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No Burden More Than You Can Bear

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#1 Astral

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Posted 01 May 2005 - 05:29 PM

I've often wondered....

When somebody is experiencing sadness, pain, or any kind of suffering, people quote the ayah "Allah does not put a burden more than you can bear" (paraphrased).

The human body and mind is astonishingly resillient to all sorts of 'burdens' when the person mentally makes him/her-self believe that they can overcome it.

Like, when I watch shows such as Guiness Book of REcords, or Ripley's Believe it or Not, or any other stunt show, or any other horrific accident around the world, I see the human mind and body is capable of many things, regardless of who they are. We've all got the potential and 'Practice makes perfect'.

Weak, strong, young, old, - it doesn't matter. My grandpa passed away recently at age 92, and he had intestinal cancer. The doctors said that he should be screaming out of pain non-stop within a few months, but we never heard him scream. He would always keep quiet. And on his last moments, he only grabbed onto things because of the pain, but didn't scream. Others on the hand, would probably have screamed like mad. Does that mean, those people who scream, cannot bear the pain?

Another example... some people live happy lives, when suddenly struck by an illness. Other people in their situation can bear it, but they cannot. They get all depressed and eventually suicidal.

One might argue that the reason why that person could not bear it, is because they didn't remember Allah, they didn't have strong will power. Firstly, many non-Muslims are able to cope with suffering without remembering Allah... secondly, if they didn't have the will power, then how do we say that they weren't burdened more than which they could have beared?

So I'm wondering...
is it really a case of how much we can bear, or is it more about whether we have the will power to handle it? You might look at a person in a wheelchair, and might think, "Alhamdulillah for my state.. if i were in his position, I don't know what I'd do." -- but then imagine you cannot walk one day, are you still going to say the same thing? Most probably you will find new ways to deal with your newfound life.

But there are some people, who's life experiences, the way they were brought, their own values and beliefs, etc cause them to collapse and kill themselves. For example, in regards to those who suicide, we say they should have trusted in God but how would you say this to them (before they kill themselves) when everything in their life just kept on going wrong? If it was a one off thing that they were depressedabout, fine.. but what if they were abused as children, bullied at school, lost best friends and family, put in prison, drugged up, betrayed, and all that crap, how much is a person expected to bear?

Edited by Astral, 01 May 2005 - 06:02 PM.

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#2 arabianprince


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Posted 01 May 2005 - 05:59 PM

allah yerham your grandpappy! may allah grant him entrance into heaven
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#3 The Rationalist

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Posted 01 May 2005 - 08:49 PM


I'm very sorry to hear about your grandpa.

Yes, we are all fragile beings. But we cope best when we rely on our best friends and family for support. The emotionally damaged have forgotten how to trust other people and therefore rarely open up to those who care. Trouble begins when we ignore our loved ones and think we can go it alone.

The wise also understand that emotions are transient. And so we fall in and out of depression the same way we fall in and out of love. Patience and fortitude are two qualities that strong people aquire by the experience of life.

Personally, I like to wrap myself up in the protective blanket of my fondest and best memories.


Edited by The Rationalist, 01 May 2005 - 08:51 PM.

#4 GreenOz

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Posted 01 May 2005 - 10:23 PM

everyone has the potential to build RESILIENCE in the face of their adversity, for as you said, Allah does not give us a burden more than what we can bear. i always tell me clients that they can bear their situations as Allah has presented them with a test that had he given it to smeone else, they probably would not have coped. So, this test is for them. Asking, "why me?" is the wrong question. Responding with, "how shall i respond to this difficulty in the best way possible, utilising the faculties Allah has provided me" is the correct question for Allah has promised us in the Quran that we can bear our individual burdens. Hence, your reponse will be paramount, for committing suicide while "mentaly sane" (key word), is the ultimate failure.

An then the therapy in accessing their inner strength begins........................

Peace B)
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#5 Astral

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Posted 01 May 2005 - 10:37 PM

Firstly, amin to your prayers, may Allah grant my grandfather peace and paradise...

