The Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said: "Whoever directs someone to a good, then he will have the reward equal to the doer of the action". [Saheeh Muslim]


Continued from Testing, Affliction and Calamities 1

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 tawheed (worship of Allaah), eemaan (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.

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 Soorah al-3Ankaboot:

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.” [19]

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.

3. 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.

4. 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 Soorah al-Hadeed:

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.” [20]

5. 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:

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.” [21]

And Allaah سبحانه وتعالى says:

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.” [22]

There is a chance for repentance before the greater torment occurs. Allaah سبحانه وتعالى says:

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).” [23]

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

6. 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:

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.” [24]

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 3Umar 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.”[25]

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. (26)


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:

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).” [27]

Verily with hardship there is relief and “one hardship cannot beat two reliefs” as 3Umar 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 soorah az-Zumar:

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!” [28]

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.” [29]

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.

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

=========================================================

References:

(19) al-Ankaboot 29:64

(20) [al-Hadeed 57:22-23]

(21) } [an-Nisaa’ 4:79]

(22) [ash-Shooraa 42:30]

(23) [as-Sajdah 32:21]

(24) } [Fussilat 41:35]

(25) It is reported by al-Bayhaqi and authenticated by Sheikh al-Albaanee رحمه الله.

(26) Saheeh Muslim

(27) [Ash-Sharh 94:5–6]

(28) } [az-Zumar 39:8]

(29) Al-Baqarah 2:155–157]

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