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Difficulties and the Muslim Mind-set – Part 8 

Jul 07, 2022

We also must remember that things are probably going to get worse in the time to come. Abdullah bin Mas’ud RA narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“‏ بَدَأَ الإِسْلاَمُ غَرِيبًا وَسَيَعُودُ كَمَا بَدَأَ غَرِيبًا فَطُوبَى لِلْغُرَبَاءِ ‏”
Islam initiated as something strange, and it would revert to its (old position) of being strange, so good tidings for the stranger. [Sahih Muslim]
Fitnah, trials and tribulations are part of life. The stronger your Deen, it is likely the stronger the trial you’ll be afflicted with. Stay patient. Stay grateful that Allah has good in mind for you. If it’s a museeba, (misfortune – a difficulty sent down by Allah, which is not in your control) there’s nothing you can do but pray. And if it`s a mushkila, (difficulty – a difficulty which resulted because of your own negligence) look within at your own wrongdoing and remember life has its ups and downs — it is simply a reminder for you to turn back to Allah.
So, what do you get for all of these difficulties and trials? Well, the greatest gift of all. Allah has promised us the gift of mercy. These trials are time-bound and tiny — and in that context, compared with an eternal difficulty in the afterlife — our stomach-ache or job loss certainly appears to be more bearable.
There are definitely other hidden benefits to misfortune and difficulty which we may not be aware of, that we should certainly not take lightly.
Ibn Ata’Allah R says in his Hikam:
“Sudden distress heralds feast days for one who aspires”.
He also said:
“Distress is the key to spiritual gifts”.
And again:
“You will perhaps find a benefit in distress which you have not been able to find in fasting nor in prayer; therefore when it descends upon you, defend yourself no longer and do not be concerned with searching for some remedy, lest you drive away the good which comes toward you freely, and give up your will entirely to your Lord; then you will see marvels.”
Ibn Rajab R also said that if the person truly realises and understands the above:
“he will know that the bounty that comes from Allah to a believer due to his trials is greater than the bounty that comes from Allah during his times of ease.”
A good practice is to look towards the past and what did our predecessors do when times were hard (and they were hard, often). Whenever the people of the past suffered, they would actually follow up with dhikr. That’s what we can do and should do.
Abdullah bin Abbas RA narrates that the Prophet ﷺ stated that if a person constantly makes “Istighfaar”, then Allah removes every difficulty, frees him from every sorrow and makes a means for him to receive sustenance from places that he never thought of. [Mishkat from Ahmad]

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