Reflection No. 2:17 on Q 12:86 – Grief only to Allah
إِنَّمَا أَشْكُو بَثِّي وَحُزْنِي إِلَى اللَّهِ
I complain of my anguish and grief only to Allah
Sura Yusuf, verse 86
Nabi Ya’qub (a) says these words when his sons tell him he will kill himself with grief over Yusuf (a). The Prophet tells his sons that he is not complaining to them. He complains of his grief only to Allah.
When difficult moments come in the life of a believer, it is not appropriate that he complain to others about it. Complaining about what befalls us is complaining about the decree of Allah. Why complain to those who cannot do anything to help? Why not, instead, complain to the one who holds in His hands the power to help and remove the difficulty. The one who knows and understands your difficulty more than anybody else, more than even you yourself do?
To complain before Allah is not to question and complain against His decree. It is to open up the heart to God, to talk to Him and achieve relief through the release of grief in conversation with God. Imam Ali (a) says in Letter no. 31 of Nahjul Balagha; Invoke Him to grant you your heart’s desire, lay before Him the secrets of your heart, tell Him about all the calamities that have befallen you and misfortunes which face you, and beseech His help to overcome them.
Recite this verse in difficult moments, moments when you feel sad and alone to remind yourself that you need no-one but God to let out your grief. Talk to Him, beseech Him, cry before Him and feel His love for you. It will bring you great solace.