How do you handle pressure and difficulties?

How do you handle pressure and difficulties?

Hardship deletes sins and elevates ranks

عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ، وَأَبِي، هُرَيْرَةَ أَنَّهُمَا سَمِعَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ مَا يُصِيبُ الْمُؤْمِنَ مِنْ وَصَبٍ وَلاَ نَصَبٍ وَلاَ سَقَمٍ وَلاَ حَزَنٍ حَتَّى الْهَمِّ يُهَمُّهُ إِلاَّ كُفِّرَ بِهِ مِنْ سَيِّئَاتِهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏مسلم.

Abu Sa’id and Abu Huraira reported that they heard Allah’s Messenger (peace be on him) as saying:

Never a believer is stricken with discomfort, or illness, an anxiety, a grief, or mental worry or even the pricking of a thorn but Allah will expiate his sins on account of patience. (Muslim)

  عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ مَا يُصِيبُ الْمُؤْمِنَ مِنْ شَوْكَةٍ فَمَا فَوْقَهَا إِلاَّ رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ بِهَا دَرَجَةً أَوْ حَطَّ عَنْهُ بِهَا خَطِيئَةً ‏”‏ ‏.‏ مسلم.

 ‘A’isha reported Allah’s Messenger (peace be on him) as saying:

A believer does not receive the pricking of a thorn or more than that but Allah elevates him in rank or effaces his sins because of that. (Muslim)

We see from this that we are rewarded for even the most minor discomfort, sadness or disturbance that we experience.

Whenever we are put under pressure, feel anxious, stressed or even angry, these are trials which can delete our sins. However, they do not delete them automatically.

Whether or not these bitter experiences delete our sins, depends entirely on how we handle them.

How do you handle the test you have been given? That is the question!

How do you cope with hardship?

We are all tested on a daily basis. Whether it is by the coronavirus, which keeps mutating and presenting itself as new variants, or whether it is the lockdown, or losing your job, financial difficulties, or the painful loss of loved ones, or conflicts at home or at work… our challenges keep coming.

What is really clear and certain in the narrations from the Sunnah is that through these, Allah Almighty will reward us, elevate our rank, and delete our sins if you manage them appropriately.

The magnitude of the trial increases the reward

وَعَنْ أَنَسٍ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «إِنَّ عِظَمَ الْجَزَاءِ مَعَ عِظَمِ الْبَلَاءِ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِذَا أَحَبَّ قَوْمًا ابْتَلَاهُمْ فَمَنْ رَضِيَ فَلَهُ الرِّضَا وَمَنْ سَخِطَ فَلَهُ السَّخَطُ» . رَوَاهُ التِّرْمِذِيُّ وَابْنُ مَاجَه

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (peace be on him) as saying:

“The magnitude of the reward goes along with the magnitude of the affliction. When Allah who is great and glorious loves people He afflicts them, and those who accept it gladly receive Allah’s good pleasure, but those who are displeased receive Allah’s displeasure. (Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)

Allah loves those He tests

When Allah Almighty loves someone He tests them, in the same way a teacher will set a harder paper for their top students to challenge them and give them the opportunity to show what they are capable of. Allah Almighty sets harder challenges for those whom He loves and who have the capacity to cope with bigger tests.

Those who pass with flying colours

Those who accept the challenges Allah Almighty sets gladly, receive His pleasure. Whereas those who object to His test and receive them with dissatisfaction, earn Allah’s displeasure.

Part of our imaan is “to believe in Qadar destiny, the good and bad of it”. (Muslim).

This means that we have to accept it. Not to complain about it. We can explain that we are feeling tired or in pain, when seeking help or support, but deep down if we are angry with Allah Almighty for putting us through this, it diminishes our reward from Him. Instead you will be sinful for objecting to Allah’s will.

Don’t complain – have ihtisab (expect reward from Allah) and sabr (patience)

Some of you may feel puzzled by this. I am not saying that you should celebrate when you are sent a calamity. However you do have to be careful what you think or say about it.

Remember who sent it. Where it is coming from. It is a test from Allah Almighty. We cannot comprehend His wisdom, so we need to trust Him and know that, no matter how bitter it may feel, there is deep wisdom behind it. And that it is for our benefit – not just in dunya but from the perspective of everlasting consequences.

