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category: Coping with Adversity
Or do ye think that ye shall enter the Garden (of bliss) without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? they encountered suffering and adversity, and were so shaken in spirit that even the Messenger and those of faith who were with him cried: 'When (will come) the help of Allah?' Ah! Verily, the help of Allah is (always) near! [Suratul Baqarah, Verse 214]
There is not a day that goes by that a believer is not tested by his Lord. In some of which, these tests may seem impossible for one to pass, yet with patience comes prosperity. Analyzing the above verse of the Qur'an and looking into that which it talks about we find a deep meaning behind the trials that Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala) inflicts upon us. Allah tells us about the account of the Prophet (Salla Allahu 'Alayhee wa Sallam) and his followers when they were shaken up during the battle of Badr. Indeed the trials they went through during this time are not comparable to anything we have gone through. If we dive head into the situation we would see that this was the most significant battle of Islam. The results would determine if Islam would remain or if Islam would be destroyed. And this burden was put on the backs of every one of the Muslims who participated in this. Imagine this and contrast it to our tribulations. Imagine having the whole of Islam riding on your shoulders and one wrong move would mean disaster. And these men "encountered suffering and adversity". Not only did Allah make the battle one that seemed to be difficult and impossible but also he put on them other troubles and problems. He made this a test upon the believers to see who was truthful and who was sincere. Just try to think about this, these men, the Sahabah, the best men to walk the planet after the Prophets. Even they were suffering, even they were afflicted, even their situation was filled with adversity. And who are we? Are we better than them to say we do not need to be tested in such a way? Not only were the Sahabah tested, but the Prophet (Salla Allahu 'Alayhee wa Sallam) himself was tested during this time as well. He was even more worried than all of his people and used to say to Allah "Oh Allah if you make it so we lose this battle then there will be no one left on this Earth who worships you". So imagine this, the one who was promised paradise, the one who the signs of Allah were revealed upon, the one who had the strongest belief in Allah, even he was tested. But look how these men of piety handled the situation. They did not back away; they did not complain and say it is too much, they did not give up. Rather they invoked Allah and continued on trusting in Allah and knowing that "On no soul do We place a burden greater than it can bear: before Us is a record which clearly shows the truth: they will never be wronged." [Suratul Muminoon, Verse 62]
And Allah says in the original Ayah we quoted, "Or do ye think that ye shall enter the Garden (of bliss) without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you?" So indeed we should think about this and realize that our trials are a gift from Allah rather than a punishment. If he tested the most honorable of men then we should welcome the tests of our Lord, because only through these tests will we be able to meet with these pious people. Allah asks us this question; we should sit and answer it to ourselves. Do we truly believe that we will enter Jannah without being tested, do we?
Allah mentions in Surah Ad-Duha "Your Lord has neither forsaken you, (O Muhammed), nor is He displeased. Certainly, the later period shall be better for you than the earlier. Soon your Lord shall grant you something with which you will be well-pleased. Did He not find you an orphan and gave you shelter? Did He not find you lost and gave you guidance? Did He not find you poor and made you self-sufficient? Therefore, do not treat the orphan with harshness and do not chide away the beggar, and rehearse the bounty of your Lord."
This small Surah shows us so much in the light of Trials and Tribulations. The beginning Allah says "Your Lord has neither forsaken you, nor is He displeased." This Ayah does not just apply to the Prophet (Salla Allahu 'Alayhee wa Sallam) but it applies to each and every one of us. Has Allah ever forsaken us? Indeed He has not and he always provides for us that which is good for us. And indeed he is never displeased with those who are sincere in His path. We should remember this when Allah tests us, and realize that Allah is still by our side even if a tribulation befalls us.
The next Ayah is something we should ponder over and put into our hearts. Allah says "Certainly, the later period shall be better for you than the earlier." Again this is not just for the Prophet (Salla Allahu 'Alayhee wa Sallam) but for all of us. Right now we may be dealing with different types of fitnah but in the end everything will be fine, if we are patient. The later period refers to this life along with the hereafter, for Allah will reward those who are steadfast now and in the akhirah. Is not one affliction worth two rewards? This verse should also give us hope and strength. For the later period will be better than the earlier, this means if we are patient things will be much better.
Then Allah says "Soon your Lord shall grant you something with which you will be well-pleased." Indeed whenever Allah says something it is truth and it will be carried out. Not only does Allah promise the later time will be better than the earlier but he also promises that he will give you something which you will be well-pleased with. So what is an affliction when in the end we see so many blessings sprouting from it? We may have huge troubles and problems, bigger than anything we may have ever experience, but Allah promises us we will be happy when it is over. Meaning in the end your happiness with out-weight any sadness the affliction may have put onto you.
Allah then mentions "Did He not find you an orphan and gave you shelter? Did He not find you lost and gave you guidance? Did He not find you poor and made you self-sufficient?" This ayah should humble us and make us truly remember the blessings from Allah. Indeed Allah has guided us to Islam; this in itself is the biggest blessing anyone could ever have. What is an affliction when you have the ultimate reward from your Lord, guidance? How can we even begin to think Allah cannot and will not help us in our trials, when he has guided us and made us amongst the believers? He took us from disbelief and put us into the folds of Islam. He safeguarded us during our childhood and made sure we were not corrupted. And did he not give us shelter like he did for the Prophet (Salla Allahu 'Alayhee wa Sallam)? And did he not make us self-sufficient and gave us wealth? So why is it that we cannot be patient with the fitnah he may put us into, why is it that we cannot see that these trials are a blessing, something to bring us closer to our Lord. This is how we should think, Allah is testing us in order for us to become closer and more beloved to him. So we should be happy with our tests and work through them, thanking Allah and asking for his forgiveness throughout the way. And indeed those who are patient will have the best rewards, that of eternal happiness and glory.
At the end of this Surah Allah says "Therefore, do not treat the orphan with harshness and do not chide away the beggar, and rehearse the bounty of your Lord." Allah is telling us to be good to those who do not have what we have and to remember and thank Allah for the good which he gave us. This is the best path, that with will lead to the resolution of our problems. This is the advice of the Lord of All the Worlds, so truly it is sound advice. Through supplication and doing good deeds our problems will be solved and we will be rewarded amply for all that we have done. If we were to keep our tongues wet with the remembrance of Allah than we would be those with solid Iman, solid belief in Allah. We should strive to do this and strive to follow the advice of the Most Glorious.
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