by Imām al-Madīna al-Munawarrah 'Abdul Muhsin Ibn Muhammad al-Qāsim
All praise is due to Allaah, may peace and blessings be upon the Messenger saws, his household and companions.
Fellow Muslims! Fear Allaah as he should be feared, for fear of Allaah brings more blessings and prevents afflictions.
Dear Muslims! Allaah has foreordained the fate of all creatures, written down their impacts and deeds, portioned out between them their livelihood and wealth and created death and life that He may test them which of them is best in deed. Indeed, belief in Allaah's decree and preordainment is one of the pillars of faith. Nothing happens in this universe except by His will.
This life is full of misfortune and sorrow. It is destined to be a place of hardships and trouble. Trials and tribulations are as inevitable in this life as cold and heat. Allaah says,
"And certainly We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to those who are patient."
Pre-destination is a test by which the truthful ones are distinguished from untruthful ones. Allaah says,
"Do people think that they will be left alone because they say, 'We believe,' and will not be tested." (29: 2)
The human soul does not become pure except through trials, and it is during tribulations that real men are known. Ibn Jawzee said,
"Whoever wants to have everlasting peace and well-being with no affliction does not understand the meaning of Allaah's commandments, nor does he perceive the meaning of submission to Allaah. Every soul (either believing or disbelieving) shall inevitably taste suffering in this world, for this life is based on hardships. Man lives between comfort and suffering.
Prophet Aadam, for instance, had the angels prostrated before him and yet was soon after expelled from paradise. A believer is afflicted with trials in order to refine him, not to punish him. He is tested in ease as well as in hardship. Allaah says,
"And We tried them with good (blessings) and evil (calamities) in order that they might turn (to Allaah's obedience)." (Al-A'raaf 7: 168).
Brothers in faith! Something undesireable may sometimes have a pleasant result, while something seemingly desirable may turn out to have an unpleasant and abominable result. Do not therefore feel that harmful things cannot come to you through hardship. Allaah says,
" And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allaah knows, and you do not know." (Al-Baqarah 2: 216).
Prepare yourself mentally for afflictions before they occur so as to make their occurrence light on you. Do not be worried because of tribulations, for they have their limits, and watch what you utter during your hard times for many a word has ruined its utterer. A resolute Muslim stands firm during hardships, his heart does not change and he does not complain. Console yourself whenever afflicted with a promise of reward from Allaah. Wise people show endurance whenever they are stricken with misfortune so as not to add to their misfortune the malicious joy of their enemies, for whenever your enemies know of your misfortune they are overjoyed.
Brothers in Islaam! Endeavour to keep your misfortunes and pains to yourself, for concealment of afflictions and pains are of the qualities of noble people. Be patient over afflictions, they will soon be removed from you. Those who perished only suffered that because of their impatience while the patient ones are being recompensed with good rewards. Allaah says,
"And those who are patient, we will certainly pay them a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do." (Al-Anaam 16:96).
The reward of the patient ones will be doubled for their patience and Allaah will be with them, remove their afflictions and make them victorious.
O afflicted one! Your Lord does not deny you what you want except what is better than that, He does not test you but for your well-being and He does not subject you to tribulations but to purify you. He tries His slaves with pleasure as he blesses them with calamity. Do not therefore waste your time thinking over what has already been guaranteed for you. As long as one is still alive his provision will no doubt come to him. Allaah ta'ala says,
"And no (moving) living creature is there on earth but its provision is due from Allaah." (Hood 11:6).
Further, if Allaah out of His wisdom closes a door against you, He opens out of His mercy a door better for you than the closed one. It is by afflictions that righteous and understanding people are increased in rank and reward. Sa'ad bin Abee Waqqaas said
: I said, "O Messenger of Allaah, who are the most afflicted of all people? He replied saws, "The Prophets, then the righteous people, then those who are nearest to them in perfection and those who are nearest to them. Man is tested according to his religiosity; if he is strong religiously, his test is increased and if he is weak in religion, his test is reduced And a believer will be tested until he walks on the earth sinless [i.e. his sins have been erased by series of afflictions that he endured.]" (Al-Bukhari)
Fellow Muslims! Prophet Aadam laboured along difficult paths beset with affliction; Prophet Ibraheem was thrown into a blazing fire; Ismaeel was laid down for slaughter; Yoonus was swallowed by a whale; Prophet Aayoob suffered from a severe illness; Yoosuf was sold for a pittance, thrown into a well and wrongfully jailed and Muhammed saws suffered different kinds of injury. You also are in path of calamities moving, for the life does not give pleasure only to anyone. The Prophet saws said,
"If Allaah wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts him with trials." (Al-Bukharee).
