I have spent a lot of my life trying to reconcile between hardship and ease. On the one hand, we are told again and again that the straight path is not easy and requires struggle and sacrifice. But on the other hand, as humans we always desire ease. What I have come to realize is that the path will always have challenges, tests and trials. There will be hardships and there will be storms. But, if Allah wills, you can be given ease *within* the hardship. The one who finds refuge in Allah, remains dry—even during the most powerful storm. Outside, it may be raining, but inside the refuge of Allah, it’s dry. Outside, it may be storming, but inside yourself, there is calm. Even the flames of your life can be made ‘bardan wa salama’ (coolness and safety), as they were on Ibraheem (AS). So my focus was wrong. I was trying to create a jennah, a perfect, storm-free, fireless world, outside. But this doesn’t exist in dunya. I needed to shift the focus. Jennah—a calm, peaceful world—can exist inside. Your sanctuary is inside yourself. No one can take that sanctuary away from you. No storm can affect it. No rain can reach it. Work on building *that* jennah. Work on entering *that* jennah.
And you will have jennah in this life, and the next.