Trials (2): More than you can bear?

“God does not burden any soul with more than it can bear” (2:286)

Tribulations drain us, overwhelm us, soak up every ounce of energy within us. In the eye of the storm, it is difficult to see anything other than the chaos and misery that fills our lives. In this time, we find words of comfort within the Quran to help us through.

If Allah has tested you with something, it is because He knows you have the strength to see through it. “God does not burden any soul with more than it can bear” (2:286) – the final words of the longest surah (chapter) in the Quran. Just like this surah, these difficulties may seem long, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, and a new beginning just round the corner.

The verse continues with a beautiful supplication written in the first person; Allah gives us the words to see through our difficulties and knowledge of how to supplicate to Him. Just as Prophet Adam “received from his Lord words” (2:37) guiding him through his trial, Allah has honoured you with the words to recite to help you through yours.

  • “Lord, do not take us to task if we forget or make mistakes”; words drawn from your very consciousness. He knows the difficulties you faced, and has chosen to overlook the slips and errors you made
  • “Lord, do not burden us as You burdened those before us”; as you come to terms with your difficulties, a recognition of all those who have faced worse than you, and a gratitude at what you were given.
  • “Lord, do not burden us with more than we have strength to bear.”; Your previous statement delicately couples with a recognition of the difficulty in your own trials, knowing they pushed you to the limits. Allah not only affirms it ok to ask for respite, but gives you the very words through which to do so.
  • “Pardon us, forgive us, and have mercy on us”; unlike the mistakes we began with, we know there were times when doubt and sin crept in during these difficulties. We knew it was a test and, at times, we failed. Allah knows, and has given you the words through which to ask for forgiveness. All will be forgiven and forgotten. Ameen.
  • “You are our Protector, so help us against the disbelievers”; this is the essence of our trial, a recognition in the Lordship of Allah, turning to Him and not away from him in our difficulties.

Quran Reading

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