Here's a beautiful motivational story for you to read
: by Amr Khalid
Ayyub (AS) (Job) was one of the Prophets of Bani Isra'il (People of Israel). Ayyub was the grandson of Ishaq (AS) (Isaac) and Ibrahim (AS) (Abraham) was his great-grandfather. Allah, be He exalted, says what can be translated as, "And among his progeny Ayyûb (Job), Sulaimân (Solomon), Yûsuf (Joseph), Mûsâ (Moses), and Hârûn (Aaron)…" (TMQ, Al-An'am:84) (1). From the family of Ibrahim were Bani Isra'il through his son, Ishaq, and the Arabs through his son, Isma'il (AS) (Ishmael). Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the only prophet of Isma'il's descendants.
Because of their widespread corruption, Bani Isra'il were sent one prophet after another. Every prophet had a message for the people; Yunus' (AS) message was: never give up calling people to Allah. Sulaiman's (AS) message was: Allah is able to subject the universe to man and man should employ it to worship Allah. The universe praised Allah with Dawud (AS), and that was his message. And Ayyub's (AS) message was the faith of patience.
Ayyub (AS) is a prophet who was sent to people in Belad el-Sham (the Levant), the vast majority were believers and loved him already. Allah bestowed wondrous blessings upon him; no one before was granted such blessings, and he remained like that for fifty years. No one is tried as greatly as an honorable man who has lost all his fortunes.
Today's story is addressed to two kinds of people: those who have misfortune, such as an ailing family member, those who became bankrupt, those who lost a son and the like; and others who live a blessed life without even realizing that they do, or that they might lose it one day.
Think about the blessings Ayyub (AS) had: money, countless barley and wheat fields, hundreds of slaves, a good and beautiful wife, physical strength, fourteen sons and daughters, he had faith and assurance, an unlimited number of friends, cattle, horses, and livestock. All that lasted for fifty years.
Allah, be He exalted, wanted to examine him, so He deprived him of his money, his lands became barren, the fourteen sons and daughters all died, the cattle were lost, and he had to sell the slaves just to pay for his expenses. Allah then put him to another test with a physical disease. He became crippled and unable to move. His friends thought his illness was contagious and shunned him as a result; he was left with his faithful wife and only two of his resolved friends.
Allah says what can be translated as, "As for man, when his Lord tries him by giving him honor and bounties, then he says (in exultation), 'My Lord has honored me'. But when He tries him by straitening his means of life, he says, 'My Lord has humiliated me!' Nay! But you treat not the orphans with kindness and generosity! And urge not one another on the feeding of the poor! And you devour the inheritance—all with greed. And you love wealth with a great love. Nay! When the earth is ground to powder, and your Lord comes with the angels in rows; and Hell will be brought near that Day. On that Day will man remember, but how will that remembrance (then) avail him?" (TMQ, Al-Fajr: 15-23).
Happiness and affliction are both tests from Allah, the Great and Almighty. Never rely on this worldly life, or feel secure against the Plan of Allah. Allah wants to let you know that this world's treasures are worth nothing; so never let them take over your heart. Instead, work for it because you are a Muslim.
His wife fed him and cared for him; she spent money on him until it had run out, so she started working for other people for money. The ordeal lasted for 18 years.
Allah created the universe in six days only to show us that everything works out gradually if there is patience. This shows us that perfection is the outcome of patience, prayer to Allah, night prayers, and obedience to Allah's commands, such as the Hijab (Head Scarf), etc. It also shows us that imperfection comes out of impatience, such as adultery, and stealing, etc.
Patience is the core of Islam. The evidence is that the story of Prophet Ayyub (AS) is about patience, not prophecy. The only attribute that has been mentioned ninety times in Holly Qur'an is patience, and after it there is always a mention of optimistic news such as, "…give glad tidings to the ones who patiently persevere…" (TMQ, Al-Baqarah: 155). I personally sensed a magical influence in this verse.
I met a young man once who was coming to a cleric complaining about his extreme hatred towards his wife and his intention to divorce her. All the same, the young man was still afraid to mistreat her. The cleric recited the verse I just mentioned and asked him to think about it. So, the young man left and I met him a month later and asked him about the matter. He said, "I put two things in front of me: I either put up with this situation and go to Paradise without reckoning, or I rely on the worldly life and divorce her—so, I chose the first one. I swear to Allah, I can't live without her now." This is the result of his patience. Allah granted him blessings in his present life and put the love of his wife into his heart.
Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "And seek help in patience and prayer and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for the humble spirited." (TMQ, Al-Baqarah: 45). And in another verse He says what can be translated as, "So be patient. Surely, the (good) end is for those conscious of Allah" (TMQ, Hud: 49). The Prophet (PBUH) says, "You should know that victory comes with patience." (Sahih al-Albany, 315). Allah also addresses the Prophet (PBUH) by saying what can be translated as, "So wait with patience for the Decision of your Lord, and be not like the Companion of the Fish" (TMQ, Al-Qalam: 48). "And indeed We made a covenant with Adam before, but he forgot, and We found on his part no firm will-power" (TMQ, Ta-Ha: 115). Another verse addressed to the believers can be translated as, "O, you who believe! Endure and be more patient (than your enemy), help others to be patient, and guard your territory by stationing army units permanently at the places from where the enemy can attack you." (TMQ, Al-Imran: 200).