Remind yourself that the test is a tool to make you better. Instead of complaining, say, ‘Ya Allah, lift this hardship. Support me, help me and grant me ease.’

Don’t say ‘Why did this happen to me?’ Why this? Say Alhamdulillah.

عَنْ أُمِّ سَلَمَةَ، قَالَتْ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ إِذَا أَصَابَتْ أَحَدَكُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ فَلْيَقُلْ ‏{‏ إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ ‏}‏ اللَّهُمَّ عِنْدَكَ أَحْتَسِبُ مُصِيبَتِي فَآجِرْنِي فِيهَا وَأَبْدِلْ لِي خَيْرًا مِنْهَا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ أبو داود.

We learned what to say from Umm Salamah who narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) said:

When one of you is afflicted with a calamity, he should say: “We belong to Allah, and to Him we do return.” O Allah, I expect reward from Thee from this affliction, so give me reward for it, and give me a better compensation. (Abu Dawoud)

قال أَنَس ـ رضى الله عنه ـ:  أُصِيبَ حَارِثَةُ يَوْمَ بَدْرٍ وَهْوَ غُلاَمٌ، فَجَاءَتْ أُمُّهُ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَتْ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، قَدْ عَرَفْتَ مَنْزِلَةَ حَارِثَةَ مِنِّي، فَإِنْ يَكُنْ فِي الْجَنَّةِ أَصْبِرْ وَأَحْتَسِبْ، وَإِنْ تَكُ الأُخْرَى تَرَى مَا أَصْنَعُ فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ وَيْحَكِ أَوَهَبِلْتِ أَوَجَنَّةٌ وَاحِدَةٌ هِيَ إِنَّهَا جِنَانٌ كَثِيرَةٌ، وَإِنَّهُ فِي جَنَّةِ الْفِرْدَوْسِ ‏”‏‏.‏ البخاري.

Ihtisab is to trust that Allah Almighty will reward you for bearing your situation with sabr, without making a big fuss about it.

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

Haritha (b. Suraqah) was martyred on the day (of the battle) of Badr, and he was a young boy then. His mother came to the Prophet (peace be on him) and said, “O Allah’s Messenger! You know how dear Haritha is to me. If he is in Paradise, I shall remain patient, and hope for reward from Allah, but if it is not so, then you shall see what I do?” He said, “May Allah be merciful to you! Have you lost your senses? Do you think there is only one Paradise? There are many Paradises and your son is in the (most superior) Paradise of Al- Firdaus.” (Bukhari)

The mother of Haritha, who was Al Rubayyi’ bint Al Nadr, said she would bear her loss with ihtisab and sabr. The Prophet (peace be on him) said the same to his daughter when she lost her child. He told her to be patient and consider the reward from Allah.

Whether we have to endure small discomfort or a big calamity, we have to have sabr and know that there is extra reward in it, which will elevate our ranks inshallah.

Usamah bin Zaid (may Allah be pleased with them) reported:

A daughter of the Prophet (peace be on him) sent a message to him that her son was at his last breath, and requested him to come to her. The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) sent back the informer saying: “To Allah belongs what He takes and what He gives, and everything has a limited period (in this world). So ask her to endure patiently, and expect the reward of Allah.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

وعن أسامة بن زيد رضي الله عنهما قال‏:‏ أرسلت إحدى بنات النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم الله عليه وسلمى الله عليه وسلم الله عليه وسلم إليه تدعوه وتخبره أن صبياً لها -أو ابناً- في الموت فقال للرسول‏:‏ ارجع إليها فأخبرها أن لله تعالي ما أخذ وله ما أعطى، وكل شئ عنده بأجل مسمى، فمرها، فلتصبر ولتحتسب” وذكر تمام الحديث‏”‏ ‏(‏‏(‏متفق عليه‏)‏‏)‏ ‏.‏

This is the prophetic way to deal with calamities and tests. May Allah Almighty give us sabr and ihtisab. Ameen.

Thought for the Week – Shaykh Haytham Tamim 12th February 2021

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Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.