A path with no ob­sta­cles?

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“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.

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