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Calamity

Praise be to Allâh for this Calamity It is reported that Shurayh – Allâh have mercy on him – said, “If I am afflicted with a calamity, I praise Allâh for it four times: I praise Him because it wasn’t worse than it was, I praise Him when He gives me the patience to bear it, I praise Him for enabling me to say al-istirjâ’ (‘To Allâh we belong and to him we will return’; see Al-Baqarah: 154-156 ) in hope of a great reward, and I praise Him for not making it a calamity in my religion.” Al-Dhahabî, Siyar A’lâm Al-Nubalâ`, in his biography of Shurayh Al-Qâdî.
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TESTING, AFFLICTION AND CALAMITIES

By

Shaykh Dr. Saalih As-Saalih رحمه الله
Delivered on May 20th, 2006
http://www.albaseerah.org/forum/showthread.php?t=4151

The Shaykh رحمه الله began by praising Allaah سبحانه وتعالى and sending the salutation and salaam upon the most noble of all Prophets and Messengers صلى الله عليه وسلم, his family and followers. He then said:

All praise is due to Allaah. The Most High, the One who says:

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الأَمَوَالِ وَالأنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ {155} الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُواْ إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ {156} أُولَـئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ وَأُولَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ


{And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Saabiroon (the patient). Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” They are those on whom are the Salawaat (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones.} [Al-Baqarah 2:155–157]


May the salaah and salaam of Allaah be upon His Messenger, Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم, the one who was tried and tested with various types of tests and he was patient and persevered. May the salaah and salaam of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى be up on his household and the noble Companions, who also were tested and tried, and upon the righteous predecessors and on those who followed them in righteousness until the Day of Resurrection.

EVERY BELIEVER WILL BE TESTED

It is clear that this life is filled with calamites, tests and trials. Every believer will be subjected to many of these calamities, tests and trials. Sometimes these trials are manifested in himself, sometimes in his wealth, and sometimes with his beloved ones. These preordainments are from the One who is All-Wise and they touch the believer in various ways and manners. If a believer does not have the correct understanding regarding the manner of dealing with trials and tribulations he may err seriously. This is especially true when facing difficult and burdensome calamities.

Many people are ignorant of the wisdom behind facing trials and tests. They may not understand that Allaah سبحانه وتعالى does not intend to punish us through tests; rather Allaah creates an opportunity to earn His Mercy. The believer should look at the matter of ‘ibtilah (being put to tests) and trials through the textual proofs from the Qur’aan and the authentic Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, in order to stand firmly grounded regarding these matters.

Yes, it is a test and a trial. Every day we are tested in this life. Our wealth is a test; the spouse is a test; the children are tests; poverty, wealth, and richness are tests and health and illness are tests. We are tested in everything which we possess and encounter in this life and until we meet Allaah the Most High.

Allaah سبحانه وتعالى says in Surah al-Anbiyaa’, verse 35:

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ وَنَبْلُوكُم بِالشَّرِّ وَالْخَيْرِ فِتْنَةً وَإِلَيْنَا تُرْجَعُونَ


{Everyone is going to taste death, and We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good. And to Us you will be returned.} [Al-Anbiyaa’ 21:35]


And Allaah سبحانه وتعالى said in Surah al-Ankaboot, verses 2 -3:

أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوا أَن يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ
وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ فَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ الْكَاذِبِينَ


{Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allaah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allaah knows all that before putting them to test).} [al-Ankaboot 29:2-3]


Therefore both the healthy and the ill are tested. The one who was healthy did not know until he was touched by a trial, and the one who was ill did not feel that he was being tested until he was cured. No one is safe from this due to his prestige or his status. This does not prevent the matter of testing as we remember from the authentic hadeeth, narrated by al-Bukhaaree where the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “The most intense in terms of testing are the prophets and then the like and then the like.”[1]

Amongst us there is no one who possesses the ability to reject the tests. The faithful, patient, persevering individuals, who anticipate their reward from Allaah سبحانه وتعالى are the successful ones

May Allaah’s Mercy be upon al-Fudayl bin ‘Iyaad who said, “As long as the people are in a state of good welfare, once tested, they will return to their realities. The believer will go to his faith and the hypocrite will go to his hypocrisy.”[2]

amongst the tested. Also from amongst us are those who are tested but they fail due to their weak faith and their objection to Allaah سبحانه وتعالى; we seek refuge in Allaah سبحانه وتعالى from such a state. EVERYTHING HAS BEEN PREORDAINED

Allaah سبحانه وتعالى preordained everything for us including our sustenance and our life spans. Allaah سبحانه وتعالى says in Surah az-Zukhruf, verse 32:

نَحْنُ قَسَمْنَا بَيْنَهُم مَّعِيشَتَهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا


{…It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood in this world…} [az-Zukhruf 43:32]


Our sustenance and livelihood are preordained with clear and certain measures. Illness is preordained, one’s welfare is preordained; everything in this life is preordained. So a person should accept what Allaah has preordained for him and should not hate, dislike or feel discomfort regarding the preordainments of the Almighty and All-Wise. On understanding that a certain test is a part of the decree of Allaah, one should submit his affair to Allaah and know that whatever befalls him could not have missed him and whatever misses him could not have befallen him.

HOW THE BELIEVER DEALS WITH TESTS AND TRIALS

Whosoever wants their life be monotonic (always according to his wishes and without trials), it is as if he wants the pre-decree of Allaah to be in accordance with his desires. This is wishful thinking. No matter what pre-ordinance or test occurs it a matter that is good for the believer. However, this is conditional upon the believer’s gratefulness to Allaah for His favours and his being patient during times of trial.

It is reported in Saheeh Muslim that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Amazing is the affair of the believer. His affair for him is all good, and this is for none except the believer. If he is touched by something good and he gives thanks, then it is good for him. And if he is touched by a calamity or hardship and he is patient then this is good for him.”[3]

Allaah سبحانه وتعالى stated in Surah an-Nisaa’, verse 19:

فَعَسَى أَن تَكْرَهُواْ شَيْئاً وَيَجْعَلَ اللّهُ فِيهِ خَيْراً كَثِيراً


{…it may be that you dislike a thing through which Allaah brings a great deal of good.} [An Nisaa’ 4:19]


And in surah al-Baqarah, verse 216:

وَعَسَى أَن تَكْرَهُواْ شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ وَعَسَى أَن تُحِبُّواْ شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَّكُمْ وَاللّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ


{…and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allaah knows but you do not know.} [Al-Baqarah 2:216]


One should recognize that Allaah is the One who tests him and also the One who bestows favours upon him. He should also know that not all that he dislikes is to be disliked in reality, and likewise, not everything which he desires is in reality beneficial for him.
{Allaah knows and you do not know}.

Some of the Salaf رحمهم الله said “If you are afflicted by a calamity and you are a patient, then your calamity is one. But if you are not patient, then your calamity is doubled – losing the reward and losing the beloved one, the Hereafter (Paradise).” This saying of some of the Salaf is in relation to what Allaah سبحانه وتعالى mentions in Surah al-Hajj, verse 11:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ عَلَى حَرْفٍ فَإِنْ أَصَابَهُ خَيْرٌ اطْمَأَنَّ بِهِ وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ فِتْنَةٌ انقَلَبَ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ خَسِرَ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةَ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْخُسْرَانُ الْمُبِينُ


{And among mankind is he who worships Allaah as it were upon the edge (i.e. in doubt): if good befalls him, he is content therewith; but if a trial befalls him he turns back on his face (i.e. reverts to disbelief after embracing Islaam). He loses both this world and the Hereafter. That is the evident loss.} [Al-Hajj 22:11]

THE REWARD ASSOCIATED WITH TESTS/TRIALS

Certainly testing is a station for a while (i.e. it is temporary). It erases the sins just as the leaves fall from a tree, as mentioned in the ahaadeeth narrated by Abu Sa`eed Al-Khudri and Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنهما that the Prophet said, “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allaah expiates some of his sins for that.”[4] Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه also narrated that the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “If Allaah wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts him with trials.” [5]

In a hadeeth narrated by Abdullah ibn `Umar رضي الله عنهما, he said “I visited the Prophet during his ailments and he was suffering from a high fever. I said, “You have a high fever. Is it because you will have a double reward for it?” He said, “Yes, for no Muslim is afflicted with any harm except that Allaah will remove his sins as the leaves fall from a tree.”[6]

Hence, the reward is affirmed regarding every type of harm or hurt, tangible or intangible, if the believer patiently perseveres and anticipates the reward. As Anas bin Maalik رضي الله عنه reported: I heard Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم saying, “Allaah said, ‘If I deprive my slave of his two beloved things (i.e. his eyes) and he remains patient, I will let him enter Paradise in compensation for them.'”[7]

Tests and trials are a means to removing sins (from the believers) and all the children of Adam commit sins. Tests and trials may also raise one’s degree enabling one to move on to a higher level in Paradise as in the hadeeth where Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Allaah سبحانه وتعالى says to His angels when they take the soul of a person’s child, ‘You took the fruit of his heart.’ They (the angels) say, ‘Yes.’ Then Allaah says, ‘What did My slave say (upon that)?’ They say, ‘He praised you and made istirjaa’ (meaning he said, Innaa lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji`oon’ – To Allaah we belong and to Him we shall return). So Allaah سبحانه وتعالى says, ‘Build for My slave a house in Paradise and name it The House of Praise’.”[8] This is reported by Imaam Ahmad and Shaykh al-Albaanee graded it Hasan.

In another hadeeth reported in Saheeh Muslim: Any Muslim who is hurt by a thorn or greater than that, Allaah سبحانه وتعالى will remove a sin from him and elevates him a degree (raise his status) because of that.[9] So (he is raised) degree above degrees, until he reaches his final degree in Paradise which comes due to his patience and above that, due to the Favour of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى, as He سبحانه وتعالى says in Surah az-Zumar, verse 10:

إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ


{Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.} [Az-Zumar 39:10]


Thus calamities, trials and tests are signs of love from Allaah for the believers. They are comparable to a cure; although it may be bitter, you accept it because it is from the one whom you love; and to Allaah belongs the best example. As comes in the hadeeth, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “The magnitude of the reward is proportional to the magnitude of the affliction. When Allaah سبحانه وتعالى loves some people, He tests them. He who is content (with Allaah’s decree) will receive the Pleasure (of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى); and he who is discontent will attain the wrath (of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى).”[10] Related by at-Tirmidhi and Sheikh al-Albaanee رحمه الله graded it Saheeh.

Imam ibn Al Qayyim said: The ibtilaa’ (testing) of the believer is like medicine for him. It cures him from illness. Had the illness remained it would destroy him or diminish his reward and level (in the hereafter). The tests and the trials extract these illnesses from him and prepare him for the perfect reward and the highest of degrees (in the life to come).”[11] Certainly the affliction of tests and trials is better to the believer than the punishment of the hereafter. Certainly it is a cause for the elevation of one’s rank and expiation for his sins, and therefore it is better.

