Grieve not. Allah is with us!

It was all so sudden. I didn’t have much time to sit back and contemplate. We couldn’t believe it was happening. The reports were here and everyone was in tears. No way could this be true!

But who can stop the inevitable. As Allah(SWT) says-

“No calamity befalls on earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees – before We bring it into existence.” (Qur’an 57:22)

All events shall come to pass have already been written. Whatever has befallen you was not meant to escape you, and whatever has escaped you was not meant to befall you.

My dad’s brother had been diagonised with cancer. And this was not the first time that he was going through a tough time. Two other incidents had shaken his life before, but Alhumdulillah, by Allah’s will he’d come out of all the previous ones triumphant.

Calamity had struck again.

Our Prophet (pbuh) said: “Verily, if Allah loves a people, He makes them go through trials. Whoever is satisfied, for him is contentment, and whoever is angry upon him is wrath.” [Tirmidhi] 

I remember as a child, once he’d strictly told my cousins that if they don’t pray all 5 daily prayers he’d send them far away to some Islamic school. Even though we were just 10-11 yrs back then I remember how they got into the habit of reading namaz. And, Alhumdulillah, since I used to spend a lot of time with them even I’d stand along with them to pray.

So, as far as I’ve known my uncle he’s been a very religious and righteous man, Alhumdulillah, and the tough times in his life, I believe, are a symbol of how much Allah(SWT) loves him.

Like the hadis stated above says.. When Allah loves someone He tests them, and somewhere down my heart I knew he was being tested. As a fact, all of us, from his wife to his children, his sister and brothers, nieces and nephews, in-laws and all his dear ones were being tested.

أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَنْ يُتْرَكُوا أَنْ يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ

“Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested?” (Qur’an, 29:2)

Allah tells us that through this journey we call life we will be tested. In Surat Al-Baqarah, He says:

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنْفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ

“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits…” (Qur’an, 2:155)

But Allah also says in the Quran ..

“Verily, with hardship there is relief” (Qur’an 94:6) 

This particular Ayah always gives me a lot of comfort. Alhumdulillah.

My uncle is getting operated tomorrow, Inshallah. As I sit here writing this, a lot is on my mind.  I don’t know what’s ordained to happen in the next few months, but, even though my eyes tear every now and then thinking about it, my faith in Allah tells me that, Inshallah, like all the times the Almighty has given my uncle victory through every stage of trials, this time too he’ll provide him with something better out of this.  I don’t know what Allah has in store for him; all I know is that I trust my Almighty and know that He listens and knows best.

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Whoever Allah wishes good for, He inflicts him (with hardship).” [Bukhari] 

“O you who believe! Seek help in patience and the prayer…” (Qur’an 2:153)

With a lot happening and may be a lot more to come, I pray that Allah(SWT) provides my entire family and me with the tawakkul that we should have in Allah; that gives us the Iman and strength to say like the Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) had told Abu Bakr(R.A) during their migration to Madina and while they were hiding in a cave with the Quraish chasing them..

“Grieve not. Surely Allah is with us!”(Quran 9:40)

 

O Allah! Give my uncle the strength to bear the pain. Make any treatment that he has to go through a successful one, cure him of the disease and grant him a healthier life; compensate him with something better for all the tough times he’s had to face. Grant his wife and children with the best of strength to go through every situation and grant all the others related to him with patience. Ya Allah.. help us all deal with the every situation that comes our way in a manner that is pleasing to u! Ameen!  

  

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“Why me?!”

 Source: Everything has its end, Allah is enough for me!

Trials and tribulations are a part of life. We do not like them; we do not like to go through them; but eventually we accept them. Even if we pray, fast, pay our zakat and do all different forms of ibadat we still get tested. Sadness sometimes fills our hearts. We could be the best of practicing Muslims, yet poor and unable to put food on our table. We could be rich yet lonely, or young yet unhealthy. It is in these instances that shaytan starts toying with our head. We look at what others have, especially the non-Muslims, and our core gets rattled. The shaytan ignites a fire that gets our blood boiling, hopelessness and frustration set in, and we ask “Oh Allah, why me?! Why am I being punished?”

Psychologists tell us that human beings go through five stages of emotion when struck with a calamity. Understanding the different stages of grief minimizes the first four stages (which are denial, anger, bargaining and depression) and gets us to the final stage – which is acceptance. I went through these stages on many different occasions, as I am sure you have.

I am not a psychologist nor am I trying to refute the works of psychology, but I would nonetheless like to offer a different view, a Qur’anic view, on how to deal with life’s trials.

Though we do not have a say in when we are born nor in when we die, life has a clear beginning and a clear end. What is sometimes unclear is the journey between the two points. For Muslims, however, the journey could not be any clearer. Allah says in Surat Adh-Dhariyat:

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ

“And I (Allah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)” (Qur’an, 51:56).

Now think back to the first paragraph of this article. You might think to yourself, “I pray five times a day, I fast during Ramadan and pay my zakat, yet I have an ill child, or still can’t find a job, or this stressor or that.” You begin to wonder why you are going through this and why you are being “punished.” Before you know it, shaytan takes the helm and you are on a slippery slope of anger and denial.

