By Sheikh Mikaeel Olivieri (Abdur Rahman)
Almighty Allah has put us in this world for a short amount of
time. In our time here, we must quickly assess and examine our situation. By
the grace of Almighty Allah, he has guided us to the religion of Islam. Islam
has left no stone unturned in showing us, in a very beautiful and simple way,
how to live. The biggest test, of course, is dealing with trials and
tribulations. Allah, outlining this, says in the Quran:
Ø£ÙŽØÙŽØ³ÙØ¨ÙŽ Ø§Ù„Ù†ÙŽÙ‘Ø§Ø³Ù Ø£ÙŽÙ†Ù’ ÙŠÙØªÙ’Ø±ÙŽÙƒÙÙˆØ§ Ø£ÙŽÙ†Ù’ ÙŠÙŽÙ‚ÙÙˆÙ„ÙÙˆØ§ Ø¢ÙŽÙ…ÙŽÙ†ÙŽÙ‘Ø§ ÙˆÙŽÙ‡ÙÙ…Ù’ Ù„ÙŽØ§
ÙŠÙÙÙ’ØªÙŽÙ†ÙÙˆÙ†ÙŽ ÙˆÙŽÙ„ÙŽÙ‚ÙŽØ¯Ù’ ÙÙŽØªÙŽÙ†ÙŽÙ‘Ø§ Ø§Ù„ÙŽÙ‘Ø°ÙÙŠÙ†ÙŽ
Ù…ÙÙ†Ù’ Ù‚ÙŽØ¨Ù’Ù„ÙÙ‡ÙÙ…Ù’ ÙÙŽÙ„ÙŽÙŠÙŽØ¹Ù’Ù„ÙŽÙ…ÙŽÙ†ÙŽÙ‘ Ø§Ù„Ù„ÙŽÙ‘Ù‡Ù Ø§Ù„ÙŽÙ‘Ø°ÙÙŠÙ†ÙŽ ØµÙŽØ¯ÙŽÙ‚ÙÙˆØ§ ÙˆÙŽÙ„ÙŽÙŠÙŽØ¹Ù’Ù„ÙŽÙ…ÙŽÙ†ÙŽÙ‘
Does man suppose that he will be
left alone saying the he believes without being tested? We have already tested
the people before, so most definitely Allah knows who are truthful, and he will
definitely know the liars.
Here we can see that the trials of this world
are actually a test from Almighty Allah to differentiate the real believers
from the fake. Like a goldsmith when he melts the gold to separate the real
gold from the fake properties in it, Allah uses a similar process called
"fitna", which actually happens to have the meaning of melting.
There are a
couple of foundational characteristics that a believer must have in order to
have a fighterâ€™s chance in confronting the trials and tribulations of this
The first is a
very strong faith in Almighty Allah. One who has strong faith knows that all
things come from He who is eternal in His wisdom. If a stranger hit you without
reason, it would frustrate you. If your
mother hit you, however, you would realize there is love and wisdom in her action.
In the same way, through strong faith, we realize the source of our trials, and
that is Almighty Allah. It is for this reason the companions of Rasulullah
(SAW) were praised by Almighty Allah in Surah Ahzaab:
ÙˆÙŽÙ„ÙŽÙ…Ù‘ÙŽØ§ Ø±ÙŽØ£ÙŽÙ‰ Ø§Ù„Ù’Ù…ÙØ¤Ù’Ù…ÙÙ†ÙÙˆÙ†ÙŽ Ø§Ù„Ù’Ø£ÙŽØÙ’Ø²ÙŽØ§Ø¨ÙŽ Ù‚ÙŽØ§Ù„ÙÙˆØ§ Ù‡ÙŽÙ°Ø°ÙŽØ§ Ù…ÙŽØ§
ÙˆÙŽØ¹ÙŽØ¯ÙŽÙ†ÙŽØ§ Ø§Ù„Ù„Ù‘ÙŽÙ‡Ù ÙˆÙŽØ±ÙŽØ³ÙÙˆÙ„ÙÙ‡Ù ÙˆÙŽØµÙŽØ¯ÙŽÙ‚ÙŽ Ø§Ù„Ù„Ù‘ÙŽÙ‡Ù ÙˆÙŽØ±ÙŽØ³ÙÙˆÙ„ÙÙ‡Ù Ûš ÙˆÙŽÙ…ÙŽØ§ Ø²ÙŽØ§Ø¯ÙŽÙ‡ÙÙ…Ù’
Ø¥ÙÙ„Ù‘ÙŽØ§ Ø¥ÙÙŠÙ…ÙŽØ§Ù†Ù‹Ø§ ÙˆÙˆÙŽØªÙŽØ³Ù’Ù„ÙÙŠÙ…Ù‹Ø§
And when the believers saw the
coalition forces they said this is what our Lord and His messenger promised us,
and Allah and His messenger have spoken the truth. And this incident only
increased them in faith and submission.
