The human body is made to withstand incredibly harsh things. However, it must be put through regular training to do it. An infant is not going to be able to resist germs like an adult is, because that infant’s body has not been trained for that yet. While an adult has had years of daily training and that is why our bodies can handle it. Similarly, our internal selves, our minds and hearts, need training in order to be able to withstand trials that internally affect us.
Nobody knows us and the way our bodies, internal and external, work like The One who created us. In Surat Al-Ma’arij, Allah SWT tells us “Indeed, mankind was created anxious: When evil touches him, impatient, And when good touches him, withholding [of it]…” (Quran 70:19-21). He SWT is telling us that we are people who are quick to react, in times of good and bad. We see this everyday in life. When people go through hardship, they are quick to get sad, angry, or say something they’ll regret. In turn, when we are going through good times, we get selfish and greedy: unwilling to share the good with others. These are the two extremes of human knee-jerk reactions, and Allah SWT acknowledges them. These actions are more obviously displayed in children. If a child is aggravated, they are likely to lash out and give attitude. On the other hand, a child can have a house full of toys, most they don’t even play with. When another kid comes over and starts to play with said toys, however, the child gets greedy and gets attached to his/her toys.
It is important to keep in mind that, just as Allah SWT acknowledges how we are, He SWT is The One who programmed us this way. The One who did that is also The One who knows the remedy to the issue. It is fine to have such reactions as kids, but how do we grow out of them? Allah SWT continues in Surat Al-Ma’arij saying “Except the observers of prayer-Those who are constant in their prayer and those within whose wealth is a known right for the petitioner and the deprived…” (Quran 70:22-25). So, we are given two remedies here. Firstly, if we are among those who pray consistently, it is less likely for us to have such immediate and harsh reactions. This does come with a condition: we must truly take in the depth of salah. If we do, then we understand that this life is temporary. We understand that The One who we are praying for is The One that we are going to face on the day of judgment, and on that day, none of the petty reactions we have here are worth it. Secondly, with salah, we give a portion of our wealth consistently to people in need. By doing this, we are reminding ourselves constantly that someone has it worse than us. Whether we are well off or just getting by, someone always has it worse than us. Keeping this in mind will help us tone down our reactions and handle whatever life throws at us. This is not to say we will not ever be sad or cry over our hardships. Yacoub AS cried for years. However, he never stopped praying. We are not aiming to be emotionless. That is impossible. We will have reactions, some harsher than others, but if we follow Allah SWT’s guide, He SWT will help us manage through them.
May Allah SWT keep us on His path, and in turn assist us in managing the trials we go through, along with the reactions that come with them. Ameen.
By Aydah Nofal