We all come across various difficulties in our lives. However, not all of us handle them as effectively as we should. As strategies for getting through life’s problems are rarely formally learned, we are constrained to use trial and error, sometimes leading to sub-optimal results.
Strategies for dealing with challenges
Dealing effectively with our difficulties and problems requires appropriate emotional control, acceptance of realities, charting out a course of action, and finally taking preventive measures to keep future problems at bay. Thus, arming ourselves with the right intellectual, mental, and spiritual strategies to get through these phases can help us achieve successful breakthroughs.
Let’s go over those steps in more detail.
The Emotional Response
An emotional response to a difficulty or calamity is normal and only human. However, emotions have to be managed and channeled appropriately; else they can manifest negatively within our personalities and affect our lives in general. Research, too, confirms that emotionally-reactive individuals confronting even relatively minor challenges in their lives are prone to increased physical problems and diseases.
First Sermon of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)
One potential way people channel their emotions is to act them out uncontrollably and irresponsibly. In such situations, the prophet (peace be upon him) instructed us to exercise patience and to maintain a composed demeanor instead. When his son Ibrahim was dying, the prophet’s eyes filled with tears. Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Awf said, ‘Are you weeping when you have forbidden us to weep?’ The Prophet said, ‘I do not forbid weeping. What I have forbidden is two foolish and evil kinds of voices: voices at times of entertainment and play and the flutes of Shaytaan, and voices at times of calamity and scratching the face and rending the garments and screaming.’” [Al-Tirmidhi, al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra (4/69), classed as hasan by al-Albaani]
In other cases, emotions are channeled to fester, which then leads to the development of a victimized mindset. You may not realize it, but believing that your life is a teary saga may be the anchor weighing you down and preventing you from moving forward.
So, be conscious of how you channel your emotions. You can temper them with positive thinking and a strong faith. If you show any signs of having a victimized mindset then you need to snap out of it and adopt a more positive and reality based mindset instead. That can put you on the right path to get out of your difficulties faster.
Trying to make sense of the difficulties (through Qada wal-Qadr)
The divine decree: When facing difficulties, our weak faith can sometimes drive us to question the fairness of it all. In this context, we should remind ourselves that believing in al-Qadr (Allah’s divine will and decree) is one of the pillars of Islamic faith. As the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, it means belief in (1) Allah, (2) Angels, (3) revealed Holy Books (Quran, Bible, Torah, etc.), (4) His Messengers, (4) Day of Judgment, and (5) to believe in al-qadar (the divine decree) both good and bad. Allah also says in the Quran, “No calamity befalls on the earth or in your selves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al?Lawh Al?Mahfooz) before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah.” [al-Hadeed 57:22].
As part of that belief, we should therefore recognize that Allah does what He wills for reasons that are only known to Him. Any attempt to comprehend with our limited minds His wisdom, or to understand how our current situation fits in His overall plan can only lead us to erroneous conclusions.
Five qualities of a true believer of Islam (a Muslim)
The “If-Only” Trap: Another trap that many of us fall into has to do with using the “if-only” logic. Very often, our minds tell us that “if I could have done such and such, then this wouldn’t have happened.” The prophet warned us against falling into such satanic traps. In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah, the prophet remarked,
“…….If anything befalls you, do not say ‘If only I had done (such and such), the such and such would have happened,’ rather say: ‘Allah has decreed and what He wills He does,’ for ‘if only’ opens the door to the work of the shaytaan.” Narrated by Muslim (2664).
We see another example of this during the battle of Uhud when many Muslims died. This gave the hypocrites an excuse to criticize the divine decree. But Allah refuted their claims by stating (interpretation of the meaning): “Say: ‘Even if you had remained in your homes, those for whom death was decreed would certainly have gone forth to the place of their death’”. [Aal ‘Imraan 3:154].
This further goes to show that what Allah decrees is inevitable. Any attempt to imagine a different outcome based on different actions that we could have taken in the past will only increase our frustrations. This belief is also a blessing because it prevents us from returning to the past that can result in nothing but an added emotional baggage.
