The Reasons and Wisdoms for Trials & Calamities

Reasons for Trials & Calamities

  1. Disasters and calamities are a test of the believer’s patience:

Allah says: “Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, ‘When (will come) the Help of Allah?’ Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allah is near!”[1]

Allah also says: “Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tried? But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars.”[2]

  1. Shows us the transience of this world:

Calamities remind us that this world is a short temporary place where our actions count far much more in the hereafter, rather than on this Earth. They teach us that this world is filled with fatigue, sickness and exhaustion, whereas the Hereafter is perfectly free of these inconveniences.

Allah says: “Verily, the home of the Hereafter that is the life indeed (i.e. the eternal life that will never end), if they but knew.”[3]

  1. Calamities are a means of expiation of sin:

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Trials will not cease afflicting the believing man and the believing woman in their self, children, and wealth, until they meet Allah without having any sin.”[4]

A’isha reported: I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: “There is nothing (in the form of trouble) that comes to a believer even if it is the pricking of a thorn that there is decreed for him by Allah good or his sins are obliterated.”[5]

Mus’ab bin Sa’d narrated from his father that a man said: “O Messenger of Allah (ﷺ)! Which of the people is tried most severely?” He said: “The Prophets, then those nearest to them, then those nearest to them. A man is tried according to his religion; if he is firm in his religion, then his trials are more severe, and if he is frail in his religion, then he is tried according to the strength of his religion. The servant shall continue to be tried until he is left walking upon the earth without any sins.”[6]

  1. Calamities are a means of gaining reward and Jannah:

It was narrated that Jabir said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “On the Day of Resurrection, when people who had suffered affliction are given their reward, those who were healthy will wish their skins had been cut to pieces with scissors when they were in the world.”[7]

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Allah the Exalted says: I have nothing to give to My believing servant, if I cause his dear friend to die and he remains patient, other than Paradise.[8] 

  1. A sign that Allah loves you:

Anas narrated the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Indeed greater reward comes with greater trial. And indeed, when Allah loves a people He subjects them to trials, so whoever is content, then for him is pleasure, and whoever is discontent, then for him is wrath.”[9]

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “If Allah loves a people, He tries them, and whoever has patience will have patience, and whoever is anxious will be anxious.”[10]

  1. A sign Allah wills good for you:

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “If Allah intends good for someone, then He afflicts him with trials.”[11]

  1. Worship at times of hardship and tribulation has a special flavour and a special reward:

It was narrated from Ma’qil ibn Yasar that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Worshipping at times of tribulation and confusion is like migrating to join me.”[12]

Imam An-Nawawi said: “The Prophet (ﷺ) said, ‘Worshipping at times of tribulation and confusion is like migrating to join me.’ The reason why worship at such times is of such great virtue is that people become negligent about worship and are distracted from it, and no one focuses on worship except a few.”

  1. One of the benefits of tribulations and hardships is purification. 

Hardships reveal how people really are, and distinguish the good from the bad, the true from the false, the believer from the hypocrite. Allah says of the Battle of Uhud and what happened to the Muslims on that day, explaining part of the wisdom behind this trial: “Allah will not leave the believers in the state in which you are now, until He distinguishes the wicked from the good.”[13]

  1. So Muslims help other Muslims who have been afflicted by calamities:

Nu’man bin Bashir reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: The similitude of believers in regard to mutual love, affection, fellow-feeling is that of one body; when any limb of it aches, the whole body aches, because of sleeplessness and fever.[14]

On the authority of Abu Hamzah Anas bin Malik — the servant of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) — that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “None of you [truly] believes until he loves for his brother that which he loves for himself.”[15] 

References:

[1] Surah Baqarah 2:214

[2] Surah Ankaboot 29: 2-3

[3] Surah ‘Ankaboot 29: 64

[4] Recorded by Tirmidhi, 2399 and he graded it Hasan Sahih.

[5] Recorded by Muslim, 2572

[6] Recorded by Tirmidhi, 2398 and he graded it Hasan Sahih.

[7] Recorded by Tirmidhi, 2402. Graded Sahih by shaykh albani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 2206.

[8] Recorded by Bukhari, 6060

[9] Recorded by Tirmidhi, 2396 and he graded it Hasan Ghareeb.

[10] Recorded by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad and Saheeh al-Jami’, 1706.

[11] Recorded by Bukhari, 5321.

[12] Recorded by Muslim, 2948.

[13] Surah Aal-‘Imran 3:179

[14] Recorded by Muslim, 2586

[15] Recorded by Bukhari, 13 and Muslim, 45.

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