Many of us strive to achieve contentment and success; however, given the nature of the world we live in, we will encounter barriers which will affect our productivity and ability to achieve those goals.
We are witnessing a growing trend of addictions to what I would like to call demoralising desires and temporary pleasures.
We know of our purpose, we know of our destination — so why do we continue to live for the dunya (this world, as opposed to the Hereafter) as if it were our only goal and the real essence of our existence?
We live in a time in which almost everyone knows the importance of a healthy diet, yet most consider their own way of eating far from the ideal. Unfortunately, when many of us decide it is time to take care of our bodies, we throw ourselves into a super strict regime which places the goal of being ‘healthy’ (no chocolate or sweets… ever) at the centre of our lives, where it eventually begins to dominate it. This approach is rarely effective in the long term and usually results in us burning out (eating nothing but chocolate and sweets…). So, we end up back at the beginning. What now? We take inspiration from this: “The deeds most loved by Allah (are those) done regularly, even if they are small” [Muslim].
Among the most beautiful and soothing ayaat of the Qur’an for many of us are the ones in Surah Ash-Sharh:
For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. [Qur’an: Chapter 94, Verses 5–6]
Many people love to recite those verses, but few capture the wisdom in them.
In times of hardship, pain and loss, many of us attempt to find solutions in the very dunya that caused that calamity to befall us in the first place. We search for temporary comforts in people and worldly objects, all of which have the potential to break us again. Some of us find relief in medication and counselling, some surround themselves with sympathetic ears and some simply lose hope and derail from the path of Islam. However, Allah has provided us with the best tool of all: Prayer.