Thank God, it could be worse.

For every tribulation, illness and fear in this world there are matters for which the intelligent should rejoice and give thanks.

How is that so? How can I rejoice and be grateful for a tribulation?

Firstly, remember for every misfortune and disease there is one that is even worse. It could be worse than it is for you right now. A lot worse. So be thankful that there are not greater misfortunes in this world. Haven’t you considered the millions (if not billions) of people who have less or no wealth, no access to health care, education and even basic necessities? Be thankful you are not one of them.

Second, your misfortune could be in your religion. A man said to Sahl [al-Tustari] (may God be pleased with him), ‘A thief entered my house and took my furniture’. Sahl replied, ‘Be thankful to God (Exalted is He). Had Satan entered your heart, he would have corrupted your belief in the unity of God. What would you have done then?’

Therefore, if every person who suffers a tribulation reflects carefully on the truth regarding his bad conduct, both open and concealed, in relation to his Lord, surely he would see that he deserves more than what befalls him, both now and the future. He who has the right to give you one hundred lashes and lessens the punishment by then deserves thanks.

We ask God (Exalted is He) to adorn us with patience and thankfulness.


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