Beating The Heat With Positive Thinking
Every other person nowadays repeatedly exclaims, with loud sighs and exasperated wipes of wet brows, how extremely hot the weather is. Despite going through this bout of intense heat every year as summer makes its debut, we seem to find it shocking how high the temperatures can shoot up, come July. Consequently, we loathe how the heat adversely affects our day-to-day living, especially in those developing countries where air conditioners, generators, refrigerators, and deep freezers are still elusive luxuries that not everyone can afford.
There are ways of countering our by-default habit of complaining, cribbing and negative thinking about the hot summer. We should remind ourselves that we are indeed tremendously blessed by Allah through His wonderful creation of the heavens and the earth, which sees four seasons come and go throughout the year, with each bringing forth special bounties and joys that benefit us.
Heat brings vegetation
The heat, accompanied by rainfall, brings forth our provision – all that we eat and drink with much relish. The blazing sun melts snow from the mountains that causes rivers, geysers and fresh-water streams to gush forth for us.
“And He it is who has caused waters to come down from the sky; and by this means have We brought forth all living growth, and out of this have We brought forth greenness. Out of this do We bring forth close-growing grain; and out of the palm tree, dates in thick clusters; and gardens of vines, and the olive tree, and the pomegranate: (all) so alike, and yet so different! Behold their fruit when it comes to fruition and ripens! Verily, in all this there are messages indeed for people who will believe!” (Qur’an, 6:99)
The process of photosynthesis that the sunlight causes makes the dead trees come alive and bear fruit; the seeds sown into the ground produce grains, pulses, vegetables and rice that we whip up into exotic delicacies. Furthermore, animals mate during this season and increase in numbers.
Fruit and flowers
When Allah brings upon us the summer season, He also provides us with means to get relief from the hot weather in the form of succulent seasonal fruit full of nutrients that replenish our bodies, saving them from the adverse effects of dehydration and perspiration. Similarly, the summer sees flowers bloom and arid landscape come alive with greenery and color. The Muslim gets a chance to see the breathtaking beauty of Allah’s creation that immediately sets his tongue in motion with praise and dhikr!
Blessing of clothing
If Allah shines the sun’s heat down upon us for some weeks without relent, He also provides us with the material with which we can protect ourselves from it. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“And Allah has given you, of that which He has created, shelter from the sun; and has given you places of refuge in the mountains, and has given you coats to ward off the heat from you, and coats (of armor) to save you from your own foolhardiness. Thus does He perfect His favor unto you, in order that you may surrender (unto Him).” (Qur’an, 16:81)
Better than cold and snow
We should consider ourselves blessed to have hot weather throughout the year that does not completely restrict our movement outside our homes. In parts of the world that are extremely cold, freezing winters last for months, necessitating special, heavy attire for its dwellers, which they have to don before going outside. They need specially designed central heating systems within homes, and extra hassle of removing the piles of snow from driveways and roads. Hail, blizzards and snowfall curtail transport and block highways, bringing civic life to a standstill. Frozen ice on the ground causes serious road accidents. Long and dreary winters turn lush landscapes into barren, lifeless, no-man zones, send animals into hibernation, and bring depression and a feeling of somberness. Nights too are much longer than days.
It is so much better to have hot weather than to endure a long, harsh winter indoors.
Opportunities for outdoor fun
Allah has blessed us with beaches, plains, mountains and numerous kinds of the scenic outdoors that we can thoroughly enjoy during the summer. Think picnics, park trysts, barbeque parties, playgrounds, gardening opportunities, swimming, and hiking. The summer forces us to come out of our homes to seek the outdoor cool breeze, especially at night. We should be grateful to Allah for this seasonal shift in activities.
Joy of drinking cool water
Human beings experience few indescribable joys in this life. One such joy is drinking cold water while being thirsty on a very hot day. There is a du’a that mentions this love of drinking cold water as being inherent in man:
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “One of the supplications of Dawood (peace be upon him) was, ‘O Allah, I ask You for Your love and love for those who love You and for actions which will bring Your love to me. O Allah, make Your love more beloved to me than myself, my family and cold water.’” (Al Tirmidhi)
We would not experience this joy were it not for the heat or the thirst we feel when it’s hot. Similarly, standing under a cold shower, taking a dip in a pool, pond, stream or lake, or standing outside in the pelting rain after a prolonged spell of hot weather, leaves us refreshed and tremendously happy. We would never experience such joys if Allah did not bear this intense heat upon us. Hence, we should be grateful for it.
So the next time you find yourself or someone else complaining of how terribly hot it is, try to think of the numerous benefits of summer and say on the contrary, “Alhamdulillah!”
– By Sadaf Farooqi