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Tests for the Believers: Fluctuations of Life

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  • Rethinking thinking
    Tests for the Believers: Fluctuations of Life * By
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 30, 2007
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      Tests for the Believers: Fluctuations of Life *
      By  Sheikh. Salim Al-Hilali


      Image
      A person’s life in this world is not stable. One passes through alternating periods of happiness and dismay, strength and weakness, wealth and poverty, health and sickness, etc. A true believer is one who maintains a clear level of faith throughout the worldly fluctuations. He continues to remember Allah and ascribe the bounties to Him, and he turns to Him in submission, asking for relief from his affliction. This is described by the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), who said
      “Indeed amazing are the affairs of a believer! They are all for his benefit. If he is granted ease of living he is thankful; and this is best for him. And if he is afflicted with a hardship, he perseveres; and this is best or him.” (Muslim)
      And Allah said
      [Certainly, We shall test you with fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits; but give glad tidings to the patient—those who, when afflicted with calamity say, “Truly to Allah we belong, and truly to Him shall we return.” It is those who will be awarded blessings and mercy from their Lord; and it is those who are the guided ones.] (Al-Baqarah 2:155–157)
      Thus, a believer shows gratitude and thankfulness for all the wonderful blessings that Allah grants him. And he displays patience and submission during sickness and hardships, hunger, or other afflictions.
      Hardships Benefit the Believer
      Allah has decreed that, in this life, hardships and disasters strike both believers and non-believers. For a non-believer, they are inconveniences that hinder him from proceeding with his normal involvement in the worldly life. For a believer, on the other hand, they are instances of rest and remembrance, tests that promise great rewards, and indications of atonement and expiation of sins. Regardless of how little is the harm that strikes a believer, it carries with it good news of forgiveness and elevated rank in Paradise. The Righteous Predecessors used to be pleased when a hardship afflicted them, seeing it as a token of Allah’s forgiveness and benevolence.
      Expiations of Sins
      Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet said, ”Hardships continue to befall a believing man and woman in their body, family, and property, until they meet Allah burdened with no sins” (At-Tirmidhi).
      Sign of Allah’s Love
      Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whenever Allah wills good for a person, He subjects him to adversity” (Al-Bukhari and others).
      Sign of Faith
      Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) and Ka`b ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
      “The parable of a believer is that of a fresh and moist plant; the wind tilts it this way and that way; and so is the believer; he continues to be subject to affliction. And the parable of a hypocrite is that of a firm cedar tree; it does not shake—until it is uprooted all at once.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
      Sign of Righteousness
      The prophets and righteous people are afflicted the most, and their rewards are the highest. Sa`d (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
      “The most in their suffering among the people are the prophets, then the best, then the (next) best. One is afflicted in accordance with his faith. If his faith is firm, his affliction is hard, and if his faith is weak, his affliction is light. Indeed, one would be so much subjected to adversity until he walks among the people without any sins.” (Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi)
      Early Punishment
      Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
      “When Allah wills good for a servant of His, He expedites his punishment in this life; and when He wills retribution for a servant of His, He holds his sins for Him to judge him by them on the Day of Resurrection.” (At-Tirmidhi)
      Multiplication of Rewards
      Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
      “The amount of reward is in accordance with the amount of suffering. When Allah loves some people, He tries them (with affliction). He who then is content (with Allah’s decree) has achieved the acceptance (of Allah), and he who is dissatisfied (with Allah’s decree) will attain the anger (of Allah).” (At-Tirmidhi)
      Rewards for Sickness
      One should not look to sickness as a gloomy episode, but should remember the great good in it. It is one form of affliction with which Allah tests His servants, giving them a chance to acquire rewards, as was explained above, as is further emphasized below.
      Removal of Sins and Elevation in Ranks
      Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whenever a Muslim is afflicted by harm from sickness or other matters, Allah will drop his sins because of that, like a tree drops its leaves” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
      Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) 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” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
      Sa`id said, “I was with Salman (may Allah be pleased with him) when he visited a sick man in Kindah (in Persia), and he said to him, “Expect good because Allah makes a believer’s sickness an expiation (for his sins) and a period of rest. However, when a disbeliever falls sick, he is like a camel whose owner ties it then lets it loose—it does not understand why it was tied nor why it was freed” (Al-Bukhari).
      `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that once some pain afflicted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) causing him to suffer and turn about in his bed. She said, “Had one of us done this, you would have blamed him.” He (peace and blessings be upon him) replied,
      “An ailment is intensified for the righteous. Whenever a believer is afflicted by a hardship, whether it is a thorn or more, a sin is taken off from him because of it, and he is elevated by one rank (in Paradise).” (Ahmad)
      Retaining Rewards for Deeds Before Sickness
      Usually, when a believer falls sick, he would not be able to do the same amount of good (prayer, fasting, helping Muslims, etc.) that he used to do when he was well. But Allah, out of His great mercy, continues to record for him the good deeds that he was forced to stop because of his sickness. Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “For a traveling or sick person, his deeds will be recorded in accordance with what he used to do when he was resident or well” (Al-Bukhari).
      `Abdullah ibn `Amr reported that the Prophet said, “No (believing) person gets sick, but (his deeds) will be recorded for him in accordance with what he used to do when he was well” (Al-Bukhari).
      Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
      “No Muslim body is afflicted by Allah, but He will record (his deeds) for him in accordance with what he used to do when he was well—as long as he is sick. Thus, if He takes his life, He forgives him; and if He cures him, He washes him (from sins).” (Al-Bukhari)
      Reason for the Reward
      `Atta ibn Rabaah reported that Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) told him, “Do you want to see a woman from the people of Paradise?” He said, “Yes.” He said, “It is this black woman. She came to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) saying, ‘I have (epileptic) seizures, and I get exposed, so supplicate to Allah for me.’ He (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘If you wish, be patient and you will attain Paradise; or if you wish, I will ask Allah to cure you.’ She replied, ‘I will be patient! But my body gets exposed (because of the fall), so supplicate to Allah for me that I do not become exposed.’ And he (peace and blessings be upon him) did” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
      The scholars have differed in opinion as to whether a sick person will be rewarded for the sickness itself or for being patient during it. The correct opinion is that if he is patient and submits to Allah’s will, as in the above hadith, he would be rewarded for both the submission and the sickness; otherwise, he would not be rewarded at all because he resented Allah’s decree. This is what should be understood from Ibn Hajar Al-`Asqalani’s words: “The authentic hadiths are clear in that the rewards are recorded once affliction strikes a Muslim. As for patience and acceptance, they are virtues for which a person may get additional rewards over those for the affliction.”
      `Abdullah ibn `Amr reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “If a Muslim is pricked by (as little as) a thorn in the worldly life, and he seeks its reward from Allah, some of his sins will be removed, because of it, on the Day of Judgment” (Al-Bukhari).

