Overcoming Hardships With the Divine

How to Achieve Tranquility of the Heart

Originally published in February 2011

How to Achieve Tranquility of the Heart Series

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IVPart VPart VIPart VII | Part VIIIPart IX | Part XPart XIPart XIIPart XIIIPart XIV | Part XV | Part XVI | Part XVIIPart XVIII | Part XIX | Part XX

https://stocksnap.io/photo/8EC6D0CF25Sometimes it feels like it’s just too much – these fluctuations in our iman, the repeated sinning, the feeling that “I just don’t deserve Allah’s mercy.” The tests always feel like punishments. There is a constant worry about the future: my marriage, my money, my career, my ummah (community)… And some difficulties just feel like they are too great to overcome. We know we’re not supposed to ask this, but the question at the back of our minds is, “Why me?”

We have all heard that we should never despair of Allah’s Mercy. And on the surface, we try not to, but Shaytaan (the Devil) has a trick. We tend to despair of ourselves and our incapacity to change things, especially the inner turmoil that we feel. And the effect of this is basically the same as despairing of Allah’s mercy. We do not always accept that Allah can take us out of the situation we are in and we don’t need to ‘deserve’ the trouble; Allah isn’t punishing us and we don’t need to be perfect.

This doesn’t mean, however, that we shouldn’t strive, or take ourselves to account when we do mess up. The key is to develop our relationship with Allah during that trouble. If we know Allah, no situation is too hopeless. No sadness is ever permanent. We perceive trials as they are meant to be perceived – as tests of our trust in Allah, forcing us to put our knowledge into practice and bringing us closer to Him. These trials could potentially be a punishment too, that is if we let it affect us negatively by completely turning away from Him because of our sadness. But our awareness of our own state and our understanding of Allah’s Mercy allows us to turn the punishment into something positive that is manifested through repentance to Allah, alongside increasing in hasanat (good deeds) in order to erase the bad deeds.

The first exercise is for us to consciously realize that Allah knows. Whatever grief we go through, whatever hardship we endure, we must understand that we are never alone. Even if we feel abandoned by the world and those closest to us, Allah is there. He reminds us in the Qur’an,


“Fear not. Indeed, I am with you [both]; I hear and I see.” (20:46)

As long as we begin by recognizing that Allah is with us and He is close to us, there remains a solution to our inner worries. There are things we need to know in order to develop our relationship with Allah. Then there are things we need to do in order to maintain that closeness to Allah. And finally, there are things we need to aspire for to achieve the ideal relationship with our Lord. We pray that by the end of the series, we will all have developed a stronger relationship with Allah.

Note: some of us suffer from clinical depression or similar medical conditions, and this needs to be dealt with by a professional. Working on our relationship with Allah no doubt helps, but sometimes more than a spiritual fix may be needed.

About the author

Jinan Yousef

Jinan's main interests within the field of Islamic Studies are the Names of Allah, the life and character of the Prophet ﷺ, tazkiya and Muslim personalities.


  • Looking forward to this series. Sr. Jinan’s last series on Salah was very insightful, and speaking for myself, made a huge impact on the way I approached salah. Insha’Allah this series, dealing with issues of the heart will be just the same.

  • In this day and age- i feel peace and tranquility is what is needed the most. everyone will be able to benefit from this series in one way or another. As humans we lose sight of what is important and this is the sad reality.

    This is the first time i have come across your website- and i am impressed- keep up the good work !

  • Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatUllahi wa barakatuhu,

    Ameen to your du’a.
    jazakillahu khairan.
    This couldn’t have come at a better time wa lillahi alhamd.

    May Allah make this series a success and reward you many times over for your efforts. Ameen.

  • This article hit home. Sometimes I feel that I’m not too bright, because Shaitan tricks me with the oldest of tricks. Insha’Allah I’ll continue to strive.

  • Sis Jinan, Mashallah for this beautiful article. I loved your Salah series and can’t wait for you to get started on this one! Keep up the hard work!

  • Things to know, things to do, and things to aspire for…Can’t wait to read more of this series. jazaki Allah kul khair 🙂

  • nice article! “Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest…” أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوب”

  • Absolutely love it! Jazakum Allahu khairan. Any particular references?

    One comment though. During a dars on tazkiyah, my teacher once said that trials in this dunya for a believer are never a punishment. They may be a test or reminder or a means for fogiveness, but never a punishment. That made a lot of sense to me.

  • JazakumAllah khair for the beautiful encouragement. Please make du’a that Allah puts benefit in this series, and that it is for His sake alone.

  • As-salamu alaykum.
    InshaAllah, I look forward to reading and sharing this series with brothers and sisters I know suffering from depression. I’ve blogged about it a couple times, since I found when asked for advice in this area, those typical “know” they need to work on their relationship with Allah, but don’t know how to come back, because they are too clinically depressed. Therefore, I appreciate your disclaimer, because I had on a few occasions have to refer them for professional help. I’m an eager, humble servant of Allah, mashaAllah, but I am not a professional in psychiatry.

