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Blessings In Disguise

Allah reminds us in the Qur’an [3:173] that He is sufficient for us in all times, in all circumstances. But how do we understand this statement? Someone who is blessed with provision will look at it from one point of view. This person is able to be thankful for Allah’s gifts such as a healthy body, wealth to meet their needs, endearing family members and all the other blessings in their lives. They become grateful to Allah knowing that He is The Provider who made their lives comfortable with His abundant provisions. Allah strengthens this person’s faith by inspiring him/her to recall His favours upon them. Allah also helps them understand His power and His mercy. Reflecting on what Allah has blessed them with is ultimately what encourages them to ask Allah and rely on Him. Psychologically, it is beneficial for the one who has this mindset as they remain optimistic that Allah will answer their prayers. Such a person is in a perpetual state of prosperity.

We can also understand the above statement from a second point of view. What happens when your health becomes compromised? Or when you get fired from your job? Or when the people closest to you are the ones that cause you the most pain? How do we cope during these distressing situations and maintain our faith in Allah’s plan? Do we still believe with conviction that Allah is sufficient for us at all times?

In the first scenario, Allah strengthens a person’s faith by giving to this person in areas that obviously good for us. This person becomes closer to Allah as a result of their gratitude. Similarly, Allah deprives someone for the sake of saving their faith in Allah by adding difficulties to redirect them to a better lifestyle. By having your health, wealth and family taken away, Allah will inspire you to realize one and only one thing: to not place your trust wholeheartedly in the gifts of Allah, but in Him.

How can one appreciate good health if they’ve never been sick? How will this person be able to utilize their health for the sake of Allah without having to appreciate Allah? Allah takes away a person’s income and family members to remind us that these temporary gifts should not be relied upon as the source of happiness or simply as the source. Sometimes we only cherish a gift when it’s taken away, and through deprivation, we learn gratitude. We also learn to recognize the permanence of Allah and not rely on humans or materials that are temporary in nature.

So when we think of provisions, we see them as evident blessings, but when we think of deprivation, we view it as a bitter trial. In actuality, they are blessings too but in disguise. There was a time in my life when the closest people to me were the ones that were the reason for my grief. This experience was a valuable lesson that taught me the depth of my forbearance. Allah also made me realize that He was the only one who supported me and cared for me when I had no one. So when I think of what it means for Allah to be sufficient for us, I can’t help but reflect on this time when Allah made me realize that the only way I could feel fulfilled was if He was the only one I depended on. 

This hadith summarizes what it means to be given blessings in disguise:

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, once said:

“Amazing is the affair of the believer, verily all of his affair is good and this is not for no one except the believer. If something of good/happiness befalls him he is grateful and that is good for him. If something of harm befalls him he is patient and that is good for him”

(Saheeh Muslim)

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