Allah, through His immense wisdom and prudence, has decreed that people will be tried and tested in various ways in order for Him to develop and strengthen their character towards that which is pleasing to Him. Going through suffering makes us normal and draws us closer to Allah.

Indeed Allah is All-Powerful (Al `Aziz) and He is able to do all things (Allahu ‘ala kuli shayin qadir). The Quran has mentioned this hundreds of times. It is also mentioned in the Quran that Allah is the Creator and He is the Best Creator. Glory be to Allah, the best Creator. (Al- Mu’minoon: 14).

But then the question comes why do pain and sufferings exist in the world?

We find sickness, old age and death. We see things that are ugly, people who are insane and foolish. There are storms, earthquakes, floods, drought and famine. We also see people commit sins, show disloyalty, unfaithfulness, greed and insincerity. We see people commit rapes, murders; they fight and make wars. We know all these and many more problems. There are evils caused by human beings and there are natural disasters. There is suffering in individuals and in large numbers of people as well.

Besides all these negative things, we also see beauty, health, prosperity, life, birth, wisdom, intelligence, growth, happiness, wealth, and progress. We also see goodness among people, faith, sincerity, charity, love and the spirit of sacrifice.

We also see a lot of virtue and piety. It is wrong to see one side of the coin and not to see the other side. Any philosophy that concentrates on one aspect of the creation and denies or ignores the other side is partially true and partial truths are no truth at all.

As Muslims in part of our Islamic faith, we believe that all matters are in the hands of Allah. However, for some of us our faith can get shaken during times of trials and hardships. It is during this times that we should remind ourselves that a believer’s position and rank is raised in front of Allah and that such a hardship may very well be a sign of Allah’s love for the believer. This can help us in maintaining and even strengthening our faith.

“Great reward comes with great trials. When Allah loves a person, He tests them, and whoever accepts it attains His pleasure, whereas whoever shows discontent with it incurs His wrath.” at-Tirmidhi (2396);

Accepting this nature of worldly life helps the servant acquire a basic virtue and cross a very important stop in his journey to Allah. It is patience with tests. Patience is a characteristic that gets the servant into Allah’s presence, as mentioned before: {Allah is with those who are patient in adversity} [Al Baqarah :153] . And if we are in Allah’s Presence, then why would we worry?

We should also realize that our patience when facing difficulties raises our status in front of Allah, and may lead to the forgiveness of our sins. He says in the
Quran: “…Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning” Quran (Surah Az- Zumar:10)”

A servant continues to be tested until he walks the earth without a single sin on him.” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi) “Allah will not leave the believers in the state in which you are now until He distinguishes the wicked from the good.” (Surah Al ‘Imrân 3:179, Quran)

Calamities and disasters are a test for a person, and this is a sign that Allah loves him, because this is like medicine: even though it is bitter, but still you offer the medicine, despite its bitterness, to the one whom you love; and Allah’s is the highest description.

Quran says:
“If Allah were to punish people according to what they deserve, He would not leave on the (earth) a single living creature: but He gives them respite for a stated term: when their term expires, verily Allah has in His sight all His servants.” (Fatir:45)

May Allah make us strong to withstand the tests He throws in our way and may He reward us for our steadfastness.


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