By Dr. Shadee Elmasry
Our weakest moments reveal what we truly believe, and what we're truly made up of. When the storm hits, all our mirages and illusions are gone. All our weaknesses are exposed. "Bad things" and misfortunes do us the favor of putting this information on display for us in a way that cannot be argued. Our own strength and protection are gone. The scoreboard of who we are is as clear as day.
Turning to Allah at that point is a sign of iman and a new beginning. It's also the only choice we have and *not* doing so is a clear sign of disbelief. If someone, at their darkest hour, refuses to turn to Allah, then do not expect any good from them going forward.
After a storm has hit and destroyed everything, you don't rebuild the house in the exact same way, do you? Instead, you build it stronger and better. You use the last storm as the standard to measure up to. Most importantly, is the foundation. The one who helps you at your weakest moment is your true friend and ally. You owe him. Those who draw near to Allah in their time of difficulty, rebuild their life knowing that this new chapter is rooted in Allah's help and aid. So He must always be involved in your decisions, namely following His law, remembering Him, and giving gratitude.
Conversely, ignoring Allah after He was the only help we had at our lowest moment is described in the Quran as the worst form of kufr. Allah gives the analogy of people at sea. A storm is about to capsize their ship, so they turn to Allah begging for their lives. He saves them. But as soon as they reach the shore, they move on with life as if they do not know Him, as if they had never turned to Him in their time of need.
Misfortunes = real knowledge = rebuilding better. This is the golden skill. It's the meaning behind, "You can make hardship very easy." Namely, when we learn how to transform "bad" into "better" it becomes easy, or less painful, to get through hardships.