A path with no obstacles?
“Nothing”, they say, “comes with ease”. There is no time when this adage could be real than now when so many factors have made life more complex and challenging. The most two compelling factors are human demographic indices and the advent of technology as the driving force of nearly all human activities. In any case, we must not allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by such daunting analysis or judgment. Few men and women ever became successful without passing through some experiences that may not be too pleasant to remember. Frank Clark says “If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere”.
It is hope, optimism, faith in Allah (SWT) and the courage to live and stand against all unfriendly circumstances that makes a man or woman successful in life. At times, things that make us unhappy may not necessarily be artificial or manmade. They could also be natural. Whether natural or artificial, challenges in life should not be allowed to induce depression in us. Failures or disappointments should not become sources of our despondency on earth. Problems, no matter their nature, must not be allowed to become obstacles on our path to success. Rather, they should be gateways to prosperity. Many successful people achieved success through failure. Sir Humphrey Davy once said, “The most important of my discoveries have been suggested to me by my failures”. Failures as problems are therefore are necessary ingredients of life.
Although difficulties may sometimes be heartrending, they could unknowingly be blessings in disguise. Man develops certain skills from the experiences of his everyday life. It’s difficult to be an achiever without being a problem solver. People who are afraid of solving problems are likely to dwell in them; carrying unnecessary mental burdens on their minds. One way of overcoming challenges is to have self confidence that is powered by hope. To be an achiever is to be a problem solver. With a mind full of hopes, success will surely look for you and meet you wherever you are.
Allah (S WT) mentions in Qur’an 2: 228 that “On no soul doth Allah places a burden greater than it can bear…” Allah (SWT) puts us on trial with specific challenges because He (SWT) knows we can overcome them. Problems could be loss of job, failure in business, bankruptcy, poverty, failed marriage arising from irresponsibility of a husband or a wife, loss of property (to thieves or fire), losing elections, etc. Beside every misfortune is a gateway to other blessings. When troubled, a believer does not say, “Why has Allah (SWT) done this to me?” Instead, he is advised to pray to Allah to give him the wisdom and the ability to triumph over the challenges confronting him. Qur’an 94:5 assures that “after every difficulty comes a relief”. In such a circumstance, a believer says, “Inna lillahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Raj’un” meaning “from Allah we came and to Him is our return”.
Problems are not gate-closers. They are rather gate-openers. They bring out the potentials in you. No problem is bad enough to drive you to take recourse to drugs or do anything that is inimical to your physical or mental health. Drugs are not solutions to any problem(s). In fact, they only create additional problems to existing challenges. With problems, we are better equipped with skills (mental and physical) to face greater challenges in life. Problems are never permanent in themselves. The way we manage our challenges could, however, make them seem endless. Constant prayers and our faith in it are strong weapons against adversities, and by extension, depression.
It’s not a problem to have a problem. You do not have problems because Allah (SWT) hates you. No one is in problems because he is poor, rich, tall, short, black, yellow, fat, slim, a man or a woman. Do not also think you have the worst problem. If you have the privilege to listen to others, you are likely to discover that those things you probably considered as problems are mere “attachments” to the burdens of life carried by others.
Life on earth, “like Kano city in Nigeria”, is full of experiences that are never the same for two individuals. Everyone experiences life according to the plans designed by destiny.
A life of uninterrupted pleasure has not been granted to anyone on earth as some of us, if given the option, would prefer. Whenever we are visited by a sorrowful event or sad moment, let us comfort ourselves by remembering our previous moments of joy and then give gratitude to Allah (SWT), the All-Knowing. Let us hold on to our faith and defend it against the treacherous plots of the devil. In this manner, Allah (SWT) would open the alternative door as long as we rely upon Him in times of hardship, distress or at any time the going gets tough.
Allah (SWT) states in Qur’an 65:3, 4 “... and for those who fear Allah, He (ever) prepares a way out; And He provides for him from sources he never could imagine. And if anyone puts his trusts in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. For Allah will surely accomplish His purpose: Verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion”. As believers, let us learn to be patient in all matters. It is never late for Allah (SWT) to resolve our problems for us. He knows best when to dispose of our challenges. After all, some challenges could be blessings in disguise. Allah (S WT) knows best when and how to get rid of our individual and collective problems. May Allah (S WT) ease our path to success and prosperity, amin.