How this ayah from the Qur’an helped me get through the most difficult of times
By Shama F.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
بِسْمَ الله الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ
And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient,
In this beautiful ayah, Allah is telling us, ‘surely We will test you’. So, this is definitely going to happen with each one of us in different ways — with fear (it can be of any kind, of people or anything else), hunger (which would include fear of losing job, livelihood or extreme hunger), loss in goods (it can be things and money), lives (death of people, sufferings and illnesses) and loss in fruits (even children are regarded as our fruits and also the fruits in general which might get spoiled.)
In his explanation of this ayah, Ustad Nouman Ali Khan says that fear can be of all kinds and economic situation can lead to poverty and hunger, loss can be of assets and people and fruits are considered as return on your investments, assets and savings and children are also considered as fruits. We might be tested with regards to our own offspring and go through pain in issues related to them. But if someone practices patience and does not whine or complain then Allah gives good news.
I had read this ayah of Al Qur’an numerous times but had never contemplated on it. My life was going smoothly, Alhamdulillah. I had completed my education, got married and had kids and never realised that life is a collection of phases both bitter and sweet.
I got the first taste of loss and pain when my beloved father got ill with cancer. He suffered for a few months and then passed away. This had a deep impact on my mind. I started brooding over life and the reality and purpose of our existence.
My father was a very active person and we had never seen him take rest except for the siesta after lunch and the night sleep. When I saw him on a bed, frail and helpless, I could not take it. But this was the Qadr of Allah and it made me a changed person.
After a few years, my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and this completely shook me up. We were shocked. But again, Allah had willed something for us. Before the death of both my parents it was their suffering and pain, and my helplessness that turned me to Allah.
I started searching the words of Allah for solace, peace and a cure for my problems in life. I made dua to Him passionately and cried like a child. I used to keep myself busy skimming through the pages of Al Qur’an to find something that will bring tranquillity to my troubled mind.
And then I found this amazing ayah! I was stunned when I pondered over it and understood the wisdom behind all the sufferings and losses in this world. This was something new to me. I read the ayah over and over and felt as if Allah is consoling me and telling me that all this is bound to happen in life.
Allah’s words are so powerful. They are indeed a cure, healing and mercy for the believers. I started thinking on the lines of Al Qadr and was successful in convincing myself that everything happens by the will of Allah and accepting it is the only solution for living a content life.
Narrated Abu Huraira (رضي الله عنه ): Allah’s Apostle (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “If Allah wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts him with trials.*
When something in the form of a calamity and affliction strikes us the best response is the acknowledgement of the fact that everything is from Allah and to Him everything returns. This is what is taught to us right in the next ayah.
الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ
Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah , and indeed to Him we will return.”
Ibn Kathir (رَحِمَهٌ الله) notes: “Those who recite this statement to comfort themselves in the face of their loss, know that they belong to Allah and that He does what He wills with His servants. They also know that nothing and no deed, even if it was the weight of an atom, will be lost with Allah on the Day of Resurrection. These facts thus compel them to admit that they are Allah’s servants and that their return will be to Him in the Hereafter.”
And to conclude, we all know that famous hadith where the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.”**
On my journey with this ayah, I learnt that this life is just a test that we are going through every single moment. The reward for being patient during these tests is Paradise and Allah bestows wisdom to those who realise this and lead their lives with this in mind.
Facing hardships becomes much easier when we know the wisdom behind them and the best way to know life is to know the Creator of Life through His own Word and that is the Qur’an.
*Sahih Bukhari: Volume 7, Book 70, Number 548
**Sahih al Bukhari 5641, 5642