Finding Strength Within

“... and mankind was created weak.” —Surat an-Nisaʼ (4:28)

Yes, the title sounds absolutely antithetical to the verse, but allow me to explain and take you on a metaphysical journey to dissect the complexities of this topic. A lot of sophisticated language, but let not my vocabulary fool you in the reading of this text. In our magnificent nature, we're created weak but that doesn't mean we cannot reflect strength. From the time we are born, we depend on our parents and family to protect us and provide for our needs. Even after becoming an adult, we are constantly seeking for comfort, nourishment, and love to survive and pursue life. Therefore, we cannot exist without dependence on other factors.

There are two general routes we can take to acquire and reflect strength: we can choose to be strong with God or pretend to be strong without God.

When God created the human being, he offered every single soul the covenant—

And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam - from their loins - their descendants and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them], "Am I not your Lord?" They said, "Yes, we have testified." [This] - lest you should say on the day of Resurrection, "Indeed, we were of this unaware." (7:172) In other words, God has given us the freedom to choose whether we want to follow the truth in this life or not, and there is no way of going around the truth (a.k.a. fooling God).

It seems that no matter what we get out of this world it is not satisfying. No matter how long the way may be, this world is undeniably transitory. So if this world is not our permanent abode then why were we created for this world?

And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me. (51:56)

In this world, God has given every person the ability to think and make decisions, and realize the difference between good and bad, right and wrong, and truth and falsehood. He’s held us accountable for every minute fraction of action and reminded us to use our time wisely - all to earn a better hereafter.

The Day when neither wealth nor offspring will be of any use, except He who comes before Allah with a sound heart. (26:88-89)

He has also said: O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you groups and tribes that you may get to know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most pious of you. (49:13) Piety comes in many forms so be pious and give—give of your love, your support, your energy, your knowledge, your time, your patience, your respect... And no matter what, do not look back at what you give so that you may always keep on giving.

Finally, I'll leave you with an empowering quote by Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) because I know that you and I are fully capable of defeating our nafs (ego), progressing, and reaching enlightening spiritual heights:

Imam Ali (AS) said, ‘Conquer desire the way you would overcome an opponent, and fight it the way you would fight an enemy.’ [Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 6421]