If patience has no sweetness except that it is one of Allah's noble names that would be enough.
The Prophet (PBUH) said, "No one would be given better and weightier blessing than patience." (Bukhari).
After 18 years, the wife of prophet Ayyub (AS) started to become tired. She asked him once, "Are you a messenger and prophet?" "Yes," he said. "Why don't you ask Allah for relief?" she asked. "How long have we been in this ordeal?" he asked her. "Eighteen years" she said. "How long did we remain with blessings before that?" "Fifty years," she answered. "Allah granted us 50 years of blessing, then why can't we stand this ordeal for 50 years? I swear to Allah, I won't ask Allah until I have as much time of suffering as I had of blessing." The only words he said in praying to Allah were "Thanks be to Allah." (Isra'iliyat related from Suddi) (2).
That reminds us of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) the day his son Ibrahim died. He made this supplication to Allah saying, "Here I am, at Your command, the good is all in Your hands, and the evil is not due to You. Here I am at your command."
The wife of our prophet Ayyub (AS) got angry and said, "I beg you to pray, for how long will we stay in this suffering?" He answered, "Woe unto you! Do you enrage Allah, be He exalted? I swear to Allah, if He cured me, I'll beat you one hundred times." (Isr. From Suddi).
People then started refusing his wife as a servant, thinking she might carry her husband's disease to them.
Prophet Muhammad mentions all this. He said, "Prophet Ayyub endured trial for eighteen years. Relatives and acquaintances shunned him except two of his kinsmen. One day one of them said to the other 'I swear to Allah that Ayyub has committed a great and unforgivable sin.' 'Never!' the other answered. 'Can't you see the affliction he is in? Allah did not have mercy on him for eighteen years,' said the first one. The two went to Ayyub and the second man said, 'Do you know what this man was saying? He said you have committed a great sin, so Allah will not forgive you.' Ayyub said, 'I know nothing of what you both are saying, but I know that whenever I passed by two quarrelling people I came back home praying for Allah to conciliate between them, and gave charity for them so Allah would not be disobeyed.' That affected him deeply. (Isr. From Abdullah bin 'Ubaid bin 'Umair).
His wife brought plenty of food home one day. He said, "From where have you brought this food?" She didn't answer; it turned out that she cut a braid from her hair and sold it to get food for them. He was deeply touched by that and found himself compelled to pray for Allah. He said what can be translated as, "And (remember) Ayyûb, when he cried to his Lord, "Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy." (TMQ, Al-Anbiyah: 83). He never ascribed distress to Allah. In another verse Allah says what can be translated as, "And remember Our slave Ayyûb, when he invoked his Lord (saying): "Verily Satan has touched me with distress and torment!" (TMQ, Saad: 41).
Allah says what can be translated as, "So We answered his call." Allah said to him, "Strike the ground with your foot: This is (a spring of) water to wash in, cool and a (refreshing) drink." (TMQ, Saad: 42). Here we can touch upon the sense that when you are about to do something you have to implement the means. Allah caused a spring of water to flow from beneath his feet; a spring to cure all external diseases and a drink for the internal ones. That is a proof that Allah can cure us with only a mouthful of water.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, "Whenever Ayyub went outdoors to answer the call of nature he leaned on his wife, and then hid from her. She led him back usually holding his hand. One time he was late." The Prophet continues, "He returned to his wife much better than he was [in shining white robes and perfect, young-looking body] so she said 'Allah bless you! Have you seen the afflicted prophet who was here before? I swear I've never met anyone who looked like him as much as you do, before he was afflicted'. 'Can't you recognize me?' he asked. 'No,' she said. 'It's me, Ayyub,' he answered." (Ibn Abu Hatim from 'Abdullah Ibn 'Abbas).
Allah says what can be translated as, "And that it is He (Allah) Who makes (whom He wills) laugh, and makes (whom He wills) weep. And that it is He (Allah) Who causes death and gives life". (TMQ, An-Najm: 43, 44).
The blessings were all given back to him—his health, his strength—they were even much better than before. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) told us that Allah sent two clouds over his lands; a cloud passed on the wheat field and rained gold until the field was filled, while the other passed over the barley field and rained on it until it became full. So Allah enriched him again.
Allah says what can be translated as, "and We restored his family to him (that he had lost) and the like thereof along with them as a mercy from Ourselves and a Reminder for all those who worship Us" (TMQ, Al-Anbiyah: 84). His wife was given her youth back again and bore him 26 sons and daughters, as if Allah was saying, "You were not tested, everything has been given back to you and more".
Strangely enough, The Prophet says, "While Ayyub was bathing naked, Allah sent a group of locusts that started falling on him, and they turned out to be golden locusts. He stuffed his garment's pockets with them so Allah, be He exalted, said 'Oh Ayyub, haven't I given you enough?' He said 'Sure you did Allah, but I can never dispense with your blessing'." (Bukhari, Ahmad).
"Truly! We found him patient. How excellent a slave! Verily he was ever oft returning in repentance (to Us)!" (TMQ, Saad: 44).
