Life in this world is never one sweet song. This truth is the common experience of many people especially in Africa where poverty, disease, unemployment, inequality, injustice and the lack of access to basic needs of life are endemic. In the attempt to further confront the complex challenges occasioned by modernity, some people easily get defeated on the battlefield of life. Lack of determination, inability to summon courage, lack of self-confidence, unnecessary fear, ingratitude, and deficient piety are risk factors that could separately and mutually substitute the natural joy in a peaceful living with depression. Life is full of ups and downs, and having one door shut at us is one of those experiences that prove this reality. If a door closes in our personal life, so what? The world would not end by the closure of a door in one’s life. Destiny could terminate a worldly favour by slamming one door at our face. Yet, the closure of that door could, under Allah’s will and guidance, lead into something better.
Loss of a job, collapse of business, failure in exams, divorce (revocable or irrevocable), accident or illness is not the end of life. A misfortune or failure is an opportunity to try again and explore other options. They say, “A successful man profits from his mistakes by trying again in a different way”. Anyone who truly believes in Allah (SWT) and sincerely stands by his convictions, in words and in actions, can always kick another door open when one closes. A sincerely pious believer has no cause to fear even when a door or doors continue to slam at every turn. Allah (SWT) states in Qur’an 65:2-3 “… And those who fear Allah, He (ever) prepares a way out; And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah for him). For Allah will surely accomplish His purpose: verily for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion”.
In order for our hands be able to turn open the handle of other doors when one slams, we must be pious and put our trust in Allah (SWT). When true obedience and the fear of the Creator of the heavens and earth remain scarce commodities in our heart, it would be difficult to open another door even with the biggest hammer in hand at any time one closes. But with a firm faith in Allah’s will and power, there would always be a door waiting to be opened as soon as one closes at us. As for this group of believers, Allah (SWT) often provides an alternative in the most unexpected ways and from unexpected quarters each time a door closes.
What makes some people successful in life in spite of all the odds that might have stood on their way is not their extraordinary talent. The richest man in Nigeria is not the strongest Nigerian in bodily strength. A professor did not become a vice-chancellor because he is more intelligent than others. Rather, faith in Allah (SWT) and determination to find opportunity in adversity is central to success, happiness and prosperity. The closure of a door should support us to overcome panic, anxiety, and then propel us progressively on to success. The closure of a door should be a source of strength that will bring out the best in us; not a basis for despondency that will drain us down into despair.
Let us avoid being cynical because cynicism will hinder us from pushing other doors open when one closes. With a high sense of optimism, we would be able to defeat moments of adversity and overcome setbacks. At times, some of us become so emotional that when one door closes, we remain looking at the closed door for so long that we fail to see the one which the special grace of Allah (SWT) has kept almost half opened for us. The closure of a door could sometimes be a blessing in disguise. Let us console our minds when a door closes. Let’s hope that fate has better plans for us. A setback in life should not prevent us from looking into the future with hopes and desires. One setback could, if Allah wills, launch us into a new life of comfort and peace.
As soon as a door closes, let’s try to calm ourselves and analyze the issues before us. It would be unwise to allow any matter to demoralize us or compel us to give up hope. A way out of a closed door is for an individual to seek Allah’s guidance and discuss his problems with those he can confide in. Even when all doors are closed, one door is always left open for us to seek, access, explore and discover. That door is the Glorious Qur’an. Let us endeavour to read the Qur’an as much as we can. We can always find consolation in the recitation of the Qur’an; the last Book revealed for the guidance of mankind and jinn. The Qur’an provides ready-made solutions for all human problems. It is a key that opens any door that might have been shut at us.
If we lose any material thing in life, Allah (SWT) can tomorrow give us a better one. For example, if our farm fails to yield as many fruits or crops as envisaged probably due to pests, flood or other factors, Allah has His own Godly ways of compensating us. Similarly, Allah (SWT) is always there for us when we lose a car to thieves or a house to some natural disasters. Thus, we must never allow ourselves to have any headache when a door we used to pass through, for once, shuts at us. We may lose a child today, Allah (SWT), the Most Bountiful, can tomorrow give us twins in place of the only one He took from us. Who knows whether if that child were left to survive, he might perhaps be a source of perpetual worry to us? Only Allah (SWT) knows best what is good for us.
As believers, let us always take every setback in good faith. Trials and travails are often said by scholars to be characteristic of the men of God. Allah (SWT) tests only those He loves. We should, therefore, accept the closure of one or many doors in our journey through this life as a mark of divine recognition; believing that Allah (SWT) loves us. At any moment a door shuts at us in our lives, we pray to Allah (SWT) to provide us with several alternative doors that we can push open with ease into the world of contentment and fulfilment, amin.