Problem-solving is one of life’s great challenges for most human beings. Most of us struggle with the daily hardships of life without always having practical problem solving strategy.

So how can you overcome hardship and solve the problems you face using Islam and its guidance? Islam provides guidelines and a method for living daily life. If you follow this way of life, the overall effect it will have your life is that it will give you the mindset and tools to be able to deal with your problems. Mindset is probably the most important way to deal with problems because our world is controlled by the way we see it. A persons psychology is 50% of the way to a solution as solutions all start in the mind.

So there are five practical strategies that I’ll share with you that you can use to navigate your problems and any trials in life. Note that I’m saying they are practical, which means you will have to take action. So here goes…

1. Own Your problem

Taking ownership of the challenges in your life gives you power over them. Most people who struggle to overcome the challenges they face, feel like victims of their circumstances. The problem with being a victim is that you have no control over your circumstance and it has power over you. Which is why so many people fall into despair and feelings of hopelessness.

The solution to this problem is to take ownership of every challenge you face. In other words take responsibility for dealing with your challenges and become proactive in trying to find a solution to it. If you feel like you own your problem, then like any owner you have the ability to choose how you will respond to it, control it or shape it.

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2. Rely On Allah the Most Powerful

One of the ways that God describes the believers is that he says they are:

“those who are patient and upon their Lord they put their reliance”. Surat Al-Ankabut 59.

In this verse Allah describes the believers as people who put their reliance upon God.

By putting your reliance on God you accept that God is in total control of your life and submit to whatever god sees fit for your life. When we make that submission it relieves us of the anxiety that we feel over the potential outcomes of our challenges.

We accept that whatever happens must be happening for our good, because in every challenging situation there is an opportunity for personal growth. I’ll give you the example of the Prophet Yusuf who face continual challenges throughout his life when he was taken away from his beloved Father and thrown into well by his own brothers.

Imagine how you would feel if the people you loved the most tried to kill you. All how you would feel if you were only child and thrown into well in the middle of a desert. How lonely or abandoned would you feel. Yet in these circumstances the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) absolutely trusted in his Lord.

We will face different trials in our lives but the one most powerful Factor in preserving our sanity is to connect to our creator the one who has all power over our situation. It’s like when you have a problem you go to the one that can solve it, which gives you peace of mind knowing that there will be taken care of.

Reliance on God is the most powerful empowering Choice we could make.

3. Become the problem solver

Every challenge we face is like Game in that there are obstacles to overcome in order to win. What you focus on becomes your life. Many of us just to focus on the problem and we look at the problem from every angle.

Focusing on the problem only makes it grow in our mind. When your entire vision is taken up by the problems in front of you it blocks our way to solution.

So the solution is to change your focus and start looking for way around this problem. Sometimes the problem can be solved and other times we can find ways around the problem. It’s important to take a step back and look at all of the factors and resources that we have that can be used as leverage against the problems.

If you think about every game you played as a child or in your adult hood you’ll always challenges and problems to solve. But because it’s only a game we don’t take it so badly and then we focus our energies on finding a solution. If you approach to your challenges in life in the same way you will no doubt find a solution insha’Allah.

4. Zoom out and view the big picture

Looking at the bigger picture helps us to understand that problems are a part of life’s journey. One of the challenges we face is that we expect to go through life with no problems. Yet Allah informs us that indeed we will have challenges.

“Do the people think that they will say they believe and that they will not be tested, indeed we will test them like we tested those who came before them”. Surat Al-Ankabut 2.

These challenges are there to help us become better people. You can’t become greater than you are, if you are never challenged yourself to push your boundaries, learn new things and become stronger.

The challenges we face are opportunities for growth and success. It’s like the common metaphor about a person who goes to the gym to become fit. They have to lift weights that are beyond their normal capability, that push their abilities until you get to what bodybuilders call muscle failure. Muscle failure is when you push yourself to your limits and can’t push it any more.

At this stage your muscle becomes stronger and your ability to push increases in the amount of weight that you can handle. Just like this, pushing the boundaries of your problems Will help you to build resistance against those problems and make you a stronger person all round.

By avoiding your problems you weaken yourself and over the long run become less able to deal with the challenges ahead.

A practical tip I’ve learned along the way, is that I will tell myself “I can handle this, I can find a solution”. If you tell your self this on a regular basis you won’t fear facing your challenges insha’Allah.

5. Be patient and You’ll win

Many times in my life I’ve given up too quick and had I been patient just a little while longer, I could have found the wins that I was after. If you can relate to this as most people probably do, you’ll know we can be our own worst enemies, because we won’t give ourselves enough time to get the results we want.

I’ve learned that waiting is patience. In Islam patience is to restrain yourself, to hold back and persist. In the verse we discussed at the beginning of this article Allah described to the believers as those who are patient and rely on their Lord. You see reliance is preceded by patience.

You can’t be reliant if you’re not willing to wait. Time is one of the great problem solvers. We become impatient most of the time because we don’t like the pain associated with the problems. However, pain is also an indicator of growth.

Sometimes feeling that pain and resisting it, is the patience we need just like the person in the gym pushing weights to muscle failure, it’s painful. But after that pain is over you experience beautiful growth. And that’s what life is about, growing into the best versions of ourselves.

Allah the Almighty created you to become from the best of people and that’s why you are constantly challenged by problems that will force you to grow. It would be impossible to become the best you, without having to overcome the challenges that shape you and your life.

If you accept that this is a normal part of life, to go through challenges and you change the way you receive your challenges, no matter how great the challenge is you’ll be ready to deal with it. You can do this, you can handle any problem and you have the ability to overcome it if you want. But that’s a choice you have to make.

Let me finish on this exercise that you can use to take action with, whenever you feel any pain.

Tell yourself whenever you face a problem: “I can handle it because Allah would never give me something I can’t handle, I can handle it”.

Look at the problem just long enough to understand what it really is, then begin to spend all your time to look at every resource or information you can find about solving this.

Ask Allah to show you the way to the solution and do it persistently like a child would ask a parent.

Be positive that you will find a solution and then be patient and persist.

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  • Quranic guidance on Optimising Your Life
  • Become the Best version of yourself this Month
  • Learn how to deal with Problems with Confidence