The Six Fortresses You Need to Weather the Storm

The rise in unrest and insurgency in many parts of the world is on the increase every day. From suicide bombing to missiles and Covid-19 pandemic, the whole world has been thrown into turmoil. This has not only affected peoples’ standard of living and quality of lives negatively, but also shatterd their dreams, hopes and aspirations.
In the realm of Islaam, challenges and tribulations are meant to separate the true believers from the liars; or better still, to separate the men from the boys! Allaah says:

“We did test those before them, and Allaah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false” [Al-Ankabut 29:3]

There is no Messenger or Prophet of Allaah sent to any nation except he was tested one way or the other. At one time, prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his companions almost lost hope in themselves when the storm was high, saying:

“When (will come) the help of Allaah.”! Verily, the help of Allaah is (always) near [Al-Baqarah 2:214].

Verily the help if Allah is near
That said, the next question is what should a Muslim do in times of crisis? How does a good leader handles uncertainty without losing sight on his goals?
There may not be a definite game plan to help a Muslim sail through the stormy weather of life, however, there are some fundamental strategies that one can adopt to always stay focused and find a reason to be positive during troubling times. They include:

1. Reliance on Allaah (At-Tawakkul)
A Muslim should see all that happens to him (Good or bad) as a test from his Maker. He should see it as a chain to draw his heart to Allaah and rely on Him. It is not permissible for him to grow impatient or become frustrated. Rather, it is a means for him to prove how loyal and submissive he is to Him. Putting trust in Allah after trying one’s effort is a sure way of achieving rest of mind and promised to be sufficient anyone who does that. He says

“And whoever relies upon Allaah – then He will be sufficient for him” [At-Talaq 65:3]

Whoever put trust in Allah he will be sufficient for him

2. Reading and reflecting on the Holy Qur’aan
Part of the benefits of reading the Qur’aan is that it calms the heart and draws one closer to Allaah. Allaah says

“Verily in the remembrance of Allaah do hearts find rest” [Ar-Ra’d13:28]

Rememberance of Allah
When we read the Qur’aan, we learn about the people of the past, how Allaah sufficed them through their challenges and how He never forsake the believers. We would also learn about the Prophets’ reliance on Him in their trying times and how he had come through for them.

3. Morning and Evening Adhkar:
The Prophet of Allaah (May Peace be Upon Him) at all times encouraged us to remember Allaah and so frequently uttered some supplications. We are to emulate this habit from him for our own benefit as these supplications are admirable source of protection and serves as a shield both morning and evening. In one of his Tafseer (Qur’aanic Exegesis), Shaykh Uthaymeen said,

“The morning and evening Adhkar are a stronger fortress than the wall of Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj, for the one who says it while his heart is present.”

As Muslims rely on Allah alone and has only one role model which is Our Prophet (Peace be Upon Him), we should always recite our morning and evening Adhkar with the believe that Allaah would protect us.


4. Being Grateful no matter what:
Some Muslims after being tested by Allaah become ungrateful to him. They no longer feel the need to say Alhamdulillah, due to challenges they have encountered. They gradually lose interest in worshipping Allaah and at times when they do, it is with an absent mind.
Lest we forgot, the Prophet of Allaah (Peace be Upon Him) faced many trials beyond our imagination yet he is the most beloved in his sight. Despite his trials, he never stopped worshipping and praising Allaah, seeking His forgiveness and being grateful to Him. Let us bear in mind that our ingratitude does not affect Allaah’s reign in anyway. The Qur’aan says:
“If you disbelieve – indeed, Allaah is Free from need of you” [Az-Zumar 39:7]. However, being grateful to Allaah helps us to earn more from Him.
“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, my punishment is severe” [Ibrahim 14:7].

5. Avoiding Disturbing News:
There are so many things happening around and the more we click to read when notifications pop up on our phone, the more we drown ourselves in the ocean of worries. It is therefore advised that at times we stop ourselves from reading saddening news or viewing violent images and videos that are bloody so as not to spread panic around our nerves and for us to be mentally healthy. As much as we need to be updated about societal happenings, we are not compounded to know all crime cases. The more we view at times, the more distracted and frustrated we might become which does not help our mental state.
There are several positive things still happening that can keep us informed without deforming our mental health. Let us ensure we spend our time on life changing and positive things that would help your heart beat normal.



6. Making ourselves happy:
Yes, happy people are the healthiest. No matter how bad you think the situation is, either because of what is happening around, or because you lose someone or you are facing health or financial challenges, you still deserve to be happy.
You cannot wait till your life is perfect before you make yourself Happy because Allaah never promised anyone a perfect life. Why then would you spend your life complaining, nagging and picking on innocent ones because you are frustrated. Think of the good things that has ever happened to you and smile. Do not forget smiling is part of charity.

May Allaah continue to protect us wherever we are, and May He make our souls that which would breathe happiness and tranquility. Aameen