Fleeing to Allah in Times of Calamities and Trials
Narrated by Thabit (r) that he heard from Anas (r) that the Prophet (S) said: “The real patience is at the first stroke of a calamity.”
عَنْ ثَابِتٍ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَنَسًا ـ رضى الله عنه ـ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ “ الصَّبْرُ عِنْدَ الصَّدْمَةِ الأُولَ
Transliteration: “As Sabru ‘Indas Sadmatil Ula.”
Our lives are often interrupted with situations, challenges, afflictions, trials and calamities.
Some of these happenings are natural and some are caused by human beings.
We lived normal lives and all of a sudden, this COVID-19 happens!
We traveled, spent time with friends and now we must plan differently due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
Some of these challenges are personal, some are related to the families, health, jobs while others are related to racism and diverse types of discrimination (like islamophobia) as well as safety and security nationally or internationally due to conflicts, aggressions and wars.
Yes, things do happen and in the midst of these happenings, we often do not see the light, the way out and loose hope!
And when we are in a such state, anxiety assails, pessimism visits us, despair and depression creep into our lives.
And that should not be the case!
Things do happen in live and we need to do all possible preventative measures that they do not happen, but still, if they happen, we must learn how to deal with them.
Whom to learn from how to deal with challenges, if not from the best of the teachers, the Chosen one (Mustafa), Muhammad (S), our role-model!
How did Muhammad (S) respond to trials and calamities?
What did he do in those challenging moments?
First of all, Muhammad (S) understood that challenges and calamities are inevitable tests in life, and we should understand the same way this reality.
“Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe” and not be tested?” (Ankabut 29:2)
أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوا أَن يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ
Secondly, when afflicted with challenges, he was not distracted but got more composed and the khair (good) visited him.
It was narrated by Suhaib (r) that Allah’s Messenger (S) said: “Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his/her and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he/she has an occasion to feel delight, he/she thanks (God), thus there is a good for him/her in it, and if he/she gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him/her in it (again).” (Muslim)
عَنْ صُهَيْبٍ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ عَجَبًا لأَمْرِ الْمُؤْمِنِ إِنَّ أَمْرَهُ كُلَّهُ خَيْرٌ وَلَيْسَ ذَاكَ لأَحَدٍ إِلاَّ لِلْمُؤْمِنِ إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ صَبَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ
Thirdly, Muhammad (S) was an optimist who thought of Allah only the best and expected of Him only the best because he understood Allah’s words clearly, as we should: “I am as my servants think of Me.” (Hadith Qudsi – Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmizi, Ibn Majah)
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى: أَنَا عِنْدَ ظَنِّ عَبْدِي بِي
Fourthly, God Almighty taught Muhammad (S) that after the challenge, ease will come and to expect the reward for being Sabir (patient) when facing challenges in life, as God Almighty tells in the Qur’an:
“For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” (Ash Sharh 91:5-6)
فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا
إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا
“And We will most certainly try (test) you with fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits. And give glad tidings to the patient.” (Al Baqarah 2:155)
وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الأَمَوَالِ وَالأنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ
Lastly, when the calamities assailed into his life, Muhammad (S) will flee to his Creator, as in the case of the abuse in Taif: “To You, o my Lord, I complain of my weakness!
اَللّٰھُمَّ إِلَیْکَ أَشْکُوْا ضَعْفَ قُوَّتِیْ
Ya Arhamar Rahimin (O, the most Merciful One)!
You are the Lord of the weak; You are my Lord!
To whom do you leave me?
To a distant person who receives me with hostility?
Or to the enemy You have given power over me?
And as long as You are not displeased with me, I do not mind what I face!
I would, however, be much happier with Your mercy!
Allah responds and aids Muhammad (S) with angels who ask Muhammad (S) to bring the two mountains (whose pebbles Taif people used to stone Muhammad (S)) to punish them but the Rasul (S) said: No! Rather, I pray that Allah blesses their children to be Muslims and worship Allah alone (Ar Rahiq Al Makhtum)
Ya Rabb! Guide us to understand that life is full of challenges that we need to face soberly as Muhammad (S) did by fleeing to the Creator in those difficult moments and seeing His protection – the protection of the Waliyy, Who is the Most Merciful and Compassionate!