In this context, many among us also resort to blaming people, including those close to us. This blaming attitude in turn nurtures a mindset where people (even within families) resist future temptations to recommend anything or engage in an open dialogue. This not only weakens communications amongst people but also causes irreparable rifts and a loss of trust between them.
To summarize, accepting the divine decree can help us in not only forgoing the past but to also win Allah’s pleasure. Suppressing our urge to blame others by maintaining a positive mindset can help us maintain healthy relationships and in also keeping good recommendations and advice flowing.
Getting yourself out of trouble
Having accepted Allah’s decree, and after getting over any emotional challenges, the next step involves taking the right actions to get us out of our problems and difficulties. Actively engaging our God gifted faculties to pull us out of such situations is not as common as one may think. Thus, many a time we fail to achieve successful breakthroughs because we either follow a haphazard approach to resolve our problems or give up on our efforts too early in the process. This leads us to get stalled and makes us regard situations as irresolvable, hoping and praying for miracles to pull us out.
Hadith and Prophet’s Saying on forgetting salat and prayers – Hadith Bukhari
If you find yourself in such situations, this may be the time to rethink your overall approach. You see, most of us are accustomed to looking for “silver bullet” types of solutions. However, such solutions aren’t that many and thus can’t be relied on to get you out of your life’s challenges. Adopting a realistic but methodical approach instead has a better chance of putting you closer to your desired outcomes.
This requires that you take time to define the problems and difficulties that you face with increased clarity and specificity. This is bound to yield better results because you will get clearer about the outcomes that you desire. You will also be able to clearly delineate the constituent tasks that potentially can put you closer to your desired solution. Follow those tasks through to the end with perseverance and patience and you may reduce the load of your problems.
On the spiritual front, we should recognize that if Allah puts us through trials or punishes us because of our sins, the decision is His. However, as highlighted in another post on this site, seeking forgiveness through repentance (Istighfar) can help undo the damage of our sins. As the prophet (peace be upon him) said: “whoever does a lot of Istighfar, Allah will provide him a way out of each concern he has, and will solve all his troubles, and will provide him with livelihood from sources that were not known to him” (Narrated by Imam Ahmad, Sanad Sahih.)
Finally, although Allah’s decree is ordained, there are things we can do beforehand to influence the outcome of our efforts, and thus prevent problems from piling up. First, we should never forget that Allah has provided us with a free will and associated faculties to think and act. As the prophet had stated, while we should fully trust Allah, we should tie our horse first – meaning we should use all our God-gifted faculties and exercise the required due diligence.
Second, for cases in which we fumble to choose between options, we should exercise the use of the Istikhara prayers. The text of the dua recited in those prayers clearly reflects your plea to Allah to make the desired decision work for you if it’s good for you, or to ward it off if it’s not. By doing so, you consciously put your faith in Him to guide you. This will reduce the likelihood of you ending up with a failed outcome and thus an added burden for you to carry in the future. (Read more Islamic wisdom in Noble Lessons – Wisdom of the Islam and Quran)
Read Surah Al-Anaam (Cattle) (Chapter 6) from Quran – Arabic English Translation
To summarize, remember that effectively channeling your emotions, letting go of a negative past, maximizing the use of your God-gifted faculties, and above all a strong faith can help you attain the wisdom that life demands from you to get through even the most difficult challenges. Just ensure that you get serious about resisting the old attitudes and inculcate a positive mindset to propel you forward.
What a wonderful article. Jazakha lahu khairan. Keep it up.
Once again a very informative article, the quote “what if i did this…this might of not happened” is a quote i have used many times in my life (hope Allah forgives me) and I never realised till now that it was all a part of Shaytaan playing mind games with me!! Thank you for teaching me a vauable lesson. Allahu Akbar! I love Prophet Muhammad and wish to see him in heaven. Ameen
Jaza Allah Kharyn for this article it gAve me clarity of bad habits that am correcting daily “if only” attitude and compulsive behavior I possess. These blog are a benefit for me to strengthens my Iman when I become weak. Salaam Alaiikum
This is a wonderful article may Allah (SWT) reward u. Insha Allah I will do my best to share it in every way I can. May Allah Guide us all and forgive us our sins. Amin
Let us read, think and change the way we see life. This is a marvelous teaching article to help us.
Allah bless all of us!