In the hadeeth, Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “If Allaah intends good for the Believer He hastens his punishment in this life and if He intends otherwise, He withholds his punishment for his sin until he re-compensates him for it on the Day of Resurrection.”[12] Reported by at-Tirmidhi and Sheikh al-Albaanee رحمه الله authenticated it. The People of Knowledge made it clear that this is in reference to the one who is a hypocrite. Allaah سبحانه وتعالى withholds the punishment from him in this life to give him his full account on the Day of Resurrection; and we seek refuge in Allaah from such.

IN TESTS AND TRIALS THERE ARE LESSONS

Tests and trials contain many lessons.

  1. The first lesson – From the benefit of tests and trials is the influence it has on one’s tawheedeemaan (faith) and tawakkul – reliance upon Allaah. It makes you examine the reality that man is a weak creation without any power or strength, except in your Lord. Therefore you resort to Him and depend on Him. Thereupon arrogance, false pride and negligence will be removed and you will come to know that you are really poor and in need of your Creator, the Almighty, the Most Perfect, and so you resort to Him. (worship of Allaah),
  2. The second lesson – Tests unravel the reality of this life. It is clarified to be a temporal stay for enjoyment, and the perfect life is the one which follows, wherein there is no toil, worry, fatigue or disease. Allaah سبحانه وتعالى stated this in Surah al-Ankaboot, verse 64. وَإِنَّ الدَّارَ الْآخِرَةَ لَهِيَ الْحَيَوَانُ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُون


{And this life of the world is only amusement and play! Verily, the home of the Hereafter – that is the life indeed (i.e. the eternal life that will never end), if they but knew.} [al-Ankaboot 29:64]


Even with this amusement and play there is also toil and fatigue. This is the reality of this life – one day life is smiling at you, and the other day it is turning its back on you. This is the nature of life, but man forgets that. The trials and tests come and they serve to remind man of the nature of this life and that he should not become attached to it.

  • The third lesson – The tests and trials remind the person of the favours bestowed upon him by Allaah. It is also a reminder that this life is transitional.
  • The fourth lesson – We are reminded to avoid being in a state of joy such that we feel arrogance and likewise to avoid a state of sadness and grief such that one feels despair. Allaah سبحانه وتعالى sates this in Surah al-Hadeed, verses 22-23: مَا أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مِّن قَبْلِ أَن نَّبْرَأَهَا إِنَّ ذَلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيرٌ {22} لِكَيْلَا تَأْسَوْا عَلَى مَا فَاتَكُمْ وَلَا تَفْرَحُوا بِمَا آتَاكُمْ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ


    {No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfooz) before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allaah. In order that you may not grieve at the things over that you fail to get, nor rejoice over that which has been given to you. And Allaah likes not every prideful boaster.} [al-Hadeed 57:22-23]


  • The fifth lesson – Trials and tests remind the person of his shortcomings and diseases (of the heart and actions) so that he can take preventive measures against them. Allaah سبحانه وتعالى says in Surah an-Nisaa’ verse79: مَّا أَصَابَكَ مِنْ حَسَنَةٍ فَمِنَ اللّهِ وَمَا أَصَابَكَ مِن سَيِّئَةٍ فَمِن نَّفْسِكَ وَأَرْسَلْنَاكَ لِلنَّاسِ رَسُولاً وَكَفَى بِاللّهِ شَهِيدًا


    {Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allaah, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself. And We have sent you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) as a Messenger to mankind, and Allaah is Sufficient as a Witness.} [an-Nisaa’ 4:79]


    And Allaah سبحانه وتعالى says in Surah as-Shooraa, verse 30:

    وَمَا أَصَابَكُم مِّن مُّصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُو عَن كَثِيرٍ


    {And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much.} [ash-Shooraa 42:30]


    There is a chance for repentance before the greater torment occurs. Allaah سبحانه وتعالى says in Surah as-Sajdah, verse 21:

    وَلَنُذِيقَنَّهُمْ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ الْأَدْنَى دُونَ الْعَذَابِ الْأَكْبَرِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ


    {And verily, We will make them taste of the near torment (i.e. the torment in the life of this world, i.e. disasters, calamities) prior to the supreme torment (in the Hereafter), in order that they may (repent and) return (i.e. accept Islaam).} [as-Sajdah 32:21]


    This lesser torment is in this life which is full of calamities, disasters and hardships.

  • The sixth lesson – Tests and trials serve as great teaching processes through which one learns patience. We cannot be firm upon truth and obedience except with patience; and we cannot stay away from falsehood and disobedience except with patience and perseverance. We cannot walk the paths of this life except with patience regarding the pre-ordinance of Allaah. The outcome is jannat al-qulb war-ridwaan – the endless bliss in Paradise and the Pleasure of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى. Allaah سبحانه وتعالى says in Surah Fussilat, verse 35: وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلَّا الَّذِينَ صَبَرُوا وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلَّا ذُو حَظٍ عَظِيمٍ


    {But none is granted it except those who are patient – and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion (of happiness in the Hereafter, i.e., Paradise, and of a high moral character) in this world.} [Fussilat 41:35]


    CONCLUSION

    If the calamity befalls us and we pass it in reality (by observing the proper manners) then we have learnt the lessons. The Salaf رحمهم الله were in a much better state than us regarding (their handling of) tests and trials. We have in them magnificent examples of patience, perseverance and anticipation of reward from Allaah سبحانه وتعالى.

    It is reported from `Umar رضي الله عنه that he used to praise Allaah سبحانه وتعالى for tests and trials and when asked about it he said, “I was not touched by testing except that Allaah bestowed on me four favours: that it wasn’t a test in my Deen, that it was not greater than me, that it was not greater than what befell me, and that I was not deprived of being contented and patient, and that I hope for the reward from Allaah.”

    We should not forget that in the test there is a reward and that this cannot be attained except with patience, and patience cannot be attained except with a strong will and faith. We should not forget to remember Allaah and be thankful for His favours and be patient upon His tests and trials. Let this be a sincere and hidden matter between us and our Rabb (Lord) سبحانه وتعالى because He Knows and He Sees and He is more Merciful to us than we and all mankind are to ourselves, so we should turn our affair to Him.

    As a poet said, “If you complain to the son of Adam it is as if you are complaining to the one who has no mercy towards you.” We should remember that if we are touched by a calamity we should be thankful to Allaah that He did not touch us with something more intense, and far greater, and that whatever befalls us was not going to miss us and whatever missed us was not going to befall us.

    The magnitude of the reward is proportional to the magnitude of the test. To Allaah سبحانه وتعالى is that which He gives and to Him is that which He takes. The complaints and discontent are not going to help you. Rather, it will magnify your calamity and will cause you to miss the reward and subject you to being held as sinful.

    Let each of us remember that no matter how great the magnitude of the calamity that may befall us, it will never reach the intensity of the calamity which touched the entire Ummah – the loss of the beloved one, Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم, who reminded us by saying, “If anyone of you is touched by a calamity let him remember the calamity that befell him concerning me, for indeed it is the greatest calamity.”[13] It is reported by al-Bayhaqi and authenticated by Sheikh al-Albaanee رحمه الله.

    When touched by a calamity we should remember to say:

    إنّا لِلَّهِ وإنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ؛ اللَّهُمَّ أجُرْنِي فِي مُصِيبَتي وأخْلِفْ لي خَيْراً مِنْها


    Verily we belong to Allaah and to Him we shall return. O Allaah help me in my calamity and bring me something better in return. [14]


    We should not despair of the Mercy of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى no matter what calamity befalls us, no matter what its magnitude or how intense it is because Allaah سبحانه وتعالى stated in Surah ash-Sharh, verses 5–6:

    فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْراً {5} إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْراً


    {Verily, along with every hardship is relief. Verily, along with every hardship is relief (i.e. there is one hardship with two reliefs,
    so one hardship cannot overcome two reliefs).} [Ash-Sharh 94:5–6]


    Verily with hardship there is relief and “one hardship cannot beat two reliefs” as `Umar رضي الله عنه stated.

    We should not forget the favour of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى if He restores to you your state of wellbeing and soundness, lest we become from those whom Allaah mentioned in surah az-Zumar, verse 8:

    وَإِذَا مَسَّ الْإِنسَانَ ضُرٌّ دَعَا رَبَّهُ مُنِيبًا إِلَيْهِ ثُمَّ إِذَا خَوَّلَهُ نِعْمَةً مِّنْهُ نَسِيَ مَا كَانَ يَدْعُو إِلَيْهِ مِن قَبْلُ وَجَعَلَ لِلَّهِ أَندَادًا لِّيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ قُلْ تَمَتَّعْ بِكُفْرِكَ قَلِيلًا إِنَّكَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّارِ


    {And when some hurt touches man, he cries to his Lord (Allaah Alone), turning to Him in repentance. But when He bestows a favour upon him from Himself, he forgets that for which he cried for before, and he sets up rivals to Allaah, in order to mislead others from His path. Say: “Take pleasure in your disbelief for a while, surely, you are (one) of the dwellers of the Fire!”} [az-Zumar 39:8]


    We should not forget that the tests, calamities and trials remind us of an Hour that is surely coming and of a time which will end. This life is not an endless abode and therefore we must work for our Hereafter. In the end, the reminder and the glad tidings are found in the same verse which we first spoke about:

    وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الأَمَوَالِ وَالأنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ {155} الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُواْ إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ {156} أُولَـئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ وَأُولَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ


    {And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Saabiroon (the patient). Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” They are those on whom are the Salawaat (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones.} [Al-Baqarah 2:155–157]


    We ask Allaah سبحانه وتعالى to make us of those who when afflicted with a calamity truly remember and manifest the saying of Allaah: Innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji`oon. asking Him to help us in our calamities, tests and trials, to be able to persevere patiently, to overcome, and to ask His reward and anticipate the reward from Him سبحانه وتعالى, and to compensate us with that which is better.

    All Praise is due to Allaah, and may the salaah and salaam be on Prophet Muhammad, his household, the noble Companions and those who follow them until the Day of Resurrection.

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  • TRIALS

    By Imaam al-Haramain Abdul Muhsin Ibn Muhammad Al-Qaasim

    All praise is due to Allaah, may peace and blessings be upon the Messenger saws, his household and companions.

    Fellow Muslims! Fear Allaah as he should be feared, for fear of Allaah brings more blessings and prevents afflictions.

    Dear Muslims! Allaah has foreordained the fate of all creatures, written down their impacts and deeds, portioned out between them their livelihood and wealth and created death and life that He may test them which of them is best in deed. Indeed, belief in Allaah’s decree and preordainment is one of the pillars of faith. Nothing happens in this universe except by His will.

    This life is full of misfortune and sorrow. It is destined to be a place of hardships and trouble. Trials and tribulations are as inevitable in this life as cold and heat. Allaah says, “And certainly We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to those who are patient.”

    Pre-destination is a test by which the truthful ones are distinguished from untruthful ones. Allaah says, “Do people think that they will be left alone because they say, ‘We believe,’ and will not be tested.” (29: 2)

    The human soul does not become pure except through trials, and it is during tribulations that real men are known. Ibn Jawzee said, “Whoever wants to have everlasting peace and well-being with no affliction does not understand the meaning of Allaah’s commandments, nor does he perceive the meaning of submission to Allaah. Every soul (either believing or disbelieving) shall inevitably taste suffering in this world, for this life is based on hardships. Man lives between comfort and suffering.”

