بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirun (the patient).
Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.”
They are those on whom are the Salawat (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.”
(Quran, Surah al-Baqarah, 2:155-157)
THE SIGN OF A BELIEVER:
Once our beloved Prophet ﷺ was sitting among His noble companions when he ﷺ asked them, what is the sign of your eeman and they replied that when Allah ﷻ grants them a prosperous life, they are thankful to Him and when they are tested with trials and tribulations, they are content with Him. Hearing this, the Prophet ﷺ swore on the Rabb of kaaba saying, “Indeed you are the believers”. Showing gratitude during times of prosperity and remaining patience during times of adversity and trials and being content with the destiny of Allah ﷻ is the clear sign of a believer. Only a believer can show such signs and be content with the qadr of Allah ﷻ. Being a human, life is more beloved to a man; he has strong contact with his wealth, family and cares much for his honor. It is with these four things (life, family, wealth and honor) he is tested with.
SABR COMES WITH THE LOVE OF ALLAH ﷻ:
Once a man was flogged for haram (forbidden) love and he was standing calm till he got 99 flogs and when he was flogged for the 100th time, he screamed out of pain. Surprised, he was asked why he was screaming suddenly when he was patient with 99 flogs. He replied that he had his beloved in his eyes till he got 99 flogs and when it was 100th time, the beloved disappeared from his eyes and so he felt more pain and hhe screamed. For a believer, Allah ﷻ is more beloved to him and He ﷻ remains always in front of him and so he bears patiently whatever is destined by Him. He exercises sabr as much as he loves Allah ﷻ. It is said that in the akhirat, Allah ﷻ will grant people reward according to the deeds He weighs and when a man of sabr comes, He will reward him without any limit. Some people in the akhirat will be in very high stages of paradise and people will envy them. They will wonder who these people in highest paradise are and how they reached that level when they will be told that those are the ones who were patient with the trials in the dunya. Hearing this and seeing the reward they will wish that their bodies were cut with the scissors in the dunya and they remained patient with it. So when Allah ﷻ wishes to grant someone more, He ﷻ subjects them to more trials. It is the ambiya, the Prophets of Allah (let peace be upon them) who are tested more and then those who are living close to their life style.
THE SEASONS FOR EARNING MORE DEEDS:
The period of trials for a believer is a period of season. Hazrat Muaa’dh says that when a believer falls sick, the angel recording the bad deeds on the left hand side is commanded to stop his recording and the angel on the right hand side who records the good deeds is commanded to write all the good deeds he used to do when he was in good state of health even if he doesn’t do any such deeds during his period of trial. Just like a man earns more profit during the time of season, a believer earns more during the period of trials with more good deeds in his record without doing it, sins being not recorded and in addition to this he will get more rewards for maintaining sabr. Thus a believer will be content and peaceful with the qadr of Allah ﷻ with his glance remaining at the immense reward he will get through the trials. So do not complaint to the creations during the times of trial but raise your hands before Allah and beg to Him.
THE TRIALS ARE EXPIATION OF SINS:
When a muslim is subjected to trials because of his sins and he turns to Allah ﷻ through that, then that trial is indeed a mercy on him. When a man doesn’t turn to Allah ﷻ and humble before Him during his trial period that stemmed from his sins, then think that this is the first blow of punishment from Allah ﷻ in this world and the next blow will be more severe after his death. On the other hand, when a man repents to Allah ﷻ and remembers him more during trials, then this is 100% mercy and favor in his cause and he will be purified from all his sins. When this ayat descended, مَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ وَلَا يَجِدْ لَهُ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلِيًّا وَلَا نَصِيرًا “Whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof, and he will not find any protector or helper besides Allah.”(Surah-Nisa, Ayat:123), Abu Bakr Siddeeque was so disturbed and came running to the Prophet ﷺ saying, “Ya Rasoolullah who can be saved from punishment now?” Our beloved prophet ﷺ replied, “Oh Siddique aren’t you passed through sickness and trials after good health and prosperity for indeed these become kaffaara (expiation of sins) for a believer and he remains pure of sins.” Prophet ﷺ said just like rain showers, Allah ﷻ showers those He ﷻ love with trials until they walk on the earth purified from all the sins. There is no one more beloved to Allah ﷻ than the Prophet ﷺ but how many trials he went through! We too have eeman but who can be more beloved to Allah ﷻ and favorable than the companions of the Prophet ﷺ after the Prophets and what sort of trials they went through! They were deprived of their homes, wealth, family; they went through physical hardships and heard worst abuses from the enemies.
