Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, although in both lies goodness. Keenly pursue what benefits you, seek help only from Allah, and do not give up. If something befalls you, do not say, ‘If only I had done otherwise,’ but rather say, ‘Allah’s Will be done,’ for ‘if only’ opens the door to Satan’s mischief. (Al-Bukhari)
True strength is not how well you can beat up someone else or how much weight you can lift. The strength described here is willpower, a sense of direction, trust in Allah, and determination, all which lead to a strong mind as well as body.
A strong body alone without a strong soul within is just a feather in the wind, unable to stay firm in the face of challenges. In this hadith, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) refers to an internal and external strength that stems from knowing one’s purpose, pursuing a goal, putting trust only in Allah, and understanding when to be at peace with what is beyond our control.
Contrary to common perception, putting trust in Allah does not imply a reclusive, puritanical existence. If you truly understand your purpose in life you will go forward into the world, taking up every opportunity that will help you get closer to Allah and serve Him. You would not shun the company of people, positions of leadership, career advancement, and other gains simply because they were too worldly or unbefitting a person who seeks Allah. The opposite is true! When these opportunities are used by a strong believer, they can help him draw closer to Allah. Such gains are not ends in themselves, but means to pleasing our Lord. As with anything material in this world, its goodness or evil depends on how it is used.
|At some point in life, we will be met with failure and disappointment.|
|Follow the Shari`ah Zone|
At some point in life, we will be met with failure and disappointment. If we do not have strong trust in Allah, we may dream of what could have been, and live our lives in increasing discontent as the fantasies of what could have been distort our sense of reality. If we are strong, however, we will say, “Whatever Allah wills shall come to pass,” and continue trusting in Allah and forging ahead.
|Do not scorn people who cannot break bad habits.|
A final piece of wisdom from these dense, rich words: if you are blessed with confidence, willpower, and other sources of strength, do not belittle those who are weaker than you. Do not scorn people who cannot break bad habits, who do not work as hard as you, who do not have the same understanding and skills as you. In both, the strong believer and the weak believer, lies goodness. Just the existence of sincere belief in the heart of someone, no matter what the resume of abilities and intelligence may be, should be enough to make us quiet our voices and lower our wings in humility in the presence of other believers.
Taken with slight modifications from the authors' Book Seeking Peace