What an uplifting article, and I truly was in need of those insightful words
This is a remarkable article and I have learnt a good lesson from it.
Alhamdulillah! As always a timely reminder..Allahu Akbar! 🙂
Jazakhallah khairan very clear and well written article and it came@the right time Alhamdulillah!!
Jazakum Allah Gheir for such a powerful article. It has helped me open my eyes to my mistakes and bad habits. I look forward to following these guidelines. May Allah forgive us and guide us to the straight path. Ameen!
May Allah reward you the best for this very valuable discussion. I can’t tell u how much it has helped me and healed me – Alhamdullilah!!
good article, I learned a lot from it. Allah Akbar.
Jazakum’ Allah Kheir for the article. It’s a nice refreshement before starting out the day. May Allah reward you and may Allah guide and forgive us all….Ameeen.
Salamu Aleykum WrWb.
Alhamdu lillah……..!, I read your email, it appeared as if somebody disclosed my current situation to you, because presently I am facing a serious challenge concerning my career. But with your email, I feel happy. Thanks Iqrasense, you realy make “sense”. Bissalam!.
Jazakallah for sharing such a valuable Article.May Allah Bless you all and whole Muslim Ummah.(Aameen)
May ALLAH reward the one behind this with paradise for the fantastic job he is doing.
May Allah reward you for such a nice post. Jazak Allahu Khair
hope many people read this valuable article, it teach too much
May ALLAH reward you
Salam Alaykum – In fact this article came just at the right time when I am caught in a terrible turmoil and complete despair. I confess I ‘ve been wondering why I ‘ve to go through all that. And miraculously u send me this great e-mail. This is an answer to all my questions.
Jazakum Allah for this noble work. Keep going. May Allah bless u.
Jazak Allah khair, I don’t even know how I was signed up for this but alhamdulilah I feel like Allah swt has this set up specifically as a messenger for me- Every time I’m going through something and I find myself crying during salat, begging for guidance, I get a new article from you directly addressing my problems.
Thank you “iqrasense blogger”, you are truly a blessing 🙂
This is an amazing topic we ask ALLaah SWT to forgive us and all muslims and I hope lot of muslim and non muslim will read and take the advantage of this nasiiha, we ask Allaah his guideness and his forginess,. Jazaakumulaah kheyran Iqra.
Truly outstanding. I have no words to say except what a great job you did for writing this. May allah (swt) guide us in the correct path, ameen.
Assalamu Alaikum, May Allah (SWT) reward you abundantly Amin. Every Muslim and even non Muslims need to read this article, it is an excellent guide and it is to me very timely. Thank you.
Jazak-Allah for this article; it has definitely helped me to think and put things into Excellent advice for me at a much needed time!
jazakallah khair very insightful and full of blessings alhamdulillah. Knowing that Allah(swt) is the best of planners and everything happens for a reason. Just like I received this email in a very trying time and just reminding me that its Allah(swt) will not mine and when i totally surrender to him and strenghten my iman everything will work out the way it is supposed to. subhanallah
Assalamualaikum to All
Mash Allah very gud article.I really appreciate d way u Summarised n made simple to understand..May Allah Give you Reward for this..May Allah forgive our sins & gives us hidayath, Patience ,preservance to deal with difficult challenges
Jazak Allah Khair..
Ohh the words spoken here …If just all would listen and do them this world would be a peaceful and loving place to live prosper and grow in…………….
Very logical and well written article mashaAllaah. I love the common sense it presents when dealing with problems and difficulties because too often when we are struggling, we let emotions take the better of us instead of common sense.
Jazakallahu Khair! Your emails are always timely. You can see from the responses sent to you, you are touching peoples lives everyday. I learn a whole lot from your mails. This one is just what i needed to know right now. Thank you and may Allah swt reward you.
The article boosts my confidence and helps me to cope with everyday problems. We need these type of articles regularly!
May Allah increase your reward for such a helpful article.
Beautiful article. This is what i need as I’m going through a tough problem and it’s not easy. Alhamdulilah with this article i know what to do to ease this rough process. Insyaallah all will be ok for me.