ALLAH IS THE MOST MERCIFUL AND AFFECTIONATE OF ALL:
When a child is little, the mom gives him the bath, pours water over him, applies soap and scrubs him when the child screams for going through all this and to remain in the bathroom that long but the mom doesn’t bother his screams and removes his clothes with force and gives him the bath. When the child grows and become matured, he feels grateful to his mom wondering how affectionate the mom was for purifying him or else he would have remained dirty. Allah ﷻ is more loving than the mom and He ﷻ is the most loving of all those who love and He ﷻ purifies a believer of his sins and evils with the bath of trials. We might cry during such trials but when we get spiritually matured we will realize, how benevolent was Allah ﷻ doing us so much favor by making us pass through such trials. In every decision of Allah ﷻ, lies His wisdom, in every decision of Allah ﷻ, lies His affection, in every decision of Allah ﷻ, lies His love and in every decision of Allah ﷻ, lies only His mercy. Recognize Him for He is very loving.
THE EXCELLENCE OF THE WORDS “INNA LILLAAHI WA INNA ILAIHI RAAJIOON”:
Excising sabr is the biggest sign of a believer and today we don’t have patience. The sahabi Imran bin hussain , laid on bed for thirty two years and he couldn’t move. He could eat only in that state, relieve only in that state, everything has to be carried out in that state but when people looked at his face, it was so filled with peace, content and noor that was not seen even on those who were healthy. When he was asked, he told when Allah ﷻ is pleased with his state; he too is pleased with Him. As said before the period of trials is a season for a believer when he can earn more and more but we tend to waste it by complaining and going away from Allah ﷻ when Allah ﷻ loves us to beg to Him and supplicate to Him in such times. There is only mercy and mercy in such times. How ajeeb and amazing are the words of Allah ﷻ when He says that He will send salawat upon us when we say, “inna lillaahi wa inna ilaihi raaji’oon” when we pass through trials. How close we get to Allah ﷻ and close is His mercy in these times! These are the times when our duaas are more accepted but we waste this precious time. We use this verse to be recited only when we hear death when it should be recited whenever we go through any difficulties. Once our beloved Prophet ﷺ was sitting with Ayisha RA, the lamp blew out when Prophet ﷺ said, “inna lillaahi wa inna ilaihi raaji’oon” Our mother Ayisha RA asked, “Ya rasoolullah! You are reciting this at this time?” Our beloved Prophet ﷺ replied, “O Ayisha! Whenever a muslim goes through difficulties, he recites this and didn’t it cause us difficulty?”
These words of Rabb are so amazing and have so much of sweetness on it. When we say, “inna lillah” we say, “Oh Maula, my Lord, to You belongs everything, whatever we have was given only by You, I belong only to You. It is only You who have the sole right on these things and it is up to You to grant us anything or to take anything from us and who am I to object when You are to take these things from me?.” And here is something more amazing that comes, “wa inna ilaihi raajioon”. Oh My Lord, in spite of every single thing belonging to You, You mentioned to us, “Spend your wealth, your life and You said, “Your family” and so we are returning to You to get the reward for these things which You granted us. Who doesn’t pass through trials in this world but the most unfortunate thing is when passes through trials and adversities but he earns nothing. There are three faces of trials: 1) A person passes through trials but he doesn’t repent and turn to Allah ﷻ in which case this will be a punishment for him in this world with a much greater punishment waiting for him in the hereafter 2) A person passes through trials but he repents to Allah ﷻ and gets more close to Allah ﷻ and purified of his sins and 3) There are people who were given tawfeeq to repent immediately after committing even a minor sin and trials can come to these people also but that is to raise their ranks.
