A Conversation Between Two Great Scholars on Coping with Difficulties
by Ustadha Hosai Mojaddidi
In the Name of Allah, the Encompassingly Merciful, the Particularly Merciful.
Ustadha Hosai Mojaddidi posts regularly on a variety of contemporary and relevant issues, as a way of honouring the parents and teachers who have worked tirelessly to spread and preserve Islam. Her post on coping with life’s difficulties is reproduced in this article.
Timeless Wisdom from the Past
People who express that they are overwhelmed by their life circumstances are often shamed for complaining and being ungrateful.
But when we look at the exchanges of our beautiful and noble scholars of the past, we see so much grace, so much compassion, so much humility.
What we do NOT see is shaming, blaming, and silencing people who are struggling.
This conversation is a wonderful example of two great scholars displaying vulnerability, honesty, transparency, empathy, and most important of all, timeless wisdom.
Please read through these slides [remaining paragraphs] with presence and really try to internalize the meanings. Think about where you are in the list and ask yourself whether or not you are responding in the way you need to be, and if not, what you can do differently.
Two Great Scholars of The Past – a Conversation About How To Cope With Life’s Difficulties
When the noble scholar Ibn ‘Ata‘Allah (Allah be pleased with him) first met the great Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi (Allah be pleased with him), who would later become his Shaykh, he said to him:
“I have a weight on my shoulders that is so heavy, it’s difficult for me to be in this world.”
Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi (Allah be pleased with him) said to him:
“I’ll teach you something and if you understand it, then that [the burden upon his shoulders] will be removed from you:
There are only four possible states to be in in this world.”
Four States of People In This World
When you’re given a tribulation or test, the appropriate response is patience (sabr). If you respond with a beautiful patience, which is at the onset, then relief will follow. But if you don’t show patience then your troubles will increase.
When you’re given a blessing, the appropriate response is gratitude (shukr). If you are grateful then your blessings will increase, but if you don’t show gratitude then you will lose your blessings.
When you’ve been given the blessing of guidance, the appropriate response is to be humble and attribute your guidance to God so you do not become arrogant. If your religiosity makes you self-righteous then you are worse than a humble sinner.
When you’re in disobedience, the appropriate response is repentance (tawba). If you repent sincerely then God will forgive you and guide you, but if you continue your disobedience then you risk your life here (dunya) and your Hereafter (akhira).
Ibn ‘Ata‘Allah (Allah be pleased with him) said:
“After he told me this it was like mountains were removed from my shoulders.”
May Allah Most High increase us and protect us all. Ameen (may it be so). And may He bless our scholars today for giving us access to our scholars of the past. Ameen.
This exchange was relayed to us in this short 10 min clip by @shaykh_hamzayusuf: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5IIRf8Od0Q (search Youtube: 4 States to be in this world- Hamza Yusuf)
Biography of Ustadha Hosai Mojaddidi
Ustadha Hosai Mojaddidi was born in Afghanistan and moved to the United States with her family at age two. She credits her Islamic journey to the year 1996 when she began attending Islamic classes in Hayward, California. These classes were taught by her teacher and mentor since then; Shaykh Hamza Yusuf.
One of her main areas of focus is to help create a strong sisterhood for the women in the community by leading halaqas (spiritual study circles) and support groups whilst offering individual spiritual counseling and mentoring. She noted that many of the spiritual problems encountered were actually reflective of the deep and complicated mental health issues of the community and would be better served by focusing on mental health. Thus, along with her cousin Dr. Nafisa Sekandari, they co-founded a website called Mental Health 4 Muslims (www.mentalhealth4muslims.com).
Ustadha Hosai is also a freelance writer and editor and lectures on various Islamic/spiritual topics.
Further details can be found on this link: http://hosaimojaddidi.com