What to do in Times of Distress

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Zahra and Afshan

We are against corruption

ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ – 30:41

“Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by [reason of] what the hands of people have earned so He may let them taste part of [the consequence of] what they have done that perhaps they will return [to righteousness].”

[Al-Qur’an – Surat Ar-Rūm (The Romans) – 30:41]


These days in our own country and across the globe we find chaos and turmoil everywhere.  Life is becoming more and more competitive and therefore more and more difficult.  The  ayah quoted above clearly indicates that we have made life difficult for ourselves and whatever consequences we face come as a result of our own actions. The proverbial “rat race” seems to have pulled everyone into its never ending circle. The majority of us  seem to think that if  we are able to attain the maximum wealth and maximum worldly goods, we will achieve peace and happiness.  However, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) told us that even if man were to be given a mountain of gold, he would still wish for two mountains of gold and so on. The reality of the matter is that those who seek only the worldly benefits will never be satisfied. It is only those people who have fixed their eyes on and work for aakhirah for whom Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has said:

أَلا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاء اللّهِ لاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ – 10:62

“Unquestionably, [for] the allies of Allah there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.”
[Al-Qur’an – Surat Yūnus (Jonah) – 10:62]

peace in the midst of chaosAccording to a Hadith Qudsi, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has told us that He has kept peace in Jannah, whereas  we search endlessly for it in this world. However,  in the ayah quoted above Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has told us that for the Awliya of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), there is peace and happiness in this world as well.  This peace and contentment can be acquired by adhering to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى)’s commands, by firm belief in His attribute of being Rahman and Raheem, and knowing that He would never burden us with more than we can bear. When we place all our problems in the hands of our Creator, knowing that whatever outcome He ordains will be best for us, we attain an inner peace. Our beautiful religion also teaches us, that even in hardships, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is planning what is best for us. He is the All Knower and the best of Planners.  Therefore if a hardship has come upon us, we must handle the situation with patience and the belief that there must be some benefit from it.

In Surah Al-Baqarah, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says:

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الأَمَوَالِ وَالأنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ – 2:155

“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”
[Al-Qur’an – Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow) – 2:156]

However, sometimes individuals and nations are punished for their wrong doings.   Whenever individuals and nations transgress the boundaries set by Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), the result will be accordingly. We see forms of fasaad all around. We see in the world today, there are diseases we had never even heard about due ti which thousands of people die.   We see countries that are on the brink of starvation. We see cities that have been ravaged by bombs, we see violence spreading far and wide. Innocent people are suffering while the oppressors are seemingly prospering. We see sins being committed openly and with disregard to all norms of haya and decency.  Adultery has become so common that it is sadly even the theme of many movies, novels and dramas.  

This all is a result of people and nations straying away from the True Path. In the Qur’an, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has narrated so many incidents of nations having perished for the very same reasons of disobedience.  In such situations when fasaad is so widespread, it is not only the wrong-doers who suffer the outcome, but those who are firm in faith are also caught up by the calamities. As Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) tells us in the Qur’an, we should save ourselves from the fitnah which will not only reach those who have done zulm, but will be for everyone.

The Abbas Town Incident, Karachi

Taken from www.geo.tv
Abbas Town (Taken from http://www.geo.tv)

Recently in Karachi, an unfortunate incident took place at Abbas Town.  Several people were killed, many were injured and hundreds of people lost their entire homes.  These people have nothing left –  no clothes, no shelter, no food, no savings. Some of them have lost their families and their means of income as well.  At times of such disaster, it is the duty of every Muslim- whether they are in Karachi, in Lahore, USA, UK, Africa or elsewhere, to try and help those affected in whatever way they can.  If they cannot help them physically, they can donate money clothes, medicines etc.  The least a fellow Muslim can do is pray sincerely to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to resolve the problems of those affected.

There is a masnoon dua that we should read when we see someone in difficulty.

                                           masnoon dua for when we see someone in difficulty
Courtesy: digitaldua.com

Alhamdu lillaahil-lathee ‘aafaanee mimmab-talaaka bihi wa fadhdhalanee ‘alaa katheerin mimman khalaqa tafdheela.

“Praise is to Allah Who has spared me what He has afflicted you with, and preferred me greatly above much of what He has created.[1]” [1] At-Tirmithi 5/493,4. See also Al-Albani, Sahih At-Tirmithi 3/153.

Whoever reads this dua on seeing others in difficulty, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) saves him from that difficulty. 

Remedy for Depression 

What is to be done in this case?

  1. First, as individuals, we need to look at our own deeds. We need to identify where and how we are disobeying Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).  We need to return to the guidance of the Qur’an, to purify our intentions and to make our deeds such that may be accepted by Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).  This is at an individual level. As Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) tells us that He will not change the condition of a nation until and unless they change themselves. The first step is at the individual level and when more and more people begin this process of returning to the Qur’an and the Sunnah, the effects will be manifest in the society as well.
  2. We must do maximum istighfaar, both at the individual level and also collectively.  As individuals, we must realize that Muslims are one Ummah.  When one Muslim suffers anywhere in the world, it must be our concern and we must make utmost efforts to help him/her.
  3. We must define our goal in life before it is too late –  is it the aakhirah or dunya?  If we make the dunya our goal, we are bound to face tests.  But if we realize that this life is temporary and the real life is in the Hereafter, the problems of this world begin to lose their importance.
  4. If we are in a bad situation, we must look to those who are in a worse state and be thankful to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) for what we have.
  5. We should learn to focus on our blessings and thank Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) for them daily. There are things which we often take for granted, like being born in a Muslim home, being able to hear the adhaan, or being able to see the great and magnificent signs of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) in the sky and on land.
  6. Do plenty of dhikr and learn by heart the duas which the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) taught us for well being.
  7. Remember and believe in the fact that Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) does not burden someone with more than he can bear.
  8. We should live our life in a state of hope and fear- hope that Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) will forgive us and fear that He can also punish us.
  9. We must develop and maintain the quality of “being in touch with Allah (سبحانه و تعالى)” at all times, in times of difficulty  as well as in times of happiness.


About Quran Reflections

Al-Huda's branch at Khayaban-e-Sehar is one of the few Quran courses being regularly conducted in Karachi, Pakistan, where the mode of instruction and examination is English. The students and teachers have decided to upload their reflections on the Quran and class notes on this blog, in order to be available to a global audience for the latter's benefit and inspiration.
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