All praises and adorations are due to Allah, the Lord of the entire universe. May His peace and blessings be upon His noble prophet Muhammad, and his households, and his companions and all those who follow them in doing goods till the day of judgement.
Discomfort is part and parcel of human life and part of being “human”. It is a normal human emotion that more or less all human beings experience in different phases in their lives. Even holy personalities like Moses, Jesus and Muhammad(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) went through deep sadness. The Quran, the holy book of Islam, provides ample examples from the lives of different messengers-who were the greatest of all human beings-that they all went through pain, suffering and the resulting discomfort in their lives. According to Islamic teachings, God Himself claims that it is HE who bestows happiness and sadness:
وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ أَضْحَكَ وَأَبْكَىٰ
“IT IS HE WHO MAKES YOU LAUGH AND CRY” (Qur'an53:43)
But still that immense discomfort of Prophets and Messengers (peace be upon them) didn’t stop them from pursuing their missions even more vigorously. Their discomfort didn’t result in hopelessness. The two states of crying and laughing are unique to the Human being, that no other animals shares, and its purpose is to make us reflect on the realities of life.
How do we step away from the precipice? In Islam, the answer is remarkably simple. We turn back to our Creator. Allah knows what is best for His creation. He has complete knowledge of the human psyche. He knows of the pain, the despair, and the discomfort. God is whom we are reaching for in the darkness. When we put God back on our agenda, the pain will subside.
أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ
“Verily, in the remembrance of God do hearts find rest.” (Quran 13:28)
However, God, in His infinite mercy and wisdom did not abandon us to this world filled with trials and tribulations. God gave us the Quran, and the authentic traditions of His Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him).
The religion of Islam is all about making and keeping a connection with Allah. This is how Islam deals with discomfort and worry. When the wave is about to come crashing down or the world begins to spin out of control God is the one stable factor.
When we accept with full submission, that we are no more than slaves of God, put on this earth, to be tried, tested and tempted, life suddenly takes on a completely new meaning. We recognize that God is the one constant in our lives and we recognize that His promise is true. When we are overwhelmed by discomfort, relief comes from turning to God. Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) declared that all the affairs of a believer are good. Indeed amazing are the affairs of a believer! They are all for his benefit. If he is granted ease then he is thankful, and this is good for him. And if he is afflicted with a hardship, he perseveres, and this is good for him.
However, God has not abandoned us in face of the temptations and trials we face in this world, He has equipped us with potent weapons. Three of the most important are patience, gratefulness, and trust . Ibnul Qayyim said that our happiness in this life and our salvation in the Hereafter depend on patience. Among the ways of overcoming discomfort is by being grateful to God for His countless blessings. God explains in the Quran, that true worshippers are those who are grateful and give thanks.
How often have we heard people with debilitating diseases or terrible disabilities thank God for their conditions, or speak about pain and suffering bringing blessings and goodness into their lives? How often have we listened to others speak about horrific experiences and ordeals, yet continue to thank God?
Finally, we must accept the trials, discomforts, and tribulations that are part of being alive. Each one of them, from the highest highs to the lowest lows is a blessing from God. A blessing designed uniquely for each individual person. When we are overcome by discomfort or worry we must turn to God, strive to be patient and grateful and put our trust in God by doing all necessary permissible means to overcome the tribulation. For God is the most trustworthy. By trusting Him, we can overcome any moment of anxiety and conquer any discomfort that tries to creep into our lives.