Why do trials and tribulations happen in our lives? Why does Allah allow earthquakes, floods, and other disasters and destructive events?
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains two verses of the Qur’an (2.155-156) on the Divine Promise that all people will be tested–with life itself being nothing but a test. Allah Most High promises, “We will certainly test you with some fear and poverty, and loss of property, life, and crops…” [Qur’an, 2.155]
The key to right response to tests is to be steadfastly patient (sabr). Patience is not passiveness, Shaykh Faraz explains, but rather, “Remaining firm on what is pleasing to Allah.”
The reality of tests is that they are opportunities to respond with faith and good deeds. As such, tests are opportunities to seek Allah’s Pleasure, Love, and Closeness. That is why Allah tells us, “And give glad tidings to the steadfast.” [Qur’an, 2.156]
This arises from consciousness that, “Truly we are Allah’s, and truly it is to Him that we are returning.” [Qur’an, 2.157]
The consequence of such steadfast response to tests is true success: “They are the ones who will receive Allah’s blessings and mercy. And it is they who are truly guided.”
وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنْفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ
We will certainly test you with some fear and poverty, and loss of property, life, and crops. But give glad tidings to those who remain steadfast —
الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ
who, when faced with a disaster, say, “Surely to Allah we belong and to Him we will ˹all˺ return.”
أُولَٰئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ
They are the ones who will receive Allah’s blessings and mercy. And it is they who are ˹rightly˺ guided.
This Friday khutba was delivered at Sayeda Khadija Centre (http://www.skcentre.com/) in Mississauga, in September 2017.
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Cover photo by Julien Parent