Dealing With Failure – The Muslim Perspective| Food for the Mind

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Bismillahir rahmanir raheem

Failure in and of itself seems like such a terrible word. Failure: to lack success, the neglect or omission of expected or required action (according to Google). But dealing with failure is so much more personal than the words will allow for.

I’ve always had issues dealing with failure. My fear of failure has been a catalyst for success and a hindrance when it comes to trying new opportunities. I went years without trying new experiences and new challenges because I failed to believe in myself and my capabilities. I put too much stock into getting things right the first time so I didn’t need to learn from my mistakes.

Now, looking back on my experiences from an Islamic perspective I can see where I’ve been going wrong subhanAllah. Islam praises the strong and the successful but it also commends the weak and those who have fallen short of their best by showing the Rahma (Mercy) of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’aala. They are never put in competition with one another and Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’aala gives both of them their due.

So here’s what I’ve learnt about dealing with failure so far:

1. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try and try and try again

By the time you’ve finished complaining about, or dwelling on your past failures, new opportunities have passed you by subhanAllah. If our beloved Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasallam) sat and dwelled on all the people that didn’t accept Islam through his message, who knows what kind of Sunnah we’d be left with now!

2. Everything is down to the Qadar of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’aala and the only thing that can change that is du’a

Do yourself a favour, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and make dua. In Surah Yusuf, Yaqoob (as), father of Yusuf (as) said:

I only complain of my suffering and my grief to Allah , and I know from Allah that which you do not know.”

Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’aala is Al-Sami (The All-Hearing). Whenever or wherever you call upon him He Subhanahu wa Ta’aala is there and listening. He Subhanahu wa Ta’aala can do for you what no other man, woman, child, or “lucky charm” can do.

The Prophet (saw) said “What has reached you was never meant to miss you and what has missed you was never meant to reach you.”

3. Everything is a test from Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’aala

We always hear this phrase but take this opportunity to really reflect on it. Yes, we may not see the worth of our struggle in the duniya, but rest assured Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’aala is building for you palaces in Jannah (Paradise) in sha Allah.

The Prophet (saw) narrated in Tirmidhi said “When Allah loves a servant, He tests him.”

Your reward has always been with Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’aala and Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’aala alone. Don’t look to people to validate your struggle because only Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’aala can do that.

4. This duniya is lowly, we should really be striving for the akhirah

My issues with failure always came from striving for things of the duniya. When I strive in the way of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’aala, I know that Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’aala will take into account my intentions and will compensate where I fall short in sha Allah. This, however, doesn’t mean that you can do half a job and say that all that matters is the intention. This is not the correct mindset of a believer.

Chasing the duniya will only leave you with heart break, unless you connect the intention of your deeds to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’aala and make du’a to Him swt to make your actions a success. If not, He swt knows why He did not give you success this time around. Trust in Him swt and you’ll never be lead astray.

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Wasalaam – Peace Be With You