    Prophet Aadam, for instance, had the angels prostrated before him and yet was soon after expelled from paradise. A believer is afflicted with trials in order to refine him, not to punish him. He is tested in ease as well as in hardship. Allaah says, “And We tried them with good (blessings) and evil (calamities) in order that they might turn (to Allaah’s obedience).” (Al-A’raaf 7: 168).

    Brothers in faith! Something undesireable may sometimes have a pleasant result, while something seemingly desirable may turn out to have an unpleasant and abominable result. Do not therefore feel that harmful things cannot come to you through hardship. Allaah says, “…And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allaah knows, and you do not know.” (Al-Baqarah 2: 216).

    Prepare yourself mentally for afflictions before they occur so as to make their occurrence light on you. Do not be worried because of tribulations, for they have their limits, and watch what you utter during your hard times for many a word has ruined its utterer. A resolute Muslim stands firm during hardships, his heart does not change and he does not complain. Console yourself whenever afflicted with a promise of reward from Allaah. Wise people show endurance whenever they are stricken with misfortune so as not to add to their misfortune the malicious joy of their enemies, for whenever your enemies know of your misfortune they are overjoyed.

    Brothers in Islaam! Endeavour to keep your misfortunes and pains to yourself, for concealment of afflictions and pains are of the qualities of noble people. Be patient over afflictions, they will soon be removed from you. Those who perished only suffered that because of their impatience while the patient ones are being recompensed with good rewards. Allaah says, “And those who are patient, we will certainly pay them a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do.” (Al-Anaam 16:96).

    The reward of the patient ones will be doubled for their patience and Allaah will be with them, remove their afflictions and make them victorious.

    O afflicted one! Your Lord does not deny you what you want except what is better than that, He does not test you but for your well-being and He does not subject you to tribulations but to purify you. He tries His slaves with pleasure as he blesses them with calamity. Do not therefore waste your time thinking over what has already been guaranteed for you. As long as one is still alive his provision will no doubt come to him. Allaah ta’ala says, “And no (moving) living creature is there on earth but its provision is due from Allaah.” (Hood 11:6).

    Further, if Allaah – out of His wisdom – closes a door against you, He opens out of His mercy a door better for you than the closed one. It is by afflictions that righteous and understanding people are increased in rank and reward. Sa’ad bin Abee Waqqaas said: I said, “O Messenger of Allaah, who are the most afflicted of all people? He replied saws, “The Prophets, then the righteous people, then those who are nearest to them in perfection and those who are nearest to them. Man is tested according to his religiosity; if he is strong religiously, his test is increased and if he is weak in religion, his test is reduced And a believer will be tested until he walks on the earth sinless [i.e. his sins have been erased by series of afflictions that he endured.]” (Al-Bukhari)

    Fellow Muslims! Prophet Aadam laboured along difficult paths beset with affliction; Prophet Ibraheem was thrown into a blazing fire; Ismaeel was laid down for slaughter; Yoonus was swallowed by a whale; Prophet Aayoob suffered from a severe illness; Yoosuf was sold for a pittance, thrown into a well and wrongfully jailed and Muhammed saws suffered different kinds of injury. You also are in path of calamities moving, for the life does not give pleasure only to anyone. The Prophet saws said, “If Allaah wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts him with trials.” (Al-Bukharee).

    Some people of knowledge said, “Whoever Allaah creates for paradise will be having trials and undesirable things.”

    Real trial, dear brothers, is the trial in one’s religion and whatever trial besides that is regarded as well being, for it raises one in the rank and erases ones sins. Also all comforts that do not bring one closer to Allaah is a tribulation. Do not therefore grieve over what you miss in worldly materials, for worldly pleasure begets pain and disobedience. Aboo Dardaa said, “Of the insignificance of this world to Allaah is that He is not disobeyed except in it, while what is with Him cannot be obtained except by abstaining from it. Engage yourself in what will benefit you more. Keep away from what is in peoples’ hands you will be the wealthiest of them; do not lose hope in Allaah’s mercy lest you are disgraced; always remember Allaah’s favour on you and drive away your distress by being pleased with Allaah’s decree, for however long the night may be, it will be followed by the dawn. Supplicate to Allaah. He will give you relief and if you are patient Allaah will provide a way out for you. Ponder over the story of Prophet Ya’qoob who lost a son for a long period and yet did not lose hope of relief from the Almighty One, but rather said, “Maybe Allaah will bring them all (back) to me.”

    Dear brother! It is only Allaah who deserves all praise and is capable of attending to all complaints. It is only Him you must beseech to remove your misfortunes. Pray to Him during the night with submission and humbleness and request Him to make your affairs easy for you. He says, “Is it not He who responds to the distressed one when he calls Him (better than your gods.)” (27: 62)

    Put your trust in the Omnipotent Lord and take refuge with Him with a humble heart, He will open the doors of His mercy for you. Fudayl ben ‘Iyaadh said, “If you lose hope in all people and you do not ask anything from them, your Lord will give you all that you want.”

    Whoever leaves his affairs to the hands of Allaah will achieve what he aspires: Always recite the prayer of Prophet Yoonus: :None has the right to worshipped except You (O Allaah) Glorifed (and exalted) are You (above all that they associate with You) Truly I have been of the wrong doers.”

    The ‘Ulamaa said, “No one In distress recites this prayer except that Allaah gives him relief from his distress.”

    Ibn al-Qayyim said, “It has been tested that whoever says: “Verily distress has seized me and You are the most merciful of all those who show mercy!”

    Seven times Allaah relieves him of his distress! Put then yourself under the protection of Allaah, depend upon Him, submit your affairs to Him and ask Him for relief. Try to supplicate in the most appropriate periods like during prostration and the last hour of the night. Do not feel uneasy if your supplications have not yet been answered, and do not lose hope of Allaah’s mercy even though the period of your affliction may seem long, for relief is near, and continue to pray to Allaah. Also know that when Allaah afflicts you no one except Him is capable of removing that affliction for He does whatever He wills.

    If your provision seems delayed, do a lot of istighfar, for misdeeds necessitate punishment; and if it does not seem that your supplications are having any impact, then examine yourself, for it may be that you have not been sincere in your repentance. Endeavour also, to give charity to the needy, for charity prevents and removes affliction. However, if your affliction is removed, give a lot of thanks and praise to your Lord and know that a false sense of safety is a big trial. Allaah says, “Say: Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allaah has ordained for us. He is our Lord and Protector, and in Alaah let the believers put their trust.” (At-Taubah 9: 51).

    Dear Muslims! No condition is permanent. Fortunate is he who is always God-conscious. Fear Allaah in any condition you may find yourself. You can do nothing to prevent what has been destined to happen as you do nothing to attain what has not been pre-ordained. The ability to choose and control is with Allaah alone and His choice for His slave is better for him than his choice for himself. Dawood bin Sulaymaan said, “Three things indicate the piety of a believer; his trust in Allah in what he has not attained; his satisfaction with whatever he has attained and his patience over what he has missed.”

    A wise man was asked, “What is wealth?” He replied, “Fewness of one’s mundane desires and one’s contentment with what suffices him.”

    Shurayh said, “A slave will not be afflicted by a trial except that he finds three blessings therein, (1) that the trial has nothing to do with his religion, (2) that the trial was not bigger than it is, and (3) that Allaah gives him patience to bear it.”

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    HADITH ON CALAMITY

    Al-Tirmidhi Hadith – Hadith 1759. Narrated by Al-Husayn ibn Ali: The Prophet (peace be upon him) as saying, “If any Muslim man or woman suffers a calamity and keeps it in his memory, even if it happened a long time ago, saying each time it is remembered, ‘We belong to Allah and to Him do we return,’ Allah, who is Blessed and Exalted will give a fresh reward each time it is said, equivalent to the reward when it happened.” Ahmad and Bayhaqi, in Shu’ab al-Iman, transmitted it. Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith – Hadith 2.389. Narrated by Anas: The Prophet said, “The real patience is at the first stroke of a calamity.” Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith – Hadith 7.544. Narrated by Aisha: (the wife of the Prophet) Allah’s Apostle said, “No calamity befalls a Muslim but that Allah expiates some of his sins because of it, even though it were the prick he receives from a thorn.”

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    THE TRIBULATIONS WITH GOOD AND BAD

    “Tawjeehul-Muslimeen Ilat-Tareeqin-Nasri wat-Tamkeen” (p. 33-38). Sh. Muhammad bin Jameel Zainoo and Sh. Muhammad bin Ahmad Seyyid Ahmad

    The Most High said: “…And We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good…” (al-Anbiyaa` 21:35)

    And Glory be to Him, said: “Alif-Laam-Meem. Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: We have faith, and will not be tested? And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make known, those who are true, and will certainly make known those who are liars.” (al-Ankaboot 29:1-3)

    And Glory be to Him, said: “…And We tried them with good and evil in order that they might turn (to Allahs obedience).” (al-Araaf 7:168)

    al-Allaama Ibnul-Qayyim may Allah have mercy upon him said: It is a must that a man is afflicted with that which harms him, so no one at all is free from that which harms him. This is why Allah the Most High has mentioned at various places in His Book that it is a must that He afflicts people. And the trial happens with goodness and with badness, and it is a must that a man is afflicted with which makes him happy and that which hurts him. So he is required to be patient and thankful (to Allah).

    The Opinion of ash-Shaafiee in regards to Afflictions

    A man asked ash-Shaafiee and said: O Abu Abdullah! Which is better for a person, to gain power or to be afflicted? So ash-Shaafiee said: One will not gain power until he is afflicted. For indeed Allah afflicted Nooh, Ibraaheem, Moosa, Eesa and Muhammad, may the Salawaat of Allah and Salaam be upon them all. So when they were patient, they gained power, so let not anyone think at all that he is free from pain. (Madaarij as-Saalikeen by Ibnul-Qayyim 2/283).

    Afflictions in the Noble Qur`aan

    1 Allah the Most High said: “Who has created death and life that He may test you which of you is best in deed” (al-Mulk 67:2)

    Allah created the death, and created the life and whatever is in it from the afflictions and problems, to test us which one of us is better in deed than others.

    2 And the Most High said: “Verily We have created man in toil” (al-Balad 90:4) (i.e. in tiredness, hardships, afflictions and difficulties)

    3 And the Most High said: “Alif-Laam-Meem. Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: We have faith, and will not be tested? And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make known, those who are true, and will certainly make known those who are liars.” (al-Ankaboot 29:1-3)

    Therefore, the Fitnah (trial) is Allahs test for the faithful ones, so that Allah will know the truthful ones and He will know the liars in hardships.

    4 And the Most High said: “Or you think that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty, ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who had faith with him said, When will the help of Allah come?. Yes! Indeed Allahs help is close!” (al-Baqarah 2:214)

    Do not think that the entrance to Jannah is easy without Jihaad, for those before you were afflicted with wars and diseases… and were shaken that, even the Messenger and those with him said when the help to them was delayed: “When will the help of Allah come?… Yes! Indeed Allahs help is close!”

