Home Quranet Chapter 12 Does God want to lighten our burdens?
Does God want to lighten our burdens?
Chapter 12

يُرِيدُ اللّهُ أَن يُخَفِّفَ عَنكُمْ وَخُلِقَ الإِنسَانُ ضَعِيفًا (سورۃ النساء, آيۃ 28)

Allah doth wish to lighten your (difficulties): For man was created Weak (in flesh). (Surah 4, Verse 28)

Thirteen-year-old Abir, who is in the sixth grade, is coping with very heavy burdens. Her mother was killed last summer in a traffic accident, leaving a husband, two daughters and a son. Abir is the eldest; her sister Amal is eleven and Muhammed is eight. Six months after the mother's death, the extended family decided that the widower should choose a girl from the family and marry as soon as possible. The argument was that he needed a wife to help him raise his children. And indeed, within a month the father remarried. However, his new wife made it clear from the very first that she was too young to be "stuck" with children who were not even her own. Abir's father was unable to persuade his young wife and Abir was forced to take responsibility not only for herself but also for her younger siblings.

Abir wakes early every morning, rouses her sister and brother and helps them to prepare for school. She makes breakfast, prepares their sandwiches, accompanies them to school and at the end of the day escorts them home. After they have eaten lunch (the only meal their step-mother prepares for them) she helps them with their homework. In the evening, she again prepares supper, showers then and put them to bed. Only then does she find time to tackle her own homework. One of Abir's teachers referred her to the school counselor because the girl, who had been known for her high motivation and good grades, began to display indifference to her studies. Her grades dropped and it was evident that she was exhausted and irritable.

Abir told her story to the counselor, who pondered what she could say to Abir to encourage her and give her hope. First, she stressed to Abir how important she was, although she was so young, to her siblings and family, who could not manage without her. Then she picked up the Quran and told Abit she wanted to read her a verse: "Allah doth wish to lighten your (difficulties): For man was created Weak (in flesh)". "How did you understand this verse?" she asked and Abir replied: "That we are all the same, weak, and Allah will help us in the future". The counselor added that she hoped the verse would accompany Abir in all her tribulations and that she would always see the light at the end of the tunnel because God wanted to lighten her burdens and would do so in the future.

Explanation: it is hard to be an educational counselor or a teacher with a pupil like Abir, because they are anxious to help their pupils but cannot change their circumstances. In situations like Abir's, and this is true of all difficult circumstances which we are powerless to alter, the most effective move is to instill hope. Hope that the future will be better is a powerful force which can help people overcome difficulties and pain. Another method chosen by the counselor was to give meaning to Abir's situation. Abir is a very important figure in her family - for her father and her siblings. They depend on her and what would they do without her? Awareness of her vital contribution to her family can instill new strength and hope in her. And, in addition, her extended family, her fellow villagers and the staff and pupils of her school are all witnesses to her noble conduct. All these facts can bring her comfort, at least partial, and equip her with the strength to continue. The counselor did well to read her the Quran verse which holds out hope.