Why do bad things happen? Why me?

Quran, 2:216
وَعَسَىٰ أَن تَكْرَهُوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ وَعَسَىٰ أَن تُحِبُّوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَّكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
“it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.”

This ayah not only consoles us and gives us strength during times of difficulty, but it also reminds us of our limits, and that we are subject to much without having power over it. Whereas Allah ta’ala not only has power over all, but also knows all that has happened and all that will happen, and He rewards those who put their trust in Him. Thus, we should turn to Him to do what is best for us, and accept whatever He does with submission to His will and His wisdom because our will and wisdom are limited and uncertain.

Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab رضي الله عنه is reported to have said:

No amount of guilt can change the past, and no amount of worrying can change the future. Go easy on yourself, for the outcome of all affairs is determined by Allaah’s decree. If something is meant to go elsewhere, it will never come your way, but if it is yours by destiny, from it you cannot flee.”

Accepting Allah’s decree prevents us from fretting over what has passed, and allows us to seek benefit from even our bad experiences of life. It allows us to try to learn from them, and to try to understand what benefit Allah bestowed upon us in the form of what we perceived as loss and difficulty. So often do we encounter difficulty and feel saddened at the time, yet later we find that this difficulty was in fact a mercy from Allah in a manner in which we were incapable of understanding. SubhaanAllah.

Thus, when encountering difficulty, we must turn to Allah ta’ala, and humble ourselves before Him and His decree, knowing that Allah is All-Knowing and All-wise.

We find from the ahadeeth:

‘A’isha رضي الله عنها reported:
I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saying: There is nothing (in the form of trouble) that comes to a believer even if it is the pricking of a thorn that there is decreed for him by Allah good or his sins are obliterated.
[Saheeh Muslim]

It was narrated that Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه said, attributing it to the Prophet (ﷺ):
“The stronger believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, although both are good. Strive to seek that which will benefit you and do not feel helpless. If something overwhelms you, then say: Qaddarallah, wa ma sha’a fa’al (It is the decree of Allah and what He wills He does). And beware of (saying) ‘If only,’ for ‘If only’ opens the door to Satan.”
[Saheeh Muslim; Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab az-Zuhd, graded Saheeh (Darussalam)]

The Quran informs us that we will indeed be tested with difficulty and instructs that we are to be patient in such trials, for Allah ‘azzawajal rewards this patience. So remember that:

Quran, 94:6
إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا
Certainly, with the difficulty there is ease

The following ayaat, which have also been mentioned in a previous article, are a powerful reminder that advise us and strongly encourage us to ponder:

Quran, 2:152
فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِي وَلَا تَكْفُرُونِ
Therefore remember Me, I will remember you, and be thankful to Me, and do not be ungrateful to Me.

Quran, 2:153
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ
O you who believe! Seek assistance through patience and prayer; surely Allah is with the patient.

Quran, 2:155
وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ
And We will most certainly try you with somewhat of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits; and give good news to the patient,

Quran, 2:156
الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ
Those who, when a misfortune befalls them, say: “Surely we are Allah’s and to Him we shall surely return”.

Quran, 2:157
أُولَٰئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ
Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided.

 

May Allah ta’ala give us the strength to accept His decree with patience and submission, and may we find peace in doing so.

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