  • Salam alaikum and Jazzak Allah khairan for such a ever contemporary and common issue to discuss that everyone gets to deal with on daily basis. Definitely looking forward to remaining parts Insha`Allah. May Allah Ta`ala make it a bridge to the everlasting relationship with our Creator in both the worlds Allahumma Ameen.

  • Suhaib what do you say to this
    John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

  • Thank you for the inspiring article.
    My daughter showed me Suhaib site 2 years ago and used to send me articles from it but I never had time to look at it. She used to encourage me to use the site and was a big fan of it.
    Now that she’s gone away to university I have more time in the evenings after work.
    I’ve started checking it.
    This article has helped me a great deal. I like the quotes from the Quran as well.
    Lately I have noticed my faith is weak and have been asking Allah in my prayers to help me reinforce it. Maybe coming through this article and rediscovering the website again is the help I needed.
    Thank you again.

  • Alhumdulillah…
    I was so down in the morning after seeing nightmare..feeling that you have after getting out of terrible divorce..i was so glad that i read this in the morning…Allah is indeed Al Jabbar..thanks for posting that.

  • Salaam, Jzk for the article, yet another uplifting article especially during these times where I am preparing for university exams. Who ever reads this please make duaa for me in my studies my name is Haidar

  • […] to Achieve Tranquility of the Heart Series: Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX The Prophet […]

  • jazakallah for your amazing articles.
    Just wish to make a point RE at the end of your article. There is also anotehr reason why people find themselves in dier straits, and that is due to hasad and nazr, and sehr. Many scholars are brushing this under the carpet, but this problem is rife and needs to be dealt with head on. As one sister told me, being under th influence of sehr is like being in a living death. Please ask people to get this issue to be checked out by reliable scholars and Raqis, who only use Quran and Sunnah to diagnose and treat the problems. Only Ruqiah Shariah shold be used to treat these afflictions. JZK

  • JazakAllah for this article. I just found this site and I am really enjoying it, alhumdulillah. May Allah reward you for your time and efforts for trying to help us get closer to Him. Ameen

  • Assalamu Alaikkum … Masha Allah you are doing a great job by the grace of Allah …

    I just need some clarification:
    In the final note you mentioned that “sometimes more than a spiritual fix may be needed’… I think spiritual fix is Ultimate … As you mentioned we must go to professionals as per the basis of our needs in every department (not only in medicine) … We says in every prayer Iyyaka naAAbudu wa-iyyaka nastaAAeen … & in Hadith Prophet(pbuh)says even if your footwear get damaged, seek for the help of Allah … Then how can we say “sometimes more than a spiritual fix may be needed … It means our Imaan is weak … I’m not saying we should sit in our home & pray Allah all time & everything will happen … I mean to say if you need something ask to Allah first … Then proceed with our worldly action… See Allah where ever your need is fulfilled, we should believe that Allah accepted our request & helped us all the way & We must Thank him … This is the real Imaan … This is the meaning of Iyyaka naAAbudu wa-iyyaka nastaAAeen …

    Sorry for my bad English … I’m not here to show my knowledge to you … I just want to add some spice to your Imaan … Forgive me if i said anything wrong … May Allah forgive us & Lead us in the right path … Ameen …

  • Salaam to you all, been looking for something like this for a while. My case is that I am dealing with depression and it gets to the point sometimes that I start getting paranoid that what if this happens or what if that happens because of me my family will suffer, I will start to think so deep it ruins my life. I do believe that Allah is the one to help us but I still get voices in my headtelling me its allmy fault I do not deserve anything good and because of me my family will suffer. I constantly do tauba and try and keep zikr onmytongue and in my heart. This article has really helped because it actually mentions things that are what I feel. May Allah reward you all for the work you are all doing Ameen Salaam to all and Jazak Allah

    • Salaam sister, thank you for your comment. I really hope that this series is able to help inshAllah. If you are going through depression though, I really suggest going to a therapist who will be able to help you more specifically.

  • yes..our awareness of Allah’s mercy is very important and crucial in our life especially when we are trying to sustain something. Always remember no matter how big our sins, Allah’s mercy is more bigger than what can we imagine.

  • AlhumdulilAllah,

    I’m so happy I found this article! And May Allah bless you with all that is good, and bring you closer to Him.

    This article is amazing, I’m just getting started into reading it. I love how it’s lengthy, detailed, and I feel like I’m in an intense workshop for something amazing.

    Patience is definitely something I know I have to work at, but I didn’t really know how to until I came across this article. It’s very informative, answering my questions on what patience really is, how to implement patience into my character, and how to come closer to Allah.

    JazakAllah Khair to you once again!

  • Beautiful article mashaAllah!

    Thank you for these reminders, so motivational and inspiring, may Allah be pleased and reward you inshaAllah.

  • Salaam, this is such a wonderful series of articles, may Allah reward you for helping us in this way, it gives us hope.

  • Assalamualaikum sister,your articles were really great and enlightening.They were very helpful in overcoming troubles and worries.But why don’t you write anymore?

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