1) TMQ=Translation of the Meaning of the Qur'an. This translation is for the realized meaning, so far, of the stated (Surah:Ayah) of the Qur'an. Reading the translated meaning of the Qur'an can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which it was revealed.
2) Editor's note: Often, with the stories of the Biblical Prophets, the scholars have used Isra'iliyat—stories or explanations that came to us through Jews and Christians who accepted Islam. These stories are neither found in the Qur'an nor in the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) but may come from the Bible or oral traditions. The Isra'iliyat are only used to add detail to the prophets' stories if they do not contradict the Qur'an or Sunnah. They will be cited in this text by either (Isra'iliyat) or (Isr.)
The following is extracted from the book "In The Early Hours" by the Professor Khuram Murad
: A Life of Remembrance
IN a verse of the Quran that I love very much, Allah, Most Gracious and Loving, commends:
Remember Me and I shall remember you. Be grateful unto Me and deny Me not. [al-Baqara 2:152.]
Can you imagine a more gratifying state than this, where, when you remember Allah, the Creator, Sustainer and Lord of the Universe, He remembers you in return? The same exhortation has been beautifully conveyed in a hadith qudsi:
I treat My servant as he hopes that I would treat him. I am with him whenever he remembers Me: if he remembers Me in his heart, I remember him in My `heart'; if he remembers Me in a gathering, I remember him in a gathering far better than that gathering; if he draws near to Me a hand's span, I draw near to him an arm's length; if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a fathom's length; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running. (Bukhari, Muslim)
Those who remember Allah standing, sitting and reclining and who reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth are highly commended in the Noble Quran. They are wise in that they fill their hearts with the remembrance of God in every, moment, in every circumstance and in every posture of their lives. [Ali Imran 3: 191]
The exhortation to remember Allah at all times is a reflection of Allah's all-embracing and overwhelming love for us. The door to Allah is always open to us: Remember Me and 1 will remember you. We need only find our way to and through that door.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF DHIKR
Regarding the significance of dhikrullah or the remembrance of God, Allah says in the Quran, itself the ultimate reminder (dhikr) to all the worlds [Sad 38: 87], the following:
Remember Allah. for He has guided you. [al-Baqara 2:198.]
O you who believe! Remember Allah often with much remembrance. And glorify Him morning and evening. [Luqman 31: 41-42.]
And men who remember God much and women who remember - God has prepared for them forgiveness and a vast reward. [al-Ahzab 33: 35 ]
Hadith literature is similarly replete with references to the remembrance of Allah:
The servant cannot perform a better deed which will save him from God's punishment than the remembrance of God. (Malik.)
Whoever wishes to feast in the gardens of Paradise, let him remember God often. (Tirmidhi.)
Indeed, with regard to dhikr, the Quran concludes: And the remembrance of Allah is the greatest deed without doubt. [al-Ankabut 29:45]
The significance of dhikr lies in the fact that it is God's own chosen and recommended mode by which the muminun or Believers show gratitude for having been shown the straight path. In addition, it is indeed the surest way of attaining God's forgiveness and achieving the ultimate reward of Paradise.
The importance of dhikr then is not difficult to understand. It is dhikr that purifies your qalb or heart and makes it sound. And you can only attain salvation and true success by having a pure and sound heart.
The qalb or `heart' referred to here is not the pump in your breast that pushes blood around your body but rather the centre or locus of your personality which pumps out your desires and motivations and which makes you conduct yourself as you do. It is this qalb that lies at your centre and dictates your actions which is the key to your ultimate success. Thus, with reference to the Day of Judgment, the Quran declares:
[It will be a Day) when neither wealth nor children shall profit [and when] only he [will be saved] who comes before God with a sound heart [free of evil]. [ash-Shuara 26:88-89.]
This point is more elaborately made in a hadith in which the Prophet says:
Listen [to me] carefully. There is a lump of flesh in the body - if it is set right and made good, the entire body becomes good and healthy; but if it becomes diseased, the entire body becomes diseased. Remember well - it is the Heart. (Bukhari.)
If the heart is the key to ultimate salvation and success, it may, likewise, be the seat of much corruption and open doors to many evils. It may facilitate the corruption of political and economic activities and ultimately the social institutions of a society. Where such a state prevails, the Quran suggests that it is because people, individually, have become diseased in their hearts. [al-Baqara 2:10.] In this state, people stop seeing and doing what is right. The Quran explains that this is not because they have become blind in their eyes but because their hearts have become blind. [al-Hajj 22: 46.] This blindness only draws them nearer to the ultimate chastisement.
It is the heart, as the decider of our ultimate fate, that must then be the starting point of any tazkiya programme, to purify this heart and then summon it to the service of mankind.
Ibn al-Qayyim, one of the great scholars of Islam, states in his Kitab al Adhkar (The Book of Remembrance), that 'the heart which is devoid of the remembrance of Allah is a heart that is dead'; it is dead even and long before the body carrying the heart reaches its grave. Indeed, this living body that carries the heart is the heart's grave. Ibn al-Qayyim's statement is reminiscent of the hadith of tire Prophet which states: `The difference between someone who remembers His Lord and someone who does not is like the difference between the living and the dead.' (Bukhari.) The statement is also reminiscent of the following verse of the Quran: Do not become like those who forget Allah and Allah makes them forget themselves. It is they who are truly deprived. [al-Hashr 59:19.]
