Saturday 11 May 2013

Understanding our Adversities

Bismihi Ta’ala

We hear of many incidents where people who are deendaar (religious), who, while engaged in some Dieni Khidmat, or in Ibaadat, or in some good works, become victims to hijacking, robbery, loss, etc.

Some people then question: How could this happen while he / she was engaged in Ibaadat?

There is no doubt that every good deed has its benefits as well as offers us protection: Salaah, Zakaat, Sadaqah, Tilawat, Du’aa, Durood Shareef, Hajj, Umrah and the various other Ibaadaat, as well as the many wazaa’if we read, offer protection from various kinds of harms and trials – as has been mentioned in different Ahaadeeth.

However, the question: ‘How could this happen?’ makes evident our naiveté and ignorance, and even exposes our weakness. People even ask: Why me? And they even say that they cannot understand because they are reading their Salaah, even waking up  for Tahajjud.

Sometimes such questions are even asked by people, to disprove the promises and benefits made by Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam).

While many focus on their piety and good deeds, they fail to give any thought to the many actions which are carried out, which nullifies the benefits, the protection and the rewards that follow on Ibaadat, Khidmat of Dien, etc.

Sometimes, it is our sins that block the effects of our A`maal (deeds).

For example: A person may be in the habit of reading Aayaatul Kursi for protection, and Ayaatul Kursi offers great protection. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) mentioned that whoever recites Aayatul Kursi after the Fardh (Salaah) will remain in the protection of Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu until the next Salaah, and if read,  before falling asleep, Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu grants protection to the person’s home and family as well.

So even though the person is reading Aayaatul Kursi diligently after every Fardh Salaah, if he is also engaged in some sins, then the powerful effect of the Ayaatul Kursi is barred or obstructed by those sins. …Perhaps the person is harbouring suspicions and bad thoughts about people, or he is venting unwarranted anger on his wife or his parents, or his Salaah is performed carelessly and hastily, without fulfilling the requirements and the postures of Salaah, or the person is casting lustful gazes, engaging in gheebat, speaking lies, and so forth.

These are all sins – which we sometimes do not even recognize as sins – and this then blocks the effects of the good we do.

So this is what we should think when it comes to adverse conditions that befall us: That it is probably our sins which have caught up with us; that this is the consequence of our disobedience.

Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) said: “A person is deprived of his provision due to his sins.”  

We should thus do a little introspection at such times, identify our sins, sincerely repent, and make amends where we can – whether in regards to the Rights of Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu or the rights of creation.

When we were in the United Kingdom, an incident was related to us, of a Sikh, who drove through the green traffic light and the camera flashed on him. He thought that the camera was faulty. He again came around and went through the green light, and the camera flashed again. Convinced that it was faulty, he took 2 more passengers as witnesses and went through the green light for the third time. Again, the camera flashed. He thought that it was a good opportunity to sue the traffic department, since they give heavy fines, suspend and even cancel driving licenses.

Before he could take the matter further, his received his fines; not for going through a red light, but for not having his seat belt on!

Similarly, often, we think we are doing all the right things, that we are “perfect”, but Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu's Sight is on every single action of ours: our beards, trousers above the ankles, our eyes and gazes, our hearts and minds, what we are thinking about and planning, on our jealousy, hatred, back-biting, and so many other weaknesses and sins. We should not consider that we are so righteous and pious, as we imagine ourselves to be. We do not know where we are seriously faltering.

Adverse conditions, tests and trials also descend on a person to purify him of his sins and free him of his sins.

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: "A Muslim is not afflicted by hardship, sickness, sadness, worry, harm, or depression - even if pricked by a thorn, but Allah expiates his sins because of that."
[Bukhari and Muslim]

In another Hadeeth, Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (RA) related that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: "Hardships continue to befall a believing man and woman in their body, family, and property, until they meet Allah (Jalla Jalaaluhu) burdened with no sins."

And for some, Allah Ta’ala has a high position fixed for them in the Aakhirah (Hereafter). The person is unable to reach that high position with his actions alone. These conditions of adversity, loss and hardship, and the patience (Sabr) he exercises, becomes the means whereby he secures those high stages.

When it comes to the calamities which befall others, we should maintain husne zan (a good opinion) that their tests and trials are a favour and mercy, to secure them high stages in the Aakhirah. 

However, in all conditions, the Believer is recipient to Mercy: If it is a punishment for sins, there is mercy – because Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu wants us to turn to Him, to make sincere Taubah and secure His Forgiveness.

Tests and trials are thus a means of Taubah and Forgiveness, or a means of purification of our sins; otherwise an elevation of ranks.

May Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu give us the understanding, and give us the Taufeeq of Taubah, Tafweez, Tasleem and Ridha bil Qadha.

By Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Is`haq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)