Allah the Almighty says:
(( Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: "We believe," and will not be tested* And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allah knows all that before putting them to test). ))
Allah has decreed that the worldly life is built on afflictions, thus one will be afflicted with his religion, money and family. All these afflictions are but tests through which Allah tests his servants in order to distinguish between the good and the evil:
((And that Allah may test (or purify) the believers (from sins) and destroy the disbelievers. ))
The following saying is proved to be true: “Allah the Almighty strengthens His enemies till the people whose faith is weak say: ‘Where is Allah?’ However, later on Allah reveals His Might by granting triumph to the oppressed, so that the atheists say: ‘There is no god but Allah Alone.’”
The believers are afflicted by numerous adversities and afflictions. For instance, the believer and his family may be oppressed and humiliated by the people of falsehood, our enemies and the enemies of the truth, goodness and humanity. Furthermore, the believer won’t find anyone to support him to fight against oppression or even protect him from transgression. Let alone, that he will not be able to defend himself, because he has no powerful means to confront the transgressors and defeat them.
Five facts about the fiqh of adversity:
What is the wisdom behind adversities with which Allah afflicts the believers?!
The first fact: Becoming well-prepared to bear the trust:
The first fact is that Allah the Almighty never aims at torturing his servants. Also it is far from Him (The Exalted) to afflict his servants just to torture or hurt them, for He (The Exalted, the Most Gracious and The Most Merciful) created mankind in order to have mercy on them and make them rejoice getting acquainted with Him and worshiping Him.
Accordingly, the purpose of afflictions is to make people well-prepared, so that they can bear the major trust and the great responsibility. Bearing the trust can’t be achieved but through suffering, controlling desires, enduring the pain and having the deep belief in Allah’s victory and reward, Although the calamity is severe and longs for a considerable period of time.
Fire isolates gold from cheap metals. Similarly, afflictions purify souls from evilness.
The second fact: Adversity is atonement for sins and wrongdoings:
The second fact of the fiqh of adversity is that calamities are atonement for the sins and wrongdoings, and they exalt the person in the sight of Allah. Moreover, they are Allah’s testimony to the afflicted that their faith is strong and that their creed is sound. Allah makes the afflicted subjects of calamities.
It was reported in the Prophetic Sunnah that Mus’ab Ibn Saed, may Allah have mercy on his soul, that his father, may Allah be pleased with him, said: I asked the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him: O Messenger of Allah, who are the most in their suffering among people? To which the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, answered:
((The most in their suffering among the people are the prophets, then the best, then the (next) best. One is afflicted in accordance with his deen (faith). If his deen is firm his affliction is hard, and if his deen is weak, his affliction is light. Indeed, one would be so much subjected to adversity until he walks among the people without any sins. ))
Also the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said:
((The most in their suffering among the people are the prophets, then the righteous. One of them was afflicted with poverty to the extent that his garment was the only thing he had to wear, and one of them was afflicted with lice till it killed him, however, they were more happier in their adversity than the rejoice of the one of you in being bestowed.))
Narrated 'Urwa bin Az-Zubair: I asked Ibn Amr bin Al-As, "Tell me of the worst thing which the pagans did to the Prophet." He said, "While the Prophet was praying in the Hijr of the Ka'ba; 'Uqba bin Abi Mu'ait came and put his garment around the Prophet's neck and throttled him violently. Abu Bakr came and caught him by his shoulder and pushed him away from the Prophet and said, "Do you want to kill a man just because he says, 'My Lord is Allah?' "
It was reported in Sahih Al-Bukhari, that Al-Khabbab bin Al-Art, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
We complained to Allah's Apostle (about our state) while he was leaning against his sheet cloak in the shade of the Ka'ba. We said, "Will you ask Allah to help us? Will you invoke Allah for us?" He said, ((Among those who were before you a (believer) used to be seized and, a pit used to be dug for him and then he used to be placed in it. Then a saw used to be brought and put on his head which would be split into two halves. His flesh might be combed with iron combs and removed from his bones, yet, all that did not cause him to revert from his religion. By Allah! This religion (Islam) will be completed (and triumph) till a rider (traveler) goes from San'a' (the capital of Yemen) to Hadramout fearing nobody except Allah and the wolf lest it should trouble his sheep, but you are impatient.))