    5 The Messenger of Allah SAW said: “The world is the prison of the Mu`min, and a Paradise for the Kaafir” (Saheeh Muslim, Kitaabuz-Zuhdi war-Raqaa`iq [18/93] Sharh an-Nawawi)

    So the truthful Mu`min has patience upon what afflicts him in the world so that it becomes for him the everlasting delights, and the Kaafir is delighted in the world as if it is his paradise, and it becomes his everlasting punishment on the day of reward.

    The types of Afflictions and the Patience upon them

    1 The fear, hunger and murder: Allah the Most High said: “And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to as-Saabiroon (the patient ones)” (al-Baqarah 2:155)

    2 The war and Jihaad: The Most High said: “And surely, We shall try you till We know the Mujaahideen (those who fight in the way of Allah) from amongst you and as-Saabireen (the patient ones)” ( Muhammad 47:31)

    So the affliction with war is so that Allah will know the Mujaahideen and the patient ones.

    3 Disease: Sometimes, the affliction is caused by a diseases so that Allah may test the patience of a person and listen to his supplication. Allah the Most High said: “And (remember) Ayyoob (Job), when he cried to his Lord: Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.” (al-Anbiyaa` 21:83)

    4 Imprisonment: A type of test so that Allah may know (and single-out) the patient one from others, as it happened to Yoosuf peace be upon him when he remained in prison for eight years, for an accusation which touched his dignity. Then he came out free (of what he had been accused of), dignified and became a minister.

    5 The trial of wealth and son: Allah the Most High said: “Indeed, your wealth and children are a trial” (at-Taghaabun 64:15)

    The wealth and the children are a test from Allah to His slave, so that He may know his ability of (correct) upbringing of his children, and the payment of the Zakaah on his wealth. The Messenger of Allah SAW said: “The best of wealth is the righteous for a righteous person” (Narrated by Ahmad and it is Saheeh)

    And he SAW said: “When a person dies, his action discontinues except for three: a continuing charity, or knowledge which proves to be of benefit, or a righteous son who supplicates for him” ([Narrated by Muslim] Sharh an-Nawawi [11/85])

    6 The harm from people: The Messenger of Allah SAW said: “The Mu`min who mixes with people and remains patient on their harms, is better than the Mu`min who does not mix with people nor does he remain patient on their harms” (Narrated by Ibn Maajah and at-Tirmidhi and it is Saheeh)

    Therefore, all of the Prophets, their people harmed them and disputed with them, disbelieved in them, tried to kill them, and exiled them from their countries. But they remained patient and so the victory was their ally. Allah the Most High said: “(They were reprieved) until, when the Messengers gave up hope and thought that they were denied (by their people), then came to them Our Help, and whomsoever We willed were rescued” (Yoosuf 12:110)

    And He said concerning the wise Luqmaan as he ordered his son: “O my son! Establish as-Salaah , command the good and forbid the evil, and have patience on whatever befalls you. Verily, these are some of the important commandments (ordered by Allah with no exemption).” (Luqmaan 31:17)

    The Afflictions in the Purified Sunnah

    The way the Noble Qur`aan speaks about afflictions, the purified Sunnah also speaks about it. So he SAW said, when asked which people are afflicted with the toughest of tribulations, he said: “The Prophets, and then their like, and then their like. A person is afflicted according to his Deen. So if his Deen is firm, his afflictions become severe. And if in his Deen there was mildness, then the affliction is in accordance with his Deen. So the affliction does not leave the slave until it leaves him walking on the earth, and there is no sin on him.” (Narrated by at-Tirmidhi and he said this Hadeeth is Hasan Saheh)

    And on the authority of Abu Hurairah may Allah be pleased with him who said: The Messenger of Allah SAW said: “The afflictions do not seize to exist on a male or female person of faith, in his self and his wealth, until he meets Allah while there is no sin on him.” (Extracted by Ahmad and at-Tirmidhi and he said that Hadeeth his Hasan Saheeh)

    And on the authority of Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Awf may Allah be pleased with him who said: “We were afflicted with the Prophet SAW during the bad days so we remained patient. Then we were afflicted during the good days after him, but we did not have patience.” (Narrated by at-Tirmidhi who said Hadeeth is Hasan)

    The Messenger of Allah SAW sought refuge (in Allah) from trials, so he said: “O Allah! By Your knowledge of the unseen, and Your Power over the creation, keep me alive for as long as You know that life is better for me. And give me death when You have known that death is better for me. O Allah! And I ask You for Your fear in the unseen and the seen, and I ask You for the word of truth in pleasure and anger. And I ask You for resolution in poverty and in affluence. And I ask You for delights that do not end. And I ask You for the consolation for the eye which does not seize to continue. And I ask You for the pleasure after the decree. And I ask You for the coolness of the life after death, and I ask You for the pleasure of the look at Your Face, and the love for the meeting with You, without any damaging adversity, nor any trial with the possibility of going astray. O Allah! Beautify us with the beauty of Imaan and make us the guided leaders” (Saheeh Sunan an-Nisaa`i 1237)

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    TESTS FOR THE BELIEVERS: FLUCTUATIONS OF LIFE

    From :- The Inevitable Journey: Sickness, Death, and the Grave

    Author Unknown

    A person’s life in this world is not stable. One passes through alternating periods of happiness and dismay, strength and weakness. wealth and povert, health and sickness etc. A true believer is one who maintains a clear level of Eemaan throughout the wordly fluctuations. He continues to remember Allah and ascribe the bounties to Him; and he turns to Him in submission, asking for relief from his affliction. This is described by the Messenger (Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) who said: “Indeed amazing are the affairs of a believer ! They are all for his benefit; if he is granted ease of living he is thankful; and this is best for him. And if he is afflicted with a hardship, he perseveres; and this is best or him.” [Muslim]

    And Allah (SubHanahu Wa Ta`ala) said (which means); “Certainly, We shall test you with fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits; but give glad tidings to the patient – those who, when afflicted with calamity say, “Truly to Allah we belong, and truly to Him shall we return.” It is those who will be awarded blessings and mercy from their Lord; and it is those who are the guided ones.” [2:155-157]

    Thus, a believer shows gratitude and thankfulness for all the wonderful blessings that Allah grants him. And he displays patience and submission during sickness and hardships, hunger, or other afflictions.

    HARDSHIPS BENEFIT THE BELIEVER

    Allah has decreed that, in this life, hardships and disasters strike both believers and non-believers. For a non-believer, they are inconveniences that hinder him from proceeding with his normal involvment in the wordly life. For a believer, on the other hand, they are instances of rest and rememberance, tests that promise great rewards, and indications of atonment and expiation of sins. Regardless of how little is the harm that strikes a believer, it carries with it good news of forgivness and elevated rank (in Jannah). The Righteous Predecessors used to be pleased when a hardship afflicted them, seeing it as a token of Allah’s forgiveness and benevolence.

    EXPIATION OF SINS

    Abu Hurayrah (Radhiallahu `anhu) reported that the Prophet(Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: “Hardships continue to befall a believing man and woman in their body, family, and property, until they meet Allah (SubHanahu Wa Ta`ala) burdened with no sins.” [Tirmithee]

    SIGN OF ALLAH’S LOVE

    Abu Hurayrah (Radhiallahu `anhu) reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: ” Whenever Allah wills good for a person, He subjects him to adversity” [Bukharee and others]

    SIGN OF EEMAN

    Abu Hurayrah (Radhiallahu `anhu) and Ka’b Bin Maalik (Radhiallahu `anhu) reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: “The parable of a believer is that of a fresh and moist plant; the wind tilts it this way and that way; and so is the believer; he continues to be subject to affliction. And the parable of a hypocrite is that of a firm cedar tree; it does not shake – until it is uprooted all at once.” [Bukharee and Muslim]

    SIGN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

    The prophets and righteous people are afflicted the most, and their rewards are the highest. Sa’d (Radhiallahu `anhu) reporeted that the Prophet (Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: “The most in their suffering among the people are the prophets, then the best, then the (next) best. One is afflicted in accordance with his deen (faith). If his deen is firm his affliction is hard, and if his deen is weak, his affliction is light. Indeed, one would be so much subjected to adversity until he walks among the people without any sins. ” [Ahmad, Tirmithee]

    EARLY PUNISHMENT Anas (Radhiallahu `anhu) reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: “When Allah wills good for a servant of His, He expedites his punishment in this life; and when He wills retribution for a servant of His, He holds his sins for Him to judge him by them on the Day of Resurrection.” [Tirmithee]

    MULTIPLICATION OF REWARDS

    Anas (Radhiallahu `anhu) reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: “The amount of reward is in accordance with the amount of suffering. When Allah (SubHanahu Wa Ta`ala) loves some people, He tries them (with affliction). He who then is content (with Allah’s decree) has achieved the acceptance (of Allah), and he who is dissatisfied (with Allah’s decree) will attain the anger (of Allah).” [Tirmithee]

    REWARDS FOR SICKNESS

    One should not look to sickness as a gloomy episode, but should remember the great good in it. It is one form of affliction with which Allah (SubHanahu Wa Ta`ala) tests His ‘ibaad (servants), giving them a chance to aquire rewards, as was explained above, as is further emphasized below.

    REMOVAL OF SINS AND ELEVATION IN RANKS

    Abu Hurayrah (Radhiallahu `anhu) reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: “Whenever a Muslim is afflicted by harm from sickness or other matters, Allah will drop his sins because of that, like a tree drops its leaves.” [Bukharee and Muslim]

    Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree (Radhiallahu `anhu) reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: “A muslim is not afflicted by hardship, sickness, sadness, worry, harm, or depression – even if pricked by a thorn, but Allah expiates his sins because of that.” [Bukharee and Muslim]

    Sa’eed said, “I was with Salmaan (Radhiallahu `anhu) when he visited a sick man in Kindah (in Persia), and he said to him: ‘Expect good because Allah (SubHanahu Wa Ta`ala) makes a believer’s sickness an expiation (for his sins) and a period of rest. However, when a disbeliever falls sick, he is like a camel whose owner ties it then lets it loose – it does not understand why it was tied nor why it was freed.'” [Bukharee]

    ‘Aishah (Radhiallahu `anha) narrated that once some pain afflicted the Prophet (Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) causing him to suffer and turn about in his bed. she said: “Had one of us done this, you would have blamed him.” He (Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) replied: “An ailment is intensified for the righteous. Whenever a believer is afflicted by a hardship, whether it is a thorn or more, a sin is taken off from him because of it, and he is elevated by one rank (in Jannah).” [Ahmad]

    RETAINING REWARDS FOR DEEDS BEFORE SICKNESS

    Usually, when a believer falls sick, he would not be able to do the same amount of good (prayer, fasting, helping Muslims etc.) that he used to do when he was well. But Allah out of His great mercy, continues to record for him the good deeds that he was forced to stop because of his sickness. Abu Moosa Al-Ash’aree narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: “For a travelling or sick person, his deeds will be recorded in accordance with what he used to do when he was resident or well.” [Bukharee]

    ‘Abdullah Bin ‘Amr reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: “No (believing) person gets sick, but (his deeds) will be recorded for him in accordance with what he used to do when he was well.” [Bukharee]

