The news today is full of heart wrenching news from the Muslim world. The orgy of violence inflicted by non-Muslims on Muslims, Muslims on non-Muslims, and Muslims on Muslims is horrific. Why is this happening to us? Doesn’t the Quran promise us that “God wants ease for you, not hardship” Quran 2:185
Allah makes it clear in the Quran that the practice of our religion should not create hardship. In 2:185 Allah is actually referring to an easing of the rules for fasting in Ramadan. Allah makes this principle of Islam being an easy religion very clear:
Believers, bow down, prostrate yourselves, worship your Lord, and do good so that you may succeed. Strive hard for God as is His due: He has chosen you and placed no hardship in your religion, the faith of your forefather Abraham. God has called you Muslims—both in the past and in this [message]—so that the Messenger can bear witness about you and so that you can bear witness about other people. So keep up the prayer, give the prescribed alms, and seek refuge in God: He is your protector—an excellent protector and an excellent helper. Quran 22:77-78
Having an easy religion, however, makes no assurance that Muslims will lead an easy life, free from harm.
After the early Muslims successfully defended Medina at the Battle of the Trench, the earliest Muslim historians Qatadah and al-Suddi described them as “stricken with exhaustion, hardship, heat, fear, cold, tightness of living and all kinds of harm.” Allah’s revelation after is telling:
Do you suppose that you will enter the Garden without first having suffered like those before you? They were afflicted by misfortune and hardship, and they were so shaken that even [their] messenger and the believers with him cried, ‘When will God’s help arrive?' Truly, God’s help is near. Quran 2:214
Allah promises us that hardship of this world is a temporary thing “God does not burden any soul with more than He has given it—after hardship, God will bring ease.” 65:7 This is a recurring theme:
So truly where there is hardship there is also ease; truly where there is hardship there is also ease. The moment you are freed [of one task] work on, and turn to your Lord for everything. Quran 94:5-7
Indeed, torment is a fleeting thing. Whether Crusaders, Mongols, or even the ignorant among us, we have always survived and persevered. This is Allah’s promise and our reward for our faith & actions.