Message of Thaqalayn

A Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies

The Islamic Understanding of Hardship, Part I

What is the Islamic view of hardship? Do we suffer because it is a sign of being good or immoral, or does it depend on other factors? This article explores the answers to these questions by describing Satan’s role in the origin of mankind’s hardship, and clarifies the concept of suffering, tragic events, and calamities people tend to face as viewed in the Qur’an and hadith from the Ahlul Bayt. It is sometimes wrongly assumed that a person experiences hardship due to his or her own immorality or irresponsibility. Indeed, suffering is a tool for the forgiveness of our sins, and might be a sign of God’s love for a person.


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