The purpose of tazkiya is to ensure that the heart never falls into a sorry state of being and that it is always alive with the remembrance of God. Prosperous indeed is one who purifies himself and remembers the name of His Guardian-Lord, and prays [unto Him]. [al-Ala 87: 14-15.] The Prophet further emphasised the importance of dhikr when he said to his Companions: 'Shall I not inform you of the best of your actions, the purest in the sight of your Lord, which raises your rank to the highest, which is better for you than spending gold and silver, better than meeting your enemy so that you strike at their necks and they strike at yours?' They replied: 'Yes, indeed,' and he said: 'It is the remembrance of Allah.' (Tirmidhi.)
Strive then, to fill all your moments, all your thoughts and all your actions with His remembrance. Recite tasbih or words of glorification and praise to punctuate all your actions and achievements.
Something to reflect.
People take great pride when the hear a person of fame or prestige conveyed his greetings to them or mentioned them in the company of others.
Yet what can be greater then the fact that every time we remember Allah the almighty he remembers us?
There was once a king who offered a prize to the artist who could paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The king looked at all of the pictures. After much deliberation he was down to the last two. He had to choose between them.
One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for the peaceful mountains that towered around it. Overhead, fluffy white clouds floated in a blue sky. Everyone who saw this picture said that it was the perfect picture of peace.
The second picture had mountains too. These mountains were rugged and bare. Above was an angry gray sky from which rain fell. Lightening flashed. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not appear to be a peaceful place at all. But, when the king looked closely, he saw that behind the waterfall was a tiny bush growing in the rock. Inside the bush, a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest. She was the perfect picture of peace.
The king chose the second picture. "Because," he explained, "peace is not only in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace is in the midst of things as they are, when there is calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace."[/QUOTE]
Mash'Allah great story may Allah reward you for sharing, indeed a tranquil heart remains calm and at peace even during the most trying of circumstances reminded me of the following incident from the life shaykh ul tafseer Ahmed Ali Lahori
Hazrat Ahmed Ali Lahori
He was as deep in love with the Holy Qura'n as any gigantic obstacle could not refrain him from conducting Dars-e-Qura’n, all his life. One day he was delivering Dars-e-Qura’n, when Maulana Habibullah, his eldest son, came and whispered something in his ears and wielded. Hazrat nodded and continued Dars-e-Qura’n. Afterwards His son came again and whispered something; Hazrat again nodded and continued the delivery. Then third time Maulvi Habibullah came and did the same but Dars was continued. At the end of Dars-e- Qura'n Maulvi Habibullah was asked, ”What was the matter? He explained When he came for the first time, he alarmed the critical condition of Hazrat’s Daughter . On the second time he intimated her dying state (last gasps), to Hazrat and third time he disclosed that she had died, but Hazrat continued Dars-e-Qura'n, (Subhan Allah) ! it was the height of commitment that Dars-e-Qura'n continued as per routine, despite such a critical situation.[/QUOTE]
Quite a few Brothers from Sunniforum, have accounts here under different Usernames for various reasons...For some its to avoid bringing over arguments (with other members) and baggage to Mufti Says, some just prefer anonymity, Some are embarassed about how they used to post and prefer a different identity, and for some who unwittingly ended up becoming Sunniforum Celebrities its for reasons of Ikhlas, and avoidance of riyah and takabbur.
Story of the Leper, the Bald Man and the Blind Man
Narrated Abu Huraira, that he heard Rasulullah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam saying:
Allah willed to test three who were a leper, a blind man and a bald-headed man.
So, he sent them an angel who came to the leper and said, "What thing do you like most?" He replied, "Good color and good skin, for the people have a strong aversion to me." The angel touched him and his illness was cured, and he was given a good color and beautiful skin. The angel asked him, "What kind of property do you like best?" He replied, "Camels (or cows)." (The narrator is in doubt, for either the leper or the bald-headed man demanded camels and the other demanded cows.) So he (i.e. the leper) was given a pregnant she-camel, and the angel said (to him), "May Allah bless you in it."
The angel then went to the bald-headed man and said, "What thing do you like most?" He said, "I like good hair and wish to be cured of this disease, for the
people feel repulsion for me." The angel touched him and his illness was cured, and he was given good hair. The angel asked (him), "What kind of property do you like best?" He replied, "Cows." The angel gave him a pregnant cow and said, "May Allah bless you in it."
The angel went to the blind man and asked, ‘What thing do you like best?’ He said, "(I like) that Allah may restore my eye-sight to me so that I may see the people." The angel touched his eyes and Allah gave him back his eye-sight. The angel asked him, "What kind of property do you like best?" He replied, "Sheep." The angel gave him a pregnant sheep.
Afterwards, all the three pregnant animals gave birth to young ones, and multiplied and brought forth so much that one of the (three) men had a herd of camels filling a valley, and one had a herd of cows filling a valley, and one had a flock of sheep filling a valley.
