Allah is always testing His believing servant in proportion to his faith. Thus if a person’s faith is very great and steadily increasing, his trial will be great as well. Each person is tried according to his faith and certitude, on the basis of this saying of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), “We, the Community of Prophets are the people most severely tried, then others according to the perfection of their faith.”
Tribulation fortifies the heart, and certitude verifies faith and patience, and weakens the self and passions. Whenever suffering comes and in the believer it meets with patience, cheerful acceptance and surrender to the action of Almighty Allah, the Exalted Rabb is pleased with him.
Almighty Allah states in the Glorious Qur’an, “O you who believe! Persevere and excel in patience.” [Surah 3, Verse 200] Almighty Allah commands you to be patient O believer, and to vie in patience, to remain steadfast, to stay on guard and persevere. In the words of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), “Patience is to faith what the head is to the body.” It is also said that the reward for everything is a measureable quantity, except the reward for patience, which is an unquantifiable amount. As Almighty Allah has said, “Most certainly the steadfast shall be fully rewarded without measure.” [Surah 39, Verse 10]
Thus patience is the source of all goodness and safety in this world and the hereafter. Through it the believer progresses to the state of cheerful acceptance and compliance. So beware of giving it up, lest it disappoints you in this world and the hereafter and you miss the blessings in both. From this we take refuge with Allah!
Let tribulation visit you. Allow it to take its course, and do not fret about its onset and approach, for its fire is not more terrible than the fire of Hell and its blazing inferno. The best of humankind, Muhammad Mustafa (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has said, “The fire of Hell will say to the believer, “Move on Believer! Your light has extinguished my flame!”” Let this same light extinguish misfortune’s flame, and the coolness of your patience and your harmony with the Lord take the heat out of the suffering you have to undergo. The affliction will then have come not to destroy you, but to try you and to confirm the soundness of your faith, to consolidate the strength of your conviction, and to give you inwardly the good news from your Lord that He is proud of you. Allah Ta’ala says, “And We shall certainly test you until We see those among you who struggle and are steadfast. And we will make known the facts about you.” [Surah 47, Verse 31]
Never complain to anyone about your fortune, whether he be friend or foe, and do not accuse Almighty Allah of treating you badly and making you suffer misfortune. You should rather proclaim you blessings and your gratitude. Better even to tell a lie by expressing gratitude for a benefit you have not received, than to state the plain fact of your situation truthfully but as a complaint. Who is totally without the Grace of Almighty Allah? Allah Ta’ala states, “And if you have to count the bounties of Allah, you will be unable to do so.” [Surah 16, Verse 18]
How many blessings you enjoy without acknowledging them for what they are! If you complain about Almighty Allah while you are in good health and already enjoy some blessing, just wanting to get more and shutting your eyes contemptuously to the benefit and well-being you have received from Him, He will be angry with you and will deprive you of both. Most of the various disasters that afflict a human being are due to his complaints against his Rabb. How can anyone have any grievance against Him, when He is the Most Merciful of the merciful, the Best of all judges, Wise, Aware, Gracious, Compassionate; when He is kind to His servants and not a cruel slave-master.
Be on your best behaviour! Persevere in the face of misfortune, even if you are incapable of patience. Then be patient even if you are incapable of conforming with good grace. Do you not heed His words, “(Fighting in the Way of Allah) is made obligatory upon you, although it is disliked by you. This may be so, that you dislike a thing which actually may be good for you. And perhaps you desire a thing, but it may be bad for you. And Allah knows (the actual truth) while you know not.” [Surah 2, Verse 216]
Keep your tongue from complaining. Provided you do this, then if what is meant for you is good, Almighty Allah will grant you extra pleasure, happiness and joy; and if it is bad, He will keep you safe in His obedient service while it runs its course. He will absolve you of blame, and keep you unaffected while it lasts, until it is all over for you and becomes a thing of the past. There are so many sins and errors and outrages, so many kinds of offences and faults that cause defilement. To be worthy of the company of the Noble Lord, one must be purged of the impurities of sins and failings. No one is granted an audience at His court unless he is unstained by the filth of pretentiousness and self-conceit, just as no one is fit for the company of kings without being cleansed of all impurities and every kind of stench and dirt. Misfortunes have an expiatory and purificatory effect. As the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) so truthfully said, “One day’s fever is atonement for a year of sin.”
If in adversity you respond with patience and compliance, through His help, favour and generosity, you will receive reassurance, support, blessing and mercy. As Almighty Allah says, “O you who believe! Seek help through patience and prayer. Surely, Allah is with those who have patience.” [Surah 2, Verse 153] Concerning His blessing and mercy, Almighty Allah says, “And give glad tidings to the patient. Those when they are afflicted by some misfortune say, “Surely we belong to Allah and to Him is our return.” Those are the ones upon whom are Blessings and Mercy from their Lord, and it is those who are rightly guided.” [Surah 2, Verses 155-157]
The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has told us in the Hadith, “There will be groups of people who will surely be wishing, on the Day of Resurrection, that their flesh might be cut away with scissors, in view of the reward they see given to those who have borne misfortune.”
For one who suffers tribulation, he will sometimes be tried as a punishment and retribution for an offence he has perpetrated or a sin he has committed, at another time as an expiation & purification, and finally, for the sake of elevation in spiritual degrees. The sign that trials are being inflicted as retribution and punishment is lack of patience while they last, as well as anxiety and complaining to people. The sign that the tribulation is for expiation and purification of sins, is the presence of beautiful patience, without complaint or expression of anxiety to friends and neighbours, and without irritation with the performance of commandments and acts of obedience. The sign that the trials are for the sake of spiritual progress is the presence of contentment, harmony, self-composure, quiet trust in the working of the Lord of the heavens and the earth, and annihilation within them until their eventual removal with the passage of time.
Know that help resides in patience, joy with sorrow, and “with hardship there is ease.” [Surah 94, Verse 5]
[Compiled from Futuh Al-Ghaib by Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam Hazrat Shaikh Sayyid Abdul Qadir Jilani Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh]
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to take heed of the advice of Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh to maintain patience and never to complain, Ameen.