TRIALS ELEVATES ONE’S RANK:
Our beloved Prophet ﷺ said that sometimes Allah ﷻ wishes to grant His slave a much higher rank in jannah but his worldly deeds may not be up to that rank so what He ﷻ does is He ﷻ makes them to pass through trials and through the sabr they have during these trials, Allah ﷻ elevates them to that higher rank He ﷻ wished for. This world is a place of earning deeds and the trial period is the season of earning more. These periods are so precious that one can earn so much in one single night of the trial period that which he cannot earn all throughout his life. How unfortunate is to waste such a precious time! How unfortunate is the state that one passes through so many difficulties yet he doesn’t get any reward for it! How unfortunate is that one who passes through tests and he fails in that! We are asked not to ask for trials but when it comes we should be patient. It is up to us to make those trials in our favor. Trials are not always a punishment and if that is the case, the most beloved slaves of Allah ﷻ wouldn’t have passed through trials. If it is not a favor, Bilal RA wouldn’t have been made to lie under scorching sun in that desert; Khubaib RA wouldn’t have been hanged. Fatimah RA was the leader of women in jannah and we can imagine what sort of status she should have in the sight of Allah ﷻ but if we look at her life, it was filled with trials. She had scars on her hands because of tough labor; she had scars carrying the water pots.
THE GREAT PEOPLE OF THIS UMMAH FACED TOUGH TRIALS:
Imam Malik RA was such a great personality, his knowledge is so wide spread and millions benefit from his ilm even today but he was passed through such a trial that he was dragged by the oppressors along the streets of madinah. Imam Ahmad bin hanbal, what a great personality again! It is his knowledge that half of the muslim community across the world is benefitting. Our pious predecessors said that it is because of the sacrifice and barakat of two great people that Allah ﷻ gave life to Islam. One was siddeeq-e-Akbar Abu Bakr who out of wisdom, insight and ghayrah (sense of honor), he kept the islam alive after the death of Prophet ﷺ when many arabs were becoming apostates denying to pay the zakat. Second was Imam Ahmab bin Hanbal (RA) when there was a belief that Quran was created and not a divine thing and the ruler was the strong supporter of this belief, he stood boldly against it for which he was flogged eighty times that too each flogging was so severe that if it fell on an elephant, it would have moved away from its place with immense pain. Such was the severity of the flogging. His janaza was taken from jail. Imam Shafi RA, again a giant of knowledge went through severe sickness during his last days.
ALLAH ﷻ TAKES IMMEDIATE RETRIBUTION FROM THOSE WHOM HE ﷻ LOVES:
When Allah ﷻ wishes good for someone He immediately takes him into account and makes him free of sins. There was a sahabi and a woman crossed him and this woman was known to him from the days of ignorance. As he was looking at her while walking he hit his head against a wall and he got the blood stain on his head. When he reached Prophet ﷺ in that state, Prophet ﷺ told that when Allah ﷻ wishes to do some favor, He ﷻ immediately takes retribution. When one is passed through trials, let him look at his inner and outer state if some sin is going on, let him look at his business if something haram is going on, let him look if some disobedient acts are being carried out within the four walls of his house, let him look if something is going wrong with the tarbiat (upbringing) of his children. If he finds anything wrong with the above, let him repent sincerely to Allah ﷻ and be firm that the trial is in his favor from Allah ﷻ. Sometimes the punishments can have a face of blessings like a man commits sin upon sin but Allah ﷻ increases the prosperity in his wealth, health and family. Outwardly this might look as blessings but in reality a punishment from Allah ﷻ. Through this Allah ﷻ holds the sinner severely in the hereafter. Similarly the trials can indeed be a blessing when outwardly they might look as a punishment like bad health, loss in business, loss of family members and so on. When we find trials one after the other like losing health, losing children’s health, facing loss in business, immediately think that someone has done something to us. If we see a sick, we should request him to make duaa for us as his duaa are most likely accepted. When we face the trials, the duas we make for ourselves are collected by Allah ﷻ to be rewarded in the akhirah. So let us not make complaints during the trial period and yearn for reward from Allah ﷻ. Let Allah ﷻ help us all to act on what we hear, write and read and help us to be pleased with His qadr. Ameen