Alhamdulillah, an excellent article. Such ones are need of the hour, especially for young muslims. May Allah bless the writer and reward him for his good deed.Amin!
assalam allaikum.sometimes we do something small and we think is small but infront of allah it is so heavy in meezan.as it was mentioned (baleegh anni wa lau aya)kalimatan khafifatan alal lesan,thakilatan alal meezan wa habibatan alal rahman.may God bless every1 of us muslimeen ameen.
Dear Iqra Sense,
Jazakhallahu Khairan. You may not know the degree of the impact of your posts, and the level of their effects on us (beneficiaries). Please feel encouraged. I pray ALLAh (SWA) to reward you with Aljanna and also us that tent to utilize the posts in faithfull ways. Ameen.
Alhamdulillah such a wonderful inspiration i derive from the article,may Allah continue to guide us in the right direction,thank you.
Assalamu’alaykum… Your article taught me a lot and reminds me many things that i have forgotten… It gives me new spirit, new idea and new courage in facing this reality in life. Thousands thanx and may Allah Bless you… Amin…
This is indeed a very exciting article, may Allah bless you for your effort. I faced some heart broken challenges sometime back and I agree with you that patience, self composure, positive attitude and absolute faith in Allah (accepting challenges as al qadar) is the only route to true happiness.
May Allah reward the writer abundantly and equally give the readers the ability to follow the recommendations.
A very useful/ helpful piece of information and as usual well timed. Jazakallah
Thank you very much for this wonderful article. I am a hot tempered person but this article made a remarkable difference in my life as a muslim. May Allah reward you abundantly ameen.
I think the article is a positive one. I belief in the saying “Qun faya qun”, and from here to move forward ,am a life long learning practicioner all my life, but I believe in action and not words many a time am successful in life but one don’t have to brag and tell the world, . Look on the brighter side of life, the sun , and the moon, adopt and adapt into the situation you’re in. Allah karim … Jazakallahu khairan katheera……. Maasalam. Angsana
Thanks a million. ur articles are very encouraging. May u neva get tired of doing the good work. Remain blessed.
Asalam alaikom, a very good article…thank you for sharing and posting…Reading through it has made me more realize how lucky I am to have embraced the religion…It has enlightened my mind especially now that I am facing a lot of challenges in my life….I hope you will continue sharing to us articles like this…An article which could broaden my knowledge about Islam as I am not a born Muslim but a reverted one and I need to know and learn more and more about my religion..May Allah bless you always..
Alhamduillah this is a most encouraging and uplifting reminder for all muslims and so time appropiate for me i am sustained by the fact that our Lord is All Aware of all things and His servants and so i beg His forgiveness and beg for sabr and beg for the Jannah ameen these articles are my weekday khutbahs -any time any place Please continue with this work
JazakAllah khair for this article and as i go thru some of life’s most trying circulstances, this artilce looks like Allah’s divine ordainment to make some important changes in my attitude and mindset. I think the most challenging thing is to remember all this at the time when bad things are happening to us, b/c we always reflect later than before. May Allah solve the difficulties in all our lives. Ameen.
Also as i read some of the comments, i realize that there is a big big world out there and everyone of us has a unique trouble to deal with. Of course, He that created such a vast world and its problems, is the only One capable of knowing its Divine wisdom.
I found this article really spoke to me, and I am grateful for having been able to read it.
It is a beautiful article and a must read by all. The attributes mentioned in the article will make life adjustable and positive towards facing life challenges and difficulties.
In my opinion challages and difficulties in life are the only ways by which humans are made to bow down before the creator, We humans are bestowed with a capacity to understand and to act with a lot of faith ini the almighty and act with a lot of patience , never for a second leave his daaman , He the creator will help us out of our difficult times , Call him , he is always ready to help , humans can let us down ,But Allah will never let us down this is my faith in my allah . I hope and pray that all humans develop this level of faith in the creator , then there will be no turning back.inshallah. It is this deep faith that helped me to get over major problems and difficulties
Jazakumullahu kheiran Iqrasense who provided us a valuable lesson
A beautifully written and very very helpful article for me. Shukar Alhamdolillah 🙂
Remember simple rules to be happy;-
• Free your mind from worries
• Free your heart from hatred
• Give more and expect less
• Live simply, peacefully, honestly with all that around you and speak truth always in your life.
