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1) This world is a place of tests, trials and tribulations.
2) The wisdom behind afflicting believers with hardships and trials.
3) The reward in the Hereafter for patience and perseverance.
O People! Fear Allaah and perform righteous deeds which Allaah loves and accepts; be cautious through your lives and believe that everything that occurs does so according to the decree of Allaah. Do not replace the guidance which Allaah guided you to, meaning his obedience, with disobedience otherwise, Allaah will change your situation to one of misery and desolation.
Allaah said that which translates as: “That is because Allaah will not change a favour which He has bestowed upon a people until they change what is within themselves. And indeed, Allaah is Hearing and Knowing." (Al-Anfaal: 53).
He also says that which translates as: “Have you not considered those who exchanged the favour of Allaah for disbelief and settled their people [in] the home of ruin? [It is] Hell, which they will [enter to] burn and wretched is the settlement." (Ibraheem: 28-29).
O Believers! Just as your lives contain problems, afflictions and disasters, they also have great bounties and favours from Allaah, who is the Most Generous. In addition Allaah has blessed your lives by giving you ease through times of grief and hardships as well as and protecting you from other trials and tribulations which did not affect you.
This life is the abode of hardship and ease, sorrow and joy, happiness and sadness and laughter and weeping. Things are constantly changing and the trials that we face are always different. People are tested in different ways so that the wise can learn lessons from this and the successful can take advantage of them. Through these trials, the heedless become deceived and those who are doomed will go into further destruction.
Regarding this, Allaah said that which translates as: “Every soul will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as a trial; and to Us you will be returned." (Al-Anbiyaa’: 35). He also said that which translates as: “In order that you not despair over what has eluded you and not exult [in pride] over what He has given you. And Allaah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful." (Al-Hadeed: 23).
And also that which translates as: “And We will surely test you until We make evident those who strive among you [for the cause of Allaah] and the patient, and We will test your affairs." (Muhammad: 31). In addition to this, Allaah has said that which translates as: “…And Allaah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars.” (Al-‘Ankaboot: 3).
Therefore, it is saddening to observe in life so many different types of people who always seem to be complaining. They complain and weep about sickness, poverty, hardship, being away from loved ones, deaths of relatives or missing out on the riches of this world. These people do not seem to have any faith, nor do they seem to believe in the Divine Decree of Allaah and his Pre-Destiny.
O Muslims! Complaining about Allaah to His creatures and weeping about things that one has missed out on in life is either an indication of weak faith, or something that leads it. It is also either an indication of despairing of the mercy of Allaah or something that would lead to it.
These are the characteristics of the worst of creatures; those who harbour false-thoughts about Allaah, just as the ignorant pre-Islamic people did.
This is why you see them feeling despair and fearing the worst possible outcome when any problem or trial befalls them. So you see such a person feeling constrained, losing patience and becoming nervous. Due to their stress, their sorrows seem to multiply, which leads them to stray away from the truth and become attached to someone or something that cannot benefit them in any way. They despair of the mercy of Allaah and this is indeed a massive loss, both in this life and in the Hereafter, because clinging to and attaching oneself to creatures and turning away from the Lord is association with Him, as proved by the texts of the Qur’aan:
Allaah says that which translates as: “And do not invoke besides Allaah that which neither benefits you nor harms you, for if you did, then indeed you would be of the wrongdoers. And if Allaah should touch you with adversity, there is no remover of it except Him; and if He intends for you good, then there is no repeller of his bounty. He causes it to reach whom He wills of His servants. And He is the Forgiving, the Merciful. (Yoonus: 106-107).
O Believers! As for those who believe in Allaah, realise the insignificance of this life and fully submit to their Lord in all that He has decreed and predestined; you will see them patient, persevering and obedient to Allaah at times of hardship and grateful at times of ease. These people remember Allaah at all times and know very well that Allaah is with His servants whenever they mention and remember Him; they know that Allaah will be exactly as His servants think of him. They realise that Allaah tests his slaves with good and evil to check their patience and purify their faith and to make them practice reliance on Him, as well as to see if they maintain a good opinion of Him.
This is so that Allaah can increase their rewards and rank in Paradise. Also, so that Allaah can show mankind in this life and in the hereafter that such people are worthy of being honoured and being close to Allaah in paradise.
Suhayb Ibn Sinaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “How wonderful is the case of a believer! There is goodness for him in every thing, and this is not the case with anyone except for a believer. If prosperity attends him he expresses gratitude to Allaah and that is good for him, and if adversity befalls him he endures it patiently and that is also good for him.” (Muslim).
Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “Never is a believer stricken with a discomfort, an illness, an anxiety, a grief or mental worry, or even the pricking of a thorn except that some of his sins are expiated for him (as a consequence)." (Bukhaari and Muslim).
He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam also said: “If any Muslim is afflicted with any adversity, even as small as a prick of a thorn or anything greater than that, then Allaah will expiate some of his sins (due to this), just as a tree sheds its leaves." (Bukhaari and Muslim).
Also, Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “The believing man or woman will continue to be afflicted by hardships in themselves, their families and their wealth until they meet Allaah with absolutely no sins.” (Tirmidhi).
Anas ibn Maalik, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: "If Allaah wills good for his slave, he tries him in this world, but if He wills evil for him then He does not hasten to punish him for his sins, but will delay him until he is called to account on the Day of Resurrection.” (Tirmidhi).
And he sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam also said: “The amount of reward (from Allaah) is proportional to the amount of hardship (that His slave goes through) and if Allaah loves a group of people he will afflict them with hardships. So whosoever is content, Allaah will be pleased with him and whosoever is discontent, Allaah will be displeased with him.” (Tirmidhi).
He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam also said: “Those who face the toughest trials and hardships are the Prophets, then those who are nearest to them (i.e., in terms of faith) and a person will be tested according to the strength of his faith.” (Tirmidhi).
Also, the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “If Allaah has decreed a rank for one of his servants to reach, but his deeds would not suffice him to reach this rank, then Allaah will afflict him with hardship in his body, wealth and offspring, therefore, he will persevere through this until he reaches the rank that Allaah has decreed for him to reach." (Ahmad and others).
Servants of Allaah! How many hardships carry blessings and mercy and how many adversities befall a slave of Allaah, due to which he reaches an exalted rank and becomes honourable in the sight of Allaah? He has said that which translates as: “…Indeed, your Lord is Wise and Knowing." (Al-An’aam: 83). He also said that which translates as: "Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without limit." (Az-Zumar: 10).
So fear Allaah, May He have mercy upon and protect you all. If you have hope in Him, He will make you become steadfast. Avoid overburdening yourselves by performing too many optional deeds and perform only the deeds that you can continue performing constantly. By doing so, you will all have a pleasant consequence that you will appreciate. Do not be deceived by your current good health, wealth and comforts and don’t be weakened by hardships, adversities and calamities; the way out from Allaah is coming and his mercy is ever near for the righteous and the provision of Allaah will never be attained except through being obedient to him.
Allaah says that which translates as: "Whatever Allaah grants to people of mercy – none can withhold it; and whatever He withholds – none can release it thereafter. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” (Faatir: 2).