Written on 1st September 2013 @ 1744hrs.
How often do we look at others and say, “That person is so lucky…”?
How often do we see someone laugh and smile and think that he/she is probably the happiest person in the world?
How much time do we spend complaining and crying?
Truth is, we don’t know.
That person smiling at us, going about seemingly happily, as if there’s nothing wrong going on with his/her life. Wake up in the morning, go to work, come home and cook for the family, shop, perhaps exercise, sleep like most of us.
What are the things does that person think about before falling asleep?
What time does that person wake up and why?
If that person prays, what does that person pray for?
Have we ever wished that we’re in someone else’s shoes?
* * *
Looking around me, having worked (and still do) with the sick and dying, it’s true that no human beings can escape any forms of suffering. In one form or another, we will be tested.
What kind of trials, is not ours to choose.
If we are given a choice, would we be able to, anyway?
Like, would we rather grow old and happy with our partner, but he falls sick and has to go back and forth to the hospital for many years? Or for both of us to be well but he strays to other woman, leaving you questioning your self esteem?
Would we rather have our young baby die, or he grows up and become a drug addict?
Would we rather be healthy but stuck in a marital problem, or happily married but bedbound because of stroke?
Would we rather be married and taken away from our parents, seeing them only once in a few months, or single and free to love and care for our parents any way we want?
Would we choose a husband who’s very nice but his income is bordering to haram, or another man who is as nice but on the hot tempered side?
Would we prefer working very hard, day and night, but being healthy, or on long leave because of a sickness?
Would we choose being stuck in traffic everyday but staying near our parents, or working five minutes away from home but hours away from our parents?
Would we rather be a doctor, working day and night, or an auditor, who also works day and night and weekends like doctors do?
Would we choose between being married but with a mother in law who stabs us from the back, or being single and free?
If we were to choose between having extremely naughty but healthy kids, or well-behaved kids but always admitted to the hospital for asthma, which one would we have chosen?
Would you be able to choose between having kids who do below average in school but loves to be in school everyday, or extremely smart kids who don’t want to attend school at least half the school year?
Would you rather be divorced with kids, or without kids?
Would you choose a small, cramped flat shared with your husband, or a large bungalow shared with all of your in-laws? With all, it includes your husband’s grandmother, sister-in-law’s husband and their kids, maid, maid’s sister, some of their cousins…
* * *
Most of those things are fated, aren’t they?
Aren’t we lucky that God chose all those for us, not leave it all up to us?
Or would you rather be given the choice?
* * *
My point is, we all will face difficulties in life. To different extent, and with different tests. No life is spared, although our difficulties wil be unique to us. Things may be difficult now but everything is temporary. Those who are happy now will have their tests later in life.
And those who look happy and never failed to give you a smile, doesn’t mean their lives are perfect.
* * *
As Muslims, we believe that all of us will be tested. All of us. Because this life is just a bridge to the hereafter. It’s a temporary place which we travel on, our permanent abode is there, in the hereafter – either paradise or hell. How we handle our tests in this world is how we achieve paradise, or hellfire.
“Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you? They were touched by poverty and hardship and were shaken until [even their] messenger and those who believed with him said, ‘When is the help of Allah?’ Unquestionably, the help of Allah is near.” – Al Quran, 2:214
It makes all the sense in the world. A physician wouldn’t be said to be able to manage a patient with a heart attack until he knows how to manage its complications. A police investigator would not be a good one if all he has ever handled are simple cases. A four-wheel drive wouldn’t be labelled a good one if it has not gone into the jungle, through all the mud and even waters.
Allah doesn’t leave us alone. Whenever He gives us a test, He will provide the answer. He has all the answers, if only we ask from Him, and only Him.
“[…] Allah will bring about, after hardship, ease.” – Al Quran, 65:7
“And your Lord says: Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer); but those who are too arrogant to serve Me will surely find themselves in Hell – in humiliation!” – Al Quran, 40:60
We will never be fully ready for any trials in life. We will be caught off guard, we will never know what will come to us and when.
But He has guided us even before He sent us the tests. His Quran, the traditions of Prophet Muhammad SAW, all will help us through tough times. The fact that He and He Alone have the answers, He Alone is the One we should depend on in sadness or happiness, not other beings, not even our parents. Because He’s there forever, and the rest of beings around us will leave us, sooner or later.