Here, He uses the word “Baʿda” (بَعْدَ) that means “After”.
The letters “Alif” (ا) and “Laam” (ل) are also attached to the noun “ʿUsra” (عسرا) which means “Difficulty”. It means that this difficulty is a difficulty that is single in number and is a known and specified difficulty. However, the noun “Yusra” (یسرا) that means “Ease” has no Alif (ا) and “Laam” (ل) attached, which means that it is unspecified and therefore could be many. The scholars of Tafseer (Explanation of Quraanic Text) have stated this means that when Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) afflicts His servant with a difficulty, simultaneously, at the same time, He will give him many types of ease – two at the very least! Therefore, one difficulty will never overcome two matters of ease. In other words, it is as if Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) is saying: “indeed, surely, definitely with (not after) every difficulty, there will be many matters of ease” and He repeats it for emphasis.
Therefore, trials and afflictions should never shake us and weaken our Iman, rather they should be used as an opportunity to get closer to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) through Taubah (Repentance), Duʿaa (Supplication), Zikr (Remembrance), Salaah (Prayer), recitation of the Quraan and other types of worship because if a trial does not bring us closer to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), then it is unlikely that a blessing ever will. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) sometimes puts us into ‘deep waters’ not to drown us but to cleanse us of our sins and cleanse our hearts.
Engaging in different acts of worship helps alleviate what seems to be a difficult situation during trials and tribulations. The Prophets and the righteous always understood the huge status of Salaah among other acts of worship and so they would hasten to it during times of trials and afflictions.
It is reported from Abdulluh bin al-Naḍhr that his father mentioned to him that once darkness prevailed in the time of Hadhrat Anas bin Maalik, he went to him and asked: “Did anything like this happen to you in the time of the Prophet?”
He replied: “I seek refuge in Allah! If the wind blew violently, we would run quickly towards the Masjid for fear of the coming of the Day of Judgment.” (Abu Daawood)
Part of being patient is to know that our reaction to the calamity will determine what happens to us, for whoever accepts Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Qadr, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) will be pleased with him and whoever is angry at it, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) will be angry with him. (Ibn al Qayyim, Mukhtasar Zaad al Maʿaad)
Since Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) only afflicts His servants due to his Infinite Wisdom, Love and Mercy for them and even when doing so, sends many matters of ease with it, the servant should busy himself with good and positive thoughts because the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) informed us said that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) High said: I am as My servant thinks (expects) I am. I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly greater than it. If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
When explaining this Hadeeth, Ibn Hajar said:” “It means, I am able to do whatever he (my servant) expects I will do.” (Fatḥ al-Baari, Sharh Saheeh Bukhari)
And whatever “my servant expects of me”.
Imam al-Nawawi said: “The scholars say that expecting the best of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) is to expect that He will have Mercy on him and relieve him of hardship.” (Sharh Saḥeeḥ Muslim)
Imam al-Nawawi further added: “… this means He will forgive him if he seeks forgiveness, will accept his repentance if he repents, will answer him if he supplicates, and will suffice him if he asks for something. It is also said that it refers to having hope and longing for relief, and this is more correct.” (Sharh Saḥeeḥ Muslim)
This Ḥadeeth Qudsi forces us to think about the words of our Lord very carefully. The first thing Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) is calling us towards, is to have a positive outlook about Him under all circumstances, since it is that very thought, belief and expectation that will determine how Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) relates to us — His servants. When the servant assumes the best about his Lord and pins his hopes on his Lord’s love, forgiveness and mercy, His Lord will not disappoint him. When we plead to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and call unto Him, we should be convinced that our supplications will be answered. When we sincerely repent for our sins, we should trust that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) will forgive us. When we perform a virtuous deed, we should assume that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) will accept it and reward us for it. All of this is part of assuming the best about Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa).
This is why the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said: “When you beseech Allah in supplication, be convinced that He will answer you.” (At-Tirmizi)
Assuming the best about Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) is an integral aspect of our belief in Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), since it is based upon our belief in His Mercy, His Power, His Generosity, and His Might. It is also a fundamental aspect of our Tawakkul (Trust, Reliance) upon Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), which is essential to our belief in Him.
Assuming the best about Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) can only come as a result of righteous conduct and good deeds. The righteous person always assumes the best about his Lord, whilst the sinner who persists in wrongdoing, injustice, and disobedience is prevented by his evil deeds from assuming the best about his Lord. Good assumptions are intricately linked to righteous actions, whilst disobedience causes ill thoughts about Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and a disturbed state of mind. A sinner always feels estranged from his Lord to the extent of his sinfulness. However, the person who has the best outlook on his Lord is undoubtedly the one who is the most obedient to his Lord.
We must never let trials, tribulations and afflictions affect our good assumptions of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) because it is precisely those thoughts that will allow us to persevere, continue in our worship and call unto Him to remove these afflictions. Having positive thoughts about Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and assuming the best about Him really means pinning our hopes and expectations on Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). We know that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) can be severe in punishment as well as being Most Merciful, so we strive to do good and hope for His Mercy and be confident that if we sincerely repent for our sins and strive to do good, we will attain Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Mercy. We must never despair. We must never see our sins as being too great for Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s forgiveness because Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says:
لَا تَيْأَسُوا مِنْ رَوْحِ اللَّهِ إِنَّهُ لَا يَيْأَسُ مِنْ رَوْحِ اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْكَافِرُونَ [يوسف: 87]
“…..do not lose hope in the Mercy of Allah. In fact, only the infidels lose hope in Allah‘s Mercy.” (Yousuf 12: 87)