I was reading some quotes by Helen Keller and this one particular quote caught my attention:
"A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships." (The Simplest Way to be Happy 1933)
A woman born in 1880 and died in 1968, who became deaf and blind from the age of 19 months, at the age of 53 years she said the above.
A woman who did not let her disabilities prevent her from gaining a BA, becoming a lecturer, a political activist, becoming an opponent of war and a proponent of workers rights, women's suffragette movement and other leftist causes said the above.
These words to me resonate with humility, gratitude and perseverance in the face of all sorts of difficulties this woman must have encountered.
The reason I write this, is because it humbles me; we know Allaah (swt), we read His (swt) words (the Qur'aan), we follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (saws), we engross ourselves in the religion of Allaah (swt), yet we resent our Creator for the tests that He (swt) puts us through, instead of being consumed with deep reverential love and gratitude for Allaah (swt) for blessing us with this test. When I went through a difficult time personally this year, a sister who had been through her own personal tribulations asked if I had made sujood (prostration) to Allaah (swt) to thank Him s(swt) for the test He (swt) had put me through...and I was again humbled.
Don't we see that Allaah swt honoured us through the test He (swt) gave us to increase our reward by giving us an opportunity to practice patience, to determinedly persevere in serving Him (swt) with taqwaa (fearing Allaah swt), and to smile in gratitude to Him (swt) that the test is not any worse, that He (swt) helped us through this test?
It may be this test and nothing less than this that leads to you being honoured by ar-Rahmaan in your grave, on the Day of Judgement, in Jannatul Firdaus...it may be this test that leads also to you becoming more aware of your faith, of you turning back to Allaah (swt), of reading the Qur'aan (His swt's words) and loving the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)...and it is through this remembrance of Allaah (swt) will our hearts ultimately find true happiness and deep contentment. How many times in our life did we have it all or do we know of those who "have it all" yet they're hearts are unsettled...they aren't content...they feel an emptiness...and yet Allaah (swt) places us in a test and by His Mercy blesses us with the opportunity to remember Him and we become genuinely happy.
Allaah (swt) may seem be taking something from us...someone we love, our health, our wealth, our businesses...but perhaps so that this test leads us to arrive at the path of true happiness, where our hearts reach contentment and rest and ultimate happiness through the remembrance of Allaah (swt).