The Heat of Life
A poem by Umm Umamah
A flower cannot blossom without sunshine,
Just as you cannot bloom without facing the decree divine,
So when trials & struggles all combine,
Face the challenge, take the heat, glow & shine.
Cause within you is the capacity to outshine.
As this opening bud glows in the natural light & heat of the sun, our trials are really a sign of Allah’s good intentions for us
Allah says in Surah Mulk 67:2
الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ
It is he who created death and life to test which of you are best in deed, for he is the Almighty, the Forgiving.
He is our Rabb….. our Creator, our Nourisher, our Provider, our Protector, our Controller… He has all authority on us and through his Mercy & Wisdom gives us opportunities to dig deeper into our hearts & souls to find & connect to him, to discover & rise up to show our full potential that He created us with.
The heat of life can be warming, at times scorching or completely missing… leaving us in total darkness… Oddly enough, despite it being burdensome at times it is something very much needed to warm up & awaken the soul. Through the conduction of the heat of trials & complex nature of our struggles do we learn what to absorb & what to repel, what to hold on to & what to let go of, what to endure & what to ignore.
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said :
عَجَبًا لِأَمْرِ الْمُؤْمِنِ إِنَّ أَمْرَهُ كُلَّهُ خَيْرٌ وَلَيْسَ ذَاكَ لِأَحَدٍ إِلَّا لِلْمُؤْمِنِ إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ صَبَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ
Wondrous is the affair of the believer for there is good for him in every matter and this is not the case with anyone except the believer. If he is happy, then he thanks Allah and thus there is good for him. If he is harmed, then he shows patience and thus there is good for him. (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2999)
Our hardhsips & trials are a means of:
- analysing ourselves… our faults & weaknesses
- testing our level of eeman & submission in obedience, with sincerity to the Will of Allah
- renewing & strengthening our tawakkul
- exploring our inner capacities of endurance & perseverance
- pushing us to take action & come out of our negligence
- turning to Allah for repentance, guidance & help
- purification of our soul through expiation of our sins based on our attitude
- learning to be positive, patient & grateful despite being “human” (impatient & forgetful)
- truly understand the Power of Allah & surrendering to His Supreme Wisdom
- raising our status in the ayes of Allah
Mahmud ibn Labeed reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
إِذَا أَحَبَّ اللَّهُ قَوْمًا ابْتَلَاهُمْ فَمَنْ صَبَرَ فَلَهُ الصَّبْرُ وَمَنْ جَزِعَ فَلَهُ الْجَزَعُ
If Allah loves a people, then he afflicts them with trials. Whoever is patient has the reward of patience, and whoever is impatient has the fault of impatience. (Musnad Aḥmad 23122)
What is the good that is being suggested here? What good is there in a trial that may shake & rattle a believer to the core.
Abu Sa’id and abu Huraira reported that they heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:
مَا يُصِيبُ الْمُؤْمِنَ مِنْ وَصَبٍ وَلاَ نَصَبٍ وَلاَ سَقَمٍ وَلاَ حَزَنٍ حَتَّى الْهَمِّ يُهَمُّهُ إِلاَّ كُفِّرَ بِهِ مِنْ سَيِّئَاتِهِ ” .
Never a believer is stricken with discomfort, hardship or illness, grief or even with mental worry that his sins are not expiated for him. (Sahih Muslim 2573).
Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri and Abu Huraira:
مَا يُصِيبُ الْمُسْلِمَ مِنْ نَصَبٍ وَلاَ وَصَبٍ وَلاَ هَمٍّ وَلاَ حُزْنٍ وَلاَ أَذًى وَلاَ غَمٍّ حَتَّى الشَّوْكَةِ يُشَاكُهَا، إِلاَّ كَفَّرَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِنْ خَطَايَاهُ
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.” (Bukhaari 5641)
So according to scholars it’s really our attitude on the face of a calamity that can distinguish it as a test from Allah to honor a believer or punishment for ones sins. Allah knows whats in our hearts & fully aware of all our doings… An impatient & ungrateful attitude with a display of panic & displeasure cannot be seen as sign of being honored but of a calamity as a means of punishment. While exuding acceptance, contentment & patience on the face of a calamity can be a sign of trail as a source of purification & washing away of sins.
As Allah clearly reminds us all in Surah Baqarah 2:155-157
وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الأَمَوَالِ وَالأنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ
And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, (2:155)
الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُواْ إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ
Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah , and indeed to Him we will return.”(2:156)
أُولَـئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ وَأُولَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ
Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided. (2:157)
Al-Hasan al-Basri (may Allah have mercy on him) beautifully summarized this concept by saying “Do not resent the calamities that come and the disasters that occur, for perhaps in something that you dislike will be your salvation, and perhaps in something that you prefer will be your doom.”
May Allah al Hafeedh protect from harsh trials & calamities, and if He chooses to test us, may He also enable us to face it with complete submission, patience, contentment & gratitude. May our mouth, mind heart & soul always be committed to conscious repentance & remembrane of Allah Ameen