As we travel through life, we find ourselves in one of two situations. Either something good is happening in our lives, in which case as Muslims our role is to thank Allah for the blessing, or something bad or something we dislike is happening to us, and our role then is to be patient. This is the formula for a happy life, a life cruising towards earning the pleasure of Allah. Sabr (patience) or Shukr (gratitude), the worry stops here.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“Strange is the affair of the believer. Verily, all his affairs are good for him. If something pleasing befalls him, he thanks (Allah) and it becomes better for him. And if something harmful befalls him he is patient (Saabir) and it becomes better for him. And this is only for the believer.” (Saheeh Muslim)

Ibn Al-Jawzi said, “If this world was not a station of tests it would not be filled with sicknesses and filth. If life were not about hardship, then the prophets and the pious would have lived the most comfortable of lives. Nay, Adam suffered test after test until he left the world. Nuh cried for 300 years. Ibrahim was thrown into a pit of fire and later told to slaughter his son. Ya’qub cried until he became blind. Musa challenged Pharaoh and was tested by his people. ‘Isa had no provision except the morsels his disciples provided him with. And Muhammad (peace be upon him) met poverty with patience as his uncle, one of the most beloved relatives to him, was slain and mutilated, and his people disbelieved in him … and the list of prophets and the pious goes on and on.”