Why should you ask that question if everything is OK for you ? But actually nothing is OK for you. Your faith is strong, but Faith is stronger than you. It’s failing you again and again, whatever you do, however hard you try. And you think God is the source of all your trouble. Everywhere you turn, even when you come to this blog, you are lectured on patience. Be patient and everything’s gonna be alright ! But you know all the Quranic verses, all the Haddith, all the talk about adversity and patience. You could even preach others about patience were you not in such an adversity that never ends. You want to be patient and thus please your Lord, even if there were no gardens of Eden, but you can’t anymore. You want to see the end of it now. Enough is enough. Most of those who are lecturing me on patience are people who have their own jobs, they have their own homes, they have children, they have cars, they have everything. They travel the world, they’re famous. They’re everything. But me I have nothing. I’m only suffering. Is this all Faith is about ? Should I be miserable in this world so that I can have a place in Heaven ? Why are people around me not like me ? Aren’t they believers just like me or are they better believers than I ?
Probably you don’t know what I know. Many years ago, a friend of mine suggested that I read a book by Abdelqadir Aljilani (1083-1166). At that time I was going through a hardship. Until then I thought that if I asked God for help, He would automatically answer my prayer, as is in the Quran. Well, Aljilani’s book transformed my way of thinking. He spoke of people who prayed and prayed and kept their duty to God and outdid everybody in patience and endured their hardships with devotion and sincerity… and yet God would not answer their prayers, He would not remove the hurt that they were afflicted with –as if they were not believers, as if they were the worst sinners in the world. Honestly, I could not finish the reading of that book and returned it to my friend. I took Aljilani for a cynical cleric. (But I purchased two copies of that book later on.) In 2008, I wrote religious articles that I posted on my old blog INNOCENT WHISPERS. I preached patience. I will tell you why. In 2009, I had a very big problem that made me give up writing religious posts. I wrote love poetry instead. I had a very popular blog of poetry in French, and several authors with books in print asked me to feature them in that blog, which got hundreds of comments. Then, all of a sudden, something went wrong, and I had to remove all the love poetry and all the book presentations of other authors, and then that blog began losing its visitors until it was forgotten. Also the Islamic discussion forum where my novel THE TAILOR was viewed 3,000 times and THE PHILOSOPHER 2,000 times (in 2006-2007), well it simply went offline, and I became unkown again. In February of 2013, the total number of views for my blog LAGOUADER'S SPACE , created in 2007, was a little more than 6,000. Until that time I posted only links to the forums where I had posted my fiction. In March 2013 I posted a text : my novel THE PHILOSOPHER. A year later, the number of views shot up to 12,000. Visitors came from more than ten countries. They came to my blog, not to other people’s forums. They searched my name and became regular visitors. In 2012, I wrote my first religious article since 2009 and posted it on a forum. In March 2014, I wrote another religious post, but this time in my own blog, and then visitors from USA, France, Germany, Ireland, UK, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, China, Japan… added my blog to their favourites. Only then did I really become a writer ! Only then did I understand Aljilani’s comments on those people who prayed and prayed and would not see their prayers answered.
Another thing that shocked me into changing my mind is what happened to Abdul-Rahman Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), one of the most, if not the most ever, distinguished Arab scholar of all times. In his diaries, which I only read in an Arabic school book, he said something like this : "Many people here (in Egypt) were jealous of me when I became a Maliki Judge. There came a time when I could not endure anymore, so I asked to be relieved of my duties. Then, I devoted my time to writing and teaching. But I soon missed my family, who were still back in Tunis. The problem is I could not go there because of the Sultan of Tunis. So I asked the Sultan of Egypt to speak to the Sultan of Tunis on my behalf. The latter allowed my family to leave Tunis. They took a ship, but as they neared the Egyptian shore the ship sank, and so all the members of my family were lost… " This happened to Ibn Khaldun when he was too old to think of marriage and begetting children. And yet he remained mentally fit and told us his story. Now, all the distinguished thinkers in my country and in the Arab world were influenced in one way or another by the writings of Ibn Khaldun. They all care about his thoughts ; nobody gives a thought to his personal story.