It is true, Allah does not overburden people more than they can bear. If you say you can’t take it anymore, this verse should be the counter-response.
We’ve all been there, we’ve all thought that. Not to be too open, but these have been my thoughts lately. Shaytan is an extremist; he’ll either try to convince you that you’re perfect and everyone else has issues or that it’s only you and no one else has issues.
Being on the latter of that scale lately, I thought ok, so no one else has the issues I have what does that mean? It means that Allah chose to give me harder battles to face than most people. That’s not a bad thing, that’s a compliment. I figured, my iman is strong enough to face what most people won’t be able to. I hope I pull through. It’s ok to cry. I cried. But I’m trying to keep a hold of my tongue so I pass this exam. There’s nothing worse than being tested with something difficult and failing at it. So inshaAllah I’ll pull through.
I watched Iqraa and came the story of Our Master Younus peace be upon him. When it came on, I felt like Allah was comforting me somehow, and I realised his story is one that was sent as a comfort for everyone, because everyone experiences hardships and burdens that they *think* they can’t overcome.
He preached to his idol-worshipping nation who numbered something like 100,000+, day in day out. They mocked him, they ridiculed him, they called him a liar. He told them to watch out because Allah’s Wrath will descend upon them if they don’t accept the Message of Islam the Message of Tawhid (Monotheism), that their Lord is One and only He is worthy of worship. They had three days to accept the Message, or face Allah’s Wrath. They didn’t accept. They said bring it, he said fine. Let the Misery befall you!
Our Master Younus alayhisalam was straight fed up with them, he had enough, they had overburdened him and he took off. The thing is though, Messengers can’t make a move, set a foot forth unless it is by the Permission of Allah, and he had taken off without Allah’s Permission. So Allah taught him a lesson- so to speak. Remember Dhan Nun (Jonah), when he went off in anger, and imagined that We shall not punish him (the calamities which had befallen him)! (Quran 21:87)
He traveled through Shaam and Palestine and reached the Mediteranian sea and figured he’d preach to people who would be more accepting of his Message.
Meanwhile, back in Ninoveh his hometown, the people saw Allah’s Wrath about to descend upon them, the sky had changed colour as though it was set on fire; and here they realised that Our Master Younus alayhisalam was telling the truth. Filled with fear and repentance; they on mass accepted the Message of Islam, all of them- the only entire nation in history to wholly, wholeheartedly accept the message of their Prophet. They wanted to find Our Master Younus so they could tell him that they had become Muslim, but he was nowhere to be found…. And We sent him to a hundred thousand people or even more, and they believed; so We gave them enjoyment for a while…. (Quran 37:139-148).
He found people boarding a boat and he asked if he could set off with them. They allowed him to travel with them. Out in the rough seas they were tossed from side to side, their boat carrying a heavy load, they figured the only way they could survive was to lighten the load and throw someone off the boat. They drew lots and Our Master Younus’s name came out. They didn’t want it to be him, so they drew lots again, again his name came out, they tried a third time and his name came out again. So it was to be, he was tossed into the rough seas. And, verily, Jonah was one of the Messengers. When he ran to the laden ship, he agreed to cast lots and he was among the losers, Then a big fish swallowed him and he had done an act worthy of blame. Had he not been of them who glorify Allah, he would have indeed remained inside its belly (the fish) till the Day of Resurrection… (Quran 37:139-148).
By Allah’s Will a Whale swallowed him. The amazing thing about whales is although they reach 35m, and weigh up to 85 tons, that they can fit 50 men standing in it’s closed mouth comfortably, they eat the smallest organism in the ocean, plankton, lol. They don’t have teeth, just filters and if they take in a gulp of water and a fish is in it, they spit the fish out because they’re majorly vegetarian! Lol, subhanAllah. Why Allah chose a Whale and no other sea creature is amazing subhanAllah. They reach up to the surface of the ocean every 10 to 15 mins to breath air. So that way Our Master Younus alayhisalam never suffocated! There in the whales stomach he had been in 3 layers of darkness, the darkness of night, the darkness of the belly of the Whale and the darkness of the Sea.
Here in the depths of darkness alone and cold, he prayed to Allah. (I had to cut and paste this next bit from http://www.islamawareness.net/Prophets/yunus.html because it is so beautifully worded, I couldn’t do a better job had I tried):
His heart was moved by remembering Allah. His tongue released soon after saying: La ilaha illa Anta (none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allah), Glorified (and Exalted) be You (above all that evil they associate with You), Truly, I have been of the wrong doers.” (Ch 21:87 Quran)
Jonah continued praying to Allah, repeating this invocation. Fishes, whales, seaweeds, and all the creatures that lived in the sea heard the voice of Jonah praying, heard the celebration of Allah’s praises issuing from the whale’s stomach. All these creatures gathered around the whale and began to celebrate the praises of Allah in their turn, each in its own way and in its own language.
The presenter on Iqraa Dr Zaghloul Najjar said that SubhanAllah he had found that this gourd plant had very high medicinal properties; and given his circumstances, subhanAllah!
This story is beautiful. It made me cry. We have to remain strong, in every trial that comes our way, no matter how hopeless it seems, no matter how overburdened we may feel, and just remember the praise of Our Master Younus alayhisalam, when he called out to his Lord, La ilaha illa Anta (none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allah), Subhanaka Glorified (and Exalted) be You (above all that evil they associate with You), Inni kuntu minal dhaalimeen, Truly, I have been of the wrong doers.” (Quran 21:87)
What I admire about my Tariqa with Habib Umar and the Habaib of Yemen is that this invocation is recited 100 times a day, first thing in the morning, and it reminds me of Habib Khadhim when he was here in Sydney and he had told us at the da’wa workshop that this invocation- along with others such as hasbunaAllah wa ni’mal wakeel, rabbi ishrahli sadri.., la hawla wa la quwatta ill billah etc. are adhkar that contain within them oceans of knowledge and mighty secrets, they have been trialed and tested! SubhanAllah.
So if ever you’re feeling overburdened, remember this story of Sayyiduna Younus alayhisalam, remember this powerful dhikr of his, remember Allah’s promise that with every hardship comes ease. I hope this post is a means of inspiring others, I hope it serves as a reminder to me. May Allah grant us all strength to face our trials, may Allah ease the burdens of the Ummah. Ameen.