The Prophet (sws) had the weight of the world on his shoulders. Being the last and final messenger to humanity, his role was extremely demanding, and he faced a lot of difficulties, a lot of bumps along the way, a lot of ridicules and insult which took a lot of patience to deal with. The Prophet (sws) even though he was a messenger and a prophet, was a human at the same time too and so naturally he felt saddened, and sometimes his chest felt heavy because of everything that he dealt with.
And so there is a surah in the Qur’an where Allah comforts his messenger- Surah Inshirah where Allah says, “Did we not expand for you, (O Muhammad) your chest?” [94:1]
In Nouman Ali Khan’s tafseer, he explains how one of the interpretations of this ayah is that because the Prophet (sws) had to face insults, rejection, and difficulties on a daily basis, Allah expanded his chest for him, Allah put his mind at east and it implies that the one whose chest is expanded starts to feel content and at ease and this posing of a question allows the recipient to grateful for their blessings. So this expanding of the Prophet’s chest was done because of everything that he was having to deal with and this really comforted the Prophet (sws). (*There is a second interpretation of what “inshirah” may mean which you can also read in the tafseer is the interpretation that the Prophet’s chest was expanded to carry the weight of the Qur’an)
Recently, I’ve been reflecting on a few people that are close to me who have gone through extremely tough times, I mean over and over again every time you hear or check up there’s something different, another new test that they are having to deal with but reflecting on this, I realized that these same people were the people that always inspire me, these people were the same that I look up to, that I learned so much from, not only my friends but my teachers. And I couldn’t help but remember how those that are most beloved to Allah are tested the most. The Prophet (sws) is the most beloved to Allah and he (sws) was tested the most- daily, subhanAllah!
And if Allah could expand his chest for him to handle the difficulties and trials of this world and this expanding made content and at ease- inshAllah Allah can make our difficulties and trials (which are much less severe than what our Prophet went through) bearable and make us content through them as well. The closer we get to Allah, the stronger our iman gets…the more we will get tested too. Always, if you look through the Qur’an, if you look through history, the people closest to Allah were tested the most in different ways- to purify them, to elevate them, to erase their sins so they meet Allah purified, sometimes even becoming their means to Jannah.
So hold on patiently and keep turning to the only One who can give us the strength to get through the roughest of times. I pray that Allah expands the chest of everyone that is going through a hard time- whether in their families, their health, their wealth, or any and everything. May Allah grant us strength to bear through the trials of this dunya, may Allah expand our chest to handle the weight and heaviness of this world, and make us people of patience and make us a people who seek help through salah and du’a, inshAllah!