Inner JourneySelf Development


Most of us will tolerate our job conditions if we are well paid. Even if we tried to complain, others would probably advice us to bear with it because of the good salary. The salary diminishes the agonies of working.

It is the same with jannah. The rewards are so massive that it should eradicate the ability of dunia to affect us. Every time we endure a calamity, we should remember jannah and that nothing adverse could touch us without cleansing of our sins provided we are patient. That expectation would sweeten our pain. However, most of us get upset, and handle the calamity with bitterness and complaints. In truth, no amount of negativity and moaning can improve the situation!

When we see a piece of cake, or a piece of jewellery, or a dream car, we are motivated to work hard to obtain what we desire. Allah constantly reminds us to have beautiful patience in anticipation of jannah and its eternal rewards. It is a place where we will enjoy eternal youth, free from pain, sadness or illness. It is a place where Allah will grant us all our desires and more.

We will reach this beautiful patience once we truly understand that the circumstances were given by Allah, and He does not take from us except to give us. It is a beautiful trade, where Allah removes a piece of dunia in order to give us a piece of akhirah.

Testing our patience

So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me. (Al Baqarah 2:152)

Consciously or not, we tend to behave with kufr or denial to the bounties of Allah. We aim for the house and the car, but neglect the highest gift of iman. If we are just concentrating on the meal and the money as our primary motivations, then we have lost the purpose of life.

We say “alhamdulillah” and praise Allah when our bellies are full and our bank accounts are in the black, or in other matters of dunia such as doing well in an exam. Are we grateful for being Muslim, to be able to worship and to be able to physically and spiritually prostrate to Allah? All these are gifts from Allah, bestowed on the ones whom He chooses.

And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favour]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.’ ” (Ibrahim 14:7)

We will be tested all our lives. Allah has already reminded us that He will test us on the general areas in life which we are the most afraid of, but He also reminded us of the solution:

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, who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.” (Al Baqarah 2:155-156).

Allah also reminds the believers to support themselves with patience and salat when a calamity befalls. The Prophet (SAW) and his Companions obeyed this command, and every time hardship arose, the first thing they did was to turn to Allah for support. Today, our reaction is to ask others for help, instead of asking Allah for guidance on what we should do.

We cannot escape the tests from Allah, it is not a matter of if rather than when. Your life will not go the way you like all the time. Your youth is not eternal. Your comfort and ease are temporary. Your health and beauty will uncontrollably diminish over time. Observe the people around us, for Allah is teaching us a lesson through them. We see the cycle of our parents and grandparents, the mistakes they made when they loved dunia excessively, and how the pleasures of dunia deserted them as they aged, and we don’t learn our lessons. We think we will live forever and repeat the same cycle of blindness.

When we are faced with calamity, we are supposed to utter “Inna lillahi inna ilaihi raji’un”, and return the matter to Allah with patience. This should be said in a heartfelt and believing way, not with rebellion, cynicism or anger.

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