Assalamu alaykom everyone,
It is known in Islamic-history during the time of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that he went from Makkah to the mosque in Jerusalem and ascended through the heavens on the buraq. In his ascenscion (Al-Mi’raj), he met the different prophets (peace be upon them all) and from this ascension the daily prayers were established. After detailing this account to the people, nobody believed him except for his bestfriend, Abu Bakr as-Sadiqque (May Allah be pleased with him). Abu Bakr as-Sadiqque told the people to believe in what the messenger had said because he know that the messenger would only speak the truth. In hearing this from Abu Bakr as-Sadiqque, the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was confident and reassured in his mission. However, this was not the first time that the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) received motivation from others. One of the first incidents in Islamic-history in which this happened was at the beginning of his prophet-hood. Upon becoming a prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon him) would feel frightened by the Angel Gabriel and had ran to his wife Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (May Allah be pleased with her) for comfort and support. Khadijah comforted, supported and believed in her husband and the messenger. She told him that Allah wouldn’t do this to him and that he should go forth in what Allah had given him. In hearing this, Muhammad rose from his terrified state and delivered a message that is still being heard today. Furthermore, his motivation continously reaches from the grave because from his example we can learn how to strive despite our own obstacles and problems.
In dealing with our own problems in life, we can find solace in knowing that our own beloved prophet was just like us. He was like you and I. He underwent trials and tribulations. He went through phases in which he needed that gentle hand and that reassuring voice. This example should create warmth in our hearts. It should penetrate beneath the deep depths of our own woes and sorrows. We should build strength from his life. Additionally, this man was not just a man but a prophet. So, in knowing that a prophet can experience these most human-experiences just allows us to see that being a human isn’t without its own struggles and strife. However, we can help one another and be that Khadijah or Abu Bakr. We can be that to our mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, spouses, children and etc. Never believe you can’t be that confidant because you can.
As we encounter the world on a daily-basis, I would simply say to be a source of motivation for others. We all need that. The world is a scary, confusing and frightening place to live. In understanding this reality, we have to cling to one another like limbs on a tree. We can only be our own enemies. Our enemies are not the other, but ourselves. We have to conquer our ownselves and strive against our lower-desires. Just love. Take the hand of your neighbor and strive. Rise against oppression. Struggle against injustices. When you find yourself reading the newspaper, a newsletter, an email, or watching the news about war, strife and oppression just remember that you can be that motivation for the wounded, the voiceless, and the oppressed. Wet your tongue with sweet words of motivation and strength.
Remember what Allah says in the interpretation of the meaning:
“And no one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint, – none but persons of the greatest good fortune.” (Quran 41:35).
Allah is telling us to remain patient and to remember that goodness will come, inshALLAH. In the prophet-hood of the messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) he had to remain patient and to trust in Allah. He had to struggle and have self-restraint, but he didn’t give up. He found motivation from others and he became a man of great influence upon a whole society and then the whole world, alhumdulilah. Islam has provided great examples for us to look towards in our times of loneliness, doubt, uncertainty, and distress. Never believe that being a human-being means being perfect, but realize that one must remain patient and seek Allah in all his or her affairs.
Our lives will continue to unfold in various directions with various events. So, cling to what is true. Find motivation from others or be a source of motivation. Turn to the Qur’an and turn to the example of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). See the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as not only a messenger, but as a human-being that experienced the ups and downs of life just like you and I. He underwent the ups and downs of life and still delivered a mighty message for those that came before and those now. So, remember that we can only be our own enemies. Never give up on yourself and never give up on others.