HananD and Rationalist, both of your posts were beautiful. But what I was asking was that in the end 'we all' have the potential to overcome adversity. The fact that we may not be as sick or unfortunate as others doesn't mean we cannot bear it. It's just something Allah has not tested us with (yet?).

The ayah says Allah does not place a burden more than one can bear, but is it to do with bearing the burden, or more about learning to cope with it?

I mean, some people *cannot* cope with their sufferings. Some suicide, some turn their back on their families or even religion. Some people leave Islam because of some of the adversities they face.... whereas others come closer to Allah.

So is it really about a burden we cannot bear, or more about our willpower and patience, and resilience etc?

If the burden causes somebody to do something bad, like leave Islam, then how do we explain it?

The suffering is indeed a test to determine which one of us is a believer and which one of us is not - that's if you're Muslim. And for non-Muslims, I guess it's a type of mercy.... (or punishment?).

But in the case of a Muslim, if it is a test, and that test is unbearable, and they leave islam, then what does that mean? Some people embrace Islam and don't have *as severe* adversities... whereas others have really big ones.

Can you see what I'm getting at? :unsure:

Maybe I should just shut up eh.
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#6 Siham


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Posted 02 May 2005 - 09:22 AM

As-salam Alaikum,

Dear sis Astral,

May Allah(swt) have mercy on your grandfather and grant him Jannah (Al-Fardous) insha'Allah.

Allah(swt) says: We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger, and lose of possessions, persons, or crops. But give goodness to the patient, those who say when a calamity afflicts them "We belong to Allah, and to Allah we return" They are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord, and mercy, they are the ones who are guided 2:155

But the key issue here is that people in general react differently to their circumstance and that has something to do with the different ranks that people have with Allah(swt), so there are some people who are complainers etc, and those who are simply patient and bear things, while there are other who have complete devotion with Allah (swt) and acknowledge that there is reward coming from their Lord.

Which is indeed a higher level of patient, and ultimately there are some believers Subhana

Edited by Siham, 02 May 2005 - 09:44 AM.

#7 yaqzan

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 08:11 PM

I thought that 'not placing a burden more than one can bear' was generally related
to the commands of the religion. Such as not fasting when sick, shortening prayers
in travel or in times of fear, doing tayammum when water cannot be found.

Because the rest, as in the difficulties we go through in life are meant to be there
to test us. If you are patient in general you are rewarded, even though you are not
patient most of the time (because of the severity of the situation you are in), you
will be rewarded in the hereafter or otherwise some of your sins will be erased
in return for facing such calamities.

Well, may Allah give us all patience and understanding, when we face difficulties,
which we think we cannot overcome.

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#8 Astral

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 10:19 PM

Siham, jazakillah khayr for your dua and your lovely reply. Indeed there is no progress without struggle and it is our experiences of suffering mostly, that teaches us the greater lessons in life... it's in our lonely times do we increase in patience, fortitude, wisdom, and remembrance of God.

Yaqzan, wow.. that is a point of view which I never thought about... and if it's accurate then well it kinda would be answering my 'dilemma'.

Having just had a quick look at the verse in question, I guess we can see it in both ways :

57. Verily those who live in awe for fear of their Lord;
58. Those who believe in the Signs of their Lord;
59. Those who join not (in worship) partners with their Lord;
60. And those who dispense their charity with their hearts full of fear, because they will return to their Lord;-
61. It is these who hasten in every good work, and these who are foremost in them.
62. On no soul do We place a burden greater than it can bear: before Us is a record which clearly shows the truth: they will never be wronged.
63. But their hearts are in confused ignorance of this; and there are, besides that, deeds of theirs, which they will (continue) to do.

Maybe I'm making an issue out of nothing.
Oh well back to the drawing board *goes to Run and types in pbrush*.
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Life Is...
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A Comedy For Those Who Think
And A Melody For Those Who Understand

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