Then the angel, disguised in the shape and appearance of a leper, went to the leper and said, "I am a poor man, who has lost all means of livelihood while on a journey. So none will satisfy my need except Allah and then you. In the Name of Him Who has given you such nice color and beautiful skin, and so much property, I ask you to give me a camel so that I may reach my destination." The man replied, "I have many obligations (so I cannot give you)." The angel said, "I think I know you; were you not a leper to whom the people had a strong aversion? Weren’t you a poor man, and then Allah gave you (all this property)?" He replied, "(This is all wrong), I got this property through inheritance from my fore-fathers." The angel said, "If you are telling a lie, then let Allah make you as you were before."
Then the angel, disguised in the shape and appearance of a bald man, went to the bald man and said to him the same as he told the first one, and he too
answered the same as the first one did. The angel said, "If you are telling a lie, then let Allah make you as you were before."
The angel, disguised in the shape of a blind man, went to the blind man and said, "I am a poor man and a traveler, whose means of livelihood have been exhausted while on a journey. I have nobody to help me except Allah, and after Him, you yourself. I ask you in the Name of Him Who has given you back your eye-sight to give me a sheep, so that with its help, I may complete my journey." The man said, "No doubt, I was blind and Allah gave me back my eye-sight; I was poor and Allah made me rich; so take anything you wish from my property. By Allah, I will not stop you for taking anything (you need) of my property which you may take for Allah’s sake." The angel replied, "Keep your property with you. You (i.e., the three men) have been tested and Allah is pleased with you and is angry with your two companions."
[Sahih Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 56 Virtues and Merits of the Prophet and his Companions Number 670][/QUOTE]
Ibn Mas`ood, radiAllaahu `anhu, said: "True knowledge is not measured in relationship to how much you memorize and then narrate, but rather, true knowledge is an expression of piety [protecting oneself from what Allaah prohibited and acting upon what He mandated]."Also, "Study and act upon what you learn." [Related by Abu Na`eem][/QUOTE]
The divine decree related to the believer is always a bounty
The divine decree related to the believer is always a bounty, even if it is in the form of withholding (something that is desired), and it is a blessing, even if it appears to be a trial, and an affliction that has befallen him is in reality a cure, even though it appears to be a disease!
Unfortunately, due to the ignorance of the worshipper, and his transgressions, he does not consider anything to be a gift or a blessing or a cure unless he can enjoy it immediately, and it is in accordance with his nature. If he were only given a little bit of understanding, then he would have counted being withheld from as a blessing, and the sickness as a mercy, and he would relish the trouble that befalls him more than he relishes his ease, and he would enjoy poverty more than he enjoys richness, and he would be more thankful when he is blessed with little than when he is blessed with a lot.
A scholar of Islamic jurisprudence, Bakr Al-Muzain saw a labourer carrying goods with him while constantly uttering, "Alhamdulillah" (all praise belongs to Allaah) and "Astughfirullaah" (I seek forgiveness from Allaah)
The scholar said that he waited for the labourer to rest from his load before he spoke to him. When he did, Al-Muzani asked him " Do you not know anything other than this (Alhamdulillah and Astughfirullah)?" The labourer responded, "Indeed I know much else and I do read the Book of Allaah, except that a slave of Allaah is constantly shifting between a state of blessing (from Allaah) and sin. This being the condition of man, I praise and thank Allaah for the blessing He has given me and seek His forgiveness for my sins."
The Scholar said, "Certainly this labourer has a deeper understanding of the religion than Bakr (himself)."[/QUOTE]
The teacher of our teachers,  the great scholar and historian, Shaikh Muhammad Raghib At-Tabbakh, rahimahullah, mentioned the following story in his book “I’lam an-Nubala bi-Tarikh Halab ash-Shuhaba” (7/231):
“Shaikh Ibrahim Al-Hilali Al-Halabi – a pious and noble scholar – travelled to Al-Azhar University in search of knowledge. While seeking knowledge, he became very poor and used to rely on charity. One time, several days passed by and he did not find anything to eat, so he became extremely hungry.
So he came out of his room in Al-Azhar to ask for some scraps of food. He found an open door from which a pleasant smell of food was coming from. So he entered the door and found himself in a kitchen with no one around. There he found some tempting food, so he grabbed a spoon and dipped it in, but when he lifted it to his mouth, he held himself back from eating it, since he realized that he had not been given permission to eat from it. So he left it and returned to his room in the dormitory of Al-Azhar, still hungry and starving.
But no less than an hour passed by, when one of his teachers, accompanied by another man, came into his room. And his teacher said to him: ‘This noble man came to me seeking a righteous student of knowledge to choose for marrying his daughter, and I have chosen you for him. So rise and come with us to his home where we can complete the marriage contract between you and his daughter and you can become part of his household.’
So Shaikh Ibrahim struggled to get to his feet, obeying the command of his teacher and went with them. And behold they took him to the very same house he had been to, and which he had entered and dipped the spoon into the food!
So when he sat down, the girl’s father married her to him and the food was brought out. It was the same food he had put the spoon into before and which he abandoned. But now he ate from it and said to himself: ‘I withheld from eating it when I had no permission, but now Allah has given me this food with permission.’
Afterward, this righteous wife went back with him to Halab, after he had finished his studies. And she bore righteous children for him.”
