When we sit down to dine, we might have both sweet, spicy, and pickled foods, children may favour the sweets and completely ignore the pickled foods, but as adults, we know both are important.

Bitter experiences in our life also have benefits, consider the following:

  1. Attention is directed towards Allahﷻ during difficult times in our life.
  2. It makes one able to consider things more thoroughly and flourish in their ability to think outside the square.
  3. May in fact be a form of washing off our past sins and slip ups.
  4. Ability to better appreciate the blessings we are surrounded with and have come to consider for granted.

With regards to experiences there are three groups of people: The children that are upset when the moment spices and pickles enter their mouths, the teenagers that simply put up with it, and the parents that fork out money to buy them.

The Qur’an states there are a group, who when a calamity befalls them,

  1. are impatient;([1])

{إِذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ جَزُوعًا}

  1. that are patient([2]):

{وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّـهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ}

Give good tidings to the patient, Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.”, and another group that go to greet difficulties

  1. and among them is he who awaits.([3])

{وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَنتَظِرُ}

No one forced anyone to go with the Prophet blessings be upon him and his Purified Household, to fight in the battlefields, and when the Prophet blessings be upon him and his Purified Household, said he had no horses or weapons to arm his followers with; they would cry as to why they could not fight on the war front.

From bitter and harsh experiences, we can, with patience, good management and seeking help from Allahﷻ, achieve the best of results and reap the best of benefits.  Just as with sour lemons, lemonade can be made.

Yes, a good chef can even make jam out of the peel of oranges.  Today, even rubbish can be put to good use.

Hazrat Zeinab’s PBUH speech, as a prisoner of war, in the castle of oppressors in Kufa (Iraq) and Sham (Syria), sent shivers down the spine of the oppressive regime.

In the Mosque of Sham, Imam Sajjad peace be upon him, went upon the mimbar and powerfully impeached the regime of Bani UmmAyah, the cursed. Yazid Ibn Muwauyah, may he be cursed, ordered the caller for prayers to recite loudly the Call to Prayer (Adhan) to cut the speech off and hoped that Imam Sajjads words can be washed out and not be heard.  Yet the Imam turned the tables and proceeded to comment on each of the words of the Adhan until the entire Mosque was left shaking, especially with the words “اشهد ان محمد رسول الله” where he reminded Yazid a powerful reminder: “Oh Yazid, is this Mohammad blessings be upon him and his Purified Household) my grandfather or yours?  Are these prisoners of war not the descendants of the Prophet blessings be upon him and his Purified Household, ?”

When Imam Kadhim peace be upon him, was thrown in to solitary confinement in prison, he said “What a wonderful place for worship.”  Many scholars have authored books in difficult circumstances and even while in prison and cast away by oppressive governments.

[1] Maarij 70:20

[2] Baqarah 2:155-156

[3] Ahzab 33:23