The heat, the natural disasters, the bad economy, unfortunate events, bad luck, fate – the list can go on, and it has been causing many people to perfect the art of complaining. As this holy month of Ramadan passed, it was full of energy and bustling communities, but unfortunately, also a lot of complaining. "The fasts are soooo long now!" or, "The heat makes it so hard to fast, what's going to happen next year?" And again, the list can go on. There is also a popular saying in Urdu: "Roza lag raha hai." Which translates pretty much into: "I'm feeling my fast." Really? It's been over a thousand years since fasting has been prescribed to us, that we at least try and understand its point. After all, isn't one of the main purposes of fasting to feel the hunger pangs that the poor and needy feel every day?
Along with the long fasts this year, our world has been going through some extreme weather changes. Yes, it is hot in most places where it is usually cold, and it will probably be very cold in places this coming winter. But instead of finding solutions, or looking at the bright side of things, we all find ways to complement each others' complaints, "Yeah I know, it's unbearable!" or, "I know, I hate this place."
Unfortunately, we have not perfected our self-control; therefore, we find ways to complain to make conversation and relate to others, rather than finding common interests or life situations to discuss.
Islam encourages us to stay in touch with recent world happenings, because sometimes it helps us put our lives into perspective. It may encourage someone to do a good humanitarian act, or even strike up a fruitful conversation in which issues and hopefully solutions can be discussed, rather than complaints about how hot the weather is or how crowded the streets are. Allah created us with high potential and the ability to become the most perfect human beings and creations.
Of course, nobody is perfect, and we all slip sometimes, but it should be of our utmost priority to make the best out of what Allah has sent our way. If we believe in the verse where Allah says "Verily with hardship there is ease!" (94:6), then we should understand that no matter how hard something may be for us, there will be an easy time to follow. Of course, it is not an easy task to think positively 24/7, but especially during times of obvious discomfort for majority of people, we should be mindful and aware that when we converse among ourselves, that we are not complaining against Allah's will.
Burdens are blessings in disguise. As a test of our faith, we need to take them in stride and develop a greater positive attitude when tested with burdens. In this way, we will be able to learn self-control and reliance on Allah. The more we complain, the less we understand the deeper meaning of the burden. Be it heat, cold, a bad grade, an accident, or even losing our car keys, we should take each incident and situation as something to learn from. Our main goal in life is not to perfect the art of complaining; rather, it is to accept whatever problems and challenges we encounter and use each opportunity to help build ourselves into more perfect human beings.