بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Nafsiya Reflections: The Test in Ease
As’salamu Alaikum wrwb and welcome to the podcast... ‘The Test in Ease'
Each of us in tested in a way specific to the lessons and tarbiyyah Allah swt plans for us. Whether it be through our health, wealth or children, as is the promise of Allah swt. Indeed it’s the purpose of life to navigate between the trials and tribulations whether short lived or long term, and whether they are harsh realities or temporary obstacles. Its during such times of the death of a loved one, or ill health or a sudden change in circumstances that we may be thrown into a whirlpool of trauma or difficulty... where juggling our basic obligations and responsibilities becomes a challenge - that we may justify taking a step back from the Dawah, and sacrificing our time, effort and wealth in its cause.
At times this can be necessary, because Allah swt doesn't wish unnecessary hardship upon His servants... and to deal with the underlying causes of pain, stress and hardship are itself an Islamic obligation and worship. But the test also lies in the period that follows:
At times this can be necessary, because Allah swt doesn't wish unnecessary hardship upon His servants... and to deal with the underlying causes of pain, stress and hardship are itself an Islamic obligation and worship.
But the test also lies in the period that follows. When the heart settles after the raw pain of death has eased, after recovering from an illness or operation... when the stress of sitting exams has finally ended and when our personal circumstances improve and we get the help we always needed. This is the time to regain our focus upon all our obligations, and remember the responsibility each of us bears towards enjoining the good and forbidding the evil.
Allah swt says in Surah At Tawbah Aya 111
(إِنَّ اللَّهَ اشْتَرَىٰ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنْفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُمْ بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ الْجَنَّةَ ۚ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَيَقْتُلُونَ وَيُقْتَلُونَ ۖ وَعْدًا عَلَيْهِ حَقًّا فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَالْإِنْجِيلِ وَالْقُرْآنِ ۚ وَمَنْ أَوْفَىٰ بِعَهْدِهِ مِنَ اللَّهِ ۚ فَاسْتَبْشِرُوا بِبَيْعِكُمُ الَّذِي بَايَعْتُمْ بِهِ ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ)
“Indeed Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and properties in exchange for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah, kill and are killed. It is a true promise binding upon Him in the Torah, Gospel and the Quran. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah? So rejoice in your transaction which you have contracted. And it is that which is the great attainment.”
SubhanAllah! Allah swt makes it crystal clear in this beautiful ayah that our lives are not our own, because we have made a contract with Him swt to serve and obey fully, during our time in this dunya. And for honouring this deal we are promised Jannah by the only One who keeps his promise. So it’s imperative that we acknowledge with utmost gratitude, the times of comfort and ease after the trail has passed and the obstacles have been removed... remembering that the best gratitude is itself obedience!
Even if the trial is ongoing, as many tests are, Allah swt in His mercy always provides windows of calm, and sends comforting allies - in which we can recalibrate our Iman and accept the Tawfeeq He swt sends to us all, by using these opportunities to fulfil our ultimate purpose of serving Him swt.
We must remember that we will be fully accountable for the times of ease and comfort and how we utilise the days when our minds are not bogged down with worry and distress. The Sahaba radiAllahuanhum were exemplary in their commitment to Allah swt and His messenger (saw). The examples of both Musab ibn Umair ra and Uwais bin Qarni depict clear examples of being tested by their mothers.
Musab was physically stopped from joining Muhammed saws and the Muslims by his mother but epitomised striving in the way of Allah after he left her and went to open Yathrib (Madinah) to Islam. Alternatively Uwais bin Qarni was highly praised by Muhammed saws for not abandoning his sick mother, and when she died he immediately joined the Muslims and served the Deen of Islam with an uncompromising zeal.
Their examples illustrate that certain situations are testing and may affect our ability to strive in Allah’s path - but that after the trial has passed the true believer wastes no time in realising his mission and call to support Islam.
Indeed those blessed to be in the company of our beloved messenger saws, remembered their purpose and accountability in hardship and ease... these words of Allah swt were very real to them...
(وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا ۚ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ)
“And those who strive for us, We will surely guide them to our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.” Surah Al Ankaboot ayah 69.
So the righteous mentality of the mu’mineen - is to call ourselves to account before our Rabb swt does. And in reality this means we must be highly critical of ourselves. We must scrutinise not only our actions... but also our thoughts - whether we are finding excuses to back away from fulfilling our duties, whether we are making enough effort, and whether we have ihsaan in serving Allah!
Allah swt says...
“So when you have finished (from your occupation), then stand up for Allah's worship. And to your Lord (Alone) turn (all your intentions and hopes and) your invocations.” Surah Al Inshirah ayah 7 -8.
Here Allah swt clearly reminds us to return to His worship by fulfilling the duties prescribed by Him swt. It is reported that even Muhammed saws, the most perfect of men made Istighfaar at least 70 times a day. This was the manner of maintaining focus and accountability, let alone seeking forgiveness. Who are we therefore to forget our responsibilities and shirk our obligations during the times of ease, especially given the comfort and luxury many of us enjoy.
We must remind ourselves of what Allah swt tells us in Surah al Ankabut ayah 64
( وَمَا هٰذِهِ الۡحَيٰوةُ الدُّنۡيَاۤ اِلَّا لَهۡوٌ وَّلَعِبٌؕ وَاِنَّ الدَّارَ الۡاٰخِرَةَ لَهِىَ الۡحَـيَوَانُۘ لَوۡ كَانُوۡا يَعۡلَمُوۡنَ)
“And this worldly life is not but a diversion and amusement, and indeed the home of the hereafter - that is the eternal home, if only they knew”.
JazakAllhu Khairan for joining us... until next time inshaAllah...