Sabr or Shukr - The Worry Stops Here!

ALL PRAISES BE TO ALLAH


Aasiyah, the wife of Fir’own (Pharoah). Her Eeman in Allah thrived under the shadow of someone that said, “I am your Lord, Most High!” When news reached Fir’own of his wife’s Eeman he beat her and commanded his guards to beat her.

They took her out in the scalding noon heat, tied her hands and feet and beat her perpetually. Who did she turn to? She turned to Allah! She prayed, “My lord, build for me a home with you in Paradise and save me from Fir’own and his deeds and save me from the transgressing people.”

It was narrated that when she said this, the sky opened for her and she saw her home in Paradise. She smiled. The guards watched astonished, she’s being tortured and she smiles? Frustrated, Fir’own commanded a boulder to be brought and dropped on Aasiyah, to crush her to death. But Allah took her soul before the boulder was brought and she became an example for all the believing men and women till the end of time:

And Allah has set forth an example for those who believe: the wife of Fir’own – when she said, “My Lord, Build for me a home with You in Paradise, and save me from Fir’own and his deeds, and save me from the transgressing disbelieving people.” [Qur'an 66:11]

In the Hadeeth of Jibreel [the Angel Gabriel], when he came to the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (May Allah's peace and blessing be upon him), and asked him about Islam, Eeman, and Ihsaan, the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said about Eeman, “Eeman is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His Messengers, the Final Day, and the divine decree, the good and the bad thereof.” For the past few weeks we have been reflecting on this Hadeeth, only glimpses. Today we shall conclude with the last article of Eeman: to believe in the Divine decree, the good and the bad thereof.

As you and I travel though life we find ourselves in one of two situations. Either something good is happening in our lives and in which case – as Muslims - our role is have Shukr (to thank Allah for the blessing). Or something bad is happening to us, something we dislike and our role here is to have Sabr (patience). This is the formula for a happy life, a life cruising towards the pleasure of Allah. Sabr or Shukr, the worry stops here.

The Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, “Strange is the affair of the Mu’min (the believer), verily all his affairs are good for him. If something pleasing befalls him he thanks (Allah) and it becomes better for him. And if something harmful befalls him he is patient (Saabir) and it becomes better for him. And this is only for the Mu’mmin.”

Ibn Al-Jowzee said, “If this Dunya was not a station of tests it would not be filled with sicknesses and filth. If life was not about hardship, then the Prophets and the pious would have lived the most comfortable of lives. Nay, Aadam (Adam) suffered test after test until he left the Dunya. Nuh (Noah) cried for 300 years. Ibrahim (Abraham) was thrown into a pit of fire and later told to slaughter his son. Ya’qub (Jacob) cried until he became blind. Musa (Moses) challenged Fir’own and was tested by his people. Iesa (Jesus) had no provision except the morsels his disciples provided him with. And Muhammad sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam met poverty with patience, his uncle - one of the most beloved relatives to him - was slain and mutilated and his people disbelieved in him...And the list of Prophets and the pious goes on and on.”

What happens to us happens by the will of Allah. It is an article of our Eeman in Qada’ and Qadr that we are pleased with Allah’s choice, Good or seemingly bad it is all the test of this Dunya. How could we imagine that we shall not be tested when those who were better than us suffered what they suffered? They however came away with the pleasure of Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala (How far from imperfection is He and He is the Most High).

Al Hasan ibn Arafah narrated, “I visited Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal after he was whipped and tortured. I said to him, “O Abu Abdillaah, you have reached the station of the Prophets!” He said, “Keep quiet. Verily, I saw nothing more than people selling their Deen. And I saw scholars that were with me sell their Faith. So I said to myself, ‘Who am I? What am I? What am I going to say to Allah tomorrow when I stand in front of Him and He asks me, “Did you sell your Deen like the others did?”? So I looked at the whip and the sword and chose them. And I said, “If I die I shall return to Allah and say: ‘I was told to say that one of Your Characteristics was something created but I did not.’ After that, it will be upto Him - either to punish me of be Merciful on me.”

Al-Hasan ibn Arafah then asked, “Did you feel pain when they whipped you?” He said “Yes, I felt the pain up to 20 lashes then I lost all feeling (They whipped him over eighty times). After it was over I felt no pain and that day I prayed Dhurhr standing.”

Al-Hasan ibn Arafah started weeping when he heard what had happened. Imaam Ahmad questioned him, “Why are you crying? I did not lose my Eeman. After that why should I care if I lose my life.”

They were better than us but this was how they were tested.

Let us discuss some facts about these tests of life, the good and the bad that befalls us:

* Much of what befalls us – the hard times – is the direct result of our own sins.

Allah, ta’ala (The Most High), says:

And whatever misfortune befalls you it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much. [Qur'an 42:30]

Muhammad ibn Seereen used to say when his debts piled up and he felt sad, “I know that the cause of this sadness is a sin I committed over 40 years ago.”

* People understand that when something bad happens it is a test from Allah. But dear Brothers and Sisters, the good things that happen to us are also a test.

Allah, ta’ala, says:

And we tested them with good (blessings) and evil (calamities) in order that they might turn back [Qur'an 7:168]

Abd al-Malik ibn Ishaq said, “There is no one that is not tested with health and prosperity to measure how thankful he is (Shukr).”

And the Companion – Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf, radhiAllaahu 'anhu (May Allah be pleased with him), said, “We were tested with hardship and were patient. And then we were tested with prosperity and we were not patient. Because of this Allah states:

O ye who believe! Let not your wealth or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. And whosoever does that, then they are the losers.[Qur'an 63:9]