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Ramadan 2020 Reminders | Episode 4: Understanding Test and Tribulations – Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

 

The current pandemic has left many shocked and shaken. By knowing the source of tribulations and why Allah sends them, we come to realize the blessings that result and respond with gratitude instead of grief.

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Problems in My Life.

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

This year has been tough for me.Everyday I am facing some sort of problem.I pray five times a day but still I am going through the toughest time of my life. Please tell me why this is happening to me.

Answer: As-salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

There are two answers to your question. The short one is that Allah loves you, and He wants to give you an unimaginable reward. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Verily, a man may have a particular rank [decreed] with Allah but is unable to reach it with any good deed, so Allah keeps trying him with what he dislikes, until He makes him reach that rank.” (Ibn Hibban).

The longer answer is that life is a test – and we should try to manifest the best response to that test. You can learn more about the purpose of Life, and the wisdom behind trials here, and here.

The Blessings Hidden In Difficulties

Difficulties and trials are not easy to live through. This is why patience is one of the greatest virtues and reasons people enter Paradise. For believers, difficulties contain layer upon layer of blessings and benefits.

One of the greatest of them is the forgiveness of sins. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace , told us, “No believer experiences any fatigue, chronic illness, worry, sadness, harm, or depression – even if it is being pricked by a thorn – except that Allah removes his mistakes by it.” (Muslim).

Your prayers are not wasted, and your supplications are not unanswered. You will see their fruits – even if it’s after a time. Keep going. The worship of someone broken by trials is dearer to Allah than the worship of someone who doesn’t have a care in the world. This is what Allah Almighty alluded to when the angels asked why Adam and his children were to populate the earth, and not them.

Worship Out of Slavehood

Part of the wisdom of trials is that we practically learn the lesson of being a slave of Allah. There are no techniques, no potions, no magic wands, and no special connections that can force Allah to do what we want. Rather, He is the Master, and we are the slaves. He does what He wants. Shaykh Ahmad b. ʿAtaʾillah said, “Everything is dependent on the divine will, and it is not dependant on anything.” (al Hikam).

Trials help one to learn this. Our worship is not an exchange with Allah. Yes, He answers our supplications, and grants us innumerable blessings – but that is all out of His favour and generosity.

Realise that Allah has something great planned for you – greater then what you have planned for yourself. It will come at the right time. The road may be uncomfortable, but the end will be tremendous. That is what the Qurʾan focuses on too – the end result of a matter.

Patience

Try to be patient – and part of patience is expecting a reward from Allah. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, told us, “Whoever tries to be patient Allah makes him patient. No-one was ever given a gift better or wider in its scope than patience.” (Bukhari). This is due to the great benefits it brings a person.

But do not ask for patience in general – as you can only be patience in difficulties. Muʿadh b. Jabal said that the Prophet heard a man saying, ‘O Allah, I ask you for patience,’ so he said, ‘You’ve asked Allah for problems, so now ask him for wellbeing.(Tirmidhi).

Reflect on the story of the prophet Yusuf. and the words of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, “I am truly amazed at the affair of the believer: it’s all good for him-and this is only the case with a believer. If good times come, he is thankful, and that is better for him; and if bad times come, he is patient; and that is better for him. (Muslim).

May Allah give you wellbeing in this life and the next. Amin.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

I Live a Life of Ease. Does Allah Not Love Me?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I have recently watched some Islamic lectures stating that the more Allah loves a person, the more trials they face.

However, I don’t face any trials. I asked for easy child labour, and it was relatively painless. I once lost a job, only to be offered a better one later that week. Does this mean I have a weak faith?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Gratitude

“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.’ ” [Qur’an, 14:7]

SubhanAllah. The Mercy of Allah is beyond human comprehension. You are indeed blessed by Him. Do not fear that Allah has forgotten you.

Many believers fall short, and are only woken up through trials. Alhamdulilah, you are one of those who remember Allah without needing to be so tested.

Blessings

Please reflect on this aphorism by Ibn Ata ‘illah:

Whoever does not draw near to God
as a result of the caresses of love
is shackled to Him with the chains of misfortune.

Alhamdulilah, you have been blessed with an awareness of some of the blessings Allah has given you. I encourage you to reflect deeply on what else Allah has blessed you with, and continue to make shukr. Show your gratitude through increasing your acts of worship such as daily istighfar, prayer, fasting, dhikr, giving in charity, recitation of Qur’an, and being of service to others.

Implementation

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said: Allah (mighty and sublime be He) said: Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him. [Bukhari]

One of the signs Allah loves one is finding ease in obedience to Him. I pray that you are one of these. Getting things right with Allah brings about tremendous ease in your life. Rejoice in His countless blessings, make daily shukr, and please make dua for the ummah.

Please see:

A Reader on Thankfulness to Allah and True Gratitude
What Is the Best Way to Express Our Gratitude to Allah?

Wassalam,

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

Photo: Luan Anh

If God Is Good, Why Is There So Much Evil In The World?

Why would Allah, who is the Source of all that is pure and good, allow evil and injustice to thrive in this world? Why does He test us with trials and tribulations?

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani goes back to the drawing board on this perennial question.

Staying Connected to Your Purpose Even When Your Marriage is Rocky


divorce marriageDo you feel pressured into having a perfect marriage? Do you engage in self-blame or blaming your spouse for imperfections to your marriage? How do you stay grounded – and fulfill your duty as a vicegerent of Allah, which is your primary purpose in life, while facing trials in your home? Ustadha Anse Tamara Gray offers some clear and sound advice at the 2nd Annual Wives of Jannah Online Conference.

divorce Tamara grayResources for seekers:

Afraid to get groceries? Ustadha Anse Tamara Gray on being a Muslim woman in today’s turbulent climate

Each time a high profile act of violence is committed by a Muslim or in the name of Islam, the fear of reprisal attacks rises acutely in Muslim communities. It has become almost par for the course, and the statistics prove the threat is real. Often, women who are visibly Muslim find themselves the primary soft target. Ustadha Anse Tamara Gray has been inundated with concerned messages from many who are directly and indirectly affected. From being afraid to leave the home to do basic, every day errands to fearing for their lives – this has become the sad reality for many. Ustadha Anse has some much needed advice.

