Saturday, January 21, 2017
Aberystwyth - 2016 This is what I know. Life is full of thorns, ditches and dark roads. T...
|Aberystwyth - 2016|
This is what I know.
Life is full of thorns, ditches and dark roads. This world - is not an amusement park, but we're all here to be tested, to be crushed, squeezed until nothing more would be seeping out of us. Why so? Why had Allah created this world in the first place, threw us inside it and left us navigating the land; some are alone, helpless, clueless and some, although moving along with the hefty crowds, still feels as if something isn't quite right. You'd thought that whatever you're going through will dissipate, eventually and with the appropriate amount of shoulders you have, to lean on when times are going tougher; friends, families, counsellors and etc, you're convinced that you'll be alright. Until another blow knocked on your head and you're whirled back to kneeling before your shattered pieces, wailing at the failures, the loss, the longing and the dawn that never came.
Trials after trials will continue to decorate our every step. No humans have been able to completely evade from being tested. Just look around. From the smallest of worms in the soil to the tallest of trees on the hills. They were to endure hunger, drought and heat daily, in order to survive. We are lucky to have been blessed with a roof over our head and yet, some of us are still complaining. What about the Prophets themselves and the people before us? They were too, faced with some of the unimaginable tests one could never imagine.
We can mourn. Sadness is a thing of Fitrah. Whenever one feels sad, one's heart will start to compress and as a result, tears would be raining down one's cheek. But we are never to act as if the tests we're facing are the end of us. Cry a river if you must. But never stop praying. Never stop asking Him. Never take the blame to Him, that He somehow wanting to see you suffer. Don't see the trials as permanent. Your life is not doomed. If only we could see behind the trials, if only we knew that they're not signs of His wrath but mercy, only then would we understand.
There are 17 wisdom and benefits of trials & tribulations according to al-Imam al-'Izz bin Abdi-s-Salam in his book:
- Adversities are so that we realise the greatness of Allah's Lordship and His all-encompassing power.
- Realising the humility and dejection of servitude.
"Those who, when disaster strikes them, say, 'we belong to Allah and to Him will we return'" - al Baqarah (2:156)
- Actualising sincerity for Allah.
"If Allah touches you with harm, no one can remove it but Him" - al An'am (6:17)
- Turning in penitence to Allah, and directing one's heart to Him: In returning (inabah), according to Ibn Qayyim in his book Madarij As-Salikin, one must rush in pleasing his Lord, turning back to Him at every moment and foremost in doing that which He loves and turning away from everything besides Allah.
- Submissiveness and supplication (Dua): The essence of the servants asking his Lord for His help and continued support is that one must show his needs of Allah and expresses his inability to change any matter himself or having any power and ability (al-Khattabi).
- Forbearance (Hilm): This is to be calm in the state of anger (al-Jurjani). It is the noblest of qualities and it serves to preserves one's honour, keep one free from trouble and worry, and attract respect and praise (al-Mawardi).
- Forgiving the human agent who caused the trial: It is necessary that the intelligent accustom his soul to forgiving people and to leave repaying evil with evil. This is because there's nothing that would silence an evil better than good treatment and beneficence and there's nothing that would stir up evil more than repaying evil with evil. Whoever desires copious reward, to receive devout love and good mention, let him experience the bitterness of opposing his base desires; forgiveness in the face of oppression. These are the greatest morals and manners of the religion (ibn Hibban).
- Patience (Sabr) and steadfastness in the face of affliction: This is the ability to face disturbing and painful circumstances, both physical and mental. It is to withhold the soul from misery and displeasure, the tongue from complaining and the limbs from derangement; it is to remain firm upon the laws of Allah in all circumstances and to face adversity with the best of conduct (al-Manawi).
"Allah loves the patience and the steadfast" - Ali Imran (3:146)
- Experiencing joy at the onset of calamity: Allah tests you through tribulation in order to refine you, just as you refine gold with fire. Amongst you are those who are left resembling pure gold. Such is a person whom Allah has saved from evil deeds; amongst you are those who are left resembling gold of lesser quality - such is a person who falls into some degree of doubt; and amongst you are those who are left resembling black gold - such a person is one who gives in to the trial (Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h).
