How to Stay Positive During Trials

Life is not always easy. Sometimes it feels as if you’re stuck in misfortune and that there is no way out. In difficult times reflecting on verses of the Qur’an may bring some comfort and a reminder on how to stay positive during trials.
Allah (SWT) says, “Every soul will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as trial; and to Us you will be returned” (21:35). From this ayah, one learns that both fortune and misfortune are trials from Allah (SWT). The misfortune is a test of our patience and Tawakkul (reliance) on Allah (SWT) whereas the good fortune is a test of our obedience to Him. Will we submit and worship Him even if we have all that we need? Or do we only turn to Allah when we need something from Him? Another learning point is that life is turbulent-it is not supposed to be easy. For believers who are having a difficult time in this life, Allah reminds them that Allah’s love and mercy is waiting for them for eternity. Allah (SWT) says, “And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return. Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided” (2:155-157). Here, Allah (SWT) takes it a step further and provides us with a dua which we can recite to remind us of our ultimate destination. It reminds us that this world is temporary and that the afterlife is eternal. Therefore, any difficulty in this life is temporary and that it will be recompensed for on the Day of Judgement as Allah is Merciful.

Every soul will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as trial; and to Us you will be returned (21:35)

From this ayah, one learns that both fortune and misfortune are trials from Allah (SWT). The misfortune is a test of our patience and Tawakkul (reliance) on Allah (SWT) whereas the good fortune is a test of our obedience to Him. Will we submit and worship Him even if we have all that we need? Or do we only turn to Allah when we need something from Him? Another learning point is that life is turbulent-it is not supposed to be easy. For believers who are having a difficult time in this life, Allah reminds them that Allah’s love and mercy is waiting for them for eternity. Allah (SWT) says, “And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return. Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided” (2:155-157). Here, Allah (SWT) takes it a step further and provides us with a

Allah (SWT) says, And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return. Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided” (2:155-157). Here, Allah (SWT) takes it a step further and provides us with a

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return. Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided (2:155-157).

Here, Allah (SWT) takes it a step further and provides us with a dua which we can recite to remind us of our ultimate destination. It reminds us that this world is temporary and that the afterlife is eternal. Therefore, any difficulty in this life is temporary and that it will be recompensed for on the Day of Judgement as Allah is Merciful.
There is a beautiful story regarding this dua as told by Umm Salamah, Mother of Believers as taken from Muhammed Ali Qutb’s book Women Around the Messenger. When Umm Salamah’s husband, Abu Salamah passed away, she was reminded to recite this dua (“Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un, Allahumma ajirni fi musibati wa akhlif li khairan minha‘ (Verily we belong to Allah and truly to Him shall we return. O Allah! Protect me in this calamity that has befallen me and replace it with something better). At the time, she thought, “who could be better than Abu Salamah?” But she recited it anyway. After her period of waiting, the Prophet of Allah (SAW) proposed to her! As told by Umm Salamah (RA), “When Abu Salamah died, I did not feel comfortable to ask Allah to substitute him for me with someone who is better than him (as a Muslim must say when afflicted with a calamity). And I said, ‘Who is better than Abu Salamah? Had he not done this and that? Was he not so and so?’ When I finished the period of waiting, the Messenger of Allah (SAW) sent (someone) to me and married me” (116).
The story of Umm Salamah (RA) is a prime example of how a trial may turn into a blessing. Therefore, it is important to always stay positive and remind yourself that Allah (SWT) has our best interests in mind. If there are not positives that you can think of regarding your specific trial, then take solace in the fact that this trial will most likely bring you closer to Allah (SWT). Difficult times have a way of reminding us who is in charge and humbling us.

As Allah (SWT) says,

Competition in [worldly] increase diverts you (102:1).

We find ourselves distracted by competing for wealth, status, children, etc. in this life. Until a trial befalls us. Then suddenly, our priorities change. Allah (SWT) loves us and wants to see us succeed where it matters (i.e, the afterlife). Trials of this world are Allah’s way of waking us up to the reality of the Hereafter. It is up to us to pay attention and heed His warnings. If we look at all the trials that we face in this life as a way of getting closer to Allah (SWT) then staying positive during such trials will not be as difficult.
In short, how can one stay positive during the trials of life? By reminding oneself to be patient by reciting the dua, (“Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un, and adding, Allahumma ajirni fi musibati wa akhlif li khairan minha‘). It is also good practice to remind yourself that this trial is temporary, and that this trial may be a sign to re-establish a relationship or reconnect with Allah (SWT).
May Allah (SWT) grant us patience during the good and bad that He decrees. Ameen.

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