The power of patience is by far the most effective trait one can have. Thank you for explaining the rewards in detail.
Great! An article which henceforth, shed more light on my weak imaan in time of calamities, when work promotions turn out to be elusive, stupid emotions, senseless reasoning, in family troubles, during pains and illnesses! I conclude we are all shaytaan-probe but the shaytaan-shield is to make more istigfar and binding us to the will and decision of the Ceator & Sustainer of the Universe as this would pave the way to mundane and ah’khiraat successes….Thank u brother.May Allah bless u always.Hope to get more from this site. Jazakallah – Allah (SWT) knows more…
Asalamaoalikum, wa rahmatullah, wa barakatahu,
I am going through a terrible time once again in my life. And this article came in as a soothing balm.
So Jazakallah author for the article, hope things will eventually fall in places, as I try to figure out the bigger picture of life.
This article is enlightening and relevant to all. May Allah rewards the researchers and authors.
A very educative write up that can be helpful to lives.zazakallah.keep the good work up
I have no words to pay my tribute to Iqra for the excellent job they are doing. May Allah bless us all with wisdom to understand and adopt our selves accordingly. I am thankful for these Iman Afroz articles to all team of Iqra. This is the best counselling and help we can offer to humanity.
Subhan’Allah ! Islam has solution for every problem human faces in this world. May Allah always guide us to the right path.Ameen !
Blessful written,and very informative article for me, because now i am in trouble and calamities sorround me, and i may use istigfar , to be key out of my problems. may ALLAH in his ever grace and tendency guide us to the right path ameen summa ameen . and i am expecting more from this site. thanks for all.
Shukran wa afwan. This important article has really come at the right time of needs. What ever difficulty faced in life or anticipating I had to observe the Salatul Istikharat and Salatul Dhuha (daily), through which Insha Allah if I could not succeed in what I want, Allah surely changed or replaced it with another important thing better than what I anticipated. This impressive article adds more to my courage in accepting challenges and difficulties. I hope to receive more from you. Jazakallah bi Khair
May Allah SWT continue to bless and guide ur all to the right path. Thank you very much i got this mail at the very time i need it. May Allah continue to bestow his favors on you
as salam alai kum, this was a very good article. at times it becomes necessary to recall or brush through such knowledge and wisdom in order to rejuvenate the right spirit in you. And we should all go through such readings time to time though you are aware of it just to awaken yourself, jazak Allah
I AM GOING THROUGH A TOUGH TIME IN MY LIFE AND AFTER READING THIS ARTICLE I FEEL MUCH RELAXED AND MAY THE ALMIGHTY ALLAH GIVE ME THE PATIENCE AND STRENGTH TO COME OUT OF THE TRIALS SUCCESSFULLY
Jazakallah khayran for this beautiful piece, very inspiring and encouraging
Alhamdulilah Robi’l alamin.
Excellent article.May Allah SWT accept it as act of ibadah, to we the reader may it have a positive impact on us and improve our Iman.
thanks so mush.it is only allah dt can repay you fr ur effort.cos dis rely help.
Jazak’allah ….for rendering such a inspiring and thoughtful article….please keep writing more and more….masha’allah… i am so much inspired and will surely try to inculcate the same…bismillah..
Assalamu Alaikum Warahmathullahi Wabarakathuhu.
This is an excellent article. May Allah (swt) reward you immensely. There is a very small concern from my side. If you can change the word “Bible” to “Injeel” under the topic – “Trying to make sense of the difficulties” it would be more appropriate as the the “bible ” is not really the Injeel.
Today we badly need to control and channelize our emotions . Lets start acting now and get Allah ‘s BLESSINGS !
Jazak Allah Bil Khair,
Very useful article, explaining why we have to believe iin Qadar.
Expecting more on other important topics on faith.
regards and thanks.
Mashallah, the articles given on this website are so helpful and excellent.
Everytime I face any issues or hardship I am always able to find an article on here to help me rethink my problems and situations.
The prayers and knowledge provided Mashallah are perfect, I have seen alot of hardship and now my life has been put into perspective and I realise that my way of dealing with things was wrong, and I didnt realise how blessed I was to have such a faith until I started prayers fully.
