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Understanding trials and tribulations in Islam

[ October 02, 2015 ]
This world is no more than a test in which all humans are bound to face some hardships and challenges that reveal their patience and steadfastness. The forms of this test are numerous and diverse: Some people suffer poverty, some suffer physical illnesses, some live in a state of insecurity, some are deprived of their cherished and beloved ones, and still others suffer psychiatric disorders.

Referring to this fact, the Almighty Allah says: And surely We shall try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and crops; but give glad tidings to the patient, Who says, when afflicted with calamity: To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return: They are those on whom (descend) Blessings from Allah, and Mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance ( Baqarah 2:155-157). In another verse, the Almighty says: He Who created Death and Life that He may try which of you is best in deed: and He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving (Al-Mulk 67:2). Since trials and hardships are inevitable, Islam does not let them pass by without instructing muslims on the best course of action or by guiding them to the safest and most appropriate attitude. This optimistic and positive approach safeguards one from falling prey to despair and grief. True, life’s disasters leave hearts broken and loved ones deprived, but the bright believer knows how turn them into a source of determination and a fountain of strength. One may here refer to the beautiful authentic hadith in which the Prophet (s) tells us that veryone will be tried according to his level of faith and while one who has strong faith will undergo a harsh trial others who has weak faith will receive a weak trial. The affliction will encompass one until he or she becomes free of sins altogether. For a righteous Muslim, this life is a testing ground where he or she will continue to be tested until he or she meets the AlmightyAllah . The above discussions should make it clear that believers will be tried with calamities, afflictions, and distress, and these trials will continue to occur during their lifetime until they meet Amighty Allah. That being the reality, a believer should remain mentally prepared to face any calamity or affliction, although he or she should never seek one. If a believer is not mentally prepared to face any difficulties in life and then suddenly is afflicted with one, then he or she may not be able to deal with it properly as he should. It is, therefore, wise that a believer solidifies himself with knowledge from the holy Qur’an and the Sunnah regarding how to deal with trials and tribulations and then be prepared to face difficulties of life, but without seeking or hoping for any trial. For a righteous Muslim, this life is a testing ground where he or she will continue to be tested until he or she meets the AlmightyAllah . For him or her, tests will be done right here on earth while he or she lives, and not after he or she dies. A righteous muslim knows that as soon as death arrives and he or she steps into the next world, his or her tests are over. There, he or she only receives the results of his or her tests, and then enjoys or suffers the fruits of his or her deeds that he or she committed during a short span of time called Life. Islam is submission to the will of Allah. For one who submits, a mere declaration or display of belief will not be taken for success, but his or her heart and soul will for sure be put to test. This will help him or her remain calm and patient and pass the test when it comes, Insha Allah!