Before falling down that slope, one must take a deep breath and ponder the following question: is it punishment or is it a manifestation of what Allah has told us in Surat Al-Ankabut:

أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَنْ يُتْرَكُوا أَنْ يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ

“Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested?” (Qur’an, 29:2)

Allah tells us that through this journey we call life we will be tested. In Surat Al-Baqarah, He says:

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنْفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ

“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits…” (Qur’an, 2:155)

Tribulations are a part of life but that doesn’t make them easy. We still grieve — but how could we not? We are, after all, a very emotional creation. So how does one cope with adversity? There are many ayat in the Qur’an that talk about different mechanisms of coping such as patience, faith, prayer and acceptance. But what I find the most profound and the most comforting is what Allah says in Surat Al-Baqarah:

لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا

“Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…” (Qur’an, 2:286).

If you stand back and take a look at the whole picture, you will realize that what you have when faced by a tragedy is a choice. Will you go through the stages of grief, denying Allah’s destiny and the wisdom of His plan for you? Or will you realize that what you are going through is something you know you can handle? Whatever trial comes your way is something that Allah has planned and which He has guaranteed you can handle. This ayah is comforting because I, as a faithful mu’min who believes in Allah and His wisdom, know deep in my heart that although the sadness is cumbersome it will not be overwhelming; that although the times might be tough, I am tougher; and that whatever comes my way will go away; and that eventually I will face my Lord whom, I hope, will be pleased with me as I am pleased with Him.Inshallah.

So when you go through a difficult situation, be it the inevitable death of a loved one or the loss of a job or just a flat tire on the side of the highway, take a deep breath and say:

قُلْ لَنْ يُصِيبَنَا إِلَّا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَنَا

“Say: ‘Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allâh has ordained for us…’” (9:51).

In tests and trials, there are lessons!

It makes you examine the reality that man is a weak creation without any power or strength, except in your Lord. Thereupon arrogance, false pride and negligence will be removed and you will come to know that you are really poor and in need of your Creator, the Almighty, the Most Perfect, and so you resort to Him.

Tests unravel the reality of this life. Even with this amusement and play there is also toil and fatigue. This is the reality of this life – one day life is smiling at you, and the other day it is turning its back on you. This is the nature of life, but man forgets that. The perfect life is the one which follows, wherein there is no toil, worry, fatigue or disease. And this life of the world is only amusement and play! Verily, the home of the Hereafter – that is the life indeed (i.e. the eternal life that will never end), if they but knew. [Noble Quran 29:64]

The tests and trials remind the person of the favors bestowed upon him by Allah. We are reminded to avoid being in a state of joy such that we feel arrogance and likewise to avoid a state of sadness and grief such that one feels despair. No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfouz) before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah. In order that you may not grieve at the things over that you fail to get, nor rejoice over that which has been given to you. And Allah likes not every prideful boaster. [Noble Quran 57:22-23]

Trials and tests remind the person of his shortcomings and diseases (of the heart and actions) so that he can take preventive measures against them.And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much. [Noble Quran 42:30].  There is a chance for repentance before the greater torment occurs. And verily, We will make them taste of the near torment (i.e. the torment in the life of this world, i.e. disasters, calamities) prior to the supreme torment (in the Hereafter), in order that they may (repent and) return (i.e. accept Islam). [Noble Quran 32:21]

Tests and trials serve as great teaching processes through which one learns patience. We cannot be firm upon truth and obedience except with patience. But none is granted it except those who are patient – and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion (of happiness in the Hereafter, i.e., Paradise, and of a high moral character) in this world. [Noble Quran 41:35]

Source: blog.iloveallaah.com

My Journey in a nutshell

And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much. [Noble Quran 42:30].

I’d been a terrible Muslimah for the past few years, Astaghfirullah. The things I’d done and the choices I’d made had led me to nowhere. Darkness was all that surrounded me, I would cry, cry and cry until my tears had dried. I did not know how to end it all, I did not know how to make the pain go away. I would talk to everyone I possibly could about my ‘worldly’ problems but nothing helped to overcome the darkness I’d led myself into.

This went on for more than a year. Finally, with the guidance of Allah(SWT) I started praying my 5 daily prayers. I happened to find this quote one day which said-

“When life brings you down, You are in best position to pray!”

Subhanallah, this was so true. Once i started offering my prayers and listening to the holy Quran once in a while, it is then that I realised how much better I actually feel when I’m praying and reading the Quran. And the days I couldnt pray I would take to dhikr of Allah, Alhumdulillah.

At times when my heart would long to do that which I know I should avoid .. I would , Alhumdulillah, constantly begin to read ,Astaghfirullah (O Allah! Forgive Me).

And at the times when my heart would long for the things I’d lost I’d read –

“To Allah we Belong and unto him we return.”

It would keep reminding me of the fact that this world and the things of this world are temporary. Everything in the heaven and earth belongs to Allah. He has as much right to take away what is his, as much right he has to give us what he wants, Alhumdulillah.

Those few months where I kept reading the above verse.. was just the beginning of my journey towards the Almighty!

To be continued..