Here we can see
that the companions, because of their strong faith, were able to endure such a
great trial like the war of Ahzaab toward the end of the 4th year of hijra. It seemed like a doomsday for the Muslims.
characteristic is to continue to do good deeds, which are a manifestation of
our faith in Allah. Deeds are the outstanding quality of a believer at all
times as he/she is always working toward bettering his/her hereafter, as
Rasulullah has said:
Ø¹ÙŽØ¬ÙŽØ¨Ù‹Ø§ Ù„Ø£Ù…Ø±Ù Ø§Ù„Ù…Ø¤Ù…Ù†Ù Ø¥ÙÙ†Ù‘ÙŽ Ø£Ù…Ù’Ø±ÙŽÙ‡ ÙƒÙÙ„Ù‘ÙŽÙ‡Ù Ù„Ù‡Ù Ø®ÙŽÙŠØ±ÙŒ ÙˆÙ„ÙŠØ³ÙŽ Ø°Ù„ÙƒÙŽ Ù„Ø£ØÙŽØ¯Ù
Ø¥Ù„Ø§ Ù„Ù„Ù…ÙØ¤Ù’Ù…Ù†Ù Ø¥ÙÙ†Ù’ Ø£ØµÙŽØ§Ø¨ØªÙ‡Ù Ø³ÙŽØ±Ù‘ÙŽØ§Ø¡Ù Ø´ÙŽÙƒÙŽØ±ÙŽ ÙÙƒØ§Ù†ØªÙ’ Ø®ÙŽÙŠØ±Ù‹Ø§ Ù„Ù‡Ù ÙˆØ¥Ù†Ù’ Ø£ØµÙŽØ§Ø¨ØªÙ‡Ù
Ø¶ÙŽØ±Ù‘ÙŽØ§Ø¡Ù ØµÙŽØ¨Ø±ÙŽ ÙÙƒØ§Ù†ØªÙ’ Ø®ÙŽÙŠØ±Ù‹Ø§ Ù„Ù‡Ù ". Ø±ÙˆØ§Ù‡Ù Ù…ÙØ³Ù’Ù„ÙÙ…ÙŒ
Marvelous is the affair of the
believer. All of his affairs are somehow good for him, and only a believer's
affairs can somehow always be good for him. If he is happy, then he remains
grateful, and that is good for him; and if he is in misery, he remains patient,
and that is good for him.
patience are qualities that have an aspect of continuously performing good
deeds at times of ease and of difficulty. No person was given the blessings of
Allah like it was given to Sulaiman (AS). His dua to Allah was:
Ø±ÙŽØ¨Ù‘Ù Ø£ÙŽÙˆÙ’Ø²ÙØ¹Ù’Ù†ÙÙŠ Ø£ÙŽÙ†Ù’ Ø£ÙŽØ´Ù’ÙƒÙØ±ÙŽ Ù†ÙØ¹Ù’Ù…ÙŽØªÙŽÙƒÙŽ Ø§Ù„Ù‘ÙŽØªÙÙŠ Ø£ÙŽÙ†Ù’Ø¹ÙŽÙ…Ù’ØªÙŽ Ø¹ÙŽÙ„ÙŽÙŠÙ‘ÙŽ
ÙˆÙŽØ¹ÙŽÙ„ÙŽÙ‰Ù° ÙˆÙŽØ§Ù„ÙØ¯ÙŽÙŠÙ‘ÙŽ ÙˆÙŽØ£ÙŽÙ†Ù’ Ø£ÙŽØ¹Ù’Ù…ÙŽÙ„ÙŽ ØµÙŽØ§Ù„ÙØÙ‹Ø§ ØªÙŽØ±Ù’Ø¶ÙŽØ§Ù‡Ù ÙˆÙŽØ£ÙŽØ¯Ù’Ø®ÙÙ„Ù’Ù†ÙÙŠ
Ø¨ÙØ±ÙŽØÙ’Ù…ÙŽØªÙÙƒÙŽ ÙÙÙŠ Ø¹ÙØ¨ÙŽØ§Ø¯ÙÙƒÙŽ Ø§Ø§Ù„ØµÙ‘ÙŽØ§Ù„ÙØÙÙŠÙ†ÙŽ
O my Lord, inspire me to be
grateful for Your blessing that You have bestowed on me and my father, and inspire
me to do good deeds with which You are pleased, and enter me through Your mercy
among Your pious servants.
