A colleague of mine recently told me that her friend has passed away. It was heartbreaking news, even though I didn’t know her friend, only because lately the news of people with serious illness, diseases, and amounts of deaths have been overwhelming. It’s like a wake-up call to the fact that we don’t live forever and the purpose of why we are on this earth to begin with. The day after my colleague’s friend’s funeral, I was hit with even worse news. She told me the reason behind her friend’s death. Suicide. The word instantly gave me chills, as I felt a breath get taken away from me. As she told me the story she had heard, I couldn’t help but feel anger towards this person. Why? Didn’t she know that her young son would be the one to find her? How could she be so selfish? How bad could it have possibly been? What right does she have to take her own life?
But everything, including things you hear, I believe come to you for a reason. In the past month, my husband and I have been faced with multiple hardships. Family, health, business… the list goes on. However, these things should be looked upon as a test, or a level you must pass in order to win. Things aren’t meant to come easy. For that, we must wait to enter heaven, inshallah. After all, the prophets themselves went through many struggles that I do not think most of the people I know would be able to endure. It isn’t easy being patient or accepting that what happens is because that is the will of Allah, but it brings much peace to one’s heart when we make deep supplication to Allah and trust him with what he has planned for us.
Thinking of life as a game with challenges one must successfully pass in order to win, is the way I like to view it. Pressing the “game over” button is in my opinion the same as cheating and therefore losing the game.
Ya Rab, our Lord, make the hardships easier to endure on your believers. Ya Rab, give us patience because it is so hard for us to wait and accept at times. Ya Rab, provide us with role models for us to look up to whom will help remind us of the paths the prophets and those before us took. Ya Rab, forgive us our shortcomings for we are human and we make mistakes. Ya Rab, help us learn from our mistakes and become better people. Ameen.
Hoda is a mother of two loving boys and a stillborn girl, a blessed wife, and an elementary school teacher in Virginia.