Before starting with Question 18, we revise that when Allah sends, a hardship or an honor, upon his servant, it is how the servant behaves, which determines whether the Test is to Elevate his position [darajat ki bulandi] or to Punish him. Now please read the question.
Qn no 18: How can we know that this hardship or honor upon us, is a test from Allah, to elevate our position [darajat ki bulandi], or a punishment, ‘azab’, from Allah? This question has two parts [A] and [B].
[A] The servant knows that the hardship of losing a blessing is a test from Allah to elevate the servant’s position [darajat ki bulandi], so when he receives such a hardship of losing a blessing from Allah All-Mighty, he……
Choose the most appropriate one from below. Only one option is to elevate the servant’s position [darajat ki bulandi]. All the rest are for Allah’s punishment, ‘azab’.
1……..becomes extremely depressed, repents, cries, feels weakness in him-self and stops doing his day to day work properly waiting for the bad days to pass automatically or until he becomes used to them. Prays a lot to Allah only, repents on his mistakes, thanks Allah for whatever he has, make supplications [du’aa] to Allah only, depends only on Allah All-Mighty and does not try him-self at all to find any solutions for the problem. Nor does he try to find help from friends and relatives. Works hard to please Allah but does not work at all to solve the problem. He lives the life as it comes, endures hardships considering they are from Allah and only He All-Mighty will remove them for him.
2……. is very troubled so tries his best to find solution, there fore start telling his story to every person he meets, and asks help from them. With his friends and relatives he considers all his resources, plans, does the scheming then works to eliminate the problem. When working on their opinions he is unable to solve his problem, or the other person being a mere human being, who sincerely wants to help him but having human limitations, is unable to help, he becomes more helpless and more depressed. Starts blaming all well wishers for not helping him properly and in the process damages his relationships and friendships forever. In attempt to lessen the torture quickly he even goes to pirs, faqirs and does every thing what they tell him to do, even if it is a haram ritual in the eyes of Allah. He also goes to the graves of spiritual leaders to ask them to put his problem before Allah more effectively. If the problem is solved the servant becomes obliged to the helper for the rest of his life.
3…… prays more to Allah, thanks Allah for all the favors, ne’maten, He has given him, repents on his mistakes, make supplications [du’aa] to Allah only, thinks hard on how to solve the problem, and asks Allah for help. He tries to fulfill his obligations towards Allah and towards Allah’s servants. He tries to do all those things which he was not doing before to make Allah and His servants happy. He takes opinion from only that relative or person who is nearer to him and is trustworthy. Or he takes opinion from a person who is educated, experienced, and trained in that field where the problem lies. He works hard to find solution. He has faith only in Allah and depends only on Him, for solution of his problem. The servant believes, from Allah this problem came and He All-Mighty is the only One who will ultimately solve it. When the servant finds the solution, he believes that only Allah guided him to come to this solution and Allah gave him the ability to work, and then he was able to solve the problem in the end with His help. Only Allah brings people together [Allah vaseela banata hai] who seem to solve the problem, but it’s actually Allah All-Mighty Who solves the problem very naturally and easily. There fore at every stage the servant thanks Allah.
4……. thinks very negative about the hardship. He does not think even once that the hardship is from Allah All-Mighty. Thinks it’s because of worldly mismanagement, neglect or unprofessional conduct. He starts going to all friends and relatives one by one, blaming himself or the other for it. Feels his respect is lost therefore neither respect others nor their work. Starts finding fault with other people’s work, belittle them and their work, fights and abuses others for small unimportant matters while sitting in every house and discussing with every person. Feels jealous therefore starts planning to harm others instead of concentrating on his, own problems and their solutions. With this conduct he quickly becomes unpopular. This also he blames on others or the hardship or anything but himself.
5…….. All of the above.
6……… Some of the above.
7………. None of the above.
