Looking for a Personal Trainer?
In our current world, it is easy to find individuals enthusiastic about building and strengthening our physical bodies. Thousands of training programmes exist, thousands of books have been written and equally as many institutes have been designed expressly for this purpose.
We find every type of fitness trainer. We find workouts and techniques galore. We find friends, eager to post about ‘gym day’.
We all somehow understand that in order to strengthen our physical bodies, we would actually have to engage in some form of exercise and some form of fitness training. No one expects to build a strong physical body simply lying on the couch.
This life, with all its trials and tests would be a lot easier, were we to comprehend the nature of the spiritual training ground we find ourselves in. Were we to understand that above and beyond building and strengthening our physical bodies, we are also meant to build and strengthen our spiritual selves. The point of this world is to serve as a spiritual training ground, a gym if we may, for the spiritual growth of us all.
The point of this world is to serve as a spiritual training ground, a gym if we may, for the spiritual growth of us all.
The trouble starts when most messages that surround us, encourage us to simply pursue physical strength and pleasure, to chase the next physical thrill and follow our physical desires wherever they go. The trouble starts when we start believing this world to be a holiday resort, designed only for our pleasure and indulgence, rather than the spiritual growth we are meant to attain.
A test from Allah in such an environment could then easily be compared to a holiday goer expecting only rest and relaxation. While lounging at the pool, sipping on cocktails, the manager informs her that she is unfortunately mistaken about this holiday destination and that cocktail hour is now over. Instead she is required to do 50 push-ups, 100 squats and lift weights, as this is a gym, after all. The poor holiday goer would surely cry out ‘why are you making me do this?’, ‘what have I done to deserve such cruel and unfair treatment?’, ‘how much more do I have to endure!’.
There are some who unfortunately never realise that this life was never intended to be a holiday resort only. There are some who are fortunate, and learn to embrace the training.
If we recognise, that hardships and tribulation are simply a form of spiritual training that Allah uses to strengthen us and bring us back to HIM, we would be in a better position to accept and embrace them for what they are. Far from complaining, we may even be able to approach each test with enthusiasm, like those who look forward to gym day.
When we expect perfect circumstances in this world, and are troubled by things not going our way, we need to ask ourselves: Is it possible to develop the spiritual bodies we want by simply lying on the couch and not facing difficulty? Is it possible to build the muscles of forgiveness, without actually having someone to forgive?
Is it possible to build the muscles of forgiveness, without actually having someone to forgive?
We all experience trial and hardship, believer or non-believer. The difference is that a believer realises that Allah Most High is his/ her personal trainer and His Book becomes our training manual. The One who will push the training only as far as the believer can go. Who will ease the training when necessary and who will reward the believer with spiritual strength and muscles, which were only unimaginable before the workout.
The disbeliever unfortunately tackles his/ her training alone, not knowing why the training is happening in the first place and with no hope of reward for unconscious effort.
May we all gain the fruits of the spiritual training of this world and gain entry into the eternal holiday resort of the Hereafter.