Beyond a Test in Islam

It’s been for about a year, the farming lands of people in my surrounding have been suffering from a severe hardship. The existence of wereng (a Javanese word for a kind of insect) on people’s farming lands is the onset, indeed. For that reason, there is usually a horrible feeling in the hearts of the people since from their farming lands; they gain financial needs for daily life.

We, of course, once suffered from such a hardship in our lives. As Muslims who believe in the existence of Allah the almighty, what should we do to face a test from Allah in the form of hardship?

First, we must keep in our mind that all the hardship, disaster, or calamity we face in this life in the destiny of Allah.
No calamity occurs in the earth nor in yourselves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah. (Al Hadiid: 022).

Al Imam Qatadah, in the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, interpreted “No calamity occurs in the earth…” as ‘a severe shortage of food, as through crop failure or overpopulation.’ This situation, then, fits to the recent situation in my surrounding, indeed.

Further Al Imam Qatadah interpreted “…nor in yourselves…” as ‘suffering and diseases’ that also means that ‘every person who suffers from a prick of thorn, a twisted ankle, or a bleeding vein, has it occur on account of his sins.’

Departing from this Verse, we then should first keep in mind that all the misfortune, hardship, calamity or any kind of burden we are facing today is already set by Allah far before the world was created.

Then, people might ask, in what purpose does Allah test us? The answer can be found in the next verse where Allah says,
 In order that you may not grieve at the things over that you fail to get, nor rejoice over that which has been given to you. And Allah likes not prideful boasters (Al Hadiid: 023).

Do not give up! That’s the reason behind this series of misfortune we received in this life. We must be sure and certain that Allah gives such a hardship to us because He has a lesson beyond this and moreover, another great thing that we may never think about.

We are obliged to face any kind of hardship with patience because Allah promises that there will be good news or reward to those who are patience when suffering from hardship. Keep in mind of what Allah says in Surah Al Baqarah, Verse 155:
Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere, (Al Baqarah: 155).

Keep also in mind that Allah orders us not to easily give up and sad through His commandment in Surah Al Imran: 139.
So lose not heart, nor fall into despair: For ye must gain mastery if ye are true in Faith (Ali Imran: 139)

For that reason, a good Muslim must keep in mind that there is no misfortune happens to us but it’s all have already been decreed by Allah far before the world was created. The main reason behind this is that we must not grieve very deeply in a long term. The key to all misfortune is not to give up and be patience because Allah promises us a great reward for being patience if we are true in believing Allah.

The Prophet Muhammad taught us a du’a (prayer) when we are suffering from hardship.
 
It says, “Innalillahi wa innailaihi raji’un… Allahuma ‘ajirni fii musiibati, wa akhliflii khaira minha.”

It means, “To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return… Oo Allah, give me reward for all the hardship You give to me, and give me another one better.” (Shaheeh Hadith as Narrated by Imam Muslim).

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