Resources for seekers:

In Times of Need Turn to and Rely on Allah

Allah has told us that He has created this world as a test, and He has promised us that we will be tested – of this there is no doubt.

The question is, how do we respond? Allah gives the answer to this too. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains in this podcast.

The Struggle and Strife Of A Believer’s Life


Shaykh Faraz Rabbani narrates stories of struggle of the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) companions form Imam Kandahlawi’s masterpiece, Hayat al-Sahaba. This lesson is part of the ongoing class: Studying the Life of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

The inspirational stories of Abu Bakr, Uthman, Talha, Zubayr and others portray the deep concern of the Prophet’s companions to uphold and convey Islam and Prophetic guidance.

SeekersHub Toronto is a unique learning foundation that connects transformative knowledge and spirituality with actionable community service and social engagement.

It is open and welcoming to individuals of all ages, religious beliefs, and walks of life–with equally diverse programs and activities offered at no cost.

Consider joining a class with SeekersHub Toronto. All classes are FREE. Help us continue to provide Knowledge Without Barriers through your ongoing monthly support or a one-time donation.

Supplications for Having Children and For Dealing With Pain

Answered by SeekersGuidance Answers Service

Question: Assalamu Alaikum,

I want to know if there is any Dua for having a baby as well as to cure backbone pain. Can you help me?

Answer:Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

A Du’a to have children is:

رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنْكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ ٱلدُّعَآءِ

“Rabbi hab li min ladunka dhurriyyatan tayyibah innaka sami`ud du`a'” (My Lord! Grant me from You upright offspring, for You hear all prayers)” [3: 38]

In times of difficulty, follow the Qur’anic advice, “Seek help through patience and prayer” [2:45]. In such situations, it is a call and a reminder from Allah to turn back to Him, to be grateful for one’s blessings and to re-focus one’s heart on the Bestower of everything.

Anas reported that he said to Thabit, “May Allah have mercy on you, shall I give you the talisman of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace?” He said, “Yes.” He said, “O Allah, Lord of people, remover of hardship, heal – for you are the Healer other than whom there is no healer – with a healing that does not leave illness behind.” [al-Bukhari]

أَلَا ‏ ‏أَرْقِيكَ ‏ ‏بِرُقْيَةِ ‏ ‏رَسُولِ اللَّهِ قَالَ بَلَى قَالَ فَقَالَ‏ ‏اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّ النَّاسِ مُذْهِبَ الْبَأْسِ اشْفِ أَنْتَ الشَّافِي لَا شَافِيَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ اشْفِهِ شِفَاءً لَا ‏ ‏يُغَادِرُ ‏ ‏سَقَمًا

Ibn ‘Abbas reported that Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Anyone who visits a sick person whose time has not yet come and says seven times in his presence, ‘I ask Allah the Immense, the Lord of the Immense Throne, to heal you,’ Allah will heal him of that illness.” [Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi]

أَسْأَلُ اللَّهَ الْعَظِيمَ رَبَّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ أَنْ يَشْفِيَكَ

One should make one’s supplications in a heartfelt manner, in need of Allah and with a living heart. Don’t feel obliged to make a supplication in Arabic, use any language you feel comfortable with and ask as He loves to be asked.

Also, it would be pertinent to work on fulfilling any obligations that are due – either to Allah or other people – and make a firm resolve to complete them. Another thing one could do is to gather some people and do a complete recitation of the Qur’an together with the intention of granting recovery to the sick person. As Allah says, “Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of God: for without doubt in the remembrance of God do hearts find satisfaction. [13:28]

Please see: Struggling to Have Children: Ten Key Etiquettes of Du’a and: How Does One Perform The Prayer Of Need (salat al-haja)? and: Prophetic Supplications to Cure Illnesses

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

SeekersGuidance Answers Service

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How Do You Distinguish Between a Test From Allah and Punishment? [Follow-Up Questions]

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalamu alaykum,
I have follow-up questions regarding this answer: How Do You Distinguish Between a Test From Allah and Punishment?
1) Can you further distinguish between expiation of sins vs raising of ranks?
2) Specifically, how is calmness distinct from mere patience?
3) How is contentment distinct from merely avoiding complaining?
4) What is obedience of heart? (versus mere obedience of body)?
5) If we find ourselves in the first category or second (i.e. that of sins or expiation of sins), can we “raise” the purpose/goal of the trial through intentionally altering the “symptoms” i.e. complaining less, so that it becomes an expiation of sin rather than a punishment?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
(1) Expiation of sins is for them to be covered over, which is distinct from being raised in degrees.
(2) Patience is remaining firm upon that which will be pleasing to Allah. Calmness is serenity after uneasiness and worry. [see: A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah]
(3) Contentment is the heart’s joy at the unfolding of destiny. [see: Contentment: the Property of the Believers – Shaykh Yahya Rhodus – Video and: Divine Decree, Contentment, and Lessons From the Prophet’s Life] Complaint is objecting to Allah. [see: Things Inconsistent With Accepting Fate – Imam Ghazali]
(4) Obedience of the heart can include actions which pertain to the heart such as sincerity, trueness, and good opinion, as opposed to obedience of the body, such as prayer and fasting.
(5) Yes, and this realization is a gift from Allah.
See also: Struggling to Have Children: Ten Key Etiquettes of Du’a
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.