The Greater The Hardship The Greater The Reward
Abu Uwais Abdullaah Ali [Rahimahullah] - Transcribed Lecture
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The greater the hardship, or trial or tribulation the greater the reward. The greater the difficulty the greater the reward. The greater the trial or tribulation or difficulty that you are put through the greater the reward will be for you and for me from Allah (Tabarak wa ta'ala).
If Allah loves a people, He puts them to trial, He tests them and places them in difficulty. Allah the Exalted states in Surah Baqarah :
"We will test you with something of fear, and hunger and loss of wealth, and souls and vegetation. And give glad tidings to those who have patience. Those who if in any difficulty or trial, or tribulation occurs to them or happens to them, they say: 'Verily We are from Allah and to Allah we return.' They are those who will receive prayers from their Lord and Mercy and it is those who are guided."
The great reward is in accordance to how great ones trial, difficulty or test is. The greater the test and trial, the greater the reward. And everyone must have tests and everyone will have problems & trials and everyone will be put to difficulty, everyone will have moments of grief, moments of sadness moments when things are not as they feel or would like them to be. But the difference is the believer is patient, the believer believes in the decree of Allaah, the believer seeks the reward of Allaah (subhana wa ta'ala) at that time.
The believer praises Allah. The believer will be rewarded in his time of difficulty. The believer has burns and the Kaafir has burns. The believer needs an operation and a Kaafir needs an operation. The believer loses a mother and a Kaafir loses a mother. The believer loses his wife and the Kaafir will lose his wife. Everyone experiences difficulty. Everyone experiences trials and tribulations but the believer because of what Allaah (subhana wa ta'ala) has given him of Imaan and for what he has of patience and being pleased with the decree of Allaah, and seeking a reward from Allaah and seeing the wisdom of Allaah (subhana wa ta'ala) in his difficulty, he will be raised and he will receive great rewards.
Abu Dawud mentions in the Sunnan, related by Ahmad :
It is in the Saheehah (when you hear as-Saheehah it means it is authenticated by Shaikh Naasir ud-Din al-Albaani in his authentic books of narrations – Hadith No. 959) :The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said : "This my Ummah, is a Ummah that has mercy upon it, 'Marhooma'- a Ummah that has mercy that's been wrapped in Mercies; there is no punishment for this Ummah in the Hereafter except their punishment that they experience in the Dunya --- killing and death and dying, trials and tribulations, earthquakes and the like." And the wording of Abu Dawud is : 'This Ummah reminds of the Ummah, that Allaah has placed His mercy upon. This Ummah will not have any punishment in the Hereafter, this punishment is in this world with fitn, trials, tribulations and punishments and difficulties, and earthquakes and killings, murder, death.. like this.
'As recorded in Buhari and Muslim: The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said :
"Whoever Allah wants good for him, he puts them to test. He puts them through difficulties. Like a diamond or some metal that has to be burnt and then that which is bad from it is removed so that you have that which is the pure diamond or the pure gold or whatever. Put them to tests, trials and difficulties."
As narrated by Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah : (This is the Hadith that we started with) - The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said :
'The greater reward is with the greater trial or the greater the trial or difficulty of test or hardship is then the greater the reward. And when Allah loves a person He will tests them. So he who will be pleased and then He will be pleased. He who is displeased, then He will be displeased.'(Sahaba's name not clear) 'The people as long as they are in good health, good shape, good condition they are covered. You don't know their true character because they are in good situation, they are in good circumstance. As long as they are in a good circumstances they are covered. But if a trial or difficulty or a hardship comes upon them, then you will see their reality. They will go to their reality. The Mu'min will run to his Imaan, the Mu'min will run to his belief, the believer will run to his belief, his Imaan and the hypocrite will run to his hypocrisy, and the hypocrite will run to his hypocrisy. "Without being shaken, you don't not know what comes to the top and what goes to the bottom. Without being shaken you don't know a man from those who are faking; you won't know women from those who are faking. You won't know those who truly believe from those who don't. Those who make a claim on their tongue and is not really in their hearts and from their limbs from those who are willing to die for this matter. This can only be shown by trials, the tribulations and tests and difficulties."
Imam Ahmed brought it and Sheikh Nassir brings in his Saheehah No. 147 : Suhaib said that, 'we were sitting with the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and suddenly he laughed. Suddenly the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) laughed. He asked his companions: 'Won't you ask me what I am laughing about?.' So they asked the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) 'what are you laughing about ?' So he said : 'I laughed because I was astonished at the affair of a believer.' (Listen these are words of Musthafa alaihi salam. He doesn't speak of his own desires whatever he speaks it is revelation; Listen, these are words of Rasulullah describing a believer.). All of his affairs, all of his circumstances are good, all of it. If something happens to him that he loves, if Allah blesses him with something that he loves, then he praises Allaah and this is good. And if something happens to him, if he is put into some difficulty, test or tribulation or hardship or something that he hates, he is patient and that is good for him. And no one's situation is totally good except the believer. And no one else's affair, no one else's circumstance, no one else's condition, no one else's situation is totally good except the mu'min, except the believer.'
