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, an ‘azab’ from Allah? This question has two parts [A] and [B].
We already have done part [A] earlier which was “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’.”
We have already read the correct answer for part [A] in our last sitting. Now let us read part [B] and its answer.
Part [B] When Allah bestows His blessings, His favors, honors and comforts [ne’maten] upon His servant, after receiving those blessings, favors, honors and comforts, they become a test for the servant to elevate his position [darajat ki bulandi] only when he ……
Choose the most appropriate option from the following.
1………..throwsa big party to celebrate it, invites too many guests, even the remote relatives and friends are invited, buys most expansive clothes for self and family so he can show off well. He does arrangements in the most expansive hotel and calls most expansive vocalist band to perform, to show his happiness. He gives very expansive gifts to all attendees. He chooses the most expansive dishes and orders a quantity double the need and so spends more than he earns. Just to show how happy he is. Along with money, he wastes a lot of time too in appreciating self. He tells people very proudly that Allah gave him all this so there must be some goody in him. Then very arrogantly he repeats all good qualities even if he knows he does not possess them.
2………..goes to homes of each and every relative and friend to talk about this blessing, favor [ne’mat] of Allah to him. In the process he makes sure that other person realizes he doesn’t have it and also belittles him. He wastes his precious time doing this in the name of enjoyment. He is not financially strong enough to throw a party or give gifts so he does only what he can i.e. he appreciates his self falsely. He tells every one he is so hard working, intelligent, wise, strong-willed, truthful, trust worthy and all the good characteristics that he can think of. In the end he reasons that he rightly deserves it and nothing could stop him from having it.
3…………keeps on living the life as before. He does not talk or even mention it to others, thinking relatives and friends must notice it themselves. When some relatives and friends are unable to notice or unable to congratulate him, he becomes angry and damages his relations with them. He is very introvert so does not share his happiness with any one, considering it’s from Allah All-Mighty so he has no share of hard work, planning, wisdom etc. etc. to self. He has the view that it is because Allah wanted him to have it so there is no occasion for him to celebrate or be happy. He only prays to Allah All-Mighty, thanks Him only and tries to stay humble as much as possible.
4…………thanks all those who helped him in any way. If his pocket allows he invites some relatives and friends the near and dear ones to celebrate humbly, all the while remaining in his own skin considering, Allah appreciates humbleness. On this occasion he remembers the poor also and gives in charity[sadaqat, khairat] as much as he easily can, to make Allah happy. Or if he is not financially so good he shares his happiness with his friends and relatives when ever he meets them. All the time the servant remembers it is because of Allah All-Mighty that he received this favor. If Allah did not want, neither his hard work nor his planning could materialize this way. He prays the supererogatory prayers, prayers for being thankful to Allah All Mighty [shukrane ke nawafil] to show his gratitude only to Allah All-Mighty. He also prays that may Allah improve his abilities much better than the present so he is able to work even better in future and then may Allah give him even more than present. For the servant a blessing from Allah All-Mighty is just a step to move further ahead. On receiving the blessing the servant does not stop there. He quickly moves further on, keeps on working hard consistently, and stays humble and helpful to his friends and relatives.
5…………..some of the above
6…………..all of the above
7…………..none of the above
The most appropriate answer of 18 [B] is option 4. Actually a Muslim is so groomed by Islam that he practices tremendous strength and self control. Islam cleans, purifies and strengthens the spirit, the inner person. This topic can once more be repeated in 3 parts. 1] When any blessing is taken away from the servant he does not lose self control and remains in perfect calmness, harmony and perfect working condition because the servant knows Allah is happy this way and servant’s happiness should be in Allah’s happiness. 2]When the servant receives a blessing then also he remains in strong and total self control. The blessing which no one else has and only the servant possesses does not make him proud and mutakabber, instead he prays to Allah to show him the correct and better way of spending or using this blessing. The servant knows the use of a blessing is actually his test. His spirit remains humble, clean, unpolluted and pure of any self destructive emotions like arrogance, haughtiness, superiority complex, egotism, snobbish and over confidence etc. etc. Such emotions pull a person down and leave the spirit weak and exhausted of energy. The servant is not taken away by such emotions as a result of which non believers waste their precious time money and self. In both these situations the servant comes back to his Allah again and again. It may look odd in today’s world where the criterion of being happy is to spend money, time, self, and everything without reasoning. These were precisely the criterion of showing happiness, in the times of ‘jahaliya’, which were abandoned with the advent of Islam. On receiving a blessing the servant of Allah must stop for a while, pray supererogatory prayers (nawafil of shukrana) to Allah and then resume his life with a new self that is more satisfied, vigorous and stronger than before. This is the true spirit of Islam. The servant knows man has his limitations. Therefore the feeling of happiness, as any other feeling, is also in the inside of a person. So the magnitude of happiness cannot be shown completely, fully and wholly from outside. No matter how much is spent or how many people know of it or how much is praised. It will always be less than expected. It is the good feeling inside which matters the most and which gives the servant the strength and the quality of life rather than what is being done outwardly. Islam does not condemn the show of happiness. The show of happiness must only be to mark the occasion and not to be lavish and wasteful. Before doing all that the servant must never forget to thank Allah and must never forget the poor and the needy. 3] When the servant watches any of his fellows receiving a blessing which no one around has, except that fellow, the servant is expected to do what, Quran [para 3, Sura Aale Imran, ayat 37], Hazrat Zakariya (Zachariah, uncle of Maryam) did when he saw rizq (out of season fruits) with Hazrat Maryam which came from Allah. These were His All-Mighty’s blessings towards young Maryam. After this realization Hazrat Zakaria’s conviction in Allah grew stronger. When Allah could give Hazrat Maryam unseasoned fruits, He subhan wa ta’ala could bless Hazrat Zakariya too with unseasoned fruit (of offspring). Hazrat Zakaria, a messenger of Allah, was childless. Hazrat Zakaria was 100 and his wife was 98 years of age, at the time when he asked Allah for a child. So when he saw out of season fruits with Hazrat Maryam. He remembered what was missing in his own life. He immediately prayed to Allah for the blessing of an offspring. Allah sub han wa ta’ala listened to his invocations [du’aa] and gave glad tidings of birth of Hazrat Yahya (John).
This shows that the servant, on watching a fellow receiving a blessing, instead of becoming jealous and destructive, must return to Allah, pray and ask for His blessings for self too. Allah criticizes man and says in Quran there are only some of His servants who are watchful of His ayat (proofs, evidences, signs, revelations etc. etc). A blessing is also an ayah (proof, evidence, sign, revelation etc. etc) of Him All-Mighty. So the servant must be watchful for Allah’s ayat. When he finds an ayah he must pray for self too with full believe in Allah. This way the servant’s conviction and believe in Allah grows stronger than before. Allah sends His blessings [ayat] upon this world to make the servant’s conviction stronger for Him All-Mighty.