So this is the fruit of patience and this is the result of having taqwa, as Allah says:
“And whoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will make a way out for him (from hardship), and He will provide for Him from places He never imagined.” [Surah At-Talaq: 2-3]
But as for those who are hasty – those who do not distinguish between the truth and falsehood, seeking after the transitory vanities of this worldly life – they will never experience anything but grief and sorrow in their hearts, for they will never attain the worldly life nor will they ever achieve Religion.
This is because they forget – or perhaps neglect – the saying of Allah: “Is not Allah sufficient for His servant?” [Surah Az-Zumar: 36]
As for those who are patient and firm and who have Taqwa, they will gain ascendancy in this life and glory and honor with their Lord on the Day of Judgement. And Allah says: “So give the glad tidings to the patient ones.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 155] And He says: “Verily, the patient ones will be given their reward without any reckoning.” [Surah Az-Zumar: 10]
Advice from Ibn al-Qayyim on dealing with calamities
Ibn al-Qayyim in his valuable book Zaad al-Ma’aad (4/189-195),has mentioned several things in how to deal with calamities, including the following:
1 – If he looks at what has befallen him, he will find that what his Lord has left for him is similar to it or better than it, and if he is patient and accepts it, He has stored up for him something that is many times greater than what he has lost through this calamity, and if He willed He could have made the calamity even greater.
2 – The fire of calamity can be extinguished by thinking of those who have been hit even harder. Let him look to his right, does he see anything but calamity? Then let him look to his left, does he see anything but loss? If he were to look at the people around him, he would not see anything but people who are tested, either by missing out on something that they like, or by having happen to them that which they dislike. The pains of this world are like dreams or like a passing shadow. If you laugh a little you will weep a lot, and if you are happy for a day you will be miserable for a lifetime, and if you have what you want for a little while, you will be deprived for a long time. There is no day of happiness but it is followed by a day of pain.
Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: For every moment of joy there is a moment of sorrow, and no house is filled with joy but it will be filled with sorrow.
And Ibn Sireen said: There is never any laughter but there comes weeping after it.
3 – It should be noted that panicking will not make the calamity go away, and in fact it makes it worse.
4 – It should be noted that missing out on the reward for patience and surrender, which is mercy and guidance that Allaah has granted as the reward for patience and turning to Him (by saying Inna Lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon (Verily to Allah we belong and unto Him is our return)), is worse than the calamity itself.
5 – It should be noted that panicking makes one’s enemy rejoice and makes one’s friend feel sad; it makes Allaah angry and makes the shaytaan happy; it destroys reward and weakens resolve. If he is patient, seeks reward, strives to please Allaah, to make his friend happy and to make his enemy sad, and seeks to relieve his brothers of their burdens and to console them before they console him, this is steadfastness and a sign of perfection – not slapping one's cheeks, rending one's garment, wishing for death and being discontent with the divine decree.
6 – It should be noted that what comes after being patient and seeking reward is pleasure and joy that is many times greater than what he could have got from keeping what he lost. Sufficient for him is the “house of praise” that will be built for him in Paradise as a reward for his praising his Lord and turning to Him (by saying Inna Lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon (Verily to Allah we belong and unto Him is our return)). So let him decide which of the two calamities is greater: a calamity in this world, or the calamity of missing out on the house of praise in eternal Paradise.
In al-Tirmidhiit is narrated in a marfoo’ report: “On the Day of Resurrection people will wish that their skins had been cut with scissors in this world, when they see the reward of those who were struck with calamity.”
One of the salaf said: Were it not for the calamities of this world, we would come empty-handed on the Day of Resurrection.
7 – It should be noted that the One Who is testing him is the Most Wise and the Most Merciful, and that He – may He be glorified – did not send this calamity in order to destroy him or cause him pain or finish him off, rather He is checking on him, testing his patience, acceptance and faith; it is so that He may hear his du’aa’ and supplication, so that He may see him standing before Him, seeking protection, filled with humility and complaining to Him.
8 – It should be noted that were it not for the trials and tribulations of this world, a person could develop arrogance, self-admiration, a pharaonic attitude and hardheartedness which would lead to his doom in this world and in the Hereafter. It is a sign of the mercy of the Most Merciful that He checks on him from time to time with the remedy of calamity so as to protect him from these diseases, to keep his submission and servitude sound, and to eliminate all bad elements that may lead to his doom. Glory be to the One Who shows mercy by means of testing, and tests by means of blessing, as it is said:
Allaah may bless us with calamities even if that is hard, and Allaah may test some people with blessings.
9 – It should be noted that the bitterness of this world is the essence of sweetness in the Hereafter, as Allaah will turn the former into the latter. Similarly the sweetness of this world is the essence of bitterness in the Hereafter. It is better to move from temporary bitterness to eternal sweetness than the other way round. If this is still not clear to you, then think of what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Paradise is surrounded with difficulties, and Hell is surrounded with desires.”
Whenever we go through a hardship or suffer a calamity, we say this is a test from Allaah. When we lose our job or a loved one or we get sick, we acknowledge that this is a trial from the Almighty. And surely, that is true. However, we fail to realize that even when we did not lose our job, even when we did not lose a loved one and even when we did not suffer any hardship or calamity, we are still under a trial from Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala.
