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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Dealing With Trials

The Prophet (pbuh - peace be upon him) suffered many kinds of trials for the sake of Allah and conveying the message of Islam to mankind. A reflective reading of the seerah (biography of the Prophet) would enable us to see how the Prophet overcame and transcended various circumstances and marched to glory and success. Such an exercise would be highly insightful and illuminating for us in our own predicament today. Following are a few points that we can readily discern from the seerah:

1. The Prophet (pbuh) always had a tremendous reservoir of spiritual energy to draw upon. We find him turning to Allah in the darkest moments of his life when all that he could see around him was rejection and mocking. When he was being chased out of Ta'if by hooligans and children, who pelted him with stones and ridiculed him, he did not feel weakened or disempowered, rather he sought solace and strength in Allah by opening his heart before Him through a fervent supplication.

2. The Prophet (pbuh) was always optimistic and positive in his mindset. He always looked at every setback or trial as an opportunity. He never failed to see the light at the end of the tunnel. His mind was always focused on the end of his journey. While he was facing persecution and ridicule in Makkah, he said "I will continue the struggle until a woman can travel all by herself all the way from
San`a' to Hadramawt without any fear of molestation!"

3. The Prophet (pbuh) consistently cultivated the habit of [demonstrating] shukr (gratitude) and sabr (patience and perseverance). Through gratitude we come to appreciate Allah's blessings, while through perseverance, we learn to preserve patience. Allah exposes us to trials not to destroy us but only to help us grow.

4. The Prophet (pbuh) was ever willing to surrender Himself to the Lord. He strove to achieve his goals as humanly as possible and hoped his efforts would bear fruit, yet if they didn't turn out the way he had expected, he never complained or fretted over it, rather he accepted the inevitable will of Allah with full grace and serenity.

5. The Prophet (pbuh) looked at every trial he faced in life as an empowering experience. Thus, when the Muslims suffered defeat at Uhud, he used it to learn the lesson of better discipline. Likewise, he looked at the initial setback at Hunayn as a lesson in humility so that he [and we who follow him] never get carried away by our might or large numbers, forgetting about spiritual and moral strength.

Source:
IslamOnline.net Fatwa Bank - Ahmad Kutty

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