You know that borderline-torturous feeling when you’ve been working out for a long time, but you’re pushing yourself to go on just a little longer? You’re exhausted, your muscles are shaking and burning, but you think to yourself, “Just one more rep,” or “Just two more minutes.” It hurts, but you know it’ll be worth it in the end.
In a well-known hadith, the Prophet (saws) said, “No doubt, coming after you are days of patience and perseverance. Having perseverance (in faith) in those days will be like holding onto a burning piece of coal. For the one who has patience in that time, he will have the reward of 50 people who do the same action (now).” (Sunan Abu Dawood)
The reason it’s difficult to hold onto our faith in trying times isn’t just because it’s painful, but also because letting it go is an instinct that we consciously have to fight. Like doing that last rep when your muscles are screaming at you to just put down the weights, or holding onto a smoking hot piece of coal that’s burning your hand. But the reward is more than worth it, and the difficulty is something we’ve been warned about: “Do people think they will be left to say ‘We believe’ and they will not be tested?” (Qur’an 29:2)
When times get tough and holding onto Islam feels like carrying around a heavy weight that you know you’re able to let go of at any time, remember that your efforts are not going unnoticed. Allah (swt) sees what you’re going through, and inshaAllah, the reward you’ll receive is going to be unimaginable. Just hold on a little longer.
“No doubt, those who have said, ‘Our Master is Allah,’ and then held firm to that conviction, then they will have no fear on them and they are not going to be the ones grieving. Those are the people of the lush garden [Paradise] in which they will remain permanently, as a compensation of what they used to do.” (Qur’an 41:30)