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Dealing with Life’s Challenges and Difficulties Part 2

Getting yourself out of trouble

Having accepted Allah’s decree, and after getting over any emotional challenges, the next step involves taking the right actions to get us out of our problems and difficulties. Actively engaging our God gifted faculties to pull us out of such situations is not as common as one may think. Thus, many a time we fail to achieve successful breakthroughs because we either follow a haphazard approach to resolve our problems or give up on our efforts too early in the process. This leads us to get stalled and makes us regard situations as irresolvable, hoping and praying for miracles to pull us out.

If you find yourself in such situations, this may be the time to rethink your overall approach. You see, most of us are accustomed to looking for “silver bullet” types of solutions. However, such solutions aren’t that many and thus can’t be relied on to get you out of your life’s challenges. Adopting a realistic but methodical approach instead has a better chance of putting you closer to your desired outcomes.

This requires that you take time to define the problems and difficulties that you face with increased clarity and specificity. This is bound to yield better results because you will get clearer about the outcomes that you desire. You will also be able to clearly delineate the constituent tasks that potentially can put you closer to your desired solution. Follow those tasks through to the end with perseverance and patience and you may reduce the load of your problems.

On the spiritual front, we should recognize that if Allah puts us through trials or punishes us because of our sins, the decision is His. However, as highlighted in another post on this site, seeking forgiveness through repentance (Istighfar) can help undo the damage of our sins. As the prophet (peace be upon him) said: “whoever does a lot of Istighfar, Allah will provide him a way out of each concern he has, and will solve all his troubles, and will provide him with livelihood from sources that were not known to him” (Narrated by Imam Ahmad, Sanad Sahih.)
Preventive measures

Finally, although Allah’s decree is ordained, there are things we can do beforehand to influence the outcome of our efforts, and thus prevent problems from piling up. First, we should never forget that Allah has provided us with a free will and associated faculties to think and act. As the prophet had stated, while we should fully trust Allah, we should tie our horse first – meaning we should use all our God-gifted faculties and exercise the required due diligence.

Second, for cases in which we fumble to choose between options, we should exercise the use of the Istikhara prayers. The text of the dua recited in those prayers clearly reflects your plea to Allah to make the desired decision work for you if it’s good for you, or to ward it off if it’s not. By doing so, you consciously put your faith in Him to guide you. This will reduce the likelihood of you ending up with a failed outcome and thus an added burden for you to carry in the future.

Conclusion

To summarize, remember that effectively channeling your emotions, letting go of a negative past, maximizing the use of your God-gifted faculties, and above all a strong faith can help you attain the wisdom that life demands from you to get through even the most difficult challenges. Just ensure that you get serious about resisting the old attitudes and inculcate a positive mindset to propel you forward.

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