Allah introduces different characters in our lives for a myriad of possible reasons, which only He knows. But as humans with brains, we should be able to think about it and reason out why.
It could be:
- To test you - if the character is annoying and very trying, it could be a test of patience. And if the character is nice and pleasant, it could be a test of gratitude. As my Ustazah coins it - it's an exercise to your soul
- To give your life a bit of colour - living alone with no colourful characters around you bound to make you bored.
- To provide you a platform to practice your people skills. Do you maintain your poise and pleasant tone when talking to a nasty or annoying person?
She's my MIL's Bibik. She's clumsy, perpetually saying something inaudible - especially in response to my instructions, doesn't take feedbacks with a stride (always justifying), always averting her eyes when I explain things to her and basically stubborn (does what I don't allow her to do, and doesn't do what I ask her to do). To me she's just annoying. What a great clash to my character - direct, fastidious, efficient and aggressive.
However, I am a woman and a muslim. I know I'm supposed to be kindly to other creatures, especially another human being as old as my mum. She has her good qualities. She's kind-hearted. She takes care of my PILs. She's helpful. She doesn't mandrem my family (not that I know of).
Rasulullah never treated his subjects badly. He never raised his voice nor did he show resentment towards his employees (I dont want to use the word "servant"). He was, well, patient.
"Sabar, sabar. Sampai bila nak sabar??", said a Pakcik in an elevator in Movenpick Hotel, Madinah in 2007 during my Haj. He was basically pissed off when people told him to be patient with the snail-paced elevator.
"Sabar sampai mati", said Ustaz Muhammad Al Amin in Pesona Di Zahra slot on IKIM.fm when asked by a caller on being patient with her unislamic husband (he's one of the respected figures in my life).
Easier said that done. How can u Sabar when you're not Sabar at that point of time?
Soften your heart. Soft hearts forgive easily.
So I have a hard heart? Maybe I do. Retrospectively, I can see how I have transformed over the years to become harsher in my actions and my words. I was nicer before. I used to have more positive outlook towards life. I don't love as easily as I did when I was younger anymore. I am aware of this and I can justify it. I blame it on my surroundings,the people around me and the events occurring in my life for the past years. I was molded by them...
Wrong! I LET myself be molded by them!
Something must be wrong somewhere in my system. 17 times daily at least, I would tell myself that to Allah only I seek help. But yet I don't really do so. I was hoping for things to change, but I haven't really asked Him.
From this day on, I want to try change that. I have Him, that's all I need. Life is temporary. I'm going to work hard to soften my heart and stop blaming my surroundings. It's like what Julian Barnes said in England, England - you cannot blame your parents anymore after you reached 25 years old. But I'll rephrase him - you cannot blame anybody else anymore when you've reached puberty.
How to soften your heart - Sheikh Ibrahim Al Khawwas
- Recite Quran and its meaning
- Surround yourself with soleh people
- Long zikr at night
Allah Al Musta'an