This is how the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, was mistreated despite his loftiness and sublime nature in the eyes of the public and those who were close to him. How were the noble companions, mistreated especially the weak ones? You all know how Bilal, Khabbab, Aal Yaser, Suhaib, Ibn Mas’ood and other companions were tortured because they said: “There is no god but Allah Alone.” They set outstanding examples of forbearing hardship as they scarified themselves for the sake of this religion.
The third fact: Adversity is a testing means:
The third fact is that Allah the Almighty tests people at times of hardship. As a result, the hypocrisy of the hypocrites will be revealed and the false nature of liars will be unfolded. Simultaneously, the steadiness of those who stand firm will be apparent and the strong faith of the believers will be crystal-clear. Almighty Allah says:
(( And that Allah may test (or purify) the believers (from sins) and destroy the disbelievers. ))
Ibn Al Qayyem, may Allah have mercy on his soul, said:
“Out of a profound wisdom, Allah the Almighty afflicts the souls and puts them into tests by which He distinguishes the good from the evil and the one who deserve His help and protection from the one who do not. Basically, the soul is benighted and despotic in nature, and once it is filled with evilness, it becomes in need for purification whether in the worldly life or in hellfire. Thus, it is better for the soul to be purified in worldly life. Consequently, it will be admitted in paradise.”
No one is more jealous towards the rightness and its people than Allah…however, trials are Allah’s decree to test the hearts and sift people. Allah says:
(( And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allah knows all that before putting them to test). ))
The fourth fact: Adversity shows Allah’s Signs:
The fourth fact is that Allah the Almighty reveals His Sings to His servants in showing them the ramification of oppression and tyrants, and how the righteous servants of Allah will inherit the land no matter how long the calamity lasts.
Where is Fir’aun who said to his people:
(( O chiefs! I know not that you have an ilah (a god) other than me ))
And who said:
(( Saying: "I am your lord, most high", ))“
Who also said:
(( O my people! Is not mine the dominion of Egypt, and these rivers flowing underneath me. ))
Eventually Allah ran those rivers over him ( Fir’aun drowned)!
Where is Haman? Where is Qarun? Where are the people of Ad? Where are the people of Thamud?
(( So We punished each (of them) for his sins, of them were some on whom We sent Hasiban (a violent wind with shower of stones) [as the people of Lout (Lot)], and of them were some who were overtaken by As-Saihah [torment - awful cry, etc. (as Thamud or Shu'aib's people)], and of them were some whom We caused the earth to swallow [as Qarun (Korah)], and of them were some whom We drowned [as the people of Nuh (Noah), or Fir'aun (Pharaoh) and his people]. It was not Allah Who wronged them, but they wronged themselves. ))
Listen to the following anonymous verses which prove to be true:
Where are the tyrants, where are their followers in tyranny,
and where are Fir’aun and Haman?
Where are those who dominated the whole world?
and those who were well-known for their oppression and transgression?
Where are the dictators, woe unto them?
And where are those who were seduced by mastery and amusement?
Did death leave any haughty to anyone who used to have it?
Or did anyone flee death by paying money?
By Him who has created the universes out of nihility,
everyone will die whether human or Jinn he is.
It was reported in the Prophetic Sunnah:
((Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, for there is no barrier between it and Allah.))
In another narration:
((There are three persons whose supplications are never rejected: The just leader, the fasting person when he breaks his fast and the oppressed when he supplicates and whose supplication is raised above the clouds and the gates of heaven are opened for it and Allaah will say, “By My Glory! I shall assist you even if it is after a while.”))
The fifth fact: Adversity makes us long to meet Allah:
The fifth fact is that afflictions in the worldly life make you long for meeting Allah the Almighty. No matter what your status is and whatever the conditions under which you live, they can never last forever; things always fluctuate in this worldly life, and they will never be the same for good. Hence, when hardships and misfortunes become sever and the calamity worsens, the believer gets rid of his love for the worldly life, yearns for meeting his Lord and strives for the Hereafter.
O Allah, have mercy on the souls of our martyrs, grant recovery for the injured, release the imprisoned and protect the innocents and the oppressed.