Friday, April 1, 2011

Tests and Trials

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنْفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ
الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ
أُولَٰئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ

And surely We will test you with something of fear and hunger and of loss of wealth and life and fruits. And glad tidings are for the patient.
Those whom when misfortune strikes them say "Verily we are from Allah and to Him is our return."
These are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy, and they are the ones who a guided

(Suratul Baqarah, ayaat 155-157)

Throughout our lives, countless times we hear the incidents that took place with Rasulullah Salla Allahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam and his companions. Mocked, jeered at, insulted, tortured, even murdered. We listen to these tales, and shed tears, and perhaps keep the feeling of anguish in our hearts for an hour, maybe a day. After that, life goes back to normal. We become busy with our daily chores, earning money, eating, sleeping, and our dutiful ‘ibaadat.

Then a time has to come when we will be tested. This is not a phenomenon, not something out of the blue, or something that just happens to ‘other people’. Allah Ta’aala Himself tells us that we will be tested, so that those who are true to Allah can be differentiated from those who are not. Yet when these expected tests come to us, we react like a cat that has had its tail stepped on.

Allah Ta’aala has different tests for different people, this as well He mentions in the Qur’aan. Just as an example are the following:

He tests people with poverty, others He tests with wealth.
He tests people with children, others He tests with lack of children.
He tests people with sickness, others He tests with health.

A person should not look at another and feel jealousy or anger, that why isn’t that person being tested. As mentioned, everyone has a different test. What A may perceive as something very big may be a non topic for B, but B himself has other stresses in life that A cannot even imagine. A and B may look at C and think C is living with no troubles at all, yet C has his own shares of tests.

There is no such thing as a perfect life, at least not for one who will constantly dwell upon that which they do not have rather than that which they have. C may not have a child and looks with envy at A who does. However does C realize the stress that A has to go through every day to ensure the child is properly looked after? Meanwhile A will look at C and envy the free time C has. However does A feel the anguish C does?

Each person’s pain is different. The pain I feel is different than the pain you feel or the pain the person down the street does. My pain is not less than yours nor is it more than yours. Apples and oranges cannot be compared, and the tests a person faces cannot be compared either.

However the solution for every problem is there right before us in the shining example of Rasulullah Salla Allahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam. Countless of problems he faced, yet the way he dealt with them was one.

He resigned himself to the Will of Allah the Most Wise.

Six children of his passed away before him. Two wives of his left the world before he did. His own beloved uncle rejected his call; another was murdered in the most gruesome way. Myriads of tests the Beloved of Allah Ta’aala had to face; who are we before him?!

We must realize that this entire life of ours is not the life, rather it is just an application form for the ultimate life, the hereafter. Our applications are filled by our daily actions and intentions. The purpose of our lives on this Earth is clear; we do not have to meditate on the peak of a mountain or sit under a waterfall to be enlightened. Allah Ta’aala has told us clearly in the Qur’aan that we have been created solely for the purpose of worshiping Him. And as mentioned before, this life will be riddled with tests and trials. There is no way around it. However, it is up to us exactly how we will react to the things that happen to us.

We can whine and moan, we can blame others for our troubles, and we can call names and think the whole world is against us.

Or, we can follow the way of the beloveds of Allah Ta’aala and adopt Tafweez, resigning ourselves to Allah’s will, trusting His judgment that He knows best why this situation is upon us. We can realize that Allah is Most Wise and in His infinite wisdom that we cannot fathom, He is testing us this way. And we can realize that whichever situation Allah has put us in, that is the best situation for us.

“In whichever condition He keeps me,
It is the best condition for me.
Through whichever route He takes me
It is the easiest route for me.*”

*Poem by Hazrat Shah Muhammad Ahmad saheb, taken from the book "Tafweez" by Moulana Yunus Patel saheb

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