Saturday, October 24, 2009
The Grass is Always Green
So we’ve all seen those emo statuses on Facebook, AIM, Twitter, you name it. Or you may even hear someone complaining about something terrible that happened in their life (big or small), some exam coming up or some paper they have to write and how it’s the end of the world and life is so very difficult and their life is hell. Either one of two things are happening: 1) they’re genuinely going through hell or 2) they’re just seeking attention.
Most of the time we may find ourselves in the second category. Now if we really look at our so-called problems (regardless of what you’re going through), are they really THAT bad? I mean some of us may have serious issues we’re dealing with, but at the end of the day when we step back and see what we’re going through and see that the problem really isn’t that bad or even that it could be a lot worse, we’ve taken some good out of that problem. If we realize that our so-called “problem” isn’t really a problem, rather it's either a test, reminder from Allah, or a sign from Allah to check ourselves for where we’re heading.We have so much to be thankful for (blessings we can't even count), yet we choose to stress the negative things that really are insignificant in the spectrum of things. Let’s look at the hadith of the Prophet SAW:
Abu Yahya Suhaib b. Sinan said that Rasulullah saw said : " Wondrous are the believer's affairs. For him there is good in all his affairs, and this is so only for the believer. When something pleasing happens to him, he is grateful, and that is good for him; and when something displeasing happens to him, he is enduring (sabar), and that is good for him " (Muslim)
So it comes down to us looking at the events in our lives not in a negative light, rather in a positive one. What is Allah trying to tell us? What am I doing wrong? Is it a test or is it a punishment? And the way to approach our problems is always two-fold. We always have shukr (gratitude) and sabr (patience). We have gratitude to Allah that the event/problem could have been much worse and/or it is an opportunity to get closer to Allah. As for sabr, we must be patient in whatever trial is put in our path. If you think about it logically, if you see a house on fire are you going to complain, “Oh man that house is on fire, I wish it wasn’t on fire” or are you going to take action and put the fire out? You can complain and complain about your situation or you can find a way out of it. Allah says in the Quran:
Verily never will Allah change a condition of a people until they change what is within their souls [Ra'd 13:11]
Therefore it’s up to us to change our perception of our trials/problems we may face and ponder upon the signs that Allah’s trying to put in front of us. Only you can change your condition at the end of the day, no one else. Tie your camel and leave the rest to Allah. Try your best and leave the outcome to Allah. Allah guarantees his reward for those who’re patient and persevere:
An excellent reward for those who do [good]! - those who persevere in patience, and put their trust in their Lord and Cherisher (29:58-59).
And we will be tested with good and bad:
And We test you by evil and by good by way of trial. To Us must you return (21:35).
So everything in our life is a trial. It’s up to us to see how to approach and learn from those trials. We may be asking, how is Allah testing us if he gives us good? We have so many blessings from Allah, but we’re not thankful or we’re not aware that it comes from Allah. That is our test---to realize that everything we gain in this dunya (world) is from Allah, not just us doing something by ourselves to get what we want. We all know the trials of evil….
What we need to realize is that Allah desires for us good only in this world and the Hereafter:
Abu Sa`id and Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said: "Never a believer is stricken with a discomfort, an illness, an anxiety, a grief or mental worry or even the pricking of a thorn but Allah will expiate his sins on account of his patience".
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "When Allah intends good for His slave, He punishes him in this world, but when He intends an evil for His slave, He does not hasten to take him to task but calls him to account on the Day of Resurrection.''
We’ve all heard the saying, “the grass is always greener on the other side”, but when you look at it from an Islamic point of view, you should never look to those who have more or are better off than you, you should rather look at those who have less than you and be thankful to Allah that we’re given so many blessings that we can’t even begin to count. Our problems/trials we face, really aren’t that bad compared to others when we compare them with others’ problems. It all boils down to our perception of our problems/trials. We just need to be patient and have thankfulness to Allah that our situation could be ten times worse than it actually is and that it is an opportunity to get closer to Allah. It’s up to us to realize that the grass isn’t greener on the other side, rather the grass is always green.