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Guidance of the Prophet Muhammad on the Virtues of Patience (and Thankfulness) in Tribulation and Hardship

muhammed_arabicThese are a few hadiths of the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk) on the great honor that trials, hardships, and tribulations can represent for a true believer, and how these are opportunities to exhibit one’s patience, trust, reliance, contentment, and thankfulness to Allah Most High.

34. Anas said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘Allah the Mighty and Exalted says, ‘When I test My slave regarding the two things he loves and he shows fortitude, I repay him for them with the Garden.'” He meant his eyes. [al-Bukhari]

35. ‘Ata’ ibn Abi Rabah said, “Ibn ‘Abbas said to me, ‘Shall I show you a woman who is one of the people of the Garden?’ I replied, ‘Please do.’ He said, ‘This black woman came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, “I have fits during which I expose myself. Pray to Allah Almighty for me.” He said, “If you wish, you can show fortitude and you will receive the Garden, and if you wish, I will pray to Allah Almighty to heal you.” She said, “I will show fortitude.” She said, “I expose myself so pray to Allah that I do not expose myself.” So he prayed for her.'” [Agreed upon]

36. Abu ‘Abdu’r-Rahman ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said, “It is as if I could still see the Messenger of Allah talking about one of the Prophets, may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon them, whose people beat him, making his blood flow. While he was wiping the blood from his face, he said, ‘O Allah, forgive my people. They do not know.'” [Agreed upon]

37. Abu Sa’id and Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “No fatigue, illness, anxiety, sorrow, harm or sadness afflicts any Muslim, even to the extent of a thorn pricking him, without Allah wiping out his mistakes by it.” [Agreed upon]

38. Ibn Mas’ud said, “I visited the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when he had a fever. I said, “Messenger of Allah, you have a very high fever!’ He replied, ‘Yes. I have the fever of two of you.’ I asked, ‘Is that because you will have two rewards?’ He said, ‘Yes, it is like that. No Muslim is afflicted by harm, whether it is a thorn or something worse, without Allah expiating his evil deeds on that account and his sins fall away from him like leaves from a tree.'” [Agreed upon]

39. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “When Allah desires good for someone, He afflicts him.” [Al-Bukhari]

Source: Chapter on Steadfastness (sabr) from Imam Nawawi’s Gardens of the Righteous (tr. Ayesha Bewley)

Family Problems: Maintaining Conviction in Allah During Difficulty & Tribulation

Answered by Ustadha Sulma Badrudduja

Question: I recently discovered that my husband is cheating on me and I am greatly disturbed and upset by this. He is unrepentant and is telling me I have to live with it. I have been very patient and am constantly making du`a to Allah, but his family and him continually slander me after we have agreed to a divorce when I sought legal counsel and scholarly advice. However, I am losing hope that i will receive any justice in this life, which is taking a toll on me and my children, especially since the community I live in treats divorce very negatively. Please advise me.

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

May Allah ease your difficulties and grant you a quick relief from them.

Alhamdulillah, it is very good that you are seeking legal advice and working with local scholars to deal with this situation. It is essential that you have legal, spiritual, and emotional support in this trying situation.

It can be very difficult to see the wisdom in hardship when one is in the thick of tribulations. The lessons one learns and the ways in which one grows by enduring trials is a change that occurs over a long period of time. They may only become clear to you after everything has settled down. But you should have conviction that Allah will give each person their recompense. There is no question about this. We believe it without any doubt, because Allah says,

“On that Day will men proceed in companies sorted out, to be shown the Deeds that they (had done). Then shall anyone who has done an atom’s weight of good, see it! And anyone who has done an atom’s weight of evil, shall see it.” [Quran 99:6-8]

Your patience and honorable behavior will be rewarded. Likewise, anyone who has wronged you shall see the result of their dhulm (oppression). The Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, as reported in Sahih Muslim, said, “Oppression will be layers of darkness on the Day of Judgment.” It is clear in Islam that adultery and wrongful accusations of infidelity are among the greatest sins. There are abundant references to this in the Qur’an and Hadith.

The Prophet, may Allah’s bless him and give him peace, informed us that the du`a (supplication) of one who is wronged has no veil between it and Allah. Your consistent and sincere prayers will be answered, whether it is in a way that is understood by our limited abilities or not, for Allah is infinitely Wise and Just.

May Allah grant you ease.

wassalam,
Sulma Badrudduja

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani