‘Why is this happening to me’ is one of the very frequent questions we ask when we are in despair, when we are sad and in pain. Sometimes we are so angry with God, we don’t understand why we go through what we do. We demand for answers from anyone who seems pious or close to God. We ask ‘Why is there evil on earth?’ ‘Where is God? Why is He not answering my prayers?’ ‘I have been good all my life. I’ve been a consistent worshipper, I’ve been obedient to Him and to my parents and I haven’t harmed anyone, why did God give me this illness? Why am I struggling?’ At this point we have heard enough of ‘Be patient’, ‘Keep praying’ and all the other consolations we say to each other in difficult situations. We want to understand WHY.
If you ask me i’d tell you, this life is a test. Thousands of years before we came to existence, it was already ordained for us that we’d come to this earth and we’d have to work with sweat and blood to earn Jannah. But you probably have heard enough of that already. You want satisfactory answers. But part of the test is that you won’t have all the answers. There is no one who will ever come to you and say, ‘So, on this date, when you were 25 years old you committed injustice to so and so…that’s why you became bankrupt today.’ Or that you missed your only chance to get a scholarship because two years later, another better chance will be there for you. We don’t and won’t have the privilege that nabii Musa aleyhi salaam got by learning the wisdom behind tragic events from Al Khidhr. No. Nothing like that will ever happen. Sometimes, maybe months or years later you come to appreciate what happened to you because now you can see the wisdom behind God’s plans. And sometimes, you won’t understand one bit of what is going on and you will never get the closure you need, but will you still believe?? Will you still have faith that God is the best of Planners and wants what is best for you? Will we learn to trust as from the stories of our prophets and the pious people that came before us?
In a hadith in sahih Bukhari, the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Allah the Most High said, ‘I am as My servant thinks (expects) I am. I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly greater than it. If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.’” Some of the commentaries of this hadith is this: Imam Nawawi (may Allah have Mercy upon him) also said: “al-Qadi ‘Iyad said that this means He will forgive him if he seeks such, will accept his repentance if he repents, will answer him if he supplicates, and will suffice him if he asks for something. It is also said that it refers to having hope and longing for relief, and this is more correct.”
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have Mercy upon him) said: “Most people – in fact, all of them except those protected by Allah – assume other than the truth, and assume the worst. Most people believe that they are deprived of their rights, have bad luck, deserve more than what Allah gave them, and it is as if they are saying: ‘My Lord has wronged me and deprived me of what I deserve,’ and his soul bears witness to this while his tongue denies it and refuses to openly state this. And whoever digs into his soul and comes to know its ins and outs will see this in it like fire in a triggered explosion…And if you dig into anyone’s soul, you will see that he blames fate and would rather have something else happen to him than what actually did, and that things should be this way or that…So, dig into your own self: are you protected from this? If you are safe from this, you have been protected from something great. Otherwise, I do not see that you have been saved.” [Zad al-Ma’ad]
There is a very thin line between belief and disbelief and questioning, is one of those things that can drastically push you to the other end of the line. Many people have found God due to questioning, researching and contemplating life while many other pious people ended up falling into disbelief because of constant questioning which ended up in wrong conclusions. This is why we need to be careful on what we say and how we say it, the intention behind it. One of the main reason atheists don’t believe in God is because they question how and why there is evil on this earth if there is a Just and All-knowing God.
In a hadith in sahih Bukhari [Volume 2, Book 24, Number 555:], the prophet p.b.u.h talks about this:
The clerk of Al-Mughira bin Shu’ba (radiallaahu `anhu) narrated, “Mu`awiya (radiallaahu `anhu) wrote to Al-Mughira bin Shu’ba (radiallaahu `anhu): Write to me something which you have heard from the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) .” So Al-Mughira (radiallaahu `anhu) wrote: I heard the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, “Allah has hated for you three things:
1. Vain talks, (useless talk) that you talk too much or about others.
2. Wasting of wealth (by extravagance)
3. And asking too many questions (in disputed religious matters) or asking others for something (except in great need).
All I mean is, sometimes we just have to trust God’s plan and His process. Sometimes we just need to have this undoubted faith that God knows your pain and will surely take care of you.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have Mercy upon him) also said: “The more you have good expectations of your Lord and hope in Him, the more you will rely on and trust in Him. This is why some explained true reliance and trust to be having good expectations of Allah. In reality, having good expectations of Him leads to relying on and trusting in Him, as it is unthinkable that one can trust in someone that he has bad expectations of or no hope in, and Allah Knows best.”
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, thinking well about Allah is a part of the excellent worship of Allah.”
There is this quote by Ibn al-Qayyim rahimahu Llah that is too beautiful. He said:“Had Allah lifted the veil for his slave and shown him how He handles his affairs for him, and how Allah is more keen for the benefit of the slave than his own self, his heart would have melted out of the love for Allah and would have been torn to pieces out of thankfulness to Allah. Therefore if the pains of this world tire you do not grieve. For it may be that Allah wishes to hear your voice by way of duaa. So pour out your desires in prostration and forget about it and know; that verily Allah does not forget it.”
So the next time you are asking yourself ‘why is this happening to me’ or someone asks you the same, tell yourself this ayah:
‘Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tried?’ Surat Ankabut: Verse 2.
May Allah grant us the patience and great faith in whatever He plans for us. Ameen.
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