Vicissitudes: Trials & Tribulations
“How wonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is good for him” Sahih Muslim.
I’ve been away for a while, caught in yo-yoing vicissitudes. I’m not one to indulge in clichés, I find them more banal than motivating. You know the ones, they usually go something like ‘follow your heart because it has a compass in it’ or something. So instead of stringing together a whole bunch of clichés, I want to draw some lessons in five succinct points. First and foremost for myself and InshaAllah I hope others can benefit.
Point 1 -Mankind has troubles
Believe it or not, we are not alone in our troubles. I was recently speaking to a brother and explaining my situation to him. Little did I know, he also that very same day had issues he was undergoing. The world has not conspired against us in order to bereave us, although at times it may feel it. As I said I’m not going to talk in clichés and tell you this means that we aren’t alone and hope that that makes you feel better. I’m saying this in order to develop a context for the rest of the article.
Point 2 – Mankind’s troubles will do him no good unless he believes
I want to refer you to the hadeeth above, more specifically the latter part. Our beloved Prophet SAWS assures us that the believer who bears his trials with patience and reliance on Allah SWT and does not venture into disobedience or disbelief, will be rewarded for it. Sabr is a key part of this but I will touch more on that later. The major, in fact critical part is belief. Without belief in Allah SWT and obedience to him, one cannot hope to attain goodness from his trials.
Point 3 – Do good deeds
With belief in Allah SWT comes obedience to Him, which means the hastening to implement what he has commanded the believer to do. Belief by its self is not enough. Belief and action are twined together. Once again referring to the hadeeth above, the Prophet SAWS says that the ‘case of believer is strange’ and then immediately proceeds to highlight two actions; one is his gratitude to Allah SWT and the second is patience and reliance on Allah SWT.
Point 4 – Spread the truth
One of the most important lessons I learnt while facing my current trials is that no matter what, continue to stick to the truth. I was presented ways out of my situation that were not entirely kosher. Alhumdulillah, Allah SWT saved me from straying and kept me grounded in the truth. The truth is that had I taken a haraam way out I would have voided any goodness that I had thus far attained. Shaithaan is a tricky little devil (pun intended) and he will try his very best to corrupt you. Remember the story of Barseesa?
Point 5 – And then have patience
Look, your problems aren’t going to be solved overnight, probably not even in two nights; and even when they are solved I can almost guarantee that you will be hit with more trials! The Prophet of Allah SAWS, the most beloved of creation had trial after trial. He SAWS was an orphan, he saws was chased out of Taif with blood dripping in to this sandals, his SAWS wife Khadija passed away as did his uncle, all in the same year! Have patience, goodness will come. This is the most important aspect, never losing hope in Allah SWT. Goodness will come, remember, it’s good in this dunyah but it’s better in the hereafter. Read over the story of Ayub AS, he had forbearance, reliance in Allah SWT and patience! Patience and reliance on Allah SWT is what ties all of the above together.
So then, point by point; Mankind has troubles, Mankind’s troubles will do him no good unless he believes, Do good deeds, Spread the truth, And then have patience. When you put it like that, it kind of sounds like Surah Al-Asr.