Qamrul Khanson
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Test of Faith by Trials and Tribulations

Nov. 02: 2007 - Shawwal 21: 1428

Introduction:

Our life convinces us daily that sorrows are inevitable. Some suffer from need, some from the loss of loved ones, some from illness, some from slander and human malice, and some are tormented by their own passions, shortcomings or mistrust. Sometimes a person appears to be happy, but in reality, while experiencing torments of the soul, he is hiding his sorrows.

Is there any sense in the misery, or in other words, are there any unconscious aims in the various trials and tribulations that face us in our day-to-day life? Do the sorrows further a person’s spiritual growth, or do they simply cloud his existence and anger him?

The Last Messenger of Alloh said: "The affair of the believer is amazing! The whole of his life is beneficial, and that is only in the case of the believer. When good times come to him, he is thankful and it is good for him, and when bad times befall him, he is patient and it is also good for him" [Muslim].  Man is tested in accordance with the strength of his faith.

The Last Messenger Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was tested by many adversities. His people persecuted him, called him a liar, mocked him and prevented others from accepting his call. They expelled him, waged wars against him and instigated others to hurt him. They even invaded the city to which he migrated and attempted to annihilate him and his religion. While he was in the blessed city of Medina, the hypocrites among Jews and idol worshippers plotted against him. They reneged on their covenants with him and entered into an alliance with the polytheists to fight him. They even attempted to assassinate him.

The Messenger of Alloh (SAW) was a preserver, like the prophets who came before him in terms of bearing trials and afflictions with perseverance. He fought in the way of Almighty Alloh sincerely and as it was due until victory came to him and people started embracing the religion of Almighty Alloh in groups. The light of guidance then filled the world and the illuminations of Iman (faith) filled the hearts. He departed after he had fulfilled his mission; leaving behind for his community (Ummah) the two things that would never let them go astray if they hold unto them: the Book of Alloh (The-Qur’an) and his Sunan (Ahadith Sahih).

The Qur’anic Commands:

Suffering does not come from Almighty Alloh, it comes from the devil but you can fight it off if you are in the reverence of Almighty Alloh. After learning that the trials and tribulations are in the knowledge and plan of Almighty Alloh, a believer shall seek refuge in Almighty Alloh against the evil forces and concurrently defending the self integrity through wisdom and material means. By intentionally remaining under the protective custody of Almighty Alloh, a believer is never overburdened and consonance touches the heart of the believers.

If you think that troubles and trial automatically make you stronger, then you are sorely deceived. Trials come to test your faith. This means that trials battle your faith. And if your faith is not fighting back, you are not winning. If you’re not winning, you're not becoming stronger. Almighty Alloh wants us to become stronger by resisting the devil that instigated the trial. Let us learn The-Qur’anic commands on the topic:-

"As for those who believe and lead a righteous life - we never burden any soul beyond its means - these will be the dwellers of  Paradise. They abide in it forever" {The Qur’an – Surah Al A’raaf (The Chapter: The Purgatory) 07:42}.

 

"Alloh never wrongs the people; it is the people who wrong their own souls" {The Qur’an – Surah Al Younus (The Chapter: The Jonah) 10:44}.

 

"We never burden any soul beyond its means, and we keep a record that utters the truth. No one will suffer injustice" {The Qur’an – Surah Al Mo’minoon (The Chapter: The Believers) 23:62}.

"Do the people think that they will be left to say: "We believe" without being put to the test"? {The Qur’an – Surah Al Ankaboot (The Chapter: The Spider) 29: 02 – 03}.

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The Support from Ahadith:

The Last Messenger Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: "The affair of the believer is amazing! The whole of his life is beneficial, and that is only in the case of the believer. When good times come to him, he is thankful (to Almighty Alloh) and it is good for him, and when bad times befall him, he is patient and it is also good for him" [Muslim].

Man is tested in accordance with the strength of his faith. It was not a surprise that the Messenger of Almighty Alloh and other Prophets were so patient and persevering in the face of calamities that confronted them, because they certainly knew that Alloh had not decreed these trials on His servants in order to destroy them. They knew that Alloh ordained the trials for great wisdoms and immense benefits.

But if he loses his faith in Almighty Alloh and starts complaining about his tribulations, Almighty Alloh further increases his punishment. Suffering is inevitable in this temporary life. On the one hand, they are the consequences of our personal sins and shortcomings too, and the moral corruption of others. On the other hand, personal loss is a means of salvation for a believer and represents a divine bridge of forgiveness from the Lord, Most High.

Among the benefits is that Alloh tests the patience of His servants so as to know if they are eligible for the best in the eternal life after death. If he therefore perseveres, Almighty Alloh chooses him, honours him and makes him among His favoured slaves.

Ibn Abbas (RTA) reported that The Last Messenger Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to supplicate in times of trouble saying: "There is no god but Alloh the Great, the Tolerant, there is no god but Alloh, the Lord of the Magnificent Throne; there is no god but Alloh, the Lord of the heaven and the earth, the Lord of Edifying Throne".

Conclusion:

For some reason we have thought that the life of faith is a life free from troubles. Instead, the life of faith is a life overcoming troubles. Life of faith (Iman) nourishes our soul, encourages our mind and strengthens our physique to stand in the defence of our Islamic values. The first line of defence is personal commitment and example by which others observe to take heed.

Some people have thought that the victorious faithful life is a life without battles. But this is not true. Victory assumes that there was a battle. You can't say "I won the battle" when you didn't have an opponent. The beauty of life is to face trials and tribulations with perseverance that is where the help from Almighty Alloh comes to face the challenges. Ultimately, the believers overcome the hurdles through their persistence against evils, certainly Almighty Alloh help those who seek His blessings in fight against evils.

You may recently have become a devout Muslim and are living by the message in The-Qur’an, standing on the promises of Almighty Alloh. And now it seems as though all hell has broken out against you- -sickness has constantly been plaguing you, finances have been scarce, your family is fighting life cats and dogs. Nothing good is happening to you. All these problems start against you as tests by Almighty Alloh to develop resistance to evils. You are never alone in facing the tests, your enhanced knowledge, sense of piety and trust in Almighty Alloh would make you pass such tests. You need to preserve your senses, attitude and personal integrity by having faith in Almighty Alloh.

Trials and tribulations may be happening to you because the devil is attacking you to erode your faith in Almighty Alloh. Since you decided to live by faith and reverence to Almighty Alloh, you became a threat to Satan and his kingdom. He is afraid of your continually developing faith. As long as you stayed in your lusty life and refused to act on the Word of The-Qur’an, you were no threat to Satan. Now that you have been born again, you're in a war with him. It is not strange that we must go through much tribulation to enter the blessings of Calvary, because we have an enemy who is trying to keep us from entering the promises of Almighty Alloh.

So in the end, trials can be beneficial. This is why we can count it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds- -because the testing of our faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that we will be mature and complete, not lacking any good thing- -when that happens, the trial has ended!

No condition is permanent. The trials and tribulations are timely, the nature of such things are like passage of time in night and day. Preserve in the teachings of The-Qur’an, abide by the tenets of Islam, keep your integrity, supplicate for the betterment and seek material guidelines continually. The next morning brings rays of hope which would enlighten your path (Insha Alloh).


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