    Anas (Radhiallahu `anhu) reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: “No muslims body is afflicted by Allah, but He will record (his deeds) for him in accordance with what he used to do when he was well – as long as he is sick. Thus, if He takes his life, He forgives him; and if He cures him, He washes him (from sins).” [Bukharee]

    ‘Uqbah Bin ‘Aamir reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: “Each days deeds are sealed with it. Thus, when a believer gets sick, the angels say, ‘Our lord! Your servant such and such, You have restrained him (from doing good this day).’ And the lord replies, ‘Seal his day in acordance with his (usual) deeds, until he is cured or dies.'” [Ahmad]

    REASON FOR THE REWARD

    ‘Atta Bin Rabaah reported that ibn ‘abbaas (Radhiallahu `anhu) told him, “Do you want to see a woman from the people of Jannah (paradise)?” He said “Yes.” He said: “It is this black woman. She came to the Prophet (Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) saying, “I have (epileptic) seizures, and I get exposed, so supplicate to Allah for me.” He (Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: “If you wish, be patient and you will attain Jannah; or if you wish, I will ask Allah to cure you.” She replied, “I will be patient ! But my body gets exposed (because of the fall), so supplicate to Allah for me that I do not become exposed.” And he (Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) did.” [Bukharee and Muslim]

    The scholars have differed in opinion as to whether a sick person will be rewarded for the sickness itself or for being patient during it. The correct opinion is that if he is patient and submits to Allah’s will, as in the above hadeeth, he would be rewarded for both the submission and the sickness, otherwise, he would not be rewrded at all; because he resented Allah’s decree. This is what should be understood from Ibn hajar al -‘Asqalaanees words: “The authentic hadeeths are clear in that the rewards are recorded once affliction strikes a Muslim. As for patience and acceptance, they are virtues for which a person may get additional rewards over those for the affliction.”

    ‘Abdullah Bin ‘Amr reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: “If a Muslim is pricked by (as little as) a thorn in the wordly life, and he seeks its reward from Allah, some of his sins will be removed, because of it, on the Day of Judgement.” [Bukharee]

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    WISDOM BEHIND AFFLICTIONS

    Ibn ul-Qayyim’s views on afflictions.

    Ibn Qayyim il-Jawziyyah covers some very important and comprehensive principles regarding afflictions, as well as various aspects of wisdom associated with them. His discussion is presented in this article.

    LESS AFFLICTIONS FOR THE BELIEVERS

    The evils, hardships, and harms afflicting the believers are less than those afflicting the disbelievers. Also, the afflictions of the righteous in this life are far less than that of the sinful, the corrupt, and the wrongdoers.

    THE BELIEVERS’ HIGH EXPECTATIONS

    The believers’ affliction is accompanied by acceptance (of Allah’s decree) and expectation (of His rewards and forgiveness). Even if they are unable to achieve that acceptance, the believers still exhibit patience and expectation (of Allah’s rewards). Their perception of the beneficent outcome of the affliction reduces its burden and makes it easier for them to withstand its hardships. As for the disbelievers, they know no acceptance or expectation, and any patience that they display is similar to that of animals. Allah points to this by saying (what means): “Do not falter in pursuing the (opposition) folk. If you should be suffering, so are they suffering like you do, but you expect from Allah that which they do not.” (4:104)

    Thus they both share in the suffering; but the believers excel in that they hope that Allah will reward them and elevate their ranks (in Jannah).

    REDUCING THE BELIEVERS’ SUFFERING

    When a believer – with submission to Allah – receives the suffering resulting from afflictions, it is reduced for him in accordance with his level of obedience sincerity, and truth of faith. Thus, the amount of suffering lifted from him is such that others (of lesser faith) would not even be able to bear a small fraction of it.

    This is how Allah wards off harm from His believing servant: He protects him from a great deal of affliction; and if some of it is inevitable, He reduces its burden, effect, harm, and outcome.

    A SIGN OF LOVE

    As the love of Allah becomes more firmly established in the heart, the lovers’ affliction for the sake of the beloved One becomes more pleasurable and less objectionable.

    Many lovers have declared their pleasure with the affliction coming from their beloved ones, as one poet said: “Even though your abuse troubles me, My occurring in your thoughts pleases me!”

    How, then, about the love of the Supreme beloved One? His affliction toward His beloved ones is surely a mercy and favour from Him to them.

    BETWEEN FAKE AND TRUE HONOUR

    The level of victory and honour occurring to the disbelievers, wrongdoers, and hypocrites is far less than that occurring to the believers. Furthermore, their honour is truly humility and disgrace, even if it appears differently.

    PURIFICATION THROUGH AFFLICTION

    For a believer, afflictions are like medicine, they remove from him diseases that, were they to remain, would destroy him or decrease his level of eemaan. The afflictions and tests extract such diseases and prepare him for receiving full rewards and a high position (in Jannah).

    The occurrence of these afflictions is better than their absence, as Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) said: “By Him in Whose hand is my soul, Allah does not ordain a decree for a believer but it is for his good; and this merit is for no one except a believer. If he is granted ease of living, he is thankful; and this best for him. And if he is afflicted with a hardship, he perseveres; and this is best for him.”

    Therefore, affliction and testing are required for the believer to achieve victory, honour, and well-being. Because of this, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) said: “Those most afflicted among the people are the prophets, then the most righteous, then the next most righteous. One is afflicted in accordance with his deed. If his deen is firm, his affliction is made harder, and if his deen is weak, his affliction is made lighter. A believer continues to be subjected to adversity until he walks on the surface of the earth without a sin.”

    REQUISITES OF THIS LIFE

    There are things that afflict the believers in this world; such as being oppressed, defeated, and harmed by their enemies. These occurrences are essential and inevitable aspects of this world, and are similar to extremely hot and cold weather, sickness, worries, and grief. They are essential to human life and nature, and are applicable even to children and animals, as decreed by the wisdom of the Most-Wise.

    There is a great wisdom behind mixing good with evil, pleasure with pain, and benefit with harm. Had this world been devoid of such mixing, it would be a totally different world, and that wisdom would have been lost.

    Refining the good from the bad will occur in a world other than this world, and a life other than this life, as Allah said (what means): So that Allah may distinguish the wicked from the good, and place the wicked one on another, heap them together, and cast them into Hell. It is those who are the losers! (8:37)

    WISDOM IN AFFLICTIONS

    There is a great wisdom, not possible to encompass to the fullest by other than Allah, in afflicting the believers and letting their enemies sometimes defeat, oppress, or subdue them. Some of this wisdom is explained in the following;

    a)Weakness brings submission, strength brings obedience: Affliction instigates in the believers full humility and submission to Allah, makes them realise their need and dependence on Him, causes them to ask Him for victory against their enemies. Had they always been victorious and triumphant, they would become arrogant and insolent. Contrarily, had they always been subdued and oppressed by their enemies, it would not be possible for them to establish the deen and secure the truth. Therefore, the wisdom of the Most-Wise has mandated alternating them between being victors sometimes and sometimes losers. When they lose, they implore, turn with sincerity, submit, and repent to their Lord. And when they win, they establish his deen and its rites, command good, forbid evil, strive against His enemies, and support His allies.

    b) Distinguishing the truthful from the liars: Had the believers always been victorious and triumphant, they would be followed by those whose purpose is not to establish the deen and obey Allahs Messenger (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) but only to be with those who are in positions of honour and victory. On the other hand, had they always been losers and defeated, no one would follow them. Therefore, Divine wisdom has mandated that they be winners sometimes and losers others, thereby distinguishing those who strive to obey Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) from those whose only goal is worldly possessions and positions.

    c) Servitude in all situations: Allah loves for His servants to perfect their servitude to Him in situations of both ease and hardship, well-being and affliction, victory and defeat. In each of the two situations, Allah requires from His servants a form of servitude consistent with that situation, and not possible to fulfil without it. The heart cannot be well without these opposite situations, like the body which cannot be well without being subjected to heat and cold, hunger and thirst, toil and strife, and their opposites. Those trials and afflictions are required for attaining human perfection and well-being, as it is not possible to reach a goal without the necessary means.

    d) Rectification through affliction: Allowing the believers enemies to overcome them is a test that cleanses, purifies, and rectifies them. Allah indicates the wisdom behind allowing this to happen in the battle of Uhud by saying (what means)

    Do not falter nor grieve, since you are superior (to your enemy) if you are (true) believers. If a sore should afflict you, similar sores have afflicted the (opposing) folk. We alternate such days (of victory) among the people, so that Allah may know those who believe, and may accept martyrs from among you – Allah does not love the wrongdoers – and so that Allah may purge the believers and wipe out the disbelievers. Or did you think that you would enter Jannah before Allah knows those among you who strive (in His way) and those who are steadfast? (3: 139-142)

    Here Allah mentions the wisdom for which he allowed the disbelievers to win that battle.

    First, Allah encourages and reassures the believers, and gives them the tidings that they are superior to their enemy by virtue of their belief. He also consoles them in that, even though they have been afflicted with sores because of their obedience to Allah and His Messenger, their enemy had previously been afflicted with sores because of its disobedience to Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam).

    Allah then indicates that, out of His wisdom, He makes the days (of victory) alternate among the people so that, similar to sustenance and life-spans, each group will earn its appointed share.

    Allah then informs them that He does that in order to know the believers among them. Of course, He is All-Knowing of everything, before and after its occurrence. But He wanted to manifest their belief in actual existence.

    Allah then mentions that He loves to take martyrs from among them. Martyrdom is an elevated and exalted position that can only be attained through dying for His cause. Without the enemys victory, it is not possible for the believers to attain this rank of martyrdom so beloved to Allah and beneficent to them.

    Allah then indicates that He wants to purge the believers: He wants to purify them from their sins through their repenting to Him and seeking His forgiveness for the sins that made their enemys victory possible. Furthermore, He indicates that He wants to wipe out the disbelievers because of their oppression, persecution, and tyranny.

    Allah then disapproves of the believers presumption to enter Jannah without striving and patience, as His wisdom requires. Were they to be always victorious, no one would fight them, and it would not be possible to test their patience in the face of their enemys harm.

    THE CREATIONS PURPOSE IS TO TEST THE PEOPLE

    Allah has created the heavens and the earth, and death and life, and has adorned the earth with all the things that are on it, for one purpose: to test His servants and distinguish between those who seek Him and His rewards and those who seek the worldly life and its pleasures. Allah says (what means): He is the One Who created the heavens and the earth in six days – and His throne was over water – so He may test you as to which of you is better in deeds. (11:7)

    Surely We have made whatever is on the earth an adornment for it, so We may test them as to which one is better in deeds. (18:7)

    When a messenger is sent to the people, they have two options; believe, or deny and persist on committing disbelief and sins. And it is essential to test both types.

    As for the one who says, I believe, Allah must test and afflict him to make it clear whether he is truthful or lying in what he says. If he were lying, he would turn around and run away from the test as he would also run away from Allahs punishment. And if he were truthful, the test would merely increase his eemaan, as Allah says (what means): And when the believers saw the Confederates (advancing against them), they said, ?This is what Allah and His Messenger had promised us! Allah and His Messenger have told the truth! And all this merely increased them in faith and submission (to Allah). (33:22)

    And as for a disbeliever, he will be tried and afflicted with Allahs punishment in the hereafter. In addition, he will suffer from the pain, disasters, and punishment that Allah ordained in this life for those who disobey His Messengers.

