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Thread: Overcoming tests from Allah

  1. #1
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    Arrow Overcoming tests from Allah

    Overcoming tests from Allah

    Allah, Glory be to Him, says in the Quran:
    "Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, 'We believe,' and that they will not be tested? We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false" (Quran, 29: 2-3).

    By virtue of being created as human beings, we will be tested. We will be thrown into countless trials, into situations that may arise unpleasant and awkward, and into times of difficulty when it seems as though there is little reason to hope.

    Tests will come at us from every direction; events will test the very core of our character and the strength of our beliefs. And these are the tests we cannot afford to fail. And Allah, Glory be to Him, has not left us empty-handed.

    Building our knowledge and our characters as Muslims is the only way to overcome the mild to the severe trials we will face every day until we die. He says: "Have you not seen how Allah has given the parable of a beautiful word like a beautiful tree whose roots are firmly established, and whose branches tower in the sky? It gives its fruits at all times by the permission of its Lord, and Allah sets forth parables for mankind in order that they may remember" (Quran, 14: 24-25).

    A "beautiful word" in this verse refers to the Islamic statement of belief: la illaha ill Allah (there is no being worthy of worship except Allah). And the verse goes on to refer to a beautiful tree, which illustrates the character of a believer.

    According to this verse, a believer is one whose Iman, or faith, is unwavering and firmly established. He or she cannot be swayed from the straight path by the winds of trials, no matter how fierce the storm. Knowing and believing that there is no being worthy of worship except Allah, Glory be to Him, and following His commandments provides a believer with the stability and confidence he or she needs to succeed.

    A believer's branches also "tower in the sky" like that of the beautiful tree. By this analogy, a believer's Iman cannot remain hidden. A Muslim cannot claim to have Iman solely in the heart while not having it show in his or her actions.

    Contrary to that, Iman is something so significant that by its nature, it must be seen by anyone who looks at or interacts with a Muslim. Your Iman raises you up to a higher moral level, just as the braches of the beautiful tree reach upwards towards to the sky.

    These verses also mention that this tree that is compared with a true believer "gives its fruits at all times by the permission of its Lord." The tree of Iman is ever fruitful, unlike a real tree that only gives fruits at certain times of the year.

    Your faith and your belief in la illaha ill Allah sustains you night and day, in every season, during times of ease and times of great hardship. This is the parable of the believer whose good deeds never take a vacation they are continuous throughout the day and the night. The chapter goes on to say "And the parable of an evil word is that of an evil tree uprooted from the surface of earth having no stability" (Quran 14: 26). An "evil word" in this verse refers to disbelief.

    The verse describes the powerlessness and volatility of disbelief it has no basis and he or she who disbelieves has little stability in life. The trials and difficulties of life can easily uproot such a person.

    May Allah, Glory be to Him, make us be of those who are firmly rooted in their beliefs.

    Islamic history is riddled with examples of Muslims who withstood tests that would seem unimaginably difficult today.

    The Muslims of the past had an abundance of patience and perseverance which are two important traits of this beautiful tree of Iman.

    Two Muslims who were of the most firmly rooted of believers were Sumayyah and Yasir, may God be pleased with them. After being among the first Muslims and agreeing to accept Islam in a very tumultuous period, Sumayyah and Yasir along with their son Ammar were tortured mercilessly at the hands of Abu Jahl. The family was left unprotected since they had no tribal affiliations in Makkah.

    Unable to physically help them at the time, the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, would visit them and say, "be patient, O family of Yasir, because your promised place is Paradise." He would then turn his face to the sky and say: "O Lord! Forgive the family of Yasir." The prophet also prayed for the alleviation of Ammar's suffering by placing Ammar's head in his lap and saying: "O fire! Be cool and harmless for Ammar in the same manner in which you became cool and harmless for Ibrahim."

    Sumayyah and Yasir were both martyred in the cause of Allah, Glory be to Him, after refusing to leave their faith which was dearer to them than life itself. The family was honoured with the best of honours: the prophet's guarantee of their home in paradise. These are the examples we should take as guides to our own lives. Too often do we compromise what we believe in to accommodate the uneducated assumptions of others. Too often do we forget the immense history of Islam and Muslims.

    One of the reasons we have the gift of Islam is because we stand on the shoulders of people like Sumayyah and Yasir, may Allah be pleased with them. People who did not waver, did not compromise their Iman to please others or even to save their own lives. Just like in our Islamic history, our strength as a community and as individuals today can only stem from the remembrance of and obedience to Allah, Glory be to Him. These times are difficult and the pain often hits close to home. But by holding fast to our belief in la illaha ill Allah , we will stay firmly rooted, our branches will tower high towards the sky, and our hearts will never lack sustenance, InshaAllah.

    Sources: Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Volume 5

    Allah tells us that we will be tested. He also makes it clear to us what is expected from us when we undergo these trials and what our reward will be if we are successful.