'The ones who received the most difficulty, and went through the most hardship were the beloved people to Allaah --- the prophets. Allah loved them more than the rest of mankind or creatures. He tested them. He put them through test , he put them through hardship, he put them through difficulties. Listen to this narration of Ibn Majah and Sheikh Nassir also brings in his Saheehah No. 144 : (Sahaba's name not clear) "I entered upon the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) before he passed away whilst he was suffering having a fever -- I placed my hand upon him and I felt the heat from above the blanket, I felt the heat of his fever from above the blanket. I said : 'O Messenger of Allaah, how hard it is upon you.' The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam ) said : 'Yes, it is like that. Trials and tribulations, hardships and difficulties are doubled and multiplied and increased for us prophets. But also the reward, the blessing, the level that he is raised with Allaah upon is also multiplied and increased for him.' I said : 'O Messenger of Allaah who are most put through difficulty? Who are the people who are most tested? Who goes through the most trials and tribulation O' Messenger of Allaah?' He said : 'The prophets, then the righteous (saalihun)' , some of them are tested with clothing, some of them are tested with no clothing except an abaya that they place around their bodies, nothing else. But one of them used to be so happy when he was put to trial or test like you see enjoyment and pleasure and contentment through ease. They were happy with trials and tribulations like you are happy with ease."Allaah the Exalted states in Surah Al-Zumar:
"Verily the patient will get their reward without it being estimated, without it being calculated. It can't be counted. One is waiting for reward, for that one who is patient."
As-Sabr, patience Akhee Msulim, my brother Muslim, upon when you are put to trial, upon when you are put to test, upon when you go through sadness, upon when you go through hardship, upon when you go through difficulties, patience – As Sabr, then it is a sign that you are upon Khair. It is the sign that you are upon good. It is a distinguishing characteristic, or it is a distinguishing matter that shows that you are upon good. It is narrated in Abu Dawud :
'Then it is saheeh, the happy one, is the one who can avoid trials and tribulations especially those that lead him astray or take him away from his deen, but the one who is tested and is patient, so greater reward for him, unimaginable reward for him.'
Also it has been related by Bukhari and Muslim : Abbas said to Ibn Rabah :
"Shall I show you one of the women of Jannah? Saudah, this black woman who told the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) : Verily I have seizures and I become uncovered, make dua to Allaah for me.' The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: If you are patient you will have Jannah. And if you want I'll make dua for you that you be healthy. She said : 'I'll be patient, I'll be patient but make sure that I don't become uncovered.' So the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) made dua to Allaah that she does not become uncovered.'
This is how the Salaf were. Because of this some of the salafs used to say : If a difficulty happens to you, a hardship happens to you, if you are put to trial and tested and you are patient, then you have got only one difficulty. You have only got one hardship. You have only got one problem. Whenever a difficulty or hardship or trial comes your way and you are not patient, then you have two problems, and two hardships. And particularly if it is a loss of a child, or a loss of a loved one. You are not patient with that then you have two difficulties.
The loss of the one you love plus the loss of the reward you would have got if you had been patient. To be patient upon the tests, and the trials, and the hardships and the difficulties as a worship for Allaah, is a worship for Allaah. Many of us know that salaah is a worship, Zakah is a worship, and ruku is a worship and sujud is a worship, and reading Quraan is a worship , how many of us know that being patient upon a hardship, upon a sadness , being patient upon a difficulty, upon a test, upon a trial is a worship for Allaah. Allaah says in Surah Al-Hajj (22:11) :
"And among mankind is he who worships Allâh as it were, upon the very edge; if good befalls him, he is content therewith; but if a trial befalls him, when fitnah comes to him, or a hardship befalls him, if something that brings about grief comes his way, if he is tested, if he is put to the test, when sadness comes his way, if a hardship befalls him, what happens? He flips upon his face. He loses both this world and the Hereafter. There is no doubt that this is the clear loss."
