Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Forgive me when I whine

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Patience... one of the key topics a Muslim will learn once he begins his quest to seek Islamic knowledge. Patience during moments of pain and anguish is probably one of the most difficult traits for a Muslim to embody.

"Oh you who believe! Endure and be more patient (than your enemy), and guard your territory by stationing army units permanently at the places from where the enemy can attack you, and fear Allah, so that you may be successful" [3:200]

In a long hadith narrated by Anas Ibn Malik RA where the Prophet SAW passed by a woman who was crying over the grave of his son, the Prophet said: "Fear Allah and be patient. (The reward for) Patience is only at the first (stroke) of grief". [Extract of hadith related by Imam Bukhari and Muslim]

And this is where so many of us fail. The failure to compose ourselves and fear Allah at the first stroke of grief. Forgive us, oh Allah, for we have constantly failed.

We forget that no matter how precious something or someone is in your life, remember... whatever Allah takes away or gives, belongs to Him. And Him alone.

Oh Allah, Oh Allah, forgive me when I whine.
I have been blessed indeed

The Year of Grief

One of the best ways to temper our grief is by reciting and reflecting upon the Qur'an as well as reading about the tumultuous journey of our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW in spreading the true religion of Islam. I find myself re-reading the prophet's year of grief whenever a major calamity befalls and it becomes barely tolerable.

In a single year...

Already facing persecution from his open preaching of Islam...

Already facing social and economical boycott from the Makkah Quraish...

Already chased till the outskirts of his beloved land of Makkah...

Our beloved prophet suffered the death of his dearest uncle, Abu Talib. Someone who had given him so much immunity and protection from the Makkah Quraish. Worse still, his beloved uncle refused to say the shahadah while facing his final moments on his deathbed.

As Rasulullah SAW begged his uncle to say the shahadah, his uncle almost did. But declined when he saw Abu Jahal and the other leaders of the various Quraish tribes.

Allah's reminder came swift:

"Verily! You (Oh Muhammad) guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are the guided. " [28:56]

After facing the anguish of his beloved uncle dying the death of a disbeliever, the prophet faced another calamity - the death of his treasured wife, Khadijah, just 3 days later...

In a moment of emotion, the Prophet said:
"She believed in me when none else did. She embraced Islam when people disbelieved me. And she helped and comforted me in her person and wealth when there was none else to lend me a helping hand..." [Hadith related by Imam Ahmad]

With the prophet rendered vulnerable through these events, the Makkah Quraish intensified their efforts to eradicate the Islamic creed from the face of the Earth...

With these events still fresh in his mind, Rasulullah travelled to Ta'if with Zaid Bin Haritha to spread Islam. Little did he realize that his sufferings would increase further...

For ten days of da'wah in Ta'if, people shouted insults at him... and kids were instigated to throw rocks at him until the blood from the wounds on his head flowed down both legs...

At a time when it seemed that the whole world had deserted him, Rasulullah SAW, wounded, wearied, exhausted and distressed from all the events that had befallen him whispered to his Lord:

"O Allah! To You alone I make complaint of my helplessness, the lack of my resources and my insignificance before mankind...

You are the most Merciful of the mercifuls. You are the Lord of the helpless and the weak...

O Lord of mine! Into whose hands would You abandon me: into the hands of an unsympathetic distant relative who would sullenly frown at me, or to the enemy who has been given control over my affairs?

But if Your wrath does not fall on me, there is nothing for me to worry about.

I seek protection in the light of Your Countenance, which illuminates the heavens and dispels darkness, and which controls all affairs in this world as well as in the Hereafter. May it never be that I should incur Your wrath, or that You should be wrathful to me. And there is no power nor resource, but Yours alone."

Oh Allah, Your prophet had gone through so much, yet I whine at such meagre challenges in life...

From Ibn Mas'ud RA:
The Prophet SAW said: "No Muslim is afflicted by a harm, be it the pricking of a thorn or something more (painful), but Allah thereby causes his sins to fall away just as a tree sheds its leaves". [Hadith related by Imam Bukhari and Muslim]

Oh Allah, give your servants patience through such painful afflictions..

والله علم
والسلام عليكم