“And We will surely test you with something of fear, hunger, and loss of wealth, lives, and fruits…But, give glad tidings to the patient. Those who, when they are afflicted by a calamity say: ‘Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.’ Those are the ones upon whom are Salawaat from their Lord, and they receive His mercy. And it is those who are the rightly guided.” [al-Baqarah: 155-157]
Allah informs us that His slaves must be tested with trials, in order to manifest and differentiate between those who are truthful and those who are liars, between those who are patient and those who are impatient. This is the way Allah deals with His slaves, because if the people of faith (Imaan) were not tested and they were left to remain in good times and happiness there would be confusion which is corruption. However, the wisdom of Allah necessitates differentiating the good people from the evil people. This is the lesson and benefit of trials. So these trials are not to lose the Imaan of the believers, nor to turn them away from their religion. Never would Allah cause the believers to lose there Imaan.
These calamities, tests, and trials must occur, as The All-Knower, All- Acquainted has informed us. And just as He informed us, they happen. Whenever they befall, people are divided into two categories:
»And The Impatient
The impatient has to deal with two calamities: Loosing something beloved (the calamity at hand), plus loosing something far greater; and that is the reward one would have attained for obeying Allah by being patient; thus, the one who is impatient totally losses. This person’s Imaan decreases and he/she misses out the opportunity of having patience, gratitude, and being satisfied and pleased (with the decree of Allah). Rather, he/she becomes displeased and/or angry. This attitude shows immaturity in Imaan.
As for the one who Allah guides to patience during times of calamity; he/she restrains his/her speech and actions from the dissatisfaction and displeasure (of Allah). This person seeks their reward with Allah. He/she understands that the reward for being patient is greater than that which was lost. In this sense, the calamity actually becomes a blessing for such a person, because it becomes a means to achieve something that is better and more beneficial than which was lost. This person is rewarded for obeying Allah’s command to be patience. As Allah says:
“…and give glad tidings to the patient.”
Their statement in these rough times is:
“Innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji’oon.”
Meaning: We are owned by Allah, and we are under His command and control. Therefore, we do not really own ourselves or our wealth. So when we are tested with calamities, we must realize it is the Most Merciful running His sovereignty. None can oppose or question Him. It is from excellence in worship to realize that the calamities that befall us are from The All-Wise Owner Who has more compassion for His slaves then they even have for themselves. This realization will make us satisfied with Allah, and thankful for His management, because we know it is good for us even if we do not understand how.
While we are owned by Allah, we will also return to Him on the Day of Return. Then everyone will be recompensated. So if we bear patience and seek Allah’s reward, we will find our great reward with Him. However, if we are impatient, dissatisfied, and displeased, the only recompensation we get is dissatisfaction and the missed-out opportunity of the reward of patience.
So the realization that the slave belongs to Allah, and is returning to Allah, is of the greatest causes of patience.
…who are characterized by the aforementioned patience have…,
“…upon them are the Salawaat of their Lord…”
Meaning: high praise and mention of their character.
(Meaning): immense mercy, and from His mercy upon them is that He has made them successful in being patient, by which they achieve an excellent reward.
“…and it is those who are the rightly guided.”
(Meaning): those who acknowledge the truth and act in accordance to it. The truth meant here is their knowledge that they belong to Allah and that they are returning to Him. They implement this reality by being patient for Allah.
This verse also indicates that whoever does not have patience will get the opposite of that which those who are patient attain. Allah thus penalizes them with dispraise, punishment, misguidance, failure, and loss. What a great difference is there between these two groups of people!
“Little (indeed) is the hardship that the patient experience, while the impatient experience much hardship and distress!”
1. These verses: prepare the soul for mishaps and calamities before they happen so that it will be easier and lighter on the soul when they finally befall.
2.These verses: explain how to react to such mishaps and calamities. (i.e. have Sabr/Patience)
3. These verses: shed light on the things that help one to have patience.
4. These verses: detail the reward of those who are patient.
5. These verses: give awareness to the condition of the impatient by the opposite condition of the patient.
6. These verses: explain that trials and tests are the system of Allah which has been established. And you will never find any change in the system of Allah.
7. (And lastly), these verses: detail the different types of mishaps and calamities.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
Whenever a slave is afflicted with a calamity, then says:
“Indeed we belong to Allah and Indeed to Him we will return. O Allah reward me for my affliction, and replace what I lost with something better.”
Allah rewards him/her and replaces his/her loss with something better.
(Narrated by Muslim)