Some people of knowledge said,
"Whoever Allaah creates for paradise will be having trials and undesirable things."
Real trial, dear brothers, is the trial in one's religion and whatever trial besides that is regarded as well being, for it raises one in the rank and erases ones sins. Also all comforts that do not bring one closer to Allaah is a tribulation. Do not therefore grieve over what you miss in worldly materials, for worldly pleasure begets pain and disobedience. Aboo Dardaa said,
"Of the insignificance of this world to Allaah is that He is not disobeyed except in it, while what is with Him cannot be obtained except by abstaining from it. Engage yourself in what will benefit you more. Keep away from what is in peoples' hands you will be the wealthiest of them; do not lose hope in Allaah's mercy lest you are disgraced; always remember Allaah's favour on you and drive away your distress by being pleased with Allaah's decree, for however long the night may be, it will be followed by the dawn. Supplicate to Allaah. He will give you relief and if you are patient Allaah will provide a way out for you. Ponder over the story of Prophet Ya'qoob who lost a son for a long period and yet did not lose hope of relief from the Almighty One, but rather said, "Maybe Allaah will bring them all (back) to me."
Dear brother! It is only Allaah who deserves all praise and is capable of attending to all complaints. It is only Him you must beseech to remove your misfortunes. Pray to Him during the night with submission and humbleness and request Him to make your affairs easy for you. He says,
"Is it not He who responds to the distressed one when he calls Him (better than your gods.)" (27: 62)
Put your trust in the Omnipotent Lord and take refuge with Him with a humble heart, He will open the doors of His mercy for you. Fudayl ben 'Iyaadh said,
"If you lose hope in all people and you do not ask anything from them, your Lord will give you all that you want."
Whoever leaves his affairs to the hands of Allaah will achieve what he aspires: Always recite the prayer of Prophet Yoonus:
"None has the right to worshipped except You (O Allaah) Glorifed (and exalted) are You (above all that they associate with You) Truly I have been of the wrong doers."
The 'Ulamaa said,
"No one In distress recites this prayer except that Allaah gives him relief from his distress."
Ibn al-Qayyim said, "It has been tested that whoever says:
"Verily distress has seized me and You are the most merciful of all those who show mercy!"
Seven times Allaah relieves him of his distress! Put then yourself under the protection of Allaah, depend upon Him, submit your affairs to Him and ask Him for relief. Try to supplicate in the most appropriate periods like during prostration and the last hour of the night. Do not feel uneasy if your supplications have not yet been answered, and do not lose hope of Allaah's mercy even though the period of your affliction may seem long, for relief is near, and continue to pray to Allaah. Also know that when Allaah afflicts you no one except Him is capable of removing that affliction for He does whatever He wills.
If your provision seems delayed, do a lot of istighfar, for misdeeds necessitate punishment; and if it does not seem that your supplications are having any impact, then examine yourself, for it may be that you have not been sincere in your repentance. Endeavour also, to give charity to the needy, for charity prevents and removes affliction. However, if your affliction is removed, give a lot of thanks and praise to your Lord and know that a false sense of safety is a big trial. Allaah says,
"Say: Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allaah has ordained for us. He is our Lord and Protector, and in Alaah let the believers put their trust." (At-Taubah 9: 51).
Dear Muslims! No condition is permanent. Fortunate is he who is always God-conscious. Fear Allaah in any condition you may find yourself. You can do nothing to prevent what has been destined to happen as you do nothing to attain what has not been pre-ordained. The ability to choose and control is with Allaah alone and His choice for His slave is better for him than his choice for himself. Dawood bin Sulaymaan said,
"Three things indicate the piety of a believer; his trust in Allah in what he has not attained; his satisfaction with whatever he has attained and his patience over what he has missed."
A wise man was asked,
"What is wealth?" He replied, "Fewness of one's mundane desires and one's contentment with what suffices him."
"A slave will not be afflicted by a trial except that he finds three blessings therein, (1) that the trial has nothing to do with his religion, (2) that the trial was not bigger than it is, and (3) that Allaah gives him patience to bear it."
taken from: www.islam.net
Say (O Muhammad ): "O Allah! Possessor of the kingdom, You give the kingdom to whom You will, and You take the kingdom from whom You will, and You endue with honour whom You will, and You humiliate whom You will. In Your Hand is the good. Verily, You are Able to do all things.
You make the night to enter into the day, and You make the day to enter into the night (i.e. increase and decrease in the hours of the night and the day during winter and summer), You bring the living out of the dead, and You bring the dead out of the living. And You give wealth and sustenance to whom You will, without limit (measure or account). (3:26,27)
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