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TROUBLES HELP SELF-DEVELOPMENT

Everyone faces different kinds of problems in life, be it rich or poor, learned or illiterate. According to the Qur’an, these problems are part of creation rather than an aspect of evil or a form of suffering. The chapter Al-Balad (The City) of the Qur’an clearly states this fact: We have created man into a life of toil and trial. (90:4)

Why did God Almighty create trouble? In the world of nature, everything is beautiful and problem-free. Does the question then arise why were problems created for man to deal with? Why is man an exception to the rule of nature? What is the wisdom behind this scheme of creation? Man has the capacity to be able to think for himself. He has the ability for self-planning and self-development. He has the power to create his destiny through his own endeavors. This factor is a great blessing for man. It is meant to give a man a special status that was not given to other creatures in this world. That is, he has been given the opportunity for self-development. Other creatures’ lives are pre-determined in every respect. They have no options of any kind. They are as they were created. But man has total freedom. Man can make his own choices.

In human life, troubles are like stepping-stones. A man was created with great intellectual potential, but this potential is in a dormant state. In such a situation, troubles are challenges, troubles awaken our mind, troubles activate our nature, and troubles serve as an incentive to turn our potential into actuality. Glaciers melt, but they melt according to the laws of nature; rivers flow, but they flow according to the shape of the earth; stars and planets move, but their orbits are pre-determined by the law of nature; trees grow, but their growth is also pre-determined. However, the case of human beings is quite different. Every man and woman is a self-made person. Certainly, they were born under the laws of nature, but after birth, the development of their personality lies in their own hands.  Man has the capacity to be able to think for himself. He has the ability for self-planning and self-development. He has the power to create his destiny through his own endeavors. This freedom sometimes creates problems for man, but these problems are the price of his freedom. And then, as a condition of this freedom, man is expected to be responsible for his actions.

Accountability is a strict requirement for both men and women. Man can exercise his freedom but he cannot change the course of nature. Those who follow the course of nature meet with success, while those who deviate from it will suffer. This suffering is nothing but a consequence of one’s own wrong choice. Now the question is how should one face a problem? The answer is that one should follow divine guidance. Man is free, but he is free only as regards his own actions. He has no power to create a new world according to his own desires. So man must exercise his freedom within the framework of nature. He must understand divine guidance and must apply it to his own life. The rest of the world is also following this course but is doing so under compulsion. It is the only man who has been given the privilege of following divine guidance by his own choice. 

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