    No one can escape from trials in this life, in al-Barzakh (the intermediate stage for human beings between the moment of death and the time resurrection), or on the Day of Resurrection. A believers trials and affliction are light and temporal; because of his faith, Allah protects him, lightens his load, and grants him the patience, firmness, and submission to ease his affliction. On the other hand, the trials and affliction are hard and prolonged for a disbeliever, hypocrite, or corrupt person.

    Suffering and trials are, therefore, necessary for everyone – believer or disbeliever. A believer initially suffers in the first life, and is then granted the success of the first and last lives. A disbeliever, a hypocrite, or a wrongdoer initially enjoys the pleasure, but then ends up in pain and suffering. This is further explained in the next point.

    AFFLICTIONS ARE A BY-PRODUCT OF SOCIALISATION

    By nature, a human being is social: he must mix with other people. And since the other people have their own tendencies, attitudes and beliefs, they expect him to conform to that. If he does not, they would harm and punish him, and if he does, he would be harmed and punished in a different way. Thus, it is necessary to mix with people; which leads to agreeing with them in some matters and disagreeing in others. Agreeing with the evil of their desires, beliefs, and tendencies, results in pain and suffering, and disagreeing with that results in pain and suffering as well. There is no doubt, though, that the pain resulting from disagreeing with their wrong is lighter and easier than that resulting from obeying them.

    As an example, you would find those who expect from a person to agree to their injustice, sinning, or false witness, or to help them in committing a prohibited act. If he does not agree, they would harm, oppress, and persecute him; but the final success will be his if he maintains patience and piety. On the other hand, conforming with them to evade their persecution would result in a greater pain; and most often they would eventually turn against him and inflict on him an amount of pain much larger than he had tried to evade.

    Understanding this and acting upon by it is one of the most useful matters for a person: a little pain followed by a great and permanent pleasure is more endurable that a slight pleasure followed by a great permanent pain. Indeed, facilitation is in Allahs hand.

    THE FOUR TYPES OF AFFLICTIONS

    Affliction that occurs to a person can only be with respect to one of four things: his self, wealth, honour, or family and beloved ones. The affliction in regard to his self can be through harming or totally destroying it, and this is the most severe forms of affliction.

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    WHY CALAMITIES AND DESTRUCTIONS ARE HAPPENING TO MUSLIMS?

    By Mohamad Sharis Abdul Karim

    Dear brothers, one question that may arise in our mind is why are these calamities, and destructions happenning to muslims. Yes, indeed the opressosrs are the wrong doers. They make destruction and kill muslims and steal their properties. On the other side, it is worth for us to look on ourselves so that we can improve our weaknesses. I would like to recite one hadith…and I don’t intend to elaborate on it. Let us hear and we judge it ourselves.

    The companion ‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Abbaas r.a., narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “Five matters result when five things happen: If people break their covenant with Allaah, He will send an enemy against them; If they rule by other than the Law of Allaah, poverty will spread among them; If they become deceptive in trade, Allaah will deprive them of crops and they will be struck with famine; And if they withhold the payment of Zakaah, they will be struck with drought.” [At- Tabaraani]

    In another narration he sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “If they break the covenant of Allaah and His Messenger, Allaah will send an external enemy against them who will seize some of their possessions; If they do not rule by the Book of Allaah, nor attempt to implement everything in it, Allaah will spread enmity among them.”

    Conversely, obeying Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam is the source of victory. Allaah says: “O you who have believed, if you support Allaah, He will support you [by giving you victory].” [Surah Muhammad Ayah 7]

    Indeed, Allah give victory to those who deserve it. And most of the times defeat comes from ourselves.

    One night, Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, was checking on his army during the battle of Qaadisiyyah. He passed by the tent of one group of soldiers at night and found the men inside praying Qiyaam, or voluntary night-prayer, and remarked: ‘Victory comes from such a tent’ then he passed by another tent and found the men inside sleeping and remarked: ‘Defeat comes from such a tent.’ This was despite the fact that the men who were sleeping only missed a recommended prayer and not an obligatory one; yet Sa’d considered missing this recommended act to be a reason for defeat.

    Let us avoid destructions, disasters and humiliation. Muslims have experienced to many appalling tragedy in their own land, It was Bosnia, and now Palestine, and tomorrow we never know whose turn.

    The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was once asked: “Would we be punished by disasters which befall us while we have righteous people amongst us?’ he sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam replied: “Yes, if evil becomes widespread.” Allaah says clearly on this issue in al Quraan: “And fear the Fitnah (affliction and trial, etc.) which affects not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong (but it may afflict all the good and the bad people), and know that Allâh is Severe in punishment”. [Surah Al-Anfaal Ayah 25]

    Therefore, if Muslims truly wish for safety from destruction and given victory, then they must change and improve what is in themselves as Allaah says that which translates as: “For each (person), there are angels in succession, before and behind him. They guard him by the Command of Allâh. Verily! Allâh will not change the good condition of a people as long as they do not change their state of goodness themselves. But when Allâh wills a people’s punishment, there can be no turning back of it, and they will find besides Him no protector.” [Surah Ar-Ra’d Ayah 11]

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    WHAT SHOULD WE DO DURING TRIALS?

    By Sheikh Umar bin Mohammad As-Subayyil

    All praise is due to Allaah, may peace and blessings of Allaah be upon His Messenger, his household and companions.

    Fellow Muslims! Fear Allaah as He should be feared for in fear of Him lies protection, safety, peace and light.

    “O you who believe! If you obey and fear Allaah, He will grant you a criterion and will expiate for you your sins and forgive you, and Allaah is the Owner of the Great Bounty.” (Al-Anfaal 8: 29)

    Brothers in faith! Allaah’s straight path is His Glorious Book and the guidance of His trustworthy Prophet which he and his followers followed and which he directed his nation to follow in matters of belief and deeds without exaggeration and negligence. That is the balanced way with which Allaah describes this nation when He says, “This We have made you a just (and the best) nation.”

    This is one of the great virtues that distinguishes Islaam from all other religions. Therefore, Allaah enjoins us to stand firm on this path. He says, “So stand firm and straight (on the religion of Islaam) as you are commanded and those who turn in repentance with you and transgress not. Verily, He is the All-Seer of what you do.” (Hood 11: 112)

    Brothers in Islaam! Truthfulness of one’s faith can only be demonstrated by one’s uprightness and firmness on Islaam and its laws in all aspects of one’s life and by adhering strictly to the sunnah of the Prophet, for he has directed his people to all good and warned them against all evil. He has left his nation on a clear path from which none can go astray except only the doomed. He informed us that there was going to be a lot of disagreement, dissention and greed among the Muslims and that the fire of these evils were going to be kindled by the enemies of Islaam. He also informed us that realities would be obscure and concepts would be mixed up and many people would be ruined as a consequence. These are the characteristics of trials and tribulations as described by ‘Alee ibn Abee Taalib when he said, ‘It starts secretly and then becomes an open evil that misleads the upright hearts and leads guided ones astray. Things changed in the face of it… During trials, the wisdom becomes hidden and darkness becomes manifest…’ He then warned against trials and said, ‘…do not therefore be spreaders of trials and leaders of innovation. Hold fast unto the rope of the majority of Muslims and stay away from the path of Satan…’

    Such is the characteristic of trials and the best way to avoid them.

    Brothers in faith! Trials have continued to be affecting the Muslim nation throughout its history till this day. As for this age, Muslims and their countries are facing trends of tribulations and trials that render the people of wisdom perplexed. The mischievous take these incidences as an opportunity to spread falsehood about Islaam and make wild predictions that are not based on an iota of truth.

    Fellow Muslims! The best way to act or react during events like these is to examine ourselves, blow out the fire of these tribulations, remove their causes and reduce its effects to the barest minimum.

    As for the Muslim common folk, the best for them is to refrain from wading into these issues and every individual should rather face what concerns him personally like his acts of worship and worldly commitments. That is the instruction given by the Messenger of Allaah when he said, ‘The prosperous Muslim is the one who keep his distance from trials.’ He said it three times.

    He also said, ‘There is going to be a serious trial. Whoever wades into it will be affected by it and to wade into it with one’s tongue is like wading into it with one’s sword.’

    The honourable companions marched in the light of these Prophetic guidelines as well as those who follow them during their own days of trials. They stayed away from it and the whole muslim nation praises them for that.

    Fear Allaah therefore, dear Muslims, and beware of trials, the manifest ones and the hidden. Repent to Allaah and do good deeds and continue to aid your Afghan brothers and the persecuted Muslims of Palestine and of other places.

    “Whatever good you send before you for yourselves (including charity), you will find it with Allaah, better and greater in reward.”

    Also pray and beseech Allaah to remove these trials from the Muslims, for He is All-Hearing, the Answerer of supplications.

    Fellow Muslims! Be firm in your obedience to Allaah and in seeking for His pleasure. Seek nearness to Him with all that He loves in sayings and deeds in accordance with the direction of the Prophet – peace and blessings be upon him.

    It is also beneficial to spend one’s life doing acts of obedience before one is afflicted with tribulations that would not allow one to do any righteous deeds. Among the Prophet’s valuable instructions in this regard is his saying, ‘Hasten to do good deeds before these seven things reach you: poverty that makes you forget everything; wealth that makes one transgress; a destructive illness; old age; a ready death; or the Antichrist.’

    Brothers in faith! Fear Allaah and keep away from innovation. Among the innovations that people do is the celebration of the middle of Sha’baan which has no authentic evidence and that was never celebrated by the Prophet or by any of his companions and their righteous followers. All the recognised scholars have condemned this act, for the best known word is that of Allaah and the best way is that of Muhammad – peace be upon him. The worst of all matters are innovations; all innovations are in error; and all such errors will lead to hell.

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    ALLAH DOES NOT WANT TO PLACE YOU IN DIFFICULTY

    Shaykh Usaamah al-Khayyat

    All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of all the worlds. Peace and blessings be upon the Messenger, his household and his companions.

    Dear brethren! Fear Allaah Who created you, provided you with sustenance and showered His blessings upon you inwardly and outwardly. Be conscious of Him and remember your stand before Him on the Day of Resurrection, “the Day when man will see that (the deeds) which his hands have sent forth, and the disbeliever will say: “Woe to me! Would that I were dust!”

    Fellow Muslims! Easiness, removal of difficulties and fetters are some of the characteristics of this religion. This is in order that all avenues of exaggeration would be blocked so that humans will not put themselves in shackles or fail to make of concessions that the Sharee‘ah has provided them. It is in the light of this that Allaah says, “Allaah does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you, and to complete His Favour on you that you may be thankful.” (Al-Maaidah 5:6) This verse was revealed following the Qur’aanic explanation on the rules of purification from major and minor impurities; that the Muslims can make dry ablution when there is no water or when it is difficult to use it. This is in order to make things easy for the Muslims and spare them hardship. Though the revelation of this verse after the afore-mentioned ordainment can infer that it is restricted to the rules of purification, the fact is that it is a general injunction that applies to all other Islaamic rules. This is supported by the verse in Soorah al-Hajj, “He has chosen you (to convey His Message of Islaamic Monotheism to mankind by inviting them to His religion, Islaam), and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship.” (Al-Hajj 22:78)

    The two show the believer the greatness of Allaah’s favour upon him. For, He made easy for him the path to happiness and success. If he follows it he would find no difficulty.

