Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Restless and impatient|
|08/23/01 at 00:36:01|
|Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh|
[center]Restless and impatient
By Dr Muhammad Kamal Al-Shareef[/center]
A person who is devoid of faith becomes very depressed and gloomy when a misfortune befalls him. He may be overwhelmed by a sense of misery and helplessness. His depression may be so severe that he may contemplate suicide or even try to kill himself. Yet we all know that misfortune befalls all people in all stages of life. It affects believers and non-believers alike. However, strong faith gives a believer an added strength with which to confront calamities. Indeed a believer sees that every misfortune bears some good or positive aspects. This reduces its effect and makes it easier to face and overcome.
A believer does not consider any blessing or good fortune he enjoys an evidence that God loves him, nor does he see any misfortune as evidence of God's ill favor or dislike. He looks at this life, in its totality, as a test which poses two important questions for every human being.
The first question in this test is: how does man react to God's favors and blessings? Does he show genuine gratitude to God, or deny that such favors are bestowed by God? The latter attitude will inevitably lead to denying God altogether. The best expression of gratitude to God is to believe in Him as the only God in the universe, who has no partners, and to realize that whatever blessing we enjoy is only given to us as a favor from Him: "Indeed, it is We who have created man out of a drop of sperm intermingled, so that We might try him, and therefore, We have made him a being endowed with hearing and sight. We have indeed shown him the way: (and it rests with him to prove himself) either grateful or ungrateful." (76: 2-3)
The second major question in this test which lasts throughout man's life is: how does he react to misfortune and deprivation? Will he be content with God's will without grumbling or a show of dissatisfaction? Does he, despite any calamity that may befall him, remain content with what God has given him, showing patience in adversity to earn God's pleasure? Or does he rebel and express his dissatisfaction, forgetting that he will inevitably return to God? Does he behave in an impudent way and become inclined to disobey God and deliberately revolt against Him because of what he is made to endure in this life? God says in the Qur'an: "Indeed, man is born with a restless disposition. (As a rule,) whenever misfortune touches him, he is filled with self-pity; and whenever good fortune comes to him, he selfishly withholds it (from others). Not so, however, those who consciously turn to God in prayer, and who incessantly persevere in their prayer." (70: 19-23)
Who is successful in this great test and who is a failure? The one who passes the test of this present life is the one who shows and expresses gratitude for God's blessings and shows patience in adversity. On the other hand a person who is ungrateful for God's blessings, denying that they are God's favors, and who is always complaining and impatient when touched by misfortune is the one who fails miserably.
It is imperative that a believer should understand that well, in order to maintain his inner peace and serenity when faced with hardship and misfortune. Explaining the true view of what befalls man of blessings and misfortune and correcting people's attitudes in both situations, God says in the Qur'an: "As for man, whenever his Lord tries him with honor and with favors He bestows on him, he says, 'My Lord has honored me.' But whenever He tries him by stinting his means, then he says, 'My Lord has left me humiliated.' No indeed; but you show no kindness to the orphan, nor do you urge one another to feed the needy. You devour the orphans' inheritance greedily, and you love wealth passionately." (89: 15-20)
In short, favors given in this life are not evidence of God's love and honor to the recipient, nor is misfortune and deprivation evidence of humiliation and dislike. Both are tests God sets for mankind to prove themselves. In the Qur'an we read: "Every human being is bound to taste death; and We test you (all) through the bad and the good (things of life) by way of trial. To Us you all must return." (21: 35)
Misfortune and adversity are ever present in this world, because they are part of the nature of human life. To a good believer who shows patience in adversity, without being angry or furious with God, they are a means by which he atones for his sins. Thus he is granted forgiveness, so that he is not punished for his sins in the life to come.
Viewed from this angle, adversity that a believer encounters becomes evidence of God's love. It shows that God wishes to forgive him whatever sins he might have committed and raise his rank in the heaven. Thus he will be able to attain a position he would not have had, if he were to account for his bad deeds. The Prophet (peace be upon him) says: "A believing man and woman will be tested with adversity in their own selves, their children and property, until they meet God with no single sin to account for." (Related by At-Tirmithi). He also says: "A great reward comes as a result of a great trial. When God loves a community, He tests it. Whoever is content shall be pleased, and whoever shows anger earns God's wrath." (Related by At-Tirmithi). The Prophet also says: "When God wills good to befall a person, He tests him." (Related by Al-Bukhari).
A man's patience in the face of adversity, and his continued serenity and peace have their basis in his outlook which makes him view life with all its pleasures and misfortunes from the perspective of faith.
[i]"Islam in Perspective" - Arab News - 07 August 2000[/i]
[color=Red]A special note to those deriving benefit out of these articles:[/color]
[color=Blue]Please include the author and his family in all your supplications. Jazakumullahu Khaira.[/color]
Wassalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
Haniff (with 2 f's)
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