Life is hard, but the sun still shines

Desert plant with water drops on the leaves

By Wael Abdelgawad |

How is life treating you?

People never answer this question honestly, do they? You ask them, “What’s up?” and they never say, “Oh brother, let me tell you,” and start pouring out their troubles. Because people don’t want to burden others.

But the reality is that many people are suffering in some way. They are dealing with:

  • Job stresses

  • Financial worries and debt

  • Illness, either their own or a family member’s

  • Family problems

  • Loneliness

Life can be hard sometimes. It can be lonely, frustrating, confusing and painful.

But Alhamdulillah, although life has its challenges, it’s still precious isn’t it? Every moment is a chance to get closer to Allah, to express the talents He has given us, and to feel the sunshine on our faces.

If life is hard, hang in there. Ask yourself what steps you can take to make things better. Even if they are tiny steps – so small that they seem insignificant to you – have faith, they will make a difference in time.

In the meantime, count the blessings you’ve been given. In Surat Ar-Rahman, Allah asks us over and over again, “Fa bi ayyi aalaai rabbikumaa tukathibaan.” “Then which of the favors of your Lord will you deny?”

Breathe deeply and feel your chest rise. Hold your head up. Bite into a grape or strawberry and taste the pure goodness of it. Step outside and feel the breeze or the sun on your face. Go the park, sit down with your back against a tree, and praise Allah. Life is hard, but it’s precious.

I’m not dismissing anyone’s problems. They are real. But don’t lose sight of the other side of the equation. When I look at my daughter, I see that Alhamdulillah she is healthy, bright, and she loves me. So how can I ever feel despair, or be ungrateful to Allah? I cannot.

We should also notice the goodness of others around us. I teach a martial arts class, and I have one student who always shows up early, sets up the mats and the fans, and brings some equipment. I’m very grateful for him. The world is full of people like that, positive people who, no matter what they’re doing in life, bring positivity.

Also, the world is full of heroism.

I just read an article in the San Francisco Chronicle about a woman in China who caught a falling baby. This is true, it happened in a city called Hangzhou a few days ago. The baby is a two year old girl named Zhang Fangyu, but known by the nickname Niu Niu. She was in her grandmother’s care.

Well, the grandmother went out to the store and left the girl alone in the apartment. The apartment was on the 10th floor. Apparently Niu Niu managed to get out on the balcony and climbed up the railing, then fell over. The child grabbed on to the railing out of pure instinct and held on for a moment. Well, this other woman, a 31 year old mother, was passing by and she saw what was happening. Just as she saw it, the baby let go and began to fall. The woman kicked off her high heels, ran, and held out her arms, and SubhanAllah, she caught the baby. The woman was knocked unconscious, and her arm was broken. The baby suffered some internal injury but Alhamdulillah she’s alive, and recovering.

The woman told state TV that when she saw the dangling baby, she thought of her own 7-month old son, who had recently fallen out of his high chair and cut his mouth. She said, “I thought to myself, I should stretch my arms to her. Because I am right here, I must get her. Then I made it. I caught her.”

Real life heroes are ordinary people who do extraordinary things.

If you watch the TV news, you might think that the world is nothing but crime, robbery and war. It’s important to remember that the TV news gives us a skewed perspective. Their motto is, “If it leads, it bleeds.” The truth is that while we human beings are far from perfect, there are heroes everywhere, and the world is full of compassion, and life is brimming with small joys and pleasures from day to day.

Life is hard, and the world is full of troubles, but the sun still shines, and Allah’s blessings are everywhere in our lives.

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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
3 Comments Post a Comment
  1. María says:

    As salamu alaykum,

    Good advices, I like all of them.

    And for sure, breathing and eating, doing it in the right way helps a lot to see the sun shining.

    If you alloud me there some hints I would like to share.

    When we are babies, we breathe with all our bodies, as we get older, we adcquire some different ways of breathing, when we are scared we have the tendency to stop breathing or breathing from our chest, …
    practicing martial arts, you learn what is breathing from your Hara o Tan tien (see how your inhalation fills your belly ) that kind of breathing is closer to a baby´s breathing, and alloud us to connect with our center of gravity keeping us more grounded, … if your head is hot, your neck or shoulders hurt, try this kind of breathing you will feel much better after a while, ….there is much more about this, …just a hint to wake up curiosity.

    About food, depends on every person, if you want to know deeply I am open to share,….we should nourish all our bodies(spiritual, emotional, mental, physical) to be balanced.

    Knowing this and knowing that we are in God´s Hands, makes easier to appreciate the sun shining.

    Reading this webpage is like doing mental, spiritual and emotional bodybuilding. I like it.

  2. wael says:

    Maria, I see you’ve done some martial arts! Yes, we work a lot on abdominal breathing.

    Those are good tips, thank you.

  3. Islam Pakhtoon says:

    Interesting article 🙂

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