No pains, no gains!
“When my daughter was 2 years old, she loved to play with the water in the commode. Yes, that’s right….the commode. Yuck!! That’s nasty! You would say. But to her, that was the delight of the day! Splish…splash! To her there was nothing like it! And so when I would prevent her from it, she would scream and cry and wouldn’t want to stop. She didn’t understand how harmful that was for her. In her little mind, I took away something that she really enjoyed.
And when I would take her to the doctor to have her immunization shots, she didn’t understand either. She would howl at the top of her lungs at the first sight of the needle and would run the other way. It would take two of us just to hold her down! To her, frankly, it was plain torture! Her innocent little mind simply could not even begin to understand how, on earth, could being tortured by a needle, be good for you?!! She didn’t realize that through this ‘needle’, Allaah will Insha Allaah protect her from certain illnesses and harm that is much more severe than the prick of this little needle.
So what’s the point here?
The point I am trying to make is that we, as parents sometimes do things for our kids, out of our great love and concern for them, which they may not understand. They do not see the wisdom behind it, although we do, and so we carry out those things because we know it will be better for them.”
وَلِلّهِ الْمَثَلُ الْأَعْلَىَ
And for Allaah is the Highest example. (Surah Nahl:60)
So when Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala , in His Infinite Wisdom, tests us with a situation that
we think is difficult or takes away something that
in our mind was good for us, we need to remember that perhaps it may not be so. Perhaps if we had continued in our way, it might have been harmful for us and whatever
Allaah decreed for us is actually better for us, for He is All-Wise and All-Knowing.
وَعَسَىٰ أَنْ تَكْرَهُوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ ۖ وَعَسَىٰ أَنْ تُحِبُّوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
“…and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allaah knows but you do not know.” (Surah Baqarah: 216)
Al-Hasan al-Basri said: “Do not resent the calamities that come and the disasters that occur, for perhaps in something that you dislike will be your salvation, and perhaps in something that you prefer will be your doom.”
Remember that we are dealing with the One who is Arham ar-Raahimeen, the Most Merciful of all that show mercy. All the mercy that we have in this world from Adam (Alaiyhi Salaam) to the Day of Judgment is only one hundredth of the Mercy of the Most Merciful. And He is Most Wise. He knows and we don’t know.
So have faith in Him and trust in Him and although, sometimes we may not understand the reason behind certain things, know that as long as you obey Him, whatever He will do for you is, in fact foryour betterment.
So if Allaah didn’t give you that big house, or that nice car you wanted or that big raise you were hoping for, know in your mind and believe in your heart that it is actually better for you. Who knows…..maybe that big house, that car or that money would have become a source of ‘fitnah’ for you….Perhaps you would have become arrogant and conceited because of it, and Allaah saved you from it. Because, you know that the Prophet (sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
“Any one in whose heart is even a mustard seed’s worth of pride will not enter Paradise.” (Muslim)
And if you have been sick and suffering, sure it is not easy. But again, know in your mind and believe in your heart that it is indeed better for you. For, if you bear patiently, it will be a means of expiation for your sins and a source of great reward.
The Prophet (sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
“There is nothing that befalls a believer, not even a thorn that pricks him, but Allaah will record one good deed for him and will remove one bad deed from him.” (Muslim)
And: “On the Day of Resurrection, when people who had suffered affliction are given their reward, those who were healthy will wish their skins had been cut to pieces with scissors when they were in the world (when they see the immense rewards for the afflictions they suffered).” (Tirmidhi-Saheeh by al-Albaani)
If Allaah took away a dear, loved one, believe, from the bottom of your heart, that surely this was better. For, you never know, had the one who passed away lived longer, may be his life would have been one of sins and disobedience and Allaah, out of His Mercy, took him before that….in a state of Imaan.
And if life has been difficult, worries surround you and calamities after calamities befall you, hear the good news from the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam):
“Trials will continue to befall the believing man and woman, with regard to themselves, their children and their wealth, until they meet Allaah with no sin on them.” (Tirmidhi– saheeh by al-Albaani)
Subhaan Allaah! No sin?! And what is it from this world that you wouldn’t give up, just to meet Allaah with no sin??!!
Remember that the One Who is testing you is the Most Wise, the Most Merciful and the Most Loving…..and that He did not send this calamity in order to destroy you….or cause you pain or finish you off. Rather, He is checking on you, testing your patience, acceptance and faith; it is so that He may hear your du’a and supplication, so that He may see you standing before Him….seeking His protection….filled with humility and complaining to Him, alone.
The difficulties you face is a reminder for you to return to Allaah and ask for forgiveness from Him. Who knows… if He didn’t give you the difficulty, maybe you would have strayed from Him far, far away….
Ibn Taymiyah said: A calamity that makes you turn to Allaah is better for you than a blessing which makes you forget the remembrance of Allaah.”
Thus in our times of trouble, when we go through pain and suffering and in our times of loss, we need to trust Allaah. We need to keep in mind that as long as we fear Him and try our best to obey Him, He will never do us wrong. He will protect us and guide us and do the best for us, no matter what the situation apparently looks like. Allaah says in a hadeeth Qudsi:
“I am as my slave thinks of me and I am with him whenever he remembers me.” (Agreed Upon).
It is actually a sign of our weakness and shortsightedness, that we tend to focus on the calamities themselves, without paying much attention to the benefits that they may bring. We also forget to look at all other innumerable blessings that we enjoy and see around us.
Our minds, our logic and our senses cannot even begin to fathom the Wisdom, the Knowledge and the Hikmah behind Allaah’s decisions and verdicts. It is He who is the Wise….it is He who is the Just and it is He who is the Knower of the unseen. If we trust in Allaah, He will suffice and it is He who will grant us goodness in any situation and under any circumstances.
وَمَنْ يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ
“And when someone puts all his trust in Allah, He will be enough for him.” (Surah at-Talaaq:3)
The Prophet (sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
“If you put your trust completely in Allah, He will arrange for your sustenance in the same way as He provides for the birds. They go out in the morning with their stomachs empty and return filled in the evening.” (Tirmidhi-saheeh).
So trust Him….for, there is much reward in trusting Him…..it is Jannah. And there is sin in distrusting Him. Calamities and disasters are a test, and they are a sign of Allaah’s love for a person. They are like medicine: even though it is bitter, yet, in spite of its bitterness you still give it to the one whom you love….
“The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allaah loves a people He tests them. Whoever accepts that wins His pleasure but whoever is discontent with that earns His wrath.” (Saheeh al-Tirmidhi)