As we travel through life’s roads, we find ourselves many a times caught in a storm; surrounded in the depths of dark clouds and shattering thunder just waiting for sunny days.
My take is… life was never and will never be meant for purely sunny days. The default of mankind as a whole is innal insana la fee khusr (indeed man is submerged in loss). Life in this duniya is turmoil, stress, toil, hardwork, struggle, and all other similar words. Sure, there are days of ease and comfort however it’s not like a sunny day. Rather it’s like a person who left his home on a journey and was overtaken by the darkness of the night; he finds himself coping with the difficulty but suddenly he sees a place that gives him light so he goes there to rest. The individual is still in difficult times, however temporarily he is given relief by the light. And there are numerous ahadith of the Prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam that have been narrated showing the true value of this duniya. For example, this duniya is like a prison for the believer and paradise for the disbeliever.
Prison in what sense? Prison in the sense that life will be constricted. The believer will face emotional, mental and physical struggles; the believer will feel lonely, even amongst masses; the believer will be faced at times to live with little, eat little, and spend little; and the believer will be put through all of this and more to only find himself released in gardens under which rivers flow for eternity. As for Paradise, in what sense? Paradise in the sense that life for the disbeliever will be filled with abundant ease, great amounts of comfort, and the enjoyment of satisfying all the desires known. However, the disbeliever will find himself captured in the prison of jahannam for eternity for his/her heedlessness.
An amazing incident involving, I believe, Ibn Hajar rahimuhallah comes to mind: he was at one point a very high judge amongst the rank of judges and was traveling with his lavish caravan. He passed by a poor jewish man who asked him: Didn’t your Prophet say that this world is like a prison for the believer and paradise for the disbeliever…? How is that?! Look me! I’m a disbeliever and my state is like the one in prison, while you’re a believer and your state is like one in paradise. Upon hearing this Ibn Hajar replied by saying: In comparison to what Allah has ready for us in the Hereafter, this duniya is like a paradise for you and a prison for me! Allahukaber!
In my short life, I’ve come to realize people want to see the best and most perfect things. Many people have a desire to take every situation, every problem, every issue back to a perfect and idealistic standard that they have set in their heads. The problem with this is that we begin to set wrong or unrealistic expectations for ourselves; we begin to lose the ability to deal with current realities, and most importantly we inculcate a wrong mindset from the beginning. If Allah had intended this life to be perfect, there would be no need for Jannah. Allah has created this duniya as a test, a deception, a place of tribulations and imperfect situations so we can earn Jannah in the Hereafter, not expecting it in this duniya!
And on the positive side, if it takes a prison for the slave of Allah to truly connect with His Lord and taste the sweetness of faith, then so be it. Wallahi! There is no gift, no blessing, no taste, no experience, no adventure, no sight, and no sound in this duniya that can ever be comparable to the sweetness of faith; the sweetness of prostration, of supplication, of glorification, of recitation for Allah. So don’t be sad, don’t grieve, don’t feel like the world is collapsing as you carry the weight of it on your shoulder. Rather sit back and enjoy that sweetness for verily you are honored because Allah tests only those whom he loves.
If you made it this far, drop a comment and let me know your thoughts.