By Zainab Habib
Between her sobs, I heard her mumble “I wish I was dead!”
“How bad could her situation be?” I thought to myself. It couldn’t be worse than the hardships our Prophet (saw) or his companions went through and yet they were forbidden to wish for death.
Physical, emotional or financial problems, singly or combined can put us into that kind of short-sighted mode. We tend to forget that we have been told not to wish for death. We forget that with death, our troubles may not necessarily come to an end as we do not know what awaits us after it.
When faced with adversities, we forget that
- eternal Paradise is the believer’s goal
- this comparatively short worldly life is really a test
- if Allah wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts him with trials
- being patient when afflicted is an opportunity to earn reward
- death closes the door for repentance
- death terminates all possibilities of adding to our Aakhirah account
- gratitude for what we do have ensures more blessings from Allah
- Allah is not the least unjust and that we can never come even close to comprehending His infinite wisdom in what He has decreed for us
We forget that:
- du’a can change what has been destined for us
- with every difficulty there is ease
- we must never despair of the mercy of Allah and that our Lord ‘aza wajal laughs at the despair that His servants feel, even though His help is so close
- we should seek Allah’s help through patience and prayer
- hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah
- seeking the company of people who strengthen our eemaan will help us to bounce back
Yes, we forget a lot of things when we are in despair and our eemaan is at its lowest ebb. It is at this very time that Shaitan tries his best to make us lose hope of Allah’s mercy and help and to deprive us of His Paradise.
Paradise – now that’s the key word here. We need to focus on Paradise, that eternal Paradise, not this short-lived world where both pleasure and pain are transient. We need to visualize that Paradise where there is no grief, anxiety, sickness, death or deprivation. We need to remind ourselves of its unlimited pleasures described so vividly in the Quran and hadith. We have been told that when one of the people of Jannah who had experienced extreme misery in the life of this world will be dipped in Jannah, he will be asked: “O son of Adam! Did you ever experience any misery? Did you ever encounter difficulty?” He will say: “By Allah, no my Rubb, I neither experienced misery nor passed through hardship”.
So when the going gets tough, we need to be patient and strong, stop ourselves from wishing for death and remind ourselves of what our beloved Prophet (saw) has told us:
“And none of you should wish for death, for if he is a good doer, he may increase his good deeds, and if he is an evil doer, he may repent to Allah.”(Bukhari)
“Happy is he whose life is long and whose deeds are good.”(Tirmidhi)