Many of us turn to venting or complaining to others when faced with hardship. But when we look in the Qur’an, we see that believers complain only to Allah s.w.t.
Ya’qub a.s. said to his sons when they brought the news that his son was accused of stealing, “So patience is most fitting (for me).” [12:83] In the next ayah, Allah describes that he turned away from them and said privately, “‘Alas, my grief for Yusuf!’ and he lost his sight because of the sorrow that he was suppressing.” [12:84]
Ya’qub a.s. did not say this in front of his family, it was between himself and Allah. Allah says that he was “suppressing” [kadheem] and this means when someone holds their breath back to control their tears and agony – it is to the point that they have trouble breathing because they cried so much… He a.s. was so full of grief yet he did not cry out loud, rather he held back. And he said, “I only complain of my suffering and sorrow to Allah, and I know from Allah that which you know not.” [12:86]
Some of us, when afflicted with calamity, lose self control and may even question why Allah is punishing them. But look at Ya’qub a.s. Allah s.w.t. gives us a vivid illustration of patience and gratitude, steadfastness in faith while having trust in Allah’s Help – such is the hallmark of a Mu’min.
So it’s okay to feel sad, and people may even see when we’re distressed, but turn to Allah and complain to Him alone. Because truly the One who can change our situation is only Allah s.w.t. Even if we have to endure our sorrow for years, never ever lose hope in Allah.
“Complain about your situation to Allah s.w.t. and don’t complain about it to His creation.
Know for certain that all forms of grief or heartache that come by you
are because either He loves you and is therefore testing you,
or either He loves you and is therefore purifying you from your sins.”
– Sheikh Saleh Al-Maghamsi