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  • Writer's pictureMaulana Wahiduddin Khan

Difficult Times: A Blessing

I have received a question through email. The text of the question is: ‘I often pray to God thus: “Please make my family and loved ones happy. Let their difficult times be transferred onto my life, and let them never face any difficulty in their life. Lord, I am ready to face every hardship, but I want them to stay happy and prosperous forever.” Is this prayer in accordance with the Quran?’

Challenge makes a man a superman. When you meet a challenge, you enhance your process of intellectual development.

The answer to this question is very clear. This kind of prayer is not in accordance with the spirit of the Quran because it is against the creation plan of God. Any prayer that goes against the creation plan of God can never be accepted, even if the person continues to pray. The Quran in the chapter Fatir (The Creator) clearly declares:

No burden-bearer shall bear another’s burden. (35:18)

The above kind of prayer reflects that parents have made their family’s worldly betterment their sole concern. While according to the Quran, parents should make their family’s other-worldly (akhirat) betterment their concern. According to the Quran, a believer must adopt an akhirat-oriented or hereafter-oriented thinking and life for himself as well as for his family. Going against this will only invite divine wrath. A verse in the chapter Al-A‘la (The Most High) from the Quran that points towards this is:

But you prefer the life of this world, although the Hereafter is better and more lasting.


Moreover, such a prayer goes against wisdom. According to the law of nature, difficulty is not a problem, it is instead a blessing. There is a well-known saying: ‘It is not ease but effort, not facility but difficulty that makes men.’ This saying is based on the law of nature. According to the law of nature, difficulty is the only course of building a true personality. Difficulty is not a curse, rather it is a stepping-stone towards success.

The problem is that people take difficulty as difficulty, while, in fact, it is a challenge. ‘Difficulty’ is a negative word, while ‘challenge’ is a positive word. Challenge motivates you, unfolds your potentials, and enhances your creativity. In short, challenge makes a man a superman. When you meet a challenge, you enhance your process of intellectual development. It is intellectual development that leads to all kinds of greater achievement.

Take the difficulties of life as a challenge, and soon you will discover that what you had considered as an evil was actually a blessing.

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