Yes, that’s right. When we are at ease, enjoying good health and sitting cozily in the comfort of our homes, driving our cars, enjoying the company of our families and spending time with our friends, we are still being tested. In fact, this test is harder to
pass than the test of hardship.
”and We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good. And to Us you will be returned” (al-Anbiya’:35)
Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala, in His Infinite Wisdom, is testing us with all the innumerable blessings He has bestowed upon us, to see how we react to those blessings.
Will we be thankful and obedient to the One Who gave us these blessings in the first place and submit to Him or will we be arrogant and disobedient and forget Allaah.
And we tested them with good (blessings) and evil (calamities) in order that they might turn back.” [Surah al-Araaf: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).”
So if you have a comfortable life and money, He is testing you ....
Where are you spending this money? Is it on haraam? Will you spend it all on vain desires of this dunya, arrogantly competing with each other, coveting what others have? OR will you be grateful to Him for giving you all these blessings, obeying Him and spending in His path, giving Zakaat and sadaqa?
”Beautified for men is the love of things they covet; women, children, much of gold and silver (wealth), branded beautiful horses, cattle and well-tilled land. This is the pleasure of the present world’s life; but with Allaah is the excellent return (Paradise).” (Surah Aal-Imraan: 14)
And if He has blessed you with children, He is testing you to see how you will deal with them. Are you giving them a good Islaamic upbringing? Do you give them their rights?
Do you treat them fairly? Will you earn from haraam just to please them?
”And know that your possessions and your children are but a trial and that surely with Allaah is a mighty reward.” (Surah Anfaal: 28)
And if Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala has given you health and time, He is testing you to see how you will spend it. Do you spend hours in front of the TV, watching movies or sports, wasting yourself away? Do you throw it away shopping, sleeping or just wandering, chatting with your friends hours on end? Or do you take advantage of this time and use it to improve yourself as a Muslim? Do you utilize it to learn the Deen of Allaah and then teach it to others? Do you spend it in what Allaah likes and stay away from what He does not?
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
”Take advantage of five things before five other things: from your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your richness before your poverty, your free time before you become occupied, and from your life before your death.” (al-Haakim—Saheeh)
And similar are all His blessings that He has bestowed upon you so that He may test you with them.....to see if you are the slave of your desires or the slave of the Almighty.
If He has given you power... are you just and fair?
If He has given you fame...are you boastful and arrogant or do you humble yourself to the Lord of the Worlds?
If you are a beautiful woman......do you flaunt your beauty everywhere or do you protect yourself with the Hijaab?
Do you use the eyes that He gave you......to read the Qur’aan or do you use it to look at haraam.....?
And the tongue that He gave you....do you use it for His remembrance? Do you use it to speak the Truth and uphold justice, enjoining good and forbidding evil or you use it to tell lies, backbite and spread gossip?
And the hands and limbs and faculties that He gave you......do you use them for His obedience... .to serve Him and comply with His orders? Or you employ the very blessings that He gave you to disobey Him and disregard His orders?
”This Day, We shall seal up their mouths, and their hands will speak to Us, and their legs will bear witness to what they used to earn.”(Surah Yaseen: 65)
”When they reach it (Hellfire), their hearing, eyes and skins will testify against them for what they used to do.” (Surah Fussilat: 20)
So, wise are you, if you realize that all the wealth you have, the health that you enjoy, the families and friends that you have, the easy, good times that you take pleasure in, are all blessings that are, in reality, tests from Allaah. If you are grateful to your Lord, remembering Him in times of ease, thanking Him, surrendering to Him and obeying him, Allaah will pass you in this test with flying colors and bless you even more.
”And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: “If you give thanks, I will give you more (of My Blessings), but if you are thankless (i.e. disbelievers) , verily! My Punishment is indeed severe.” (Surah Ibraheem: 7)
And surely, remembering Allah in times of ease and success is far more difficult than remembering Allah in times of difficulty. However, if difficult times come (and they will surely come), then Allaah will remember you in these times of difficulty just because you remembered Him in times of prosperity.
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
”Remember Allah in times of ease, and He will remember you in times of hardship” (Ahmad).
And he (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
”Whoever is pleased that Allah answers his prayers during hardships and difficulties, let him make much supplication in times of ease.” (Hasan, at-Tirmidhi)
I will end with the words of our beloved Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam). He said: “Take the initiative to do deeds, before trials come like a piece of a dark night (unexpectedly) .” (Muslim)
”O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allaah. And whosoever does that, then they are the losers.” (Surah Munaafiqoon: 9)[/QUOTE]
Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî, former professor at al-Imâm University in Riyadh
Prophet Muhammad returned from the Cave of Hira after his first-ever encounter with the angel Gabriel. His mission had just been proclaimed to him and he had received his first revelation from his Lord.
He was, to say the least, frightened and bewildered. It was Allah’s blessing to him that the person he turned to at this time was his very intelligent and sensible wife Khadîjah رضي الله عنه No sooner did he tell her what had happened and told her of his fear than she replied to him with resolve and assurance that he had nothing to worry about. She could make this claim with confidence, on the strength of her intellect, maturity, sense of history, and her deep personal knowledge she had acquired of Prophet Muhammad’s noble character over the course of fifteen years of marriage.
