Resilience is a defining trait that will help us survive through tough times. It is the ability to be not backed down by challenges, losses or adversities and to perceive each failure as a learning or a new opportunity.
Resilience is a decisive factor in defining whether one wants to play victim and cave into the life’s circumstances or be an optimist and embrace the failure and move on. The absence of resilience could have long term negative impact on the physical and mental health and lead to side-effects such as heart attacks, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, isolation and pessimism.
With an increasingly uncertain and stressful lifestyle, and with kids, jobs and relationships to juggle, most Muslimah women succumb to pressure and barely manage to thrive through stressful circumstances. While some women are naturally resilient most of us could acquire the following skills to help us to sail through the storms of life.
Characteristics of a Resilient Muslimah
- First and foremost what sets a resilient Muslimah apart from other women is her ability to view every adversity such as illness, trauma, personal affliction or even natural disaster, in the larger perspective and accept it as a part of Al-Qadr (Allah’s divine will and decree) as Allah (SWT) always decrees what is best for His creation.
- Allah (SWT) says in the Quran – “No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfooz), before we bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah [Surah Al-Hadid, Verse 22]
- A resilient Muslimah puts her complete trust and faith in Allah (SWT) and looks for comfort in Him alone during the difficult times. She firmly believes that Allah (SWT) is the best disposer of all affairs and will guide her to that which is good. Rather than being overwhelmed and reacting with grief and anger and complaining about her situation, she displays high level of endurance and seeks help from Almighty Allah (SWT) to rebound quickly from the adversity.
- Allah (SWT) says in the Quran “Say: ‘Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is our Maula (Lord, Helper and Protector).’ And in Allah let the believers put their trust” (Surah Towbah, Verse 51).
- She is truly grateful and thankful to Allah (SWT), despite being in an unsatisfactory position, for she realizes that she could have always been in a worse condition and tries to be content with what she already has.
- Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said: “How wonderful is the case of a Believer! There is good for him in whatever happens to him -and none, apart from him, enjoys this blessing. If he receives some bounty, he is grateful to Allah and this bounty brings good to him. And if some adversity befalls him, he is patient, and this affliction, too, brings good to him”. [Sahih Muslim]
- Instead of blaming herself for her failures and trying to do it all on her own she reaches out to Allah (SWT) for guidance in times of need.
- Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said, “Seek help from Allah (SWT) and do not lose heart, and if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don’t say: If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so, but say: Allah (SWT) did that what He had ordained to do and your “IF” opens the (gate) for the Satan.” [Sahih Muslim]
- She continues to persevere and instead of viewing it as the end of the road, she channels her energy and thoughts to overcome challenges and turn them into opportunities.
- Allah (SWT) says in the Quran, “Oh you who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer, for God is with those who patiently persevere. [Surah Baqrah, Verse 153]
- She works towards restoring her inner sense of equilibrium and happiness by reviving her connection with Allah (SWT). She turns to the Quran and Sunnah when her faith is low and tries to find peace within the chaos. She seeks Allah’s grace and mercy by asking for His forgiveness and by seeking repentance.
- For the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said: If anyone continually asks pardon, Allah will appoint for him a way out of every distress, and a relief from every anxiety, and will provide for him from where he did not reckon. [Sunan Abu Dawood]
- A resilient Muslimah reaches out to her family and friends and other sisters in the community and asks for help when needed. She develops a strong social and emotional network that she can fall back on when she is in a stressful state.
- She is optimistic and cheerful and constantly strives to rejuvenate herself spiritually, mentally and physically.
- The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) taught us to apply a smile to every occasion as a smile can bring a cheer, reduce the stress and infuse us with positive feelings.
Perhaps most of us don’t have any of the above traits, but we could nurture these positive behaviors and condition ourselves to be responsive rather than reactive when presented with unforeseen adversities and unexpected problems.