[Something I found among my old notes from a long time ago]
Our Prophet (saw) faced every single affliction a human soul can emotionally take. He didn’t even get a chance to properly know his mother, let alone feel her love when growing up. He lost Khadija (ra) at the most vulnerable point of his life. Let’s not even get to all the things he faced from people. If anyone can be said to have been filled with darkness from all sides, isn’t it him? But all that pain had purpose. All that was prepared by Allah Himself.
Despite all that pain, he had a core full of light that had the potential to change everyone else’s cores. The entire world’s core. Did the darkness affect his mission? Of course. It was that darkness he faced all his life that helped him change history, change hearts, minds, countries, worlds! (The jinn were changed too, I’ll call that a different world). When we quote ahadith or follow him in order to please Allah, do we always think about his pain and sufferings? Maybe we should, but we hardly do. Because even if that was one of the most significant parts of his life, to us, that is a minor part of the whole picture.
Maybe human cores just work this way. The person himself sees/feels the surface – the darkness. Everyone else sees the core – the light. But only if the person himself unlocks the core first.
Think about all the other prophets. Every single one of them. Think about the salaaf. I personally don’t think imam Bukhari or imam Tabari etc were perfectly happy people. Most of them were surrounded by darkness too – the darkness of societal obstacles, financial hardships, emotional hardships, what not. But that didn’t stop them from writing thousands upon thousands upon thousands of pages of knowledge. Or changing thousands upon thousands upon thousands of lives, hearts. Because maybe, just maybe, Allah chooses the souls most tainted by darkness to serve Him best. How else can you explain why every Prophet faced such difficult lives and such extreme emotional trauma? Even if not, I’m sure of one thing at least: the darkness is a clue to what tremendous light lies inside. You might not care, but it’s there.