    He says: Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods, lives and the fruits (of your toil) but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Those who, when misfortune strikes them, say: Indeed we belong to Allah and to Him is our return. Those are the ones upon whom are blessings and mercy from their Lord and it is those who are rightly guided. [Srah al-Baqarah: 155]

    The Prophet (peace be upon him)said: "No fatigue, illness, anxiety, sorrow, harm or sadness afflicts any Muslim, even to the extent of a thorn pricking him, without Allah wiping out his sins by it." [Sahh al-Bukhr and Sahh Muslim]

    In another narration, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: No Muslim is afflicted by harm, whether it is but the prick of a thorn or something worse, without Allah expiating his evil deeds on account of it and his sins falling away from him like leaves off a tree.'" [Sahh al-Bukhr]

    The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "When Allah desires good for someone, He tries him with hardships." [Sahh al-Bukhr]

    In reality, the entire Sacred Law is a tremendous blessing for us in this life and the next.

    Obligations that initially seem difficult to fulfill have a polishing effect on the heart until eventually the one's entire perspective changes. Outward submission leads to inward submission and heart fills with love and gratitude for Allah.

    Obligations are not meant to be hammered out reluctantly; they are meant to be offered in the spirit of heartfelt gratitude to Allah for the myriad blessings that each of us has been given. Someone who is realized in this state will do everything for Allah; "worldly" activities such as eating, drinking, and conversing with friends are all performed with the intention of drawing closer to Allah.

    Such a person will not worry over possible future problems, nor will he grieve over past difficulties, for he is busy with the One he loves. This is true happiness and anyone who misses out on it will never know the meaning of contentment.

    So know that Allah is testing us because he wants good for us and he wants to see if we are going to come closer to him or more further away from him.

    Shaythan is wanting us to weaken and fail the tests from Allah so will we let shaythan win? Or will we make the best of these opportunities and get closer to Allah than we have EVER been?

    For if we are patient then Allah is with us so NOTHING can hurt or effect us!

    Allah mentions in the Qur'an:

    Indeed Allah is with those who are patient.

    If one is patient, and is among the ones described in the following manner in the Quran (Baqarah, 2: 256)

    Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihee Raaji'oon

    To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return:-

    The Reward for Patience is Paradise

    Ata ibn Rabah related that he heard Ibn Abbas say: Shall I show you a woman of Paradise? I said: Yes, indeed. He said: A black woman came to the Prophet, peace be upon him, and said: I suffer from epileptic fits, and because of these, (at times) my body becomes uncovered. Would you invoke Allah, the Exalted One, to cure me of this disease? The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: If you wish, you can be patient and you will attain Paradise (for this suffering). But if you prefer, I will pray to Allah, the Exalted, to cure you of it? The woman said: I will be patient, then added: I become uncovered (when I have fits), so invoke Allah for me that I do not become uncovered. So the Prophet, peace be upon him, prayed for her. [Source: Fiqh-us-Sunnah, volume 4, #1a]

    So tests and calamitys are a blessing in disguise and Allah wanting us to get closer to him so if we bare with in with Patience hoping for reward then Allah is with us and best of all we will get closer to Allah and feel true contentment and happiness in the heart and we will attain Paradise inshallah!

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    Tests and calamitys are a blessing in disguise and Allah wanting us to get closer to him.

    Hadrat Anas Radi ALLAH Taala Anhu reported that the Messenger of Allah Peace And Blessings Be Upon Him has said, “Everything has a heart, and the heart of the Qur’an is Yasin. Allah records anyone who recites Yasin as having recited the Qur’an ten times.”
    [Sunan Tirmidhi, Vol 2, Page 116 - Sunan Daarimi, Vol 2, Page 336]

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    Desires and Calamities

    A Sahih hadith reported by At-Tirmidhi narrates on the authority of Abu Hurairah (RA) that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: "When Allah created Paradise, He sent Jibreel to it and said, 'Look at it and the pleasures I have prepared for its inhabitants.' So Jibreel came to Paradise and looked at what Allah had prepared for its inhabitants. He then returned to Allah and said, 'I swear by Your Grandeur that not a single person will hear of it except that he will enter it (i.e he will do anything to enter it).' Then Allah ordered Paradise to be surrounded by adversities, calamities and detestable things and He said to Jibreel, 'Go back and look at it and what I have prepared for its inhabitants.' Jibreel went back to Paradise and found that it had been surrounded by adversities, calamities and detestable things, so he returned to Allah and said, 'I swear by Your Grandeur that I fear that no one will enter it (i.e he will do anything to avoid it).'