Ulema has said that gratefulness
is manifest through the tongue, heart, and body. All three have been covered in
this verse. These can only be achieved
by those who have pure, grateful hearts.
Ø§Ø¹Ù’Ù…ÙŽÙ„ÙÙˆØ§ Ø¢Ù„ÙŽ Ø¯ÙŽØ§ÙˆÙÙˆØ¯ÙŽ Ø´ÙÙƒÙ’Ø±Ù‹Ø§ Ûš ÙˆÙŽÙ‚ÙŽÙ„ÙÙŠÙ„ÙŒ Ù…Ù‘ÙÙ†Ù’ Ø¹ÙØ¨ÙŽØ§Ø¯ÙÙŠÙŽ Ø§Ø§Ù„Ø´Ù‘ÙŽÙƒÙÙˆØ±Ù
Work, O Family of David, with
gratitude! But few of my servants are
grateful (excerpt from Surah 34: 13).
Patience also has
this same flavor --condition of the heart and tongue, which is easily seen in
ÙˆÙŽØ¨ÙŽØ´Ù‘ÙØ±Ù Ø§Ù„ØµÙ‘ÙŽØ§Ø¨ÙØ±ÙÙŠÙ†ÙŽ (155) Ø§Ù„Ù‘ÙŽØ°ÙÙŠÙ†ÙŽ Ø¥ÙØ°ÙŽØ§ Ø£ÙŽØµÙŽØ§Ø¨ÙŽØªÙ’Ù‡ÙÙ… Ù…Ù‘ÙØµÙÙŠØ¨ÙŽØ©ÙŒ
Ù‚ÙŽØ§Ù„ÙÙˆØ§ Ø¥ÙÙ†Ù‘ÙŽØ§ Ù„ÙÙ„Ù‘ÙŽÙ‡Ù ÙˆÙŽØ¥ÙÙ†Ù‘ÙŽØ§ Ø¥ÙÙ„ÙŽÙŠÙ’Ù‡Ù Ø±ÙŽØ§Ø¬ÙØ¹ÙÙˆÙ†ÙŽ baqara
Give good news to the patient
ones. When something bad happens, they
say, â€œTruly, to Allah we belong, and truly, to Him we will returnâ€ (excerpt
from Surah 2: 155-156).
But what cannot be
forgotten is the aspect of doing good deeds at time of difficulty and this is
hand-in-hand with patience. Rasulullah, at times of difficulty, would turn to doing
ÙƒØ§Ù† Ø§Ù„Ù†Ø¨ÙŠ ØµÙ„Ù‰ Ø§Ù„Ù„Ù‡ Ø¹Ù„ÙŠÙ‡ ÙˆØ³Ù„Ù… Ø¥Ø°Ø§ ØØ²Ø¨Ù‡ Ø£Ù…Ø±ÙŒ ØµÙ„Ù‰Abu
When an affair would worry
Rasulullah (SAW), he would resort to prayer.
That is why it is of
utmost importance that, no matter what conditions come on this ummat, we can
never introduce the idea of abandoning good deeds or turning form our deen,
which is a sign of weak faith. We must endure and begin to confront our trials
with strong faith and steadfastness in good deeds. These are foundational, and
any effort without them will be fruitless and a waste of time.
(Sheikh Mikaeel Olivieri (Abdur Rahman) is Dean of Students at Darul
Uloom, New York)