With the Muslim community constantly under the spotlight, it is inevitable for some Muslims to feel defeated about our state as a minority community here in Australia. That, coupled with the state of our Ummah overseas, can lead some to think that we are stuck in a quandary that is impossible to get out of.

But Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ ‎has assured the believers ease, victory and contentment following trial and tribulation. In Surat Al-Mujadilah Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ ‎says:

كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَأَغْلِبَنَّ أَنَا وَرُسُلِي ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ

Allah has decreed: “It is I and My Apostle who must prevail”: For Allah is One full of strength and is able to enforce His Will [21]

Ibn Kathir understood this to mean that Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ ‎has ruled that the Nasr (victory) is for Him, His book, His Messengers and His slaves (the believers).sabr-15-638

Thus as Muslims we are certain that Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ ‎will bestow his victory upon his slaves so we must continue to remain steadfast on the straight path knowing that Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ ‎will fulfil his promise, whenever He has so destined.

We need to remind ourselves that traversing this course towards the decree (i.e. the victory) of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ ‎brings many tests to the sincere believer. Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ ‎has told us of the nature of these trials in Surat Al-Baqarah:

أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَنْ تَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَأْتِكُمْ مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ ۖ مَسَّتْهُمُ الْبَأْسَاءُ وَالضَّرَّاءُ وَزُلْزِلُوا حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَعَهُ مَتَىٰ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ ۗ أَلَا إِنَّ نَصْرَ اللَّهِ قَرِيب

“Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you? They were touched by poverty and hardship and were shaken until [even their] messenger and those who believed with him said “When is the help of Allah?” Unquestionably, the help of Allah is near” [214]

We need only to look at the Seerah of our Prophet ﷺ, and the many trials he had to endure before he established Allah’s deen in Madinah. If Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ ‎tested the one dearest to Him, it is inevitable that we too will encounter trials such as that of the Prophet ﷺ.

Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ ‎in his infinite mercy has equipped us with the tools to deal with any hardship we may encounter. He says in Surat Al-Baqarah, Verse 155:

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنْفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ

“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to Al-Sabireen (the patient ones) …”

We are told, simply, that it is inevitable. Trials will occur. But as for Al-Sabireen; then truly through hardships there are blessings that exceed the suffering and pain experienced. Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ ‎would not destine us with hardship if He سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ ‎didn’t think that we could benefit from it and make the fruit of the hardship infinitely sweeter. He سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ ‎even sends his “glad tidings” to those of the patient ones specifically, indicating how loved to Allah the Sabireen indeed are.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “When Allah loves a people He tests them. The one who is patient will be granted patience. The one who shows anguish will be given anguish” [Ahmed].

So we can see again here the emphasis on patience and that indeed should be the initial response of a sincere believer when faced with a calamity as indicated in the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ: “Verily, patience is at the first stroke of a calamity” [Bukhari].

Reward for those who are patient

Not only has Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ ‎given us the best response to trials and tribulations, but the believer is rewarded abundantly by virtue of being patient. It is only through the mercy of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ ‎that He gives the Muslim the antidote to benefit us here in this dunya and the akhirah.

In a hadith narrated by Anas bin Malik, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said “Allah said: If I deprive my slave of his two beloved things (i.e. in his eyes) and he remains patient, I will let him enter Paradise in compensation for them” [Bukhari].

He also said (ﷺ) said: “No calamity, no matter how small it is, befalls a Muslim in this world (and he hopes patiently for the reward) except that his sins will be wiped out on the Day of Judgment” [Bukhari].

What Patience is not

We need to understand the subject of patience in order to remove the confusion some Muslims have about its reality and meaning. To some, patience means to isolate oneself from the fitan and evil that pervades society, in spite of the fact that the wholesale slaughter of Muslims abounds and is due to systemic causes. They do not take a stand on these issues, staying away from them and abandoning the duty of forbidding evil. Some instead choose to remain silent, willing themselves and others to “be patient” and “content” with their circumstance without traversing the difficult road that the enjoinment of good entails. This is naught but weakness from which the Messenger of Allah ﷺ sought refuge:

“Oh Allah, I seek refuge in You from worry and grief, from helplessness and laziness, from cowardice and stinginess, and from overpowering of debt and from oppression of men.”

Patience means speaking for and acting upon the truth and bearing the hardships that result in the path of Allah without deviation or weakness. These attributes can be seen from the Prophets of the past such as Prophet Nuh AS, who spent 950 years bringing the message of tawheed to his people, despite it yielding minimal apparent “results”. Prophet Yusuf AS was put in many situations that tested him, being abandoned as a child in a well, being sold into slavery, accused and imprisoned of a crime he did not commit and being apart from his beloved father for many years.

To be tested and be steadfast and patient is a well-trodden path of our forefathers, and our greatest example is the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. He constantly struggled with the Quraysh while he was mocked, ridiculed, boycotted, driven out of his land and suffered the loss of his most beloved supporters and protectors of his da’wah.

We must stand firm despite the pressure exerted on our community. With patience and perseverance in the path of Allah, we can be sure that regardless of the difficulties we may face, there will be a sure reward.

Muslim reported on the authority of Shu’ayb RA that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (Allah); thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shown resignation (and endures it patiently); there is a good for him in it.”

May we be of the Sabireen – those to whom Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ ‎sends His glad tidings.

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