Home Quranet Chapter 12 Does God want us to be strong?
Does God want us to be strong?
Chapter 12

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اسْتَعِينُواْ بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلاَةِ إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ (سورۃ البقرة, آيۃ 153)

O ye who believe! seek help with patient perseverance and prayer; for Allah is with those who patiently persevere. (Surah 2, Verse 153)

Asma is in the ninth grade, a hard-working pupil who likes to help others. Lately her friends have noticed that something is happening to her. She has become quieter, solitary, does not take part in lessons and keeps away from the other girls. The teachers have also noticed the change. Several of her friends have tried to talk to her but she does not cooperate.

One day the teacher found her sitting alone in the classroom. She had not gone to the sports lesson and looked depressed, almost tearful. The teacher went over to her and tried to find out what was troubling her. Asma burst into tears and told the teacher that she was depressed because her parents fought all the time and were about to separate. Her mother was not living at home and had returned to her parents' house in another village. Asma was obliged to care for her little brothers and sisters and was afraid that she would never see her mother again and would be forced to leave school in order to look after her siblings.

The teacher sent her to the counselor who heard the story and tried to reassure her, to restore her hope. She told Asma that God was on her side and would not leave her alone, and added that she must be patient. Then she read her, slowly and with emphasis the Quran verse: "O ye who believe! seek help with patient perseverance and prayer; for Allah is with those who patiently persevere". Asma smiled for the first time in months. "God ants me to be strong, and so I will", she said to the counselor.

Explanation: sometimes a situation is complicated and the future is unclear. Nobody can tell if Asma's parents will ever live together again or whether Asma will continue to care alone for her siblings. How can one encourage her in these difficult times? One possibility is to promise that things will improve and her parents will be reconciled. But if her illusions are shattered, her pain will be even greater and she might break down completely when faced with harsh reality. It is not wise to delude people with false promises. The verse the counselor read to her did not delude her and did not promise a happy ending. It merely asked her to trust in Allah and be brave because Allah loves those who persevere. The verse gives her hope and strength rather than illusions.