By Fatna, London
As Muslims we know with full certainty that everything in life is determined by Allah, and it is this certainty that provides us with the irreplaceable comfort that, in the colourful chaos that is life, everything is taken care of by The Most Capable, The Most Powerful.
However, this comfort and peace of mind, that we hold onto, seems to slip from our fingers when the brightness of life begins to dim and when the joyride of everyday takes a sharp turn in the opposite direction. When we are hit with a trial our outlook in life becomes dampened with despair, but why is that? Our tendency to react to hardships in life by becoming hopeless leads us to forget a mighty fact, the fact that the pains of life can be a test of patience from Allah and thus a precious chance to expiate our sins and reach the heights of piety. It’s vital for our relationship with Allah that we begin to create a shift in how we view life’s hardships. Instead of viewing them as a barrier we should instead embrace them with hope and trust in Allah knowing full well that any difficulties that we are met with are part of His decree and a precious chance to secure the highest ranks in Jannah.
In order for us to trigger a shift in how we view afflictions in life we must first observe how they are framed in the Sunnah. Difficulties faced by a Muslim in this world are mainly hailed in the Sunnah as a trial from Allah that can not only, if the Muslim passes, ensure ease and reward in the Akhira but can also offer us the chance to expiate our sins as well
“No calamity befalls a Muslim but that Allah expiates some of his sins because of it, even if it were the prick of a thorn.”(Bukhari)
In this world we as Muslims are beset with sins and flaws in our worship – “Humankind was created weak” (Quran 4:28). There are bound to be numerous instances in our life where we slip up e.g. in the form of sin, unfocused prayer etc. So the fact that tests can be a chance to cleanse ourselves from these sins and patch up any imperfections shows that such tests are a gift from Allah for His believers to be able to reach ranks in the hereafter that they wouldn’t have originally been able to through their good deeds alone.
The Prophet sall Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Calamity will keep befalling a person until he walks on the earth with no sin on him.” Ibn Majah
Therefore, we haven’t been burdened with hardship nor punished by it, but rather honoured with hardship. As it is with this trial that we have been offered an inestimable opportunity to prove our patience and unwavering faith in Allah which we are in turn rewarded for.
“On the Day of Judgement, when the people who were tried (in this world) are given their rewards, the people who were pardoned (in life) [people who weren’t tested], will wish that their skins had been cut off with scissors while they were in the world.” (At-Tirmidhi)
Moreover, the nobility of hardships is strongly showcased by the fact that even the most honourable amongst us were trialled with calamities: the prophets of Allah. As the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said:
“The most sorely tested of people are the Prophets, then the next best and the next best.” (At-Tirmidhi)
The Qur’an is enriched with numerous narrations telling of how the prophets and messengers were tested: Ibrahim through extreme isolation and being put to death by his people; Nuh by being ridiculed for his dawah for 950 years; Musa was to wander in the desert for 40 years with the Children of Israel; and not to mention prophet Ayub who was trialled with the severest of calamities, incessantly, for 18 years. But due to his unwavering patience and reliance on Allah, despite his unceasing pain, he was exalted as an example for all of humanity in the Quran:
“Truly! We found him patient. How excellent (a) slave! Verily, he was ever oft-returning in repentance” [Quran 38:44].
Now that we know of the great honour attached to life’s hardships we must now ask the question: how can we brighten our dark perception of tests from Allah to ensure that we consolidate our divine relationship as well as secure His reward?
Fearing calamities is understandable as with them often comes the onset of other fear-inducing matters such as poverty, sickness, isolation, bereavement etc. This blog doesn’t intend to undermine the grief that comes with trials, but instead works to highlight that the struggle we feel mustn’t be a blocker from the remembrance of Allah as well as the anticipation of His reward:
“And most certainly shall We try you…glad tidings unto those who are patient in adversity”(Quran 2:155)
Trials in life, although undoubtedly difficult and taxing, if met with forbearance and piety, will enrich our book of deeds with good and will embellish our Akhira with bounty. So next time we may be presented with a difficulty in life, we mustn’t drop our heads in despair but instead look up and raise our hands to the Almighty who has honoured us with hardship.
About the author:
Fatna lives in London and has always held the love for literature close to her heart. Hoping to give practical Islamic support through writing, Fatna is one of our blog writers here at SolaceUK.