What do you advise for involuntary resentment against Allah?

The Details of the Question

- I am aware that there is something good in every bad thing and that our Lord gives us what is good for us. However, I was worn out due to undergoing negative incidents, encountering disappointing events and seeing that things went worse despite praying to Allah. I have a feeling of resentment toward Allah. I feel so unhappy and tired. I have noticed that I perform prayers unwillingly.
- What should I do to get rid of this mood?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

That is a reality that many people can face.

- The real harmful misfortune is the misfortune that hits our belief, Islam and ethics. It is necessary to take refuge in Allah from such misfortunes and cry over them. (see Tirmidhi, Daawat: 79)

However, the misfortunes that are not related to the religion are not really misfortunes. Some of them are Allah’s warnings; some are atonement for sins; others like diseases are Allah’s compliment and cleanliness. (see Bukhari, Iman: 39, Muslim, Birr: 52)

Therefore, even if a misfortune is hard to bear, man should show patience by thinking about this aspect since its result will be good.

It is probable that the misfortunes we suffer are atonement for some mistakes we made in the past. Therefore, misfortunes might continue until the atonement is complete.

- Dua (supplication) is a deed of worship and it has a time like other deeds of worship. Problems and misfortunes are times of dua. It is necessary to spend those times by praying to Allah. We should know that the time for that dua continues until those misfortunes end.

- A person should resent himself and his own soul. It does not fit a slave to resent Allah – God forbid – and it will increase misfortunes.

After this short explanation, we think it will be useful to pay attention to the following points:

1) One should think as follows: “This is my qadar predestined for me by Allah. I should show consent to my qadar in order to pass this test. For, it is not possible for me to turn the corner by showing resentment and by opposing. In that case, I should save my hereafter by showing patience in the face of this test (which will probably end soon) of the world instead of risking both this world and the hereafter.” This is the requirement of common sense.

2) “There is never mercilessness and injustice in Allah’s qadar because Allah, who is the owner of qadar, is Rahman (All Merciful) and Rahim (All Compassionate), Adil (Just) and Hakim (perfectly Wise). He may have wanted to forgive my sins and to elevate my rank in Paradise with this test. Then, I should show consent to qadar in order to get rid of grief and religious loss.”

3) We are often asked “to rely on Allah” in the Quran. Tawakkul means to rely on Allah, to surrender to Him and to believe that He is a deity that does good things in all aspects:

“Belief necessitates affirmation of Divine unity, affirmation of Divine unity necessitates submission to God, submission to God necessitates reliance on God, and reliance on God necessarily leads to happiness in this world and the next.” (Nursi, Sözler, p. 314)

The principle “He who believes in qadar gets rid of grief” is an expression of this fact.

4) As it is indicated above, we should not forget that to disobey Allah due to the current problems and to resent Him will not eliminate that problem; on the contrary, it will increase it. The following statement of Badiuzzaman Said Nursi who indicates this fact, is remarkable:

“Whoever criticizes divine determining is striking his head against an anvil on which it will break, and whoever objects to divine mercy will himself be deprived of it.” (Mektubat, p. 266)

5) To have the hope of getting rid of problems and to think that Allah will show a way of salvation is a way of thinking that relieves man and makes him gain the consent of Allah.

“Ask from Allah. Allah likes those who ask from Him. The most virtuous deed of worship is to expect the problems to be over (by thinking that they will end and by expecting from Allah). (Tirmidhi, Daawat, 115)

We should not ignore the advice in the hadith above.

6) To despair of Allah’s infinite mercy – God forbid – means to enter a very dangerous path. For, Satan causes man to have bad thoughts about Allah and act disrespectfully from this window of despair. A person who thinks Allah will not show him mercy any more is ready to fall into the traps of Satan. It should not be forgotten that despair is a thought that does not comply with belief. This fact is underlined in the verse below.