    Then Allah said to Jibreel, 'Go to Hell and look at it and the punishments that I have prepared for its inhabitants.' Jibreel looked at Hell and found it extremely horrible, so he said to Allah, 'I swear by Your Grandeur that not a single person will hear of it except that he will avoid entering it.' Then Allah ordered Hell to be surrounded by desires and luxuries and said to Jibreel, 'Go back to it.' Jibreel returned to Hell and then said, 'I swear by Your Grandeur that no one will be able to escape from it.'"

    An indicator of whether your life is leading you towards Paradise or Hell is to consider the circumstances of your life. If you are worshipping Allah and your life is full of hardships and detestable things, then this is a positive sign. What are the things that a person detests in life? Fear, hunger, poverty, thirst, lack of security, lack of shelter, imprisonment, bereavement, being estranged from loved ones, loneliness, uncertainty, etc., etc., to name but a few. Yet these are also some of the things that Paradise is surrounded by; these are the things that indicate whether or not a believer is on the path to Paradise.

    Then consider, what are the things that a person desires or loves in life? Wealth, children, spacious dwelling, safety, security, plentiful food and drink, expensive clothing, being with loved ones, etc., etc., to name but a few. Yet these are also some of the things that Hell is surrounded by; these are the things that indicate to a believer whether or not he is going towards his eternal destruction.

    For this reason, many of the wealthy Sahabah used to weep uncontrollably whilst repeating the verse in Surah Al-Ahqaf (46:20): "And the Day, those who disbelieved are exposed to the Fire, it will be said, 'You exhausted your pleasures during your worldly life and enjoyed them, so this Day you will be awarded the punishment of extreme humiliation because you were arrogant upon the earth without right and because you were defiantly disobedient.'" Umar bin Al-Khattab, Abdur-Rahman bin Awf and others, may Allah be pleased with them all, would frequently mention this verse, when they even experienced pleasures as small as a wholesome meal.

    Following your desires leads to the Hell Fire. That is why many of the Pious Predecessors used to say, "If you want to obey Allah, disobey your nafs (soul, desires, etc)." Likewise, it is reported in a poem from Imam Ash-Shafi (Abdullah bin Al-Mubarak is also said to have mentioned it): "The best thing for your nafs (soul) is to disobey it." Therefore, if you want to obey Allah, consult your heart and do the opposite of what your soul orders you to do. If your soul orders you to sleep instead of praying, get up and pray. If your soul orders you to only spend out of your unwanted possessions, then spend out of the things you love most, for Allah says in Surah Ale-Imran (3:92): "Never shall you attain true piety unless you spend from that which you love." If your soul orders you to pray at home, go and pray in the masjid. If your soul orders you to relax at home instead of visiting your sick, fellow Muslim, get up and go visit your sick, fellow Muslim for you will find Allah with him.

    Therefore, consider your life and be your own judge. If Allah is pouring upon you luxury upon luxury, wealth upon wealth, comfort upon comfort, then that is a sign that something is wrong and it is something to worry about. Moreover, if this is happening whilst you are disobedient to Allah or neglectful of His Commands, then it is a sign of your imminent destruction. Luxuries and comforts make a person forget Allah and become heedless in their duties.

    On the other hand, if you are trying your best to worship Allah and be mindful of His Commands, and yet your life is fraught with adversities, hardships and detestable things, then rejoice for this is a good indication that you are on the path to Paradise. Adversities and hardships make a believer remember Allah more and turn to Him with sincerity. A well-known saying says: "Hardship is as beneficial to the soul as it is unwelcome in life. And comfort is as harmful to the soul as it is welcome in life."

    So O prisoner in the Path of Allah, do not be sad when you are given miserable food, when you are given ragged clothes, when you are estranged from your family and loved ones and when you see others surpass you in wealth and children. Rather, rejoice and be happy as these are all signs that you are on the path towards Paradise, which is surrounded by so many detestable things that even the Angel Jibreel feared no one would be able to enter it because of these adversities.

    The 13th Century scholar Al-Izz bin Abdus-Salam said, "The state of tribulation and affliction drives man closer to Almighty Allah, whereas the state of health and blessing drives him away from Allah, as He says in the Quran, 'And when harm touches man, he invokes Us, lying down on his side, or sitting or standing. But when We have removed his harm from him, he passes on his way as if he has never invoked Us for a harm that touched him!...' (Quran 10:12)"

    Hasan Al-Basri said, "Do not detest the misfortunes that befall you, for what you detest may be the cause of your salvation and what you like may be the cause of your ruin."

    Finally, Ali bin Abi Talib is reported to have said, may Allah be pleased with him, "O son of Adam, do not be happy with richness and do not despair of poverty. Do not feel sad during affliction and do not rejoice over prosperity, for just as gold is tried by fire, the pious are tried by affliction. You will not attain what you want except by giving up what you desire, and you will not attain what you aspire to except by enduring patiently what you hate, and exerting yourself in implementing that which has been made compulsory upon you (by Allah)."


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