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Importance of Struggle

by | Feb 17, 2015

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Struggle, or “jihad” in Arabic, is an essential concept in Islam as it refers to striving in the way of Allah to attain personal and social betterment. It can be internal, such as the struggle against one’s flaws and negative traits, or external, such as standing up for justice and fighting oppression. Jihad is a central part of a Muslim’s religious duty and is seen as a means of achieving spiritual growth, moral development, and closeness to God. It is emphasized that the struggle should always be conducted peacefully and justly, and that violence is only permitted as a last resort in self-defense.

Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.

Once upon a time, a man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day while he was observing the Cocoon of Butterfly, he saw a small opening. He sat there for a long time and watched the struggle of Butterfly as Butterfly struggled to force its body through that tiny hole. Then he saw the Butterfly stop making any progress. It seems as if it had gotten as far as it could and could go no farther.

The man saw all this and decided to help the Butterfly. The man took a pair of scissors and cut off the remaining Cocoon. The Butterfly then emerged quickly. But the Butterfly had a small and swollen body and shriveled wings.

The man then waited there to watch the Butterfly, expecting that at any moment, the Butterfly’s wing would enlarge and expand to be capable of supporting the body, which could contract in time.

But this neither happened; the Butterfly spent his whole life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. As a result, the Butterfly was never able to fly for the rest of their lives.

The man, in his sympathy and haste, did not understand that the restricting Cocoon and the struggle was a natural process for the Butterfly to get through the tiny opening and force fluid from the body of the Butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the Cocoon.


Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If nature permitted us to go through life without difficulties and obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been. And we could never fly. Freedom and flight would only come after the struggle.

Allah says in Quran:

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَىْءٍ مِّنَ ٱلْخَوْفِ وَٱلْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ ٱلْأَمْوَٰلِ وَٱلْأَنفُسِ وَٱلثَّمَرَٰتِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلصَّٰبِرِينَ

“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.” 

\Noble Qur’an (2:155)

So we must understand thatthe key to success is a struggle. Without struggle and hard work, we can achieve nothing.

All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the fundamental values of life. The striving and hard work we constantly try to avoid is the primary building block of the person we are today.



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