Walhamdulillah. The greater the test, the greater the reward, the greater the hardship the greater the reward, the greater the difficulty, the greater the reward from Allaah (tabarak wa ta'ala). And the Salaf understood this. Urwah Ibn Zubair, a well known from the Salaf had a problem with his foot. So the doctors decided that they had to cut it off, cut the foot off. When the doctors cut it off he didn't say anything except these words: 'O Allaah, for you are Full praise. For if you have taken some, you have left some. And if you have tested, and put through difficulty you have also put in good condition. If you have tested and tried and put through difficulty you have also put good health, good circumstances and good conditions.'The next day his son was riding a horse or mule and fell off of it and died. So they came to Urwah with the information of the death of his son, he didn't say anything except : 'O Allaah, for you is full praise. For if you have taken some, you have left some. And if you have tested and tried you have also placed us in good situations and good condition.' So when he was asked about this he said: 'I had 4 limbs (meaning 2 arms and 2 legs) and Allaah took some and left some. 'I had 4 limbs 2 arms and 2 legs Allaah took one and left me three. I had 7 sons, Allaah (tabrak wa tala) took one and left six. And he gave me good condition, or good situation my whole life up until this time. Then he tested me. Should I not praise Allaah for that? Should I not praise Allaah for that?'
Tests, trials, difficulties, hardships, grief, sadness, pain it raises the level of the believer. It raises the level of the believer. It is an expiation for sins. It removes sins, these difficulties and it raises one's level higher with Allaah. Raises one's level higher, places one in His station or circumstance that he might not have met, he would never have reached if he had not gone through that test. It is related in Saheeh also Muhammad bin Khalid Abi An Jaddi, his grandfather was a companion that he went out visiting a brother. Then he heard that the brother was sick. So he entered upon the brother and he said : 'I came to you as a visitor, and now I am also one visiting the sick and also someone giving you glad tidings.' The person said: 'how do you gather all this, i.e. somebody who is a visitor, somebody who is visiting a sick, somebody who is giving glad tidings? How do you gather all that?'He said : 'I came out, I wanted to visit you, it reached me that you were sick, then it became that I am visiting the sick person also I give you glad tidings of something that I heard from the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) : If Allaah (subhana wa ta'ala) has decreed or wants for his servant a certain Manzala, a certain position in the Jannah, a high position in the Jannah, and the servant is not going to reach it, he's going like he's going, he's not going to reach it, Allaah (subhana wa ta'ala) would test him, put him through hardships, would put him through difficulty regarding his body – may be he will get sick or something; or regarding his wealth – may be he will lose something; or regarding his children --- may be one of them will pass away or become sick or whatever. So that this person can become patient, have this Ibadah of worship, then what ? So that this person can reach the position that Allah wanted him to reach. So that he can reach the position Allaah wanted for him.
Same Hadith : 'Who are the people who will receive the most difficulties, trials and tribulations? He said: the prophets, then those most like them, then like them, a man will be tested in accordance with his deen. A man will go through difficulties in according with his deen. A man will go through hardship in according with his deen. A man will experience sadness and grief in accordance with his deen. If his deen is strong, then his difficulties will be great. His trials will be hard. If he has in his deen some ease, or some lightness then he will be tested in accordance with the likeness of his deen. Because trials and tests want leave a servant until his sins are forgiven. That is, because the servant, he undergoes so many trials and tests, his sins are forgiven and it will be as if he is walking upon the earth without a sin. That he is walking upon the earth without a sin. In another Hadith (listen to this brother) : If you have a difficulty in your life brother, if you have a difficulty in your life sister, if there is some sadness in your household, if you lost a child, if that child has been hurt, if there is a sickness in your family or whatever the case, whatever difficulty or trial, whatever problem you are going through, listen to the words of Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam), it will make it clear. Listen to the words of Rasoolullah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam), it will cool your heart, it will take you to that which is right, it will correct you, it will guide you, it will increase your faith, and your patience.
"There is no difficulty that happens to a Muslim except that Allaah removes a sin because of it even if a thorn pricks him and even to that degree."
If Allaah removes to that degree what about some other sadness? Or some other loss or some other trial or some other difficulty? Lastly Abu Huraira (radiyallaahu 'anhu) that he heard the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and also Abu Said Al Khudri : 'No pain, or sickness affects a believer. No tiredness (this is also sickness), or grief nor any worry except that Allaah removes from that person a sin because of it.'
This should tell us to be patient. This should tell us that our pathways are not going to be full with rose petals and life is not always going to give you that which you want or think you deserve, that they are going to come down your way or into your life things that are sad, things that bring you grief, things that bring difficulty but your test is shown, your character is shown, whether you can weather the storm by being patient with the decree of Allaah, in praising Allah (subhana wa ta'ala), in hoping a reward from Allaah (subhana wa ta'ala), for no one can reward what Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) will give the person who has patience. Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) has granted it and he will grant it without calculation. Will grant it without it being something that we could calculate or imagine. So any difficulty brother reflect upon this issue that is khair for you, is good for you, if you are a believer and if you are patient and if you praise Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) and it is a way to remove your sins and a way that you have no understanding of what Allaah (subhana wa ta'ala) may be preparing you for a better station, a better status in the Hereafter that you would not have reached if He had left you in that state that you were in. But when he tested you, you were patient and therefore Insha-Allaahu wa ta'ala that position or that status will be their Haada
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