Social Interactions and Coping with Hard Times

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

مُعَاوِيَةَ يَقُولُ: سَمِعْتُ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ: “لَمْ يَبْقَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا بَلَاءٌ وَفِتْنَةٌ”

Mu’awiyah said:

“I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) say: ‘There is nothing left of this world except trials and tribulations.’”[1]

Benefits for this subject:

  • Out of the 6 books of hadith Ibn Majah alone mentioned this hadith and it has been graded as being Sahih by Shiekh Muhammad Ethiopian in his explanation for Ibn Majah.
  • Imam Ibn Majah placed this hadith in his collection under the chapter heading “Hard Times”
  • The general meaning of the hadith is in era after era trials and tribulations will increase and the people living during those times will be tested [2]
  • The hadith warns us about the Fitan that will occur after the death of Muhammad ((صلى الله علبه و سلم ))
  • This world is a testing ground wherein, trials and tribulations must occur. The alert person must take heed and prepare accordingly to deal with these tests to safeguard his religion. This hadith the Prophet (ﷺ) informed Muawiyah(radi Allahu anhu) that this World is full of tests and tribulations, so much so, that this is the only thing a person should really expect from this planet. The good of it will perish and the evil will remain on it, religious people will die and the irreligious people will remain living .
  • The difference between trials(بلاء) and tribulations (فتنة  ). Tribulations generally stem from desires (شهوات (or a person placing his opinion over the Quran and the Sunnah شبهة)). Desires are defeated by remaining patient and opinions from the people are conquered by clinging to the path of the Salaf. Trials on the other hand are things that person dislikes. In the end the trial either brings out the best in a person or the worst. I.e. he’s obedient and thankful, or sinful and ungrateful.[3]
  • The beginning of these trials and tribulations on this Earth started after Umar with the killing of Uthman (Radi Allahu anhu). This resulted in bloodshed, division and gave birth to the Khawarij. Following this began the trials and tribulations of the Qadriyyah and the Rafidah sect. These trials were like the waves of a tsunami.
  • Allah has made son of Adam a trial and tribulation for each other out of His Divine Wisdom. He said:

وَجَعَلْنَا بَعْضَكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ فِتْنَةً أَتَصْبِرُون وَكانَ رَبُّكَ بَصِيرًا

And We have made some of you as a trial for others: will you have patience? And your Lord is Ever All-Seer (of everything).[25:20]

This verse applies to all of mankind and means that their existence and presence are an ongoing trial and test for one another. The men are a trial and test for the women and the women are a trial and test for the men. The women today acknowledge men’s masculinity, strength and power that Allah has given them ; thus, the feminist movement are calling women to behave like men and assume their roles. The men are being tested with the women’s indecent behavior and as a result are falling into sins.   

The poor and the rich one, are both an ordeal for each other. The wealthy one is tested with his wealth towards the less fortunate to see if he will either help and support them when needed, or will he simply just turn them away. What’s more, between the sinners and the righteous people are trials. Also, the believer and disbeliever both suffer from each other’s existence.  

The messengers are trialed by the people Allah sent them to. The messengers are tested by calling their people to the truth, and remaining patient with their harms and difficulties by inviting them to Islam. The people the messengers are sent to are tested by the messengers. Are they going to obey them, aide them and believe in them, or are they going to disbelieve in them and reject them and assassinate them?  

The scholars are tested by the ignorant people. Are they going to teach them, advise them and remain patient while doing so? The ignorant are tried by scholars, are they going to obey and follow their guidance? The rulers of the land are tested by the people they govern and vice versa. The ruler of his people is tested to do the right thing and deal with them justly. Those governed are a trial for their governments. Are they going to be law abiding citizens and be patient, or are they going to be criminals? Those who enjoin what is right and forbid evil are test by those who do evil. If they see the evil and wrongdoing, will they have the courage to stand up or will they simply remain silent? Those committing evil in public are tested by those who ask them to stop and remind them to fear Allah. Do they take heed or not? [4]

  • A person might ask a question that Allah already knows the results of the servants’ tests before He tests them, so why do so ?

Answer: Allah wants to reward His servant for his actions that by he did and deeds he earned during the tests and trials. The things he did or abandoned during the test and trial were by his choice, and not by Allah’s knowledge. Hence, he deserves to be rewarded. These tests and trial manifest the servant’s true nature; thus, he’s rewarded accordingly.[5]

The following Dua is one can often say throughout his day

اللهم إِني أسألُكَ الهُدَى و التَّقَى و العَفَافَ و الغِنَى

Oh Allah, I ask You for guidance, piety, virtue and sufficiency

 Prepared by the one in need of Allah’s mercy

  Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle

Doha,Qatar 1443 ©

[1] Sunan Ibn Majah 4035

[2]مرشد ذوي الحجا vol 24 pg 238

[3] كتاب نضرة النعيم في مكارم أخلاق الرسول الكريم vol 1/pg 8

[4] Refer to Tafsir ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali compiled by Tarqi Awdallah vol2/205, Tafsir ibn Badess  vol 1/pg 165

[5] Tafsir ibn Badees ibid

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