By Dina Mohamed Basiony
What comes to mind when you hear the word blessings? Many of us get an image of material possessions or material physical aspects or worldly goods.
Blessings are a Test
Contemplating on Qur’anic verses and Prophetic ahadith clearly establishes one fact about blessings: they are a test. Being healthy, wealthy or popular is not necessarily the ultimate success. Losing that, also, is not the ultimate failure.
Blessings may be a means that absorb people in their worldly life, divert them away from the remembrance of Allah or make them greedy in pursuit of more. People may also live in constant worry over the loss of that which they have been given.
Similarly, true affliction is also not necessarily a disease or loss of wealth and status, because these same conditions may be the spark that directs people to seek Allah more passionately and constantly to strengthen their bond, connection and reliance on Him.
Allah says in Surat Al Fajr: “And as for man, when his Lord tries him and [thus] is generous to him and favors him, he says, “My Lord has honored me.” But when He tries him and restricts his provision, he says, “My Lord has humiliated me.” No!” [Qur’an: Chapter 89, Verses 15-17]
The verses clearly indicate that there is one common element in blessings and hardships. They are both a trial since they reinforce the fact that what may look like good fortune from the outside is not necessarily the source of success and vice versa.
You must realize that facing some sort of trial or difficulty might in fact carry in its folds far better and deeper lessons and blessings that you wouldn’t have learned or earned otherwise.
Just like an amethyst rock that does not look appealing from the outside, but is exquisite from the inside, an ordeal may beget a wonderful life lesson.
Some people might look at this and think, “Patience? Really? What do I do with that? Where do I cash it?” Why is patience the best blessing?
1. Patience keeps you in the company of Allah in this world.
Unlike blessings that can be consumed and completely used up in this life, patience is a limitless gift that allows you to remain in the company of Allah, growing more intimately connected to Him. Allah specifically assures us that He will be in the company of the patient and reward them immeasurably:
“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” [Qur’an: Chapter 2, Verse 153]
2. Patience helps you reach Al Firdaus.
Just like being patient keeps you in Allah’s company in this world, you will remain closely in His company in the Hereafter and in the closes paradise to Him too.
“Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while Allah has not yet made evident those of you who struggle in His cause and made evident those who are patient?” [Qur’an: Chapter 3, Verse 142]
If you are in a state of difficulty that has no other solution but for you to be patient and turn to Allah, then don’t panic. Sooner or later it will be over, and if you really attained patience through it, then you have in fact been given an opportunity for a never-ending reward.