Be a Glowstick



By Wael Abdelgawad |

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.

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Article by Wael

Wael Abdelgawad is an Egyptian-American living in Fresno, California. He is the founder of several Islamic websites, including and, and also of various technology and travel websites. He is a writer and poet, and has been a web developer since 1997. This project,, is very dear to his heart, as it has allowed him to express ideas that have growing inside him for many years. Wael is divorced and has one lovely young daughter. He practices and teaches martial arts (somewhat obsessively), and loves Islamic books, science fiction, and vanilla fudge ice cream. Wael is an advocate for human rights and blogs about these issues at He is also a volunteer with the MyDeen Muslim youth organization in Fresno. Wael tagged this post with: , , , , , Read 266 articles by
7 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Hina says:

    Assalam o Alaikum. So true Wael. I found IslamicSunrays really an inspiring site for all humans. Keep it up. Allah Hafiz

    • Wael says:

      Thank you Hina!

      • Hina says:

        Thanks alot for replying. 🙂 the stories you’ve shared are really heart touching. Specially your first meeting with Khadeem, who’s smile inspired you:). I’m also struggling and aiming to have a good character to inspire people and to force them to think about Allah and Islam.

  2. Hina says:

    oops, i mean mustafa’s story.

  3. Minza says:

    As-salamu alaykum
    Thanks for posting such an amazing article. For the past couple of days, life was a bit tough for me, so many problems, felt like dying but after reading this helpful article, i feel better .. Thanks alot. U have no idea how much u have helped me. Thankss alot.
    May Allah bless you and everybody with all the happiness and joy. Keep smiling

    • Wael says:

      Alhamdulillah, I’m so glad the article helped you. There are many other articles on the website that deal with overcoming hardship, so please browse through them.

  4. Abu Hidaayah says:

    SubhanAllah. Reminds me of lighting a candle, we all are supposed to be candles/lights in the this dark world. JazakAllahukhayr for these words of hope and inspiration. Keep the flame burning and the flag flying. “There are some who work in darkness, while others sleep in the light” peace to all!

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