Advice to the sister experiencing hardship or a calamity.

Advice to the sister experiencing hardship or a calamity.

The nature of this worldly life for the believer is that the Muslim is subjected to countless trials and tribulations that play an immense role in their self purification on their journey back to Allah. As hard as the trial is, one must be reminded, it’s within their capacity to handle this circumstance. In the Quran, God says “Allah does not burden a soul with more than it can bare.”(Quran, 2:286). The mindset of the believer is to accept whatever comes their way will reap benefit and is essentially good for them. Mus’ad ibn Sa’eed reported: The Messenger of Allah, (s), said: “The servant will continue to be tried until he is left walking upon the earth without any sin.” (Tirmithi). My dear sister, when we are trialed, this means that Allah wants good for us. Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (s) said: If Allah intends good for someone, then He afflicts him with trials.”  (Bukhari).  The reality of our trials are often not what we perceive. “Perhaps you dislike something which is good for you and like something which is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not know.” (2:216). 

Unfortunately, we are unable to control people or our situations. We can only control ourselves; our intentions, sincerity, responses and actions. All outcomes are determined by Allah. We seek comfort in knowing with certainty that whatever we are presented with, is actually for our benefit, not our dismay and that ultimately Allah (s) is guiding our affairs. Prophet Muhammad (s) said “Wondrous is the affair of the believer for there is good for him in every matter and this is not the case with anyone except the believer. If he is happy, then he thanks Allah and thus there is good for him, and if he is harmed, then he shows patience and thus there is good for him.” (Muslim). Exercising Patience in such circumstances is vital. Prophet Muhammad (s) said “whoever strives to be patient, Allah will grant him patience” (Muslim).

Patience (Sabr) in Islam is a praiseworthy trait and necessary for the believer in all affairs as it gives meaning to suffering whilst submitting to the decree of the All-Mighty. The term sabr is used interchangeably with patience but its meaning also encapsulates endurance and restraint. Linguistically, the word Sabr means to be patient and to persevere. In Islam, patience plays a vital role in your wellbeing because it adds mental meaningfulness to your suffering and helps to build mental agility. There are three kinds of patience according to Imam ’Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn Hasan aalush-Shaykh; when a person is fulfilling Allah’s orders, patience in abandoning and staying away from prohibitions of Allah, and patience regarding trials and calamities. When a person is being trialed, patience with endurance and restraint in thought, word and deed is most befitting. Allah tells us of Luqmans advice to his son in the Quran; “O my son, establish prayer and enjoin good and forbid evil and be patient over what befalls you. Verily, those are matters requiring determination.” (Quran, 31:17). So what does patience for your hardship look like, sister? It could look like enduring the grief, accepting the decree of Allah by restraining your thoughts and words whilst awaiting and expecting a satisfying outcome. It is in turning to Allah saying “Ya Rabb you know what’s best for me. This hurts but I will remain patient knowing there is good in it for me and that you will be pleased with me. You know best O’ Allah, I submit to your decree.” It’s important to note, that if you are in a position to change your circumstance, and it is rightfully within the parameters of the Shariah, then you are well within your rights to make the necessary changes.

Belief in the divine destiny and decree is one of the six pillars of faith in Islam. Al-Qadr, predestination, is the concept that Allah knows everything and has already decided everything that will happen. It is essential that a Muslim believes that God is Sovereign. He has complete control over His creation. An easy way to understand Qadr is via Allah’s Name and Attribute, Al-Aleem, the All-Knowing. Also, that He is Omnipotent, having unlimited power. He knows what is before and after His creation and their affairs. He knows our circumstances, what we will choose and how we will go about our living. He ordered the pen to write everything that is to occur and this is within the preserved tablet. Allah says in the Quran “With Him are the keys of the unseen—no one knows them except Him. And He knows what is in the land and sea. Not even a leaf falls without His knowledge, nor a grain in the darkness of the earth or anything—green or dry—but is (written) in a perfect Record”. The Preserved Tablet (al-Lawhu 'l-Mahfuth), the heavenly preserved record of all that has happened and will happen, contains Qadr. Linguistically, Qadr means “fate", "divine fore-ordainment", and "predestination".

There is evidence of al-Qadr in the Quran: The Lord has created and balanced all things and has fixed their destinies and guided them. (Qur’an 87:2) The following hadith sheds insight into Qadr and ones actions and perseverance through this worldly life; “There is not one amongst you who has not been allotted his seat in Paradise or Hell. They said: Allah’s Messenger, then why should we perform good deeds, why not depend upon our destiny? Thereupon he said, no, perform good deeds, for everyone is facilitated toward that which he has been created” (Muslim). So my dear sister, when we understand and believe in the concept of Qadr and we know that everything we are facilitated towards by Allah is good for us, the burden of the trial becomes easier to bare. We are facilitated towards repentance, acceptance, obedience to Allah swt through trials. Allah said: Do they not see that they are tried every year once or twice but then they do not repent nor do they remember? (Quran 9:126). I know this trial is a burden on your heart dear sister, but understand that Allah (s) wants good for you. Prophet Muhammad (s) said “I am amazed by the believer. Verily, Allah does not decree anything for the believer except what is good for him.” There is solace in knowing that everyone in this life will be tested with both good and evil as Allah says “We test you with evil and with good as trial, and to Us you will be returned” (Quran, 21:35). Exercising your contentment (Rida) in Allah (s) decree then becomes vital for your wellbeing both in this life and the next.

The Arabic term Rida’ literally means ‘veil’, however in Islamic context it means "perfect contentment with God's will or decree". Contentment is essential to get the most out of your circumstances. The wise seeks their personal contentment in that which Allah has ordained. The Messenger of Allah (s) said, “Verily, Allah will put His servant to trial in what He gives him. Whoever is content with what Allah has apportioned for him, then Allah will bless him in it and expand it. Whoever is not content, he will never be blessed in it.” (Musnad Ahmad). Contentment is a core element to ones faith as it serves as testimony to the fact that God knows best. You understand that God’s mercy prevails in your affairs, and had something been good for you, it would have occurred. Steadfastness in belief and actions in seeking the pleasure of Allah is a means of relief and salvation. Allah says “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day. Whosoever fears Allah in whatever he does, Allah will open for him away out of the difficulties and will provide for him from where he could not imagine. And whoever trusts in Allah, He is enough for him. Allah brings His decrees to fulfillment. Allah has appointed a destiny for everything.” (Quran 65:2-3).

Taqwa (God Consciousness) is "a state of heart that keeps one conscious of Allah's presence." It can be translated as fear and reverence of Allah, knowing He is all aware of our actions and intentions and that there are consequences to these. Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s) was asked about that for which people are admitted into Paradise the most, so he said: “Taqwa of Allah, and good character.” And he was asked about that for which people are admitted into the Fire the most, and he said: “The mouth and the private parts.” (Tirmidhi). So we must be mindful dear sister of the narratives we create as it’s important to understand that we most often don’t understand the reality of situations. If we have no direct proof regarding the claims we make, we are indeed in manifest error. Maintaining Taqwa in thought, word and deed translate into our character, all of which we are accountable for before Allah. When we maintain Taqwa of Allah in our lives and we are focused towards the hereafter, our hearts are eased and our affairs are handled. Prophet Muhammad said “Whoever is concerned about the Hereafter, Allah will settle his affairs, make him content in his heart, the world will inevitably come to him.(Ibn Majah)

Written by Nina Fashik.

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