We often equate goodness to what we like. Whenever something unpleasant happens, we immediately see negativity in it. Actually this mentality is incorrect.
Imagine a child, and we keep giving him things without withholding anything from him. We may think we are being kind, but in fact, our actions will spoil the child. He will become a brat, with no sense of appreciation or responsibility. With this, we cultivate a self centred mentality in him, without the qualities of gratitude or thankfulness. With these characteristics, he will never learn to be generous or appreciative, because all he knows is how to take. The more we give, the more demanding he will become.
Conversely, if we love the child, we would withhold certain things from him, simply because it is not good for him. We do not over indulge him. Tough love is sometimes needed to formulate a good character, because we do not want the ones we love to be exposed to factors which can corrupt or damage him.
If we believe that Allah is all wise, then upon the occurrence of any event, whether we like it or we do not, we should return the situation to Allah. The reaction of a believer that he has full faith in Allah, that what has been ordained by Allah is the best for him, and that whatever the turn of events, Allah will put goodness in it for him. This may appear to be a paradox, but only if we think in just material terms, overlooking the holistic picture that whatever is withheld from us, is for our benefit, dunia and akhirah. We make the mistake of comparing material to material, whereas in actuality, sometimes it is the lack of the material that forces us into a better spiritual position, whereas the excess of material possessions will make us far removed from Allah.
Why do calamities befall us from time to time?
Remember the reaction when you received a wrapped gift. What is your first instinct if you are curious to know what it contains? You would shake it, to get a clue of the weight, density and texture of what is inside. Calamities are similar. Allah “shakes us up” once in a while to test what is going on internally. This can happen by a personal disaster, or even being pulled out of your comfort zone. According to what is inside, your reactions will belie your true characteristics. For a believer, sincerity and truthfulness will show up. Trust in Allah and gratitude will surface. Conversely, for those weak in faith, full of shaitan’s influence or are hypocrites, anger at the situation will arise, demonstrated by panic, misery, paranoia, lack of gratitude, fury or hopelessness.
We are constantly being tested by Allah. What I have learnt is that, the formula to passing the trial is to trust in Allah that this is the best for you and to humble yourself to Him for help to get you through it. There is no other way to handle it, emotionally or psychologically.
All conditions have been created by Allah, and we have all been placed in bizarre or odd situations which have been beyond our imagination. Very simply, pass the trial by returning the situation to Allah, and the adversity will be a blessing for you, with better times to come. If you fail the trial, by being angry, ungrateful or rebellious another trial will follow, and another and another, all these being warning signs that it is time for you to turn back to Allah. From there are only three options. Either you understand that Allah is trying to call you back to Him and you return to Him willingly, or alternatively, you keep resisting and your life will become increasingly miserable, dunia and akhirah. If Allah is truly displeased, He will seal your heart and cut you loose and you will be given all of the pleasures of dunia but none of the delights of akhirah.
The next time something does not go your way, do not fear. Nothing happens without the will of Allah, and Allah will never oppress His slaves. Instead, take it for what it is, one of the many tests that you will have to go through in life, you have been chosen at that moment in time to be tested in front of Allah. Turn to Him, and you will shine, dunia and akhirah.