Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani (Daamat Barakaatuhu) writes:
Once, when passing through a roofed bazaar on our way back from prayer, I saw makeshift stalls with merchants selling olives in big plates, their oil scattered on the plates.
I had never seen olives before, nor had I had the opportunity to taste them until then. They appeared to me like small gulab jamuns drenched in syrup. With this in mind, I eagerly put one in my mouth thinking that it would be some sweet fruit.
But after putting it in my mouth, completely contrary to my expectations when its briny and bitterish taste reached my tongue and palate, it became difficult to even chew and swallow it. I was bewildered. Is this what the olive I had heard praised so much really tastes like?
But what followed next is that during that very stay in Hijaz I began tasting it occasionally due to peer pressure. Gradually I became habituated to its taste, and the same briny and bitterish taste became delectable to my tongue and palate. And today it is among my favourite foods.
The lesson learned was that when one begins acting upon certain commandments of Shariah, they also feel bitter at the beginning. But if one musters up courage and determination and habituates oneself to them, they eventually become so beloved that one feels restless without them.
Adapted from “Memories”, the autobiography of Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani Daamat Barakaatuhu.