“…Never give up hope of Allah´s Soothing Mercy: truly no one despairs of Allah´s Soothing Mercy, except those who have no faith.” (Yusuf, 12/87)

7) Enthusiasm is the opposite of despair. What disrupts enthusiasm is despair.  Badiuzzaman Said Nursi states the following regarding the issue in summary:

“Life is an activity and movement. Enthusiasm is its mount. When our effort enters the square of life struggle by riding enthusiasm, it encounters despair/hopelessness, which is a severe enemy, first. It demoralizes enthusiasm. Use the sword of لاَ تَقْنَطُوا [That is, Allah’s command meaning “Despair not of the Mercy of Allah” (az-Zumar, 39/53)] against the enemy (and kill the enemy called despair)." (Münazarat, p. 95)

8) Man has no right to complain about the problems that he encounters due to the following reasons:  

a) Human body is a model on which Allah’s names and attributes become manifest. The meanings and decrees of Allah’s names and attributes are different from one another; therefore, their manifestations will become different on human body. For instance, Allah’s name Shafi makes an illness necessary to show itself on human body and man becomes ill; cure is asked from the name Shafi (Healer). The name Mumit (Taker of Life) makes it necessary for the body to die when its time is due and kills it. The name Musawwir (Shaper of Beauty) wants to be seen with the reality of description on human body and gives a shape to all organs.  

When those names become manifest, the human body is exposed to activities and changes all the time. That is, it undergoes some hardships and trouble. However, Allah has already paid man for those hardships by giving him boons like existence, life, spirit, humanity, Islam and belief. That is, man has no right to complain since he has received the pay for working as a kind of model. It is like the case of a tailor who hires a model to fit the clothes he makes and gives the model some trouble by making him/her sit, stand, bend, etc. The model has no right to say to the tailor, “Why do you give trouble by making me sit and stand?” For, the duty of the model is to act according to the orders of the tailor.

b) There are many talents and abilities given to man in life; they are like seeds that have not developed and grown. A seed undergoes several stages to become a tree; it is placed in the ground, watered, pruned, etc. If it does not undergo those stages, it cannot develop, grow and be a tree. Similarly, if man is not exposed to the difficulties and hardships of life, he cannot develop his abilities in life. If man does not undergo any difficulties and suffer any illnesses and if he leads a comfortable and stable life, he cannot be a mature person. Let us clarify the issue with an example:

Think of a rough stone. If this stone is given to a master, he will start to sculpt it with his hard and cutting tools. The stone will be broken during sculpting. It would feel sad and cry if it were conscious. However, after certain stages and processes, that rough stone becomes a wonderful and perfect work of art. If that stone had not been sculped by that master and had not undergone those stages and processes, it would have remained as a rough and valueless stone. The rough stone’s being transformed into a priceless work of art is thanks to those hardships and stages of being sculpted.   

Man is like that rough stone. He reaches a perfect rank and the degree of the vicegerent of the earth in his lifespan thanks to the hard training and education given by Allah. That is, the way for man to be perfect is through the illnesses, misfortunes, grief, actions and tests existing in life. If man does not pass through those tests and processes, his life will be at a rough and simple level as if it has not been lived, which virtually means non-existent.  

c) Man was sent to this world to worship, not to rest and to pursue pleasures. There are two kinds of worship. One of them is positive and the other is negative. Positive worship is the commands and prohibitions informed by Allah. Negative worship is the misfortunes and problems that man encounters in life. If man shows patience in the face of those misfortunes and problems, and relies on Allah, he will transform his life into a source of thawab and worship. Since the purpose of man’s coming to this world is worship, those misfortunes and problems become opportunities for him and strengthen his purpose of coming to this world. Since hypocrisy and show off do not penetrate into negative worship, it becomes sincere worship. However, positive worship always has the risk of hypocrisy and show off. Those misfortunes are a means of maturation and source of thawab for man. (see Nursi, Lem'alar, İkinci Lem'a)

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