I was chatting with a dear friend a few days ago about tests and trials and how it’s usually a matter of time before it blows over. In class, I remember it being mentioned that the first strike of a test is so short, like when you get a thorn prick, or, for those who live in the desert, particularly New Mexico, when you put your weight on one of those annoying goatheads/stickers that somehow found its darn way inside your shoe. If we are able to be patient at the first strike of calamity, we can reap the rewards inshaallah. That is not to say that we are free to curse after that first strike.
In this ayah,
Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you? They were touched by poverty and hardship and were shaken until [even their] messenger and those who believed with him said,”When is the help of Allah ?” Unquestionably, the help of Allah is near.
Allah mentions the believers of past nations, including their prophets asked,
“When is the help of Allah coming?”
It shows the human side of these believers and prophets. The trials that struck them were so severe and they were so shaken that even they, whom we would not expect this from, asked this question. Allah replies,
“Unquestionably, the help of Allah is near.”
It makes me think of Algernon the mouse in Flowers for Algernon
. To Algernon, the way out of the maze must have seemed out of reach in the beginning. And that’s how humans are when we are in the midst of a trial. It would feel like forever, it would feel like the torture would never end. It’s a matter of perspective really. Many times, when the test is over with, we look back, and it doesn’t seem long at all. Looking back, it’s easier to say that of course.
When my youngest had whole body oozing eczema throughout his infancy, it felt like forever. A sister told me,
“Oh, it’ll be okay when he grows up. I have a friend whose son also had terrible eczema, but now he’s a handsome young boy.”
My youngest is now alhamdulillah no longer dealing with that terrible horrible eczema, but he does have multiple allergies (which was the reason behind those constant severe flare ups). Looking back, it seemed minor compared to dealing with his allergies now.
However, the same thing applies to dealing with his food allergies. It’s just a matter of perspective. If I can adopt that perspective, it might be more tolerable as I make dua for Allah to remove these allergies completely. The time will come inshaallah when that will happen. I just have to ride it out.
Allah’s help is just around the corner. It’s near. It really is. Allah says so.