“When Allah loves someone, He will put him in difficulties.” – Prophet Muhammad (SAW)

Reading that quote sent shivers down my spine as it is so short and simple, but so powerful and full of meaning. To the one who looks at things from what they are on the surface without pondering over them, this would seem like a confusing Hadith, as it would appear as though Allah punishes someone He loves. Of course, that isn’t the case, as this religion is one filled with signs and teachings for “people of understanding.”

What I got from this beautiful Hadith is that Allah loves to help those whom He loves grow into better people, slaves, and Muslims. Here are some of the thoughts that arose in my mind:

  1. We grow closer to Him – As Allah places us in difficulties, it causes us to run back to Him for help, making us grow closer to Him. We seek His Help, because He alone is the Owner and Facilitator of our affairs.
  2. We are humbled – To be placed into difficulties humbles us, making us recognize that we are no more than slaves in comparison to Allah, so we are inclined towards clinging tightly to Him, knowing that we are incapable of succeeding or growing without Him on our side.
  3. Blessings in disguise – We’ve all heard of blessings in disguise, and this is in fact the epitome of that phrase. There is a Hadith (a personal favourite, actually), where the Prophet (SAW) says that there is no calamity that strikes a believer, even if it as small as the prick of a thorn, except that it removes the sins of that believer. So, by placing us in difficulty, Allah is giving us the opportunity to strengthen our faith and to have our sins expiated, so that we may grow stronger as Muslims and may better our chances of getting into Jannah (Paradise).
  4. We are challenged towards greatness – As in anything we endeavour towards, we find a need to challenge ourselves in order to grow and progress in that endeavour. In Islam, the ultimate goal is Jannah, so these difficulties are in fact tests and opportunities Allah gives us to grow. Look at it as this: when you try to get in shape, you’re hoping to build a healthier lifestyle. Whether it be losing weight or gaining muscle, you have to challenge yourself beyond what you’re comfortable with in order for you to grow and progress. That is what these difficulties are like. They are ways in which Allah gives us the opportunity to challenge ourselves so that we may reach Jannah. Think back to some of the challenges you used to face and no longer find difficulty in. Looking back at them, you might notice that what used to seem incredibly challenging no longer is. That’s growth right there!

These are just a few thoughts that entered my mind, and to be completely honest, I’m sure that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Still, I wanted to share these thoughts and ideas with all of you, as this is how we can learn and increase our knowledge. May Allah guide us all and help us towards becoming better Muslims, slaves of Allah, and better members of society. I’d love your input and thoughts on the topic, so if you’ve got anything positive to share, please comment below, and we’ll start up a discussion, insha Allah 🙂