to help us grow, to help us see things more clearly and pay attention to what’s important and, most importantly, to find ourselves. So,let’s find peace in the pain and celebrate it.
Remember, the temporary pains of this dunya are nothing compared to the eternal life of akhira. Once we imbibe that feeling in ourselves, we’ll find solace in the midst of any storm, relief in every difficulty.
Al-Hasan al-Basri said:
‘Do not resent the calamities that come and the disasters that occur, for perhaps in something that you dislike will be your salvation, and perhaps in something that you prefer will be your doom.’