Trouble is inevitable in the life of this world; this is how Allah has decreed it and He has made it a place of trials and tests, and a bridge to the Hereafter. Even the best of His creation, the prophets, were never free of troubles. Life is never plain sailing for anyone, young or old. You may have reason to rejoice one day, then reason to feel sad for many other days; this is how it always is in the life of this world and this is how people are all the time.
Who among us has not felt grief and sorrow as a result of the calamities we see befalling the Muslims, day after day? Who among us has not lost interest in this world and everything in it, because of what we hear or see?
But when these feelings of sadness and loneliness or bad moods persist and prevent us from living a normal life or carrying out the duties that are required of us, or fulfilling the rights of others, or they cause us to neglect the blessings of Allah which He has bestowed upon us and fail to give thanks for as we should, at that point sadness moves from being something natural to being a case of weakness and sickness that needs to be treated.
There is no greater remedy for that than patience and fearing Allah, and thinking positively of Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, putting one’s trust in Him, delegating one’s affairs to Him and turning to Him in all times of calamity.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Many people, when they see evil or when the Muslim ummah goes through a lot of trouble, panic, lose hope and start complaining as people who are beset by calamities do. But this is forbidden; rather what is enjoined is to be patient, to put one’s trust in Allah, to be steadfast in adhering to the religion of Islam and to believe that Allah is with those who fear Him and those who do good, and that the best end is for those who fear Him; whatever befalls him is because of his sins, so he should be patient, for the promise of Allah is true; he should seek forgiveness for his sins and glorify and praise his Lord morning and evening. (Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa, 18/295)
Umar bin Abu Salamah narrated from his mother, Umm Salamah, that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“When a calamity strikes one of you, then let him say:
اللَّهُمَّ عِنْدَكَ احْتَسَبْتُ مُصِيبَتِي فَأْجُرْنِي فِيهَا وَأَبْدِلْنِي مِنْهَا خَيْرًا
Innā lillāhi wa innā ilaihi rāji`ūn, Allāhumma `indaka aḥtasibu muṣībatī fa’jurnī fīhā wa abdilnī minhā khair
‘Indeed, to Allah we belong and to Him we shall return. O Allah, I seek reward with You for my affliction, so reward me for it, and replace it for me with something better.’ When the time of death was near Abu Salamah, he said: ‘O Allah, replace me for my wife, with better than me.” So when he died, Umm Salamah said: “Indeed, to Allah we belong and to Him we shall return. I seek reward with Allah for my affliction, so reward me for it.”” (Tirmidhi, Hasan by Darussalam)
Umm Salamah recited the duaa prescribed by the Prophet, praising Allah in her time of calamity, wondering who possibly could be better than Abu Salamah. He was her husband, the father of her children after all. Nonetheless, Allah made a way out for her. Eventually she married none other than the Prophet himself, the best of all husbands.
So, the next time you are in difficulty, or a calamity befalls you, remember this duaa, praise Allah and seek forgiveness for your errors.