- Being grateful (Shukr) at the onset of calamity: Shukr comprises sabr upon obedience and away from disobedience. Sabr necessitates shukr and cannot be completed without it, and the opposite; hence if one of them goes so too does the other. So whoever is in a state of receiving favours, it is obligatory upon him to show sabr and shukr, sabr from disobedience. Whoever is in a state of trial, it is also obligatory upon him to show sabr and shukr, shukr by establishing the rights of Allah during that trial. Indeed servitude is due to Allah in times of tribulation and in times of ease (ibn Hajr).
- It's expiating sins and errors.
"The believer is not afflicted with illness or hardship, even if it be a worry that troubles him or a thorn that pricks him, except that his sins would be expiated as a result of it" - Prophet Muhammad.
- Showing mercy to those who are undergoing affliction and coming to their aid.
"People are either living in times of ease and well-being or facing tribulation, so be merciful to those who are facing tribulation and thank Allah for your own well-being" - Prophet Isa.
- Understanding the greatness of the blessings of ease and well-being. This is because blessings are never truly appreciated until one loses them.
- Understanding what Allah has caused to be the outcome of these benefits in terms of reward in the Hereafter.
- Realising the many hidden benefits it contains.
"...it may be that you dislike something in which Allah has placed a lot of good" - an Nisa' (4:19)
- Tribulation and hardship prevent one from evil, vanity, boastfulness, arrogance, ostentation and oppression.
"were Allah to expand the provision of His servants, they would act as tyrants on the earth" - ash Shura (42:27)
"or do you suppose that you would enter paradise without facing the same as those who came before you? Poverty and illness afflicted them and they were shaken to the point that the Prophet and the believers with him said, 'When is Allah's help coming?' Be assured that Allah's help is very near" - al Baqarah (2:155)
- Being pleased and content (Rida) with the tribulation such that it would lead to the pleasure of Allah: This is because both the righteous and sinner is afflicted with trial, hence whoever is malcontent at it's onset, for him is displeasure and misery in this life and the Hereafter. Whoever is pleased and content with it, for him lies in store the good pleasure of Allah and that is greater than paradise and what it contains.
"And Allah's good pleasure is even greater" - at Tawbah (9:72)
"Rida is recommended whereas Sabr is obligatory, from sabr ensues a great deal of good. The difference between rida and sabr is that sabr is to restrain one's soul from feeling and displaying displeasure or malcontent coupled with sensing the pain of what has befallen him and the desire to see it removed; rida is the expansion of the heart to what has befallen it, it's total acceptance of the divine decree and it's undesirable need to see it removed. Even though one may feel pain, rida lessens that pain because of the certainty (yaqin) and cognisance (ma'rifah) that has taken root in the heart. As the state of rida strengthen, it is even possible that the person no longer feel the pain at all" - ibn Rajab.
So really, trials and tribulations are nothing but a bittersweet journey. It's a journey of planting the true and pure love towards our Creator, our returning to Him and Him alone and a journey in building noble characters and attitudes in the hearts of the believer such as humility and patience. They are also as if a prescribed spiritual medicines which we have to swallow wholeheartedly, due to their virtue in removing various diseases of our heart (greed, arrogance, narcissism and etc). They are the means of Allah aiding His servants, ennobling us and granting us well-being.
"If you see Allah, Mighty and Magnificent, holding back this world from you, frequently trying you with adversity and tribulation, know that you hold a great status with Him. Know that He is dealing with you as he does with His Awliya' and chosen elite and is watching over you, have you not heard His saying, 'So wait steadfastly for the judgement of your Lord, you are certainly before our eyes' -at Tur (52:48), so acknowledge this great favour upon you" - al Manawi.
Allah knows best. Thank you for reading!