    The is as opposed to the children of Israel who were burdened with shackles that their law imposed upon them like forbiddance of eating from the war spoils, killing of the sinner as a condition for repentance and removing impurity from the garment through cutting off the affected place.

    All this is because this Ummah is a blessed one whom Allaah makes just among other nations. Allaah says, “Thus We have made you [true Muslims - real believers of Isl?mic Monotheism, true followers of Prophet Muhammad and his Sunnah (legal ways)], a Wasat (just) (and the best) nation, that you be witnesses over mankind and the Messenger (Muhammad) be a witness over you.” (Al-Baqarah 2:143)

    Wasat according to Ibn Katheer means, the best. The Messenger of Allaah was the best among his people and the noblest of them. Since Allaah has made this Ummah the just nation He exclusively gave it the most perfect of all laws and teachings, and the clearest of all paths.

    Fellow Muslims! Removal of hardship from this Ummah suits its virtues, justice, comprehensiveness and universality of the message of its Prophet. It is also compatible with its everlasting nature and its prevalence over other religions. Allaah says, “It is He Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad (peace be upon him)) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islaam), to make it superior over all religions even though the Mushrik?n (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah) hate (it).” (At-Tawbah 9:33)

    Therefore, Islaam is a divine and comprehensive way of life that is suitable for all mankind, irrespective of their classes and levels of their civilization. It is a way in which there is no confusion. Allaah made it an easy path to follow and explained its characteristics clearly to His servants.

    There are many examples that illustrate Islaam’s removal of hardship like: permission of dry ablution [tayammum] when there is no sufficient water or when its use can be harmful due to an illness, for instance; permission to perform prayer in sitting position for those who are unable to perform it standing; allowing the sick, the traveller, the pregnant woman and the nursing mother not to fast in the month of Ramadaan; permission to shorten prayers and combine between two prayers when one is on a journey; allowing the menstruating woman and the woman in post-natal period not to make up for the missed prayers; exemption of those who are unable to perform hajj from its obligation; and permitting the eating from a dead carcass in a state of dire necessity. There are many more exa mples of how the Islaamic law seeks to remove hardship and bring about easiness.

    In all of the above cases, resorting to these concessions becomes safer for the servants so that they could avoid difficulty. This is a fundamental principle that has many branches in acts of worship and rules of interactions. Allaah says, “Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you.” (Al-Baqarah 2:185)

    From the Light of the Sunnah, the Messenger of Allaah said, “Make things easy and do not make things difficult. Give glad tiding and do not scare [people].” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)

    In another hadeeth, the mother of the faithful ‘Aaishah said, “The Messenger of Allaah was never asked to choose between two things except that he chose the easier of them as long as it is not a sin. If it is a sin, he is the farthest one from it.” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)

    However, the hardship that demands ease has regulations because; not everything that demands efforts can be regarded as difficult. Likewise, not every illness warrants breaking of fast; and the eating of dead carcass is not permitted in all conditions of hunger.

    The fact of the matter is that, hardship of two types:

    One: Normal hardship that is not regarded as a difficulty like working during the day in Ramadaan, passing and tolerable illness or temporary hunger that is far from being deadly. All these are not regarded as difficulty that should be removed. Therefore, the Sharee‘ah does not intend to remove difficulties of this ordinary type for nothing of efforts of this life is devoid of one kind of difficulty or another.

    Two: Extraordinary difficulty. This type of difficulty makes the hearts constrained, exhausts all efforts and leaves bad impacts on a man’s mind and wealth. It might even lead to cessation of many useful deeds. It is this kind of hardship that Allaah, out of His mercy and desire to make things easy, removes from this Ummah.

    In short, it is this show of compassion that makes the Muslims direct all his attention to his Merciful Lord, Who not only takes care of His servants with what He bestowed upon them but also takes care of them and nurtures them in what He ordains for them. He ordained for them regulations that includes all kinds of ease and difference ways of removing hardship. This then makes their hearts full of love for Him, His religion, His Book and His Messenger; a love that leads to total submission and return to Allaah, perfect respect for His commands and prohibitions, obedience to Him through remembrance and show of gratitude, worshipping Him in the perfect manner and abiding by His rules.

    Dear brethren! Removal of hardship is one of the clearest qualities of this religion and one of its greatest goals.

    It is therefore a responsibility of the scholars who are bearers of the light of guidance and the heirs of the Prophets to give greater attention and exert greater efforts in explaining this fact to the Muslims and others. They should do this as a way of fulfilling the obligation of explaining the truth, out of fear of concealing knowledge and a way of guarding this religion so that it remains, according to Allaah’s wish, a light for those who are in darkness, an illumination to those who are eager to follow the path of Allaah and a guide to those who are in confusion. Allaah says, “And strive hard in Allaah’s Cause as you ought to strive (with sincerity and with all your efforts that His Name should be superior). He has chosen you (to convey His Message of Islaamic Monotheism to mankind by inviting them to His religion of Islaam), and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship: it is the religion of your father Ibraaheem (Abraham) (Islaamic Monotheism). It is He (Allaah) Who has named you Muslims both before and in this (the Qur’aan), that the Messenger (Muhammad (peace be upon him)) may be a witness over you and you be witnesses over mankind! So perform As-Sal?t (Iqamat-as-Sal?t), give Zakaah and hold fast to Allaah (i.e. have confidence in All?h, and depend upon Him in all your affairs). He is your Maul? (Patron, Lord), what an Excellent Maul? (Patron , Lord) and what an Excellent Helper!” (Al-Hajj 22:78)

    Fellow Muslims! Making use of the concessions by which Allaah blessed His servants is not only good because of the difficulties such concessions seek to remove; it is also a recommended act. The Prophet said, “Allaah loves that His concessions should be made use of as He dislikes being disobeyed.” (Ahmad and others)

    He also said, “Allaah loves that His concessions should be made use of as He loves His decreed rules being obeyed.” (Ibn Khuzaymah and others)

    Brethren in faith! The above Prophetic explanation removes a misconception that making use of Allaah’s concessions is an indication of weakness in the fulfilment of obligations in a way that pleases Allaah. For, the Messenger of Allaah clearly explained that making use of the concessions is like abiding by the decreed regulations, as long as each is used in its appropriate place and according to their respective rules.

    Fear Allaah and follow the path of ease and removal of hardship which Allaah has chosen for you. It is a charity from Him and you should accept his charity. And always remember Allaah as He has commanded you.

    ~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

    THE PRAISEWORTHY TRIAL

    By Shaykh ‘Alee bin Hasan al-Halabee

    Taken from Al-Asaalah Magazine Issue, No. 8 (Jumaadiul-Aakhar 1414H)

    Source http://www.calltoislam.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=301&Itemid=26

    Many Muslims mistakenly think that when trials, misfortunes, and calamities strike them, then it is a proof for their high level of Eemaan (faith), or due to their elevated status, or due to the correctness of their Manhaj (methodology). And this is not necessarily the case – as will not be hidden. Rather, these trials and calamities may be a form of punishment due to an error, or as a result of idle speech – and we seek Allaah’s refuge. However, what is required for the Muslim, in all his affairs, is to seek refuge in Allaah and to think good of Him – the Most Perfect – and to devote oneself in asking Him for forgiveness and for well-being, whilst at the same time accusing oneself and blaming ones own soul.

    So the reason for trials and misfortunes may sometimes stem from deficiencies in outlook, deviations in Manhaj or being distanced from that which is correct. And all of this – in their fruits – are counted as being from the sins and acts of disobedience – whose evil consequences are not known, except by the Lord of the worlds.

    Results of Sin

    Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim (d.756H) – rahimahullah – said: “So from that which one must know, is that sins and acts of disobedience cause harm. And their harmful effects upon the heart is certainly like the harmful effects of poison upon the body – although the effects vary in levels of intensities. And is there in this world or the Hereafter any evil or harm except that it is due to sins and acts of disobedience?

    So what was it that took the two parents out of Paradise – the home of delight, bliss, splendour and joy – to the home of pain, sorrow and misfortune?

    And what was it that removed Iblees from the realms of the Heavens, causing him to be rejected and cursed; and transforming him inwardly and outwardly – so that his form became ugly and hideous – and his inward form is more hideous than his outward form; causing nearness to be changed to farness; mercy changed to being cursed; from being beautiful to being ugly; from being in Paradise to being in the Fire; from Eemaan to kufr (disbelief); from having the friendship and patronage of the praiseworthy guardian to being the greatest enemy and opponent; from glorifying Allaah and praising Him to doing acts of kufr, shirk, lies and deceptive speech; and from being adorned with Eemaan to being clothed with the garment of kufr, wickedness and disobedience, causing him to reach the deepest depths of despicability, and falling in the sight of Allaah – the Most High – to be upon him; making him an outcast – despised and humiliated – such that he became a leader for every sinner and criminal and becoming pleased with leadership for himself – all this happening after having reached the station of nobility and worship?! So, O Allaah, we seek refuge in You from opposing Your commands and falling into that which You have forbidden.

    And what was it that caused all the people of the earth to drown, to the point that the water even rose over the mountain tops?

    And what was it that caused the violent winds to overcome the people of ‘Aad, such that it flung them down dead upon the face of the earth, as if they were lopped-off palm trunks, and it destroyed whatever of their dwellings and crops it came across – thus making them an example for the nations until the Day of Resurrection?

    And what was it that caused the clamorous shout to be set loose upon Thamood, such that their hearts were severed within their bodies and all of them died?

    And what was it that caused the town of the homosexuals to be raised-up and turned upside down, such that they were all destroyed, and then stones from the sky pelted down upon them after that, so they suffered a combined punishment – the like of which was not given to any other nation? And for their brothers will be its like, and it is not far from the transgressors.

    And what was it that caused the clouds of punishment to overcome the people of Shu’ayb, such that when these clouds were above their heads it rained scorching fire upon them?

    And what was it that caused Fir’awn and his people to be drowned in the ocean; and caused their souls to be transported to Jahannum, so their bodies were drowned and their souls burned?

    And what was it that caused the sinking down into the earth of Qaaroon, and also of his dwelling, wealth and family?

    And what was it that caused the destruction of those generations after Nooh, and how they were afflicted with various punishments that caused their annihilation?

    And what was it that caused the destruction of the companion of Yaa Seen, with the clamorous shout, which destroyed them?

    And what was it that caused there to be sent against the Children of Israa’eel enemies of great strength and might, who plundered their homes, killed their men, enslaved their women, burnt their dwellings, seized their wealth and then returned again a second time – destroying what was rebuilt after the first onslaught?

