By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com
When you buy a glowstick, it’s just a tube of inert plastic with some liquid inside. It doesn’t look like anything special. It certainly does not glow.
When you put it under pressure, however – when you bend it – a transformation occurs. A capsule inside the glowstick is crushed, and the stick begins to shine.
This is a good example for the mu’min – the believer. Life puts us under pressure, but if we rise to the challenge then we become more than we were. We become stronger, wiser, and more compassionate to others (because we know what pain feels like). We begin to shine with a new inner light.
Maybe, just like the glowstick, there’s something inside us that needs to be crushed in order for us to reach our full potential. Ego? Arrogance? Selfishness? Greed? Attachment to material goods?
And maybe the pressures of life are Allah’s way of crushing that obstacle inside us, so that our true light can start to shine.
“Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tried? But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars.” [Quran, Al-Ankaboot (The Spider) 29:2-3]
The key is that Allah does not try us in order to hurt us. Allah Himself is not in need of our character development, or our striving, or the results of our trials. It’s for us. However He tests us, it is for our own benefit.
So next time you feel yourself being pressured and bent, remember: it’s just a bend, not the end. Good things are coming, and with sabr (patience) you will come out better than before, Insha’Allah.