      * Taken from The Inevitable Journey: Sickness, Death, and the Grave, Quran and Sunnah Society of North America.
      http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1158658485793&pagename=Zone-English-Living_Shariah%2FLSELayout


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    • Zakir Hussain
      Tests for the Believers: Fluctuations of Life * By Sheikh. Salim Al-Hilali A Scholar of Hadith A person’s life in this world is not stable. One passes
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 22, 2008
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        Tests for the Believers: Fluctuations of Life *

        By  Sheikh. Salim Al-Hilali

        A Scholar of Hadith

         

        Image
        A person’s life in this world is not stable. One passes through alternating periods of happiness and dismay, strength and weakness, wealth and poverty, health and sickness, etc. A true believer is one who maintains a clear level of faith throughout the worldly fluctuations. He continues to remember Allah and ascribe the bounties to Him, and he turns to Him in submission, asking for relief from his affliction. This is described by the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), who said:

        “Indeed amazing are the affairs of a believer! They are all for his benefit. If he is granted ease of living he is thankful; and this is best for him. And if he is afflicted with a hardship, he perseveres; and this is best or him.” (Muslim)

        And Allah said:

        [Certainly, We shall test you with fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits; but give glad tidings to the patient—those who, when afflicted with calamity say, “Truly to Allah we belong, and truly to Him shall we return.” It is those who will be awarded blessings and mercy from their Lord; and it is those who are the guided ones.] (Al-Baqarah 2:155–157)

        Thus, a believer shows gratitude and thankfulness for all the wonderful blessings that Allah grants him. And he displays patience and submission during sickness and hardships, hunger, or other afflictions.

        Hardships Benefit the Believer

        Allah has decreed that, in this life, hardships and disasters strike both believers and non-believers. For a non-believer, they are inconveniences that hinder him from proceeding with his normal involvement in the worldly life. For a believer, on the other hand, they are instances of rest and remembrance, tests that promise great rewards, and indications of atonement and expiation of sins. Regardless of how little is the harm that strikes a believer, it carries with it good news of forgiveness and elevated rank in Paradise. The Righteous Predecessors used to be pleased when a hardship afflicted them, seeing it as a token of Allah’s forgiveness and benevolence.

        Expiations of Sins

        Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet said, ”Hardships continue to befall a believing man and woman in their body, family, and property, until they meet Allah burdened with no sins” (At-Tirmidhi).

        Sign of Allah’s Love

        Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whenever Allah wills good for a person, He subjects him to adversity” (Al-Bukhari and others).

