During student life all of us had certain areas of study such as, maths, chemistry etc where we were weak. We may have failed a test or two.
What would happen every time we lost marks or failed a test? Did we lose hope and drop out of school or stop studying? No we didn’t. We worked harder, we sought help, we made arrangements so that we could work, we sought moral and emotional support and the list goes on. Why? Because we had aspirations and a promising tomorrow; because we knew that this was not a matter of choice.
Feeling a sense of utter despair at repeated loss of not being able to reach a certain level of iman, ‘amal and taqwa results in setting oneself up for eternal failure.
Throughout our lives we go through different levels of iman (faith) and ‘amal (deeds). Sometimes the iman level is at its maximum backed by ‘amalsalih (righteous deeds) and at other times both are next to nothing, astaghfirullah. However, in both scenarios the most important part is to be consistent in our patience and perseverance on the path of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).
Whether consciously or subconsciously when we rely more on our self for conquering our nafs, shaitan and the external fitnah (test) more than Allah (subhanahu wa ta’alaa) we are prone to have negative feelings at every slip or error, because our source of reliance for attempting to be steadfast on this path was not strong and stable enough to begin with.
What we need to repeatedly remind ourselves is that this guidance that we are trying to maintain, preserve, nourish and nurture is only by the Mercy of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’alaa).
It has reached us because He has opened our hearts towards it. Undoubtedly it’s our responsibility to maintain it and we must realise that steadfastness, perseverance and patience are things we can’t do without if we are searching for eternal bliss. Nevertheless, despite all our efforts, He (subhanahu wa ta’alaa) is the One who is maintaining, preserving, nourishing and nurturing it.
Instead of feeling discouraged, demotivated, lost and withdrawn we must continue our struggle by renewing our intentions and by seeking His help.
We need to recognise these negative traits as a part of our test and try to excel this test, with the assurance that the harder I try to seek His pleasure the more pleased He will be, inshaAllah.
Ultimately this is what matters in the end…you know why?
Because, alhamdulillah, our deen is not result based, it’s effort based.
The Prophet (salalahu alaihi wasallam) told us that, “The hearts of the sons of Adam are as one between the fingers of the Most Merciful, and He directs them as He wills.” [Reported by Imam Ahmad from Ibn ‘Umar; see Sahih Muslim bi Sharh an-Nawawi, 16/204].
The Messenger of Allah often used to say, “O Controller of the hearts, make my heart adhere firmly to Your religion.” [Reported by at-Tirmidhi from ‘Anas. Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi, 6/349; Sahih al-Jami’, 7864]