I was very selfish and pityful in my self, and didnt see how much Allah SWT has given me and was continuing to give to me as if I was blinded by what I had in my life that was good I could only see the bad.
Mashallah Allah SWT is All Merciful All Gracious.
Allah SWT gives and Allah SWT takes always with good reason.
Mashallah we are fortunate to be born into this religion. And should help the unfortunate to also be fortunate.
Thank you to the author of these articles In shah Allah may Allah bless you with good health always.
Masha-Allah, Very informative articles.
Appreciated a lot. I spent few mins but earned a lot. Zazak Allah.
It has been 3 years that I’m working in a leading telecom company as a Customer Relation Officer. Despite of many advantages and benefits, still I was frustrated and depressed. I always wanted to be at different position but after reading this article, I’ve realized that I shoudl be thankful to ALLAH Almighty. I’ve changed my mindset to “Strive for more but be contented with what you have”
Thank you so much Iqrasense.
I thank Allah (SWT) for the writings provided to this website. I have not had employment in 2 years, it was 2 years ago my husband announced “he no longer loved me.” I returned to the city where my adult children live and moved in upon invitation with my son. Two years later, I am till unemployed and my unemployment benefits are nearly exhausted. But I am so thankful to be reminded that Allah NEVER FAILS the believer.
May Allah bless you and accept all your effort and endeavor. You couldn’t imagine how you are changing millions of people’s lives including mine, as I ‘ve always been searching to get such a personal development blog with an islamic value. Thank so much for providing us with such a forum to exprience and share ideas with other brothers and sisters in the same deen…
inn naal laa haa maa assabareen……
veriliy alla subhanawatal is with those who have patience SAABAR
I always do and belive in this and practiced practically in my life and gained lot’s of benifites from alla subhanawatala’s blessing’s may alla subhanawatala be pleased with us with our belives & taqwa’s on him ..Ameen
Mashallah, trully inspirational
Maashaallah this is realy wonderful article . May Almighty Allah rewards u abundantly. What I have learnt from this article is that many people channel their emotions and act them out uncontrollably and irresponsibly. In such situations, the prophet (peace be upon him) instructed us to exercise patience and to maintain a calm attitude instead. When his son Ibrahim was dying, the prophet’s eyes filled with tears. Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Awf said, ‘Are you weeping when you have forbidden us to weep?’ The Prophet said, ‘I do not forbid weeping. What I have forbidden is two foolish and evil kinds of voices: voices at times of entertainment and play and the flutes of the Shaytaan, and voices at times of calamity and scratching the face and rending the garments and screaming.’” . I learn something very important from this hadith. Lets thanks ALLAH FOR SENDING CLEAR GUIDANCE through our prophet Muhammad SAW.
Masha’Allah!! Excellent advice. I would like to hear more about Divine Decree in relation to our free will. Insha’Allah.
Extremely influence the way we see our problems and our acceptance to it. Believe for the good and bad qadar is a must, and to think ‘if I…such and such’ would cost more pain. Regret is just hopeless and helpless. Thank you for the meaningful article, may Allah bless iqrasense.
Masha Allah…. very nice and beautifull and very helpfull article …100% faith in Allah is the cure of All problems is life.. may Allah grant every one All happiness .. 🙂 ameen
Maasha Allah, What a beautifully written article. I have benefited from this more than any other source of advice from any writing or person in my life. Allah has guided me here and made this the answer to my dua in asking for a healing, sabir and iman. Now I can channel my emotions in the right direction with positive energy. May Allah increase our Iman. Ameen.
May Allah bless you for producing this wonderful piece.
Thanks for another fantastic article. Where else may just anyone get that type of information in such a perfect way of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I’m on the look for such information.
Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people think about worries that they just don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks
JAZAK ALLAH KHAIRAN!Your articles are like eye opener,showing the light of faith ,nourishes and give peace to the soul.Thanks a lot.
Assalaamu Alaikum and JazaakAllah Khair for this wonderful article.
Assalamu alaikum, jazakhallahu khairan. Your article is always inspiring. This one in particular relates to me and In Sha Allah, I would always put in practice.