        Sign of Faith

        Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) and Ka`b ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

        “The parable of a believer is that of a fresh and moist plant; the wind tilts it this way and that way; and so is the believer; he continues to be subject to affliction. And the parable of a hypocrite is that of a firm cedar tree; it does not shake—until it is uprooted all at once.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

        Sign of Righteousness

        The prophets and righteous people are afflicted the most, and their rewards are the highest. Sa`d (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

        “The most in their suffering among the people are the prophets, then the best, then the (next) best. One is afflicted in accordance with his faith. If his faith is firm, his affliction is hard, and if his faith is weak, his affliction is light. Indeed, one would be so much subjected to adversity until he walks among the people without any sins.” (Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi)

        Early Punishment

        Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

        “When Allah wills good for a servant of His, He expedites his punishment in this life; and when He wills retribution for a servant of His, He holds his sins for Him to judge him by them on the Day of Resurrection.” (At-Tirmidhi)

        Multiplication of Rewards

        Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

        “The amount of reward is in accordance with the amount of suffering. When Allah loves some people, He tries them (with affliction). He who then is content (with Allah’s decree) has achieved the acceptance (of Allah), and he who is dissatisfied (with Allah’s decree) will attain the anger (of Allah).” (At-Tirmidhi)

        Rewards for Sickness

        One should not look to sickness as a gloomy episode, but should remember the great good in it. It is one form of affliction with which Allah tests His servants, giving them a chance to acquire rewards, as was explained above, as is further emphasized below.

        Removal of Sins and Elevation in Ranks

        Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whenever a Muslim is afflicted by harm from sickness or other matters, Allah will drop his sins because of that, like a tree drops its leaves” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

        Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) 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” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

        Sa`id said, “I was with Salman (may Allah be pleased with him) when he visited a sick man in Kindah (in Persia), and he said to him, “Expect good because Allah makes a believer’s sickness an expiation (for his sins) and a period of rest. However, when a disbeliever falls sick, he is like a camel whose owner ties it then lets it loose—it does not understand why it was tied nor why it was freed.” (Al-Bukhari)

        `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that once some pain afflicted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) causing him to suffer and turn about in his bed. She said, “Had one of us done this, you would have blamed him.” He (peace and blessings be upon him) replied:

        “An ailment is intensified for the righteous. Whenever a believer is afflicted by a hardship, whether it is a thorn or more, a sin is taken off from him because of it, and he is elevated by one rank (in Paradise).” (Ahmad)

        Retaining Rewards for Deeds Before Sickness

        Usually, when a believer falls sick, he would not be able to do the same amount of good (prayer, fasting, helping Muslims, etc.) that he used to do when he was well. But Allah, out of His great mercy, continues to record for him the good deeds that he was forced to stop because of his sickness. Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “For a traveling or sick person, his deeds will be recorded in accordance with what he used to do when he was resident or well.” (Al-Bukhari)

        `Abdullah ibn `Amr reported that the Prophet said, “No (believing) person gets sick, but (his deeds) will be recorded for him in accordance with what he used to do when he was well.” (Al-Bukhari)

        Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

        “No Muslim body is afflicted by Allah, but He will record (his deeds) for him in accordance with what he used to do when he was well—as long as he is sick. Thus, if He takes his life, He forgives him; and if He cures him, He washes him (from sins).” (Al-Bukhari)

        Reason for the Reward

        `Atta ibn Rabaah reported that Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) told him, “Do you want to see a woman from the people of Paradise?” He said, “Yes.” He said, “It is this black woman. She came to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) saying, ‘I have (epileptic) seizures, and I get exposed, so supplicate to Allah for me.’ He (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘If you wish, be patient and you will attain Paradise; or if you wish, I will ask Allah to cure you.’ She replied, ‘I will be patient! But my body gets exposed (because of the fall), so supplicate to Allah for me that I do not become exposed.’ And he (peace and blessings be upon him) did.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

        The scholars have differed in opinion as to whether a sick person will be rewarded for the sickness itself or for being patient during it. The correct opinion is that if he is patient and submits to Allah’s will, as in the above hadith, he would be rewarded for both the submission and the sickness; otherwise, he would not be rewarded at all because he resented Allah’s decree. This is what should be understood from Ibn Hajar Al-`Asqalani’s words: “The authentic hadiths are clear in that the rewards are recorded once affliction strikes a Muslim. As for patience and acceptance, they are virtues for which a person may get additional rewards over those for the affliction.”

        `Abdullah ibn `Amr reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “If a Muslim is pricked by (as little as) a thorn in the worldly life, and he seeks its reward from Allah, some of his sins will be removed, because of it, on the Day of Judgment.” (Al-Bukhari)


        * Taken from The Inevitable Journey: Sickness, Death, and the Grave, Quran and Sunnah Society of North America.

          Sheikh Salim Al-Hilali is a Scholar of Hadith. He studied under the prominent Hadith Scholar Al-Albani.

        http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1158658485793&pagename=Zone-English-Living_Shariah%2FLSELayout

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