By: Zaynab Sohail, Aisha Hasan, Huda Karam
The Meaning of Chaos in Islam and How to Cope With It
The world around us can seem chaotic, crazy, and difficult. Why is the world the way it is, and how do we deal with it? Allah (God) created our universe with a purpose. In this life, we are meant to be tested in many different ways. As we navigate through this world filled with hardships and tragedy, it is important to turn to Allah in the face of distress, hardship, and loss.
Why Do Bad Things Happen?
The reason for which bad things happen is because this world was not created to be a paradise, to be perfect, but instead as a trial for humanity. It is said in the Qur’an: “Indeed, you (believers) will be tested in your wealth and yourselves”- (Quran 3:186) meaning that we are tested in all of our worldly possessions and attachments. The challenges we endure in this life are meant to help us grow, rectify our deficiencies in us, reaffirm our faith, and increase our trust in Allah. All the “bad” things that happen to us are tests from God. They are not a curse nor a punishment but instead a potential blessing. The Prophet, peace be upon him said: “If Allah wills good for someone, He afflicts him with trials” (Bukhari). At the same time, we can have comfort in knowing that this world is impermanent and that Allah tests us with only that which we can handle.
Why test those who believe in Allah and follow Him? Well, that goes back to the first point – this world is a trial. What comes after death, with Allah’s will, is the reward, one that lasts forever, free of pain and suffering. And the people who do get this reward are those who put their faith in Him. That faith is proven through these tests. How will you react? Will you turn to Him or will you turn away?
How Do People Familiarize Chaos?
Our life, childhood, opportunities, and experiences all shape our personalities and how/why we make decisions. For example, both Batman and the Joker had traumatic childhoods. The way they responded to it was reflected in their future: Batman used his trauma as a motive to save his city, while Joker took him and tried to destroy his city. “Whatever good happens to you is from Allah, and whatever misfortune smites you is because of your own action.” (Quran 4:79). It’s up to us to decide how the world should be.
Coping with Chaos
Chaos in this world is but a test. To deal with said tests, we must put our trust in Allah. These trials are given to us to reaffirm our faith, so we must go through them with patience and trust. We have a choice of how to react to it, so let us react to it in a way that is pleasing to Allah and pray that He rewards us in the afterlife, the life that is forever. We must remember that we have a choice and that we have the ability to differentiate between good and evil, so as to not hurt others. It is written in the Qur’an, “…Only those who endure patiently will be given their reward without limit.” (Quran: 39:10)