25 June 2012

Hardships Benefit the Believer

In the name of Allah, the Most-Merciful, the All-Compassionate

"May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon You"

Praise be to Allaah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allaah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allaah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allaah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allaah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.

HardshipsBenefit the Believer

Allah has decreed that, in this life, hardships and disasters strike bothbelievers and non-believers. For a non-believer, they are inconveniences thathinder him from proceeding with his normal involvement in the worldly life. Fora believer, on the other hand, they are instances of rest and remembrance,tests that promise great rewards, and indications of atonement and expiation ofsins.
Regardless of how little is the harm that strikes a believer, it carries withit good news of forgiveness and elevated rank ( in Jannah ). The RighteousPredecessors used to be pleased when a hardship afflicted them, seeing it as atoken of Allah's forgiveness and benevolence.

 Expiationof Sins

Abu Hurayrah (RA) reported that the Prophet said: " Hardships continue to befall a believing man and woman intheir body, family, and property, until they meet Allah (S) burdened with nosins. " [Tirmithee]

Sign of Allahs Love

Abu Hurayrah (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: "Whenever Allah wills good for a person, He subjects himto adversity" [Bukharee and others]

Sign of Emaan

Abu Hurayrah (RA) and Kab Bin Maalik (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said:"The parable of a believer is that of a freshand moist plant; the wind tilts it this way and that way; and so is thebeliever; he continues to be subject to affliction. And the parable of ahypocrite is that of a firm cedar tree; it does not shake - until it isuprooted all at once."
[Bukhari and Muslim]

Sign of Righteousness

The prophets and righteous people are afflicted the most, and their rewards arethe highest. Saad (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: "The most intheir 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 deenis firm his affliction is hard, and if his deen is weak, his affliction islight. Indeed, one would be so much subjected to adversity until he walks amongthe people without any sins." [Ahmad, Tirmithee]

Early Punishment

Anas (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: "WhenAllah wills good for a servant of His, He expedites his punishment in thislife; and when He wills retribution for a servant of His, He holds his sins forHim to judge him by them on the Day of Resurrection." [Tirmithee]

Multiplication of Rewards

Anas (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: "Theamount of reward is in accordance with the amount of suffering. When Allah(SWT) loves some people, He tries them (with affliction). He who then iscontent (with Allahs decree) has achieved the acceptance (of Allah), and he whois dissatisfied (with Allahs decree) will attain the anger (of Allah)."[Tirmithee]

Rewards for Sickness

One should not look to sickness as a gloomy episode, but should remember thegreat good in it. It is one form of affliction with which Allah (SWT) tests Hisservants, giving them a
chance to acquire rewards, as was explained above, as is further emphasizedbelow.

Removal of Sins and Elevation in Ranks

Abu Hurayrah (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: "Whenever a Muslim is afflicted by harm from sickness orother matters, Allah will drop his sins because of that, like a tree drops itsleaves." [Bukharee and Muslim]
Abu Saeed al-Khudree (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: "A Muslim is not afflicted by hardship, sickness, sadness,worry, harm, or depression - even if pricked by a thorn, but Allah expiates hissins because of that." [Bukhari and Muslim]
Aishah (RA) narrated that once some pain afflicted the Prophet (SAW) causinghim to suffer and turn about in his bed. she said: "Had one of us done this, you would have blamed him." He (SAW) replied:" An ailment is intensified for the righteous. whenever a believer isafflicted by a hardship, whether it is a thorn or more, a sin is taken off fromhim because of it, and he is elevated by one rank (in Jannah). "[Ahmad]

Retaining Rewards for Deeds Before Sickness

Usually, when a believer falls sick, he would not be able to do the same amountof good (prayer, fasting, helping Muslims etc) that he used to do when he waswell. But Allah out of His great mercy, continues to record for him the gooddeeds that he was forced to stop because of his sickness.
Abu Moosa Al-Asharee narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said: "For a traveling or sick person, his deeds will berecorded in accordance with what he used to do when he was resident or well."[Bukhari]
Abdullah Bin Amr reported that the Prophet said: "No(believing) person gets sick, but (his deeds) will be recorded for him inaccordance with what he used to do when he was well." [Bukhari]
Uqbah Bin Aamir reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: "Each days deeds are sealed with it. thus, when a believergets sick, the angels say, " Our lord! Your servant such and such, Youhave restrained him (from doing good this day)." And the lord replies," Seal his day in accordance with his (usual) deeds, until he is cured ordies". [Ahmad]

Reason for the Reward

Atta Bin Rabaah reported that Ibn Abbaas (RA) told him, "Do you want to see a woman from the people of Jannah(paradise)?" He said "Yes". He said: " It is this blackwoman. She came to the Prophet (SAW) saying, " I have (epileptic)seizures, and I get exposed, so supplicate to Allah for me." He (SAW)said: " If you wish, be patient and you will attain Jannah; or if youwish, I will ask Allah to cure you." She replied, " I will be patient! But my body gets exposed (because of the fall), so supplicate to Allah for methat I do not become exposed." and he (SAW) did." [Bukhari andMuslim]
The scholars have differed in opinion as to whether a sick person will berewarded for the sickness itself or for being patient during it. the correctopinion is that if he is patient and submits to Allah's will, as in the abovehadeeth, he would be rewarded for both the submission and the sickness,otherwise, he would not be rewarded at all; because he resented Allah's decree.This is what should be understood from Ibn hajar al-Asqalaanees words:"The authentic hadeeths are clear in that the rewards are recorded onceaffliction strikes a Muslim. As for patience and acceptance, they are virtuesfor which a person may get additional rewards over those for theaffliction." 'Abdullah Bin 'Amr reported that the Prophet (SAW) said:"If a Muslim is pricked by (as little as) athorn in the worldly life, and he seeks its reward from Allah, some of his sinswill be removed, because of it, on the Day of Judgement."[Bukharee]
"True believers are only those whose heartsare filled with awe whenever God is mentioned, and whose faith is strengthenedwhenever His revelations are recited to them. In their Lord do they place theirtrust." (Chapter 8: Verse 2)

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