    And what was it that caused the various types of punishments to be set loose upon the Children of Israa’eel – killing them, enslaving them, destroying their land, sometimes causing them to be oppressed by kings, and at another time causing them to be transformed into apes and swines. And finally the Lord took an oath that: “He would certainly keep on sending against them (the Children of Israa’eel), until the Day of Resurrection, those who will inflict them with a humiliating torment,” [2]” [3]

    I say: Indeed the cause of all this is deviation from the Sharee’ah (the Prescribed Law) of Allaah, acting in opposition to the Deen of Allaah, and deviating from the guidance of the Messenger of Allaah (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Indeed, it is authentically related from the Messenger of Allaah, (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), that he said: “When acts of disobedience become manifest in my Ummah, Allah will cover them all with humiliation from Himself.” Umm Salamah said: Will there be no righteous people amongst them on that day? He said: “Yes, indeed!” She said: I said: Then what will be done with them? He said: “They will be afflicted with that which afflicts the people, then they will move on to forgiveness from Allaah and His good pleasure.” [4

    So the whole matter, from start to finish, is just as Allaah – the Majestic – said: “And whatever of misfortunes and calamities befall you, it is because of what your hands have earned.” [5]

    Therefore, the righteous servant, when struck by a misfortune and calamity, is faced either with [i] a praiseworthy trial – which will elevate him and his status in the sight of Allaah, or [ii] a blameworthy trial – a form of punishment for him and a just reward for his evil actions.

    Trials and Tribulations

    The like of this was indicated by Imaam adh-Dhahabee (d.748H) in Siyar A’laamun-Nubalaa (8/72-73) when speaking about the trial of Imaam Maalik (d.197H), what he suffered in it and how he was severely lashed: “and his arm was wrenched until it became dislocated from its socket; and a great sin had been perpetrated against him. And it was said: By Allaah! Maalik never ceased to be held in high esteem.”

    Imaam adh-Dhahabee commented upon this, saying: “I say: This is the result of a praiseworthy trial, and it elevates the status of the servant. And whatever the case, then it is what our own hands have earned, and Allaah pardons a very great deal. “Whosoever Allaah intends to do good to, He brings misfortune and calamity upon him.” [6] The Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also said: “Everything decreed for the Believer is good for him.” [7]

    And Allaah – the Most High – said: “And We shall test you until We know those of you who strive hard in the path of Allaah and those of you who patiently persevere.” [8]

    And he revealed, with regards to the battle of Uhud: “When a single disaster struck you, whereas you struck them with a disaster twice as great, do you then ask: From where did this come? Say: It is from your own selves.” [9]

    And Allaah says: “And whatever misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your own hands have earned. And Allaah pardons and forgives much.” [10]

    So the Believer – when he is tried – patiently perseveres, takes admonition, seeks Allaah’s forgiveness and does not preoccupy himself with blaming the one who has ill-treated him, since Allaah is just in His judgement. So he praises Allaah that his Deen has remained secure, knowing that the punishment suffered in this world is lighter and better for him.” [11]

    Therefore, the Believer should not be hasty in rejoicing and becoming elated, merely because they are being made to suffer a misfortune or trial. Since this trial may be a punishment for some evil, or for some harm caused, and therefore it is not from the praiseworthy trial – about whom the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “The righteous may receive harsh treatment…” [12]

    Indeed, the Believer hopes for the mercy of Allaah, corrects his actions and seeks to steer his soul towards right guidance. And perhaps he will be one of those about whom the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “The people who receive the severest trials are the Prophets, then those most like them, then those most like them.” [13]

    And only Allaah guides to the path that is Straight.

    Footnotes:

    [2] Soorah A’raaf 7:167

    [3] Ad-Daa’wad-Dawaa’(p.44) of Ibn al-Qayyim.

    [4] Related by Ahmad (6/304) with a Hasan isnaad. See Majma’az Zawaa’id (7/268)

    [5] Soorah Shooraa 42:30

    [6] Related by al-Bukhaaree (no.5645).

    [7] Related by Muslim (no.2999) from Suhayb radiallaahu ‘anhu.

    [8] Soorah Muhammad 47:31

    [9] Soorah Aal-‘Imraan 3:165

    [10] Soorah Shooraa 42:30

    [11] Siyar A’laamun-Nubalaa (8/73).

    [12] Related by Ahmad (6/159), Ibn Hibbaan (no.2919) and also al-Haakim (4/319), with a Saheeh isnaad, from ‘Aaishah radiallaahu ‘anhaa.

    [13] Related by at-Tirmidhee (no.2398), Ahmad (1/185) and Ibn Maajah (no.4023), with a Hasan isnaad, from S’ad.

    ~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

    ADVISES FOR THE TIMES OF TRIAL
    By Shakh Salaah Al-Budair

    All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of all the worlds. May peace and
    blessings be upon the Messenger, his household and companions.

    Fellow Muslims! Allaah’s favours on Muslims are countless. Among
    these favours is that He made us the best community ever raised up
    for the mankind.

    Yes! Islaam is the complete religion and law. Its words are decisive
    and its judgments are just. Whoever holds fast to it prospers in this
    world and the next and whoever deviates from it will have misery and
    hardship as his lot in this life and the next. It is an upright
    religion whose teachings are noble and characters are lofty. It is
    full of wisdom, incontestable proofs and the only guidance for
    mankind.

    “Whoever seeks a religion other than Islaam, it will never be
    accepted from him and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.”
    (Aal `Imraan: 85).

    It is the only true religion on the surface of the earth; the
    abrogator of earlier laws and systems. Whoever rejects it is an
    infidel and the enemy of Allaah, His Messenger sallallaahu `alaihi wa
    sallam and the believers and his final abode will be Hellfire. The
    Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said, `By Him in
    whose hand is my soul, if any of this people be he a Jew or a
    Christian hears of me and yet does not believe in what I was sent
    with, he will be among the dwellers of Hellfire.’

    Fellow Muslims! However the enemies of Islaam toil to cripple Islaam
    and Muslims, they will never succeed. Allaah says what translates
    as, “They intend to put out the light of Allaah (the religion of
    Islaam) with their mouths. But Allaah will complete His light even
    though the disbelievers hate (it)” (As-Saff: 8).

    To corroborate this verse, the Messenger of Allaah
    sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said, `A group among my nation shall
    continue standing firm on the religion of Allaah. None of those who
    forsake or disgrace them shall be able to harm them until they become
    victorious over all people.’ (Muslim).

    Brothers in faith! We Muslims have never been in such need of self-
    examination as we are in these days of crises and hardship. We are in
    dire need of unity so as to wash away the filth of ignominy that is
    presently our lot. We must go back to the pristine sources of our
    great religion and follow their injunctions. The Messenger of Allaah
    warned the Muslims of the causes of degeneration and weakness when he
    sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said, `When you become preoccupied with
    transaction in credit and are so engaged in cattle rearing and in
    crops that you abandon jihad; Allaah will enforce an ignominy upon
    you and will not remove it until you go back to your religion.’ (Aboo
    Daawood).

    We must understand the causes of our problems and calamities in the
    light of the Qur’aan, the Sunnah and the guidance of our righteous
    predecessors. And while dealing with those problems, we must be
    truthful, sincere and free from whimsical desires and shirk. We must
    have confidence in Allaah and put our trust in Him. He says what
    translates as, “When there comes to them some matter touching
    (public) safety or fear they make it known (among the people), if
    only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with
    authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood
    it from them (directly). Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of
    Allaah upon you, you would have followed Satan, save a few of you.”
    (An-Nisaa': 83).

    Brothers in faith! What is incumbent upon us Muslims when calamities
    and trials befall us is to unite in order to protect our faith and to
    cooperate with each other in piety and righteousness in order to
    defeat the enemy. Allaah addresses us with the verse which what
    translates as: “And do not dispute (with one another) lest you lose
    courage and your strength departs, and be patient. Surely, Allaah is
    with those who are patient.” (Al-Anfaal: 46).

    The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said, `Allaah
    is pleased with you when you do three things: He is pleased that you
    worship Him without ascribing any partner to Him, that you hold fast
    unto the rope of Allaah and that you are not divided. He is
    displeased that you engage in gossip, much (unnecessary) questions
    and wasting of money.”

    Brothers in Islaam! The relationship brought about by our religion is
    the straightest relationship. It has its meanings and obligations
    enshrined in the Qur’aan and Sunnah. It is a relationship that
    destroys disbelief and aggression. Allaah says what translates
    as, “The believing men and women are supporters of one another, they
    enjoin all that is good (on the people) and forbid all that is evil.
    They perform Salaah, give the Zakaah and they obey Allaah and His
    Messenger. These are ones upon whom Allaah will have mercy. Surely,
    Allaah is Almighty All-Wise.” (At-Tawbah: 71).

    The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam also said: `All
    Muslims are equal … and they are united against their enemies.’ (Aboo
    Daawood).

    He also emphasised the importance of Islamic brotherhood when he
    sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam said, `Whoever prays our prayer, faces
    our Qiblah and eats our slaughtered animal is a Muslim who is under
    the protection of Allaah and His Messenger.’ He also said, `The
    believers are like a structure whose different parts strengthen one
    another.’ (Bukhaari).

    Brothers in faith! Each individual Muslim possesses a great
    sacredness and high position in Islaam. We must give him this
    privilege and not deny him of it whenever he falls in trouble.
    Ibn `Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the
    Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam stood on the pulpit
    one day, raised his voice and said, `O you who are Muslims by tongue
    and faith has not penetrated your hearts! Do not harm Muslims nor
    pursue their imperfections for whoever pursues the imperfections of
    his Muslim brother, Allaah will pursue his imperfection and whosoever
    Allaah pursues his imperfection, He will disgrace him.’ He also
    stressed the sacredness of Muslim life when he said, `Indeed, the
    termination of this world is of lesser importance to Allaah than the
    killing of a Muslim man.’ (At-Tirmithi) .

    Dear brothers! Muslims today are facing different kinds of
    persecution from all parts of the world; they are being killed,
    tortured and expelled from their lands. In fact they are in pitiful
    and deplorable situations. Foremost among those who commit these
    crimes against them are world Zionists who are a treacherous nation
    and these crimes are committed in front of the whole world and
    nothing concrete is done to stop them. Where then is the claimed
    justice and fairness with all these slogans of civilisation, freedom
    and peace? We only see justice and fairness from those countries who
    claim to be champions of justice when the wronged happen to be the
    Jews.

    Fellow Muslims! One fact remains indisputable in view of our present
    condition: we will never conquer our enemies unless we first of all
    conquer our souls and whimsical desires. We can never defeat our
    enemies unless we first of all implement the law of Allaah in every
    aspect of our lives. The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu `alaihi wa
    sallam stressed this point when he said, `Nations will be on the
    verge of calling one another to attack you as people call on one
    another to a plate of food.’ The companions said, `O Messenger of
    Allaah! Is it because we will be few then?’ He replied, `No. You will
    rather be many and will be in multitude like the scum floating on
    flood waters. Your fear will be removed from the hearts of your
    enemies and theirs will be put in your hearts.’ The companions
    said, `What is the cause of this?’ He answered, `Love for this
    worldly life and the hatred of death.’ (Ahmad and others.)

    One comment

    1. […] of His mercy when our situation seems overwhelming. I encourage you to read up on dealing with calamity. Usually I don’t include email addresses but in your case, I will make an exception. […]



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