What I find most wonderful about the Quran is that it gives us the outline of a way of life in which everything is possible if we do it the right way— i.e. by following the code of conduct that came directly from the creator Himself.
If we analyse the ups and downs of our life we can see that the biggest reason for our anxiety and depression is that we are not optimistic in our attitude towards whatever problems that come our way. We tend to give up even before trying, so that even if we take some steps towards the solution we do it half heartedly due to lack of hope.
This is why instead of finding ways to deal with issues we develop a string of excuses. But in Islam we are taught to be proactive and optimistic. Because we should have this strong conviction that everything happens by the will of Allah and that He can make anything happen which he wants; at whatever time he wants. This doesn’t mean that we sit back and do nothing; rather it has been made obligatory upon us to use our minds and hearts to act in the best possible way in all situations… no matter how difficult they might appear to be.
Islam is not a religion of isolation— rather it calls for a collective way of life in which individuals have certain rights and duties towards each another. The problem arises when some people act selfishly and don’t care for other people’s rights. This creates a reaction among the “good” people as well and so they also start to behave in a negative way to “teach others a lesson”. But have you ever seen anyone “learn” any lesson in this way? Almost never! Why? Because it takes a strong character to admit one’s mistakes and we cannot expect it from those who are bent upon proving themselves right… and so it happens that the one in the wrong will keep on doing the wrong to prove that he is right! As a result we see a never ending series of hurts and accusations on both sides… an enmity which benefits no one…
Fortunately we have an excellent solution in Quran for this widespread problem… and this can be found in the verses 30 to 36 of chapter 41… Seven awesome verses which I have deeply loved since the day I first came to know them…
Allah (swt) says:
As for those who say: “Our God is Allah,” and then stay firm on it, the angels will descend on them, saying: “Let nothing fear or grieve you. Rejoice for the good news of paradise that has been promised to you.
We are your friends/protectors in this life and in the hereafter. There you shall find all that your souls desire and all that you can ask for:
A hospitable gift from the All-Forgiving, All-Merciful.
Who is better in speech than the one who calls people towards Allah, does good deeds and says: “I am a Muslim?”
Good deeds are not equal to the evil ones. Repel other’s evil deeds with your good deeds. You will see that he, with whom you had enmity, will become your close friend.
But none will attain this quality except those who patiently endure and none will attain this quality except those who are truly fortunate.
If any time you are tempted by Shaytan, seek refuge with Allah. It is He Who hears all and knows all.
So how do we make use of this beautiful message of Allah?
1- First thing first: the right attitude
We are here to serve our Lord, not our own self. So focus on what makes him happy and strive to do it.
2- The benefit of this attitude
Angels will come to us with glad tidings of a paradise which Allah has prepared for his steadfast believers in which they will have all that they desire… and so this will remove the fear and sadness from our heart.
3- How to use this energy of hope and happiness?
Call people to Allah… connect them to this reality so that they can also be on the way to success and be truly happy and satisfied.
4- What if people react in an unpleasant manner?
Remember that the results of good and bad are not the same. So you be good no matter what… don’t focus on their bad behaviour, instead focus on cancelling out the bad with more goodness and more… until one day this enemy will turn into your best friend.
5- Is it really possible to be good to “not-so-good” people?
Yes but only for those who can endure with patience and those who want the good fortune so passionately that they are prepared to put up with whatever irritation or pain that they have to face in this way.
6- What should I do to achieve this level of patience and its great rewards?
Go back to point No-1 and start building a strong relationship with your Lord. Say He is the most important being in your life… yes say it aloud to yourself… and then mean it too… in your thoughts in your speech and in your actions… specially in your dealings with others. Stay true to Allah and call others to this way of life by presenting to them the most beautiful aspect of Islam through your gentleness and generosity. The more you do it the greater will be the rewards… both in this world and in the hereafter.
7- What if I start with good but cannot maintain it? Does this mean I am a failure?
Of course not! it is just the trick of the Shaytan to keep putting bad thoughts about others in your heart so that you keep fighting them instead of fighting the REAL enemy… which is the Shaytan himself! Therefore as soon as you start to feel bad about someone… ask Allah to save you from shay tan’s whispers… and inshaAllah He will help you to start afresh.
Our success lies in staying close to Allah… remembering Him often and obeying Him in all matters… calling upon Him for help and guidance… as much as possible.
May Allah (swt) bless us with the insight to differentiate between the truth and falsehood; and may He give us the true desire and determination to be the best representatives of our religion not just with our speech but also with our characters… Ameen.