The Arabic word that corresponds to “human being” is Insan. This word takes its root from the word Nisyan, which literally means “forgetfulness”.
As human beings, our general understanding of life is one that is unsettled by the troubles or difficulties we face and many times, we find ourselves lost without any sense of direction. This is where our forgetfulness comes into play as we fail to remember that the lives of our Prophets of Islam, were more than just stories to be read.
They were advised to face difficulties, lessons to face trials and principles to hold within our hearts as we continue our journey in life whose value the Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be upon Him) described by saying “The value of life compared to the Hereafter is what your finger brings if you put it in the sea and take it out.”
This was one of the pivotal lessons from the life of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him) that carries a remarkable influence on our perception of life and its many events. What we need to understand is that if our lives are mere drops of water on a finger, then how big can the size of our problems be? We must realise that in order to face the trials of life, we must hold within our hearts the strength to face difficulties, as no difficulty can be too big, in a life which is accountable in drops. Allah Almighty has the solution to any and every problem that exists. The Hereafter awaits in the sea and is filled with uncountable drops that will, by the Mercy of Allah, be dropped without troubles or difficulties.
Related Video: Lessons from the Lives of the Prophets
The lives of the Prophets present remarkable insights, answering our difficulties with equally remarkable lessons. The glimpses of the life of Prophet Musa (AS) or the important lessons from the life of Prophet Nuh (AS) are the pathways that will not only help us face difficulties with ease, but will also help us attain productivity in our lives as Muslims.
Valuable Lessons from the Life of Prophet Adam (AS) – Part 1
The Need To Be Thankful
The very narrations of the creation of Adam (AS) contain within them numerous lessons for us to derive and a key example of this is in how Adam (AS) sneezed when the soul was being blown into him. He responded by saying Alhamdulillah (الحمد لله) which means “All Praises Be to Allah”. As Muslims, we are all well aware of the gravity of these words and we tend to follow our sneezes by the utterance of it but the lesson here that needs to be paid attention to is that the FIRST WORDS of the FIRST MAN were words that sought to THANK Allah Almighty and Praise Him.
The difficulties we face may be numerous, but in order to face them with patience, we must realise that Allah has Blessed us with so much more at the same time. He has Blessed us with eyes to see, ears to hear, with food to eat and water to drink, and He has certainly blessed us with the ability to access and understand knowledge. We lose ourselves often in the depth of troubles and forget to be thankful for the things that we have taken for granted. How often do we thank Allah Almighty in our Sujūd for the countless things we have? From our ability to talk and read and write, to the home we have and the food we eat? How often do we just sit with our hands joined to make dua’as yet only thanking Allah for everything He has Blessed us with?
وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ ۖ وَلَئِن كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ
And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.’
The Favours of Allah are the only things we need to overcome the troubles we face and they can so easily be received if we choose to be grateful more often.
The Haste of Life
The narrations also make mention of how, when the soul reached the hands of Adam (AS), he attempted to reach out for the fruits of Jannah not realising that the soul hadn’t reached his feet and they were still not functional.
خُلِقَ الْإِنسَانُ مِنْ عَجَلٍ ۚ سَأُرِيكُمْ آيَاتِي فَلَا تَسْتَعْجِلُونِ
Man is a creature of haste: soon (enough) will I show you My Signs; then ye will not ask Me to hasten them!
As creatures of haste and forgetfulness, we make attempts to fulfil as much as we can in our lives in as short a time as possible. Yet, most of what we try to achieve are our worldly desires which continue to draw us away from our eternal goal. Ornate desires are unfortunately becoming our primary goals even though we fully understand that they will not matter in the Akhirat, but rather they might become burdens which we will need to be answerable for. The lesson to understand is that in this life, what is more necessary to be achieved in the shortest time possible are good deeds, perfection in prayers, giving in charity, completion of fasts and striving to become good Muslims, at a time when every possible form of distraction is available. When it comes to facing difficulties, what we need more often is the patience to deal with the problem at hand. By being in a haste, we cause ourselves greater inconvenience than before.
Thus, in order to face the difficulties of life, we must ponder upon the incredible strength and resilience of the Prophets of Islam who faced far greater difficulties. The series will continue with more stories of the Prophets.
Related: Prophetic Way of Dealing With Enmity