Answer no 18 [A], is option 3. While reading answer no 18 [A] two questions arise in mind. We know after tests from Allah, if the servant behaves properly as ordered by Allah, the tests become a way to go to the higher stages of honor. 1st question that arises in mind is can the servant ask Allah for the Tests, the Hardships ‘azmaishen’? Can the servant pray to Allah to send Tests and Hardships ‘azmaishen’ upon him so the servant may pass them to elevate his honor in the eyes of Allah and His servants? The answer is ‘No’. Allah dislikes a servant who asks for the Tests because Allah made man weak. Man, a Muslim or a non Muslim, has human weaknesses so must never ask for tests from Allah All-Mighty. 2nd question that comes in mind is while the servant must thank only Allah All-Mighty for solving the problem can the servant thank fellow persons too who helped him in solving the problem? The answer is ‘Yes’. Allah loves those of His servants most who are humble and thankful. The servant must thank the person who helped him to come out of the problem. In addition to this person Allah orders the servant to be thankful to some relations too, even if the servant does not fully understand their sacrifices for him. In this case the first relation is servant’s parents [parents in Islam means parents, grand parents and great grand parents if they are living]. The servant must all the time be humble and thankful towards his parents, especially to his mother [remember hadith saying care for your mother 3 times more than your father? Because Allah made man’s parents the first, closest, caring and most important relation to him]. Whether the servant is able to understand his parent’s sacrifices or not, he must never be rude to them. He must always be humble and thankful to them. The servant must always be obedient to his parents. The parents may be wrong at times, being mere humans and aged they may have weaknesses, even then the servant is not allowed to be rude in front of them. An adult servant [adult is a person who knows the difference between correct and incorrect] is not allowed to do things that are incorrect in the eyes of Allah ‘haram’[for e.g. to do shirk or immoral act or to deny/ confiscate any person’s rights/ property or to test any person’s patience or to harm another person physically, emotionally, economically, etc. etc] even if his beloved parents tell him to do them due to their ignorance. In this difficult situation also Allah does not allow the servant to be rude and discourteous to his parents. The servant must remain thankful, humble and polite in front of his parents. The servant can politely tell his parents what Allah says for that particular situation and most humbly refuse saying ‘I cannot do so because Allah dislikes it’. Allah loves His, those servants most dearly, who do things for His All- Mighty’s sake. In front of Allah the servant is answerable only for his own intentions [niyyat] and actions [‘amal]. And his parents are, individually answerable in front of Allah, for their intentions and actions. The servant must all the time pray for his parent’s ‘nek hidayat’ knowledge and practice of Islam soon i.e. before their death and also for their ‘maghfarat’ forgiveness from Allah. The second relation to whom Allah orders His servant to be thankful is his or her spouse. The quality of being thankful towards each other makes the relationship beautiful. Allah orders husband and wife both to be thankful to each other. Gratitude and thankfulness creates politeness and humbleness. It stops a person from practicing rudeness and discourteousness. If the situation is so difficult, for both, that they cannot talk humbly and politely to the other [which is very common among humans] even then Allah orders the servant to at least keep his own heart sincere and thankful for the other. He All-Mighty knows what is contained in the heart of His servant? Allah puts a family to Test and Hardship ‘azmaish’ even if one spouse is thankless. He All-Mighty tells us that both spouses have good deeds ‘ehsanaat’ for each other, no matter each is able to realize them or not. In this relation also each spouse is responsible for its own behavior. On the Day of Judgment Allah will not listen to any excuses, justifications or blames that ‘I did so because I was compelled by the other to do so’ or any other excuses like that. He All-Mighty orders the servant to have its behavior independent of any temptations or enticements which is very difficult for the servant but is highly honorable in His All-Merciful’s compassionate eyes. Allah will punish each person individually and no one is responsible for other person’s behavior. The servant can only keep its own behavior up to the best, pray for ‘nek hidayat’ increase in the knowledge and practice of Islam for the spouse and hope for the best from Allah. Allah loves those of His servants dearly who change their behavior one sided [yak tarfa] only for Him All-Mighty. When the servant does a thing for Allah All-Mighty, He sub han wa ta’ala repays the servant ten folds [10 times]. This is Allah’s promise to His servant and no promise is better than Allah’s promise. Other relations that the servant can thank are those who do small favors to him for e.g. if a friend brings a gift or servant’s brother/ sister does some thing for him. The servant can be thankful to his teacher [teacher may be any person from whom the servant learns something] too. One thing must be clear in mind that thankfulness and gratitude must not be mixed up with trust. Normally one starts liking the person for whom he has gratitude. This liking in turn creates good wishes and trust. To be thankful does not mean the servant can trust that person too. The servant must trust only that person whom the servant has tested before and the tested person is found worthy of the servant’s trust. The servant has blind trust only in Allah All-Mighty. All mortals must be tested before putting trust in them. Here rule of the thumb is that liars must never be trusted.
Thanks for being with me. May Allah bless you. Ameen.