She answered him without hesitation: “Do not worry,” she said, “for by Him who has dominion over Khadîjah’s soul, Allah would never humiliate you, for you uphold close ties with your relatives, you bear others’ burdens, you provide for the destitute, you show hospitality to the guest, and you help those with a just claim to secure their rights.”
Our mother Khadîjah رضي الله عنه here testified to a pattern of life: which is that Allah protects His servants who are engaged in the service and benefit of their fellow human beings. He does not humiliate them or bring them to grief. Indeed, it is Allah who blessed them with their natures so that they would bring forth good in the world.
She also testified to the Prophet’s noble character, which tells us that he had always possessed the generosity and nobility of purpose that he would renowned for after becoming Allah’s Messenger. He had a beautiful nature long before he began receiving divine revelation.
If we consider the qualities that Khadîjah رضي الله عنه mentioned, we notice that they all relate in some way to helping others. Relatives are cared for. Weak people are relieved of their burdens. The destitute are provided for. Guests are made comfortable. People who have been wronged are helped in securing their rights.
All of these qualities were part and parcel of Prophet Muhammad’s innate nature. Khadîjah (RA) attested to the Prophet’s noble character long before the Qur’an came with such descriptions about him. This is because she knew him better than anyone else in the world.
We have in Moses (peace be upon him) another prophetic example of helping others. When he arrived at the wells of Midian, he found the menfolk busy providing water for their flocks. He also saw two young women waiting at a distance with their sheep, unable to approach the wells.
Moses (peace be upon him) was appalled by this situation. The Qur’an relates the following [Sûrah al-Qasas: 23]
And when he arrived at the watering (place) in Madyan, he found there a group of men watering (their flocks), and besides them he found two women who were keeping back (their flocks). He said: "What is the matter with you?"
They said: "We cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take back (their flocks): And our father is a very old man."
What was it than made Moses take such offence at this situation? It was his upright character that made him concerned for the rights of the weak. Those who are weak and vulnerable should be cared for and given priority. They should not be sidelined and neglected
“So he watered (their flocks) for them” [Sûrah al-Qasas: 24]
His immediate response was to help them. His courageous, noble, and generous nature would allow for nothing else.
We are right to be impressed when we consider Moses’s circumstances. He was a man on the run, far away from his home where he had the status of a wanted criminal. He was among strange people, none of whom he knew, and he had no provisions even for himself. He had enough problems of his own to worry about. Nevertheless, it went against his nature to stand by and see such helpless people being neglected.
These two prophetic examples show us something very important. Allah chose people with big hearts to entrust with His Message; people who were naturally inclined to help others. It takes such people to shoulder the burden of guiding others from the darkness into the light. Only those with compassion, mercy, and a gentle disposition can carry out such a task.
This truth is evident from the lives of the Prophets. Those who wish to be the inheritors of the Prophets should keep it in mind. The more we reflect the character of the Prophets in our own conduct, the more successful we will be in carrying out their mission. Scholars and Islamic workers need to have a strong social consciousness. They need to be people others can turn to in need. They need to be able to address the problems of society with understanding and compassion.
This is why Allah says, addressing the Prophet (peace be upon him): “It is due to Allah’s mercy that you deal gently with them, and had you been rough, hard-hearted, they would certainly have dispersed from around you.” [Sûrah Al `Imrân: 159]
If our social consciousness is not fully awakened, our success in calling others to Allah’s Message will be limited. Our efforts might even yield negative results.[/QUOTE]
Once upon a time there was a rich King who had four wives. He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to the finest of delicacies. He gave her nothing but the best. He also loved the 3rd wife very much and was always showing her off to neighboring kingdoms. However, he feared that one day she would leave him for another. He also loved his 2nd wife. She was his confidant, and was always kind, considerate and patient with him. Whenever the King faced a problem, he could confide in her, and she would help him get through the difficult times.
The King's 1st wife was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and kingdom. However, he did not love the first wife. Although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her! One day, the King fell ill and he knew his time was short. He thought of his luxurious life and wondered, "I ! now have four wives with me, but when I die, I'll be all alone."Thus, he asked the 4th wife, "I have loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?"
"No way!", replied the 4th wife, and she walked away without another word. Her answer cut like a sharp knife right into his heart.
The sad King then asked the 3rd wife, "I have loved you all my life. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?" "No!", replied the 3rd wife. "Life is too good! When you die, I'm going to remarry!" His heart sank and turned cold.
He then asked the 2nd wife, "I have always turned to you for help and you've always been there for me. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?" "I'm sorry, I can't help you out this time!", replied the 2nd wife. "At the very most, I can only send you to your grave." Her answer came like a bolt of lightning, and the King was devastated.
Then a voice called out: "I'll leave with you and follow you no matter where you go." The King looked up, and there was his first wife. She was so skinny as she suffered from malnutrition and neglect. Greatly grieved, the King said, "I should have taken much better care of you when I had the chance!"
In truth, we all have 4 wives in our lives: Our 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it will leave us when we die.
Our 3rd wife is our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, it will all go to others.
Our 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how much they have been there for us, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave.
And our 1st wife is our Soul. Often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the world. However, our Soul is the only thing that will follow us wherever we go.[/QUOTE]
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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