Surat Al-Baqarah Ayah 286

لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللّٰهُ نَفۡسًا اِلَّا وُسۡعَهَا ​ؕ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتۡ وَعَلَيۡهَا مَا اكۡتَسَبَتۡ​ؕ رَبَّنَا لَا تُؤَاخِذۡنَاۤ اِنۡ نَّسِيۡنَاۤ اَوۡ اَخۡطَاۡنَا ​ۚ رَبَّنَا وَلَا تَحۡمِلۡ عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِصۡرًا كَمَا حَمَلۡتَهٗ عَلَى الَّذِيۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِنَا ​​ۚرَبَّنَا وَلَا تُحَمِّلۡنَا مَا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهٖ​ ۚ وَاعۡفُ عَنَّا وَاغۡفِرۡ لَنَا وَارۡحَمۡنَا اَنۡتَ مَوۡلٰٮنَا فَانۡصُرۡنَا عَلَى الۡقَوۡمِ الۡكٰفِرِيۡنَ‏

﴾2:286﴿

“God does not task a soul beyond its capacity. For it in the hereafter is all the good that it has earned. And against it is the evil it has reaped. Thus pray, O you who believe: Our Lord! Hold us not accountable if ever we forget or we have erred. Our Lord! Neither lay upon us a burden like that which You have laid upon those before us. Our Lord! Nor lay upon us that which we do not have the strength to bear. Rather, pardon us. And forgive us. You alone are our Patron. So give us victory over the disbelieving people.”

“Allah does not burden a soul with more than it can bear.” We have heard and read this verse countless times. However, we need to ask ourselves, do we actually understand what it means? Do we really know what Allahﷻ is trying to tell us in this verse? Most importantly, do we remember this promise from Allahﷻ in times of hardship?

When Allahﷻ tests His believers with a hardship, He does so because He wants to test our imaan (belief/faith) in Him. All we think about when facing a trial is why Allahﷻ has put us through that trial. We only see the negative aspects of the situation. Furthermore, we don’t ask ourselves what good can come out of the hardship. This is exactly what I intend to speak about in this month’s article. Perhaps one of the biggest blessings following a calamity that I have witnessed myself is that those who were tested with that calamity became closer to Allahﷻ and his Messengerﷺ as a result. This last week, Allahﷻ has tested my family and cousins with a death. Absolutely we grieved and felt lots of sorrow. We have to remember that Prophet Muhammadﷺ himself grieved the deaths of his own children. When his son, Ibrahim, passed away, the Prophetﷺ shed lots of tears. He did the same when he buried all of his other children except one. This is to remind us that even the Prophetﷺ was just human. We are all humans as well. Grief is a natural emotion and Allahﷻ does not hold anyone accountable for expressing sadness. The most rewarding thing that I saw from my own family was that some of my cousins whom did not pray, talk to Allahﷻ, or read the Quran before this trial was placed upon them, began to do so following this experience. It is this idea of completely submitting ourselves to Allahﷻ because surely, He is the one who tested us with this trial and only He can help us out of it.

I want you to think about a time that you faced a trial or hardship. It does not have to be a death. Maybe it was an illness, accident, injury, stress, etc. Did you turn to Allahﷻ? Did you notice anyone around you turn to Allahﷻ? Most of the time, the answer is yes. This is because the hardship that Allahﷻ bestowed upon you was actually a mercy from Him in disguise. The way that we react to a trial will determine whether that trial was a mercy or punishment from Allahﷻ. If this trial has caused you and others affected to become closer to Allahﷻ and His Messengerﷺ, then surely it was a mercy!

To wrap up this message, I want to refer back to the chosen aya for this month. Most of this verse consists of a beautiful dua. A dua that is arguably one of the best to recite on a daily basis. This short dua is very powerful to recite in times of hardship, regardless of the kind of hardship. With this prayer, we are asking Allahﷻ not to punish us for anything that we forgot about. Furthermore, it is asking Allahﷻ to give us ease through whatever hardship that we are currently facing, and will face in the future. We are asking Allahﷻ to protect us from such hardship that He tested another individual with, such as a way of death, financial troubles, and much more. What a beautiful dua to recite. A dua that truly is the key to succeeding through any calamity or hardship, with the right intention. When faced with any hardship, it is not that Allahﷻ is punishing or neglecting us. Rather, it is that He wants us to grow and become better servants to Him from the experience as a result.

By Ahmad Salah