It’s been drilled into me from a young age that in order to be strong in faith, I need to have unshakeable trust in God. And to a large extent, I agree with that. I know that trusting in Allah’s plans and the wisdom behind them is a major part of our religion. But I do still struggle with it at times, and I think that’s just a flaw that comes with being human.
The human mind is limiting. We have anxiety and fears (whether rational or irrational). We worry about our future. Sometimes, while going through difficult times, it can be tough to see how things could possibly end up being okay. These are all thoughts and emotions that may make our trust in Allah waver.
I’m writing about this because I want to acknowledge what’s usually not said: that it’s normal to struggle when it comes to our faith in God’s plans. It might not be a good thing, but it is definitely normal. And there are things we can do to work on it, though not while beating ourselves up over this. The first step is to accept that we will never be steadfast 100% of the time. There are even lessons about this in the stories of the prophets (may peace be upon them all).
Even if it seems like you’re all alone and that God isn’t watching or looking after you, know for a fact that He is.
Everyone is different, but what usually helps me is to remember that things always end up alright in the end. Allah has never deserted me. Even the struggles that I have been through in my life have had some lessons hidden within them, which I realized later on. And I was always stronger than I thought I was; I made it through every hardship that I thought I couldn’t endure.
One surah (chapter of the Qur’an) which helps strengthen my trust in Allah is Ad-Duha (surah 93). A translation of it is:
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
•By the morning light. •And the night as it settles. •Your Lord did not abandon you, nor did He forget. •The Hereafter is better for you than the First (life). •And your Lord will give you, and you will be satisfied. •Did He not find you orphaned, and sheltered you? •And found you wandering, and guided you? •And found you in need, and enriched you? •Therefore, do not mistreat the orphan. •Nor rebuff the seeker. •But proclaim the blessings of your Lord.
It really helps me to read this surah because it gets me out of the glass-half-empty mindset. Let me explain… The Prophet (saws) was born without a father, and lost his mother at a young age. He was raised in a community of people who were immoral and misguided, and always felt out of place because of this. He also dealt with financial struggles. All of this could easily have made him a pessimist, but it didn’t. And when, at one point, the Prophet (saws) struggled with thoughts that Allah (swt) had abandoned him (due to not receiving revelation for many months), this surah was revealed. Allah is swearing by the brilliance of the day and the stillness of the night that he didn’t abandon the Prophet (saws). Even if it seems like you’re all alone and that God isn’t watching or looking after you, know for a fact that He is.
If you are struggling with trusting God in some part of your life, it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad Muslim. We are all working on our weaknesses and imperfections in faith.
The next part of the surah really comforts me. It fosters an optimistic mindset and changes the glass from “half empty” to “half full.” For every hardship that the Prophet (saws) went through, Allah (swt) is reminding him that He helped him out of it. It reminds me that even if I’ve gone through tough times in my life, Allah always ensured that I would get through it. And if I’m going through something right now, I’ll get through this as well, with the help of Allah. As for the struggles that never seem to get easier, the rewards of the Afterlife will be a beautiful compensation inshaAllah (God-willing).
If you are struggling with trusting God in some part of your life, it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad Muslim. We are all working on our weaknesses and imperfections in faith. But remember, the One who created this world and universe with such perfection is the same One who has planned out your life and my life. And He is the best of planners.
“Say, ‘Never will anything befall us except by what Allah has decreed for us; He is our protector.’ And upon Allah let the believers put their trust.” [Qur’an 9:51]
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