Sunday, February 15, 2009

Our Hope is betwen our Tears

When trials come, as they do, what will the first words on our lips be? To Umm Zayed, the words of the Istirjaa prayer - to Allah we belong and to Him will we return - helped her to reconcile with a sudden and unexpected loss.

WE are taught that we should not ask for or seek out trials or difficulties in life. In fact, our Prophet (peace be upon him) instructed us to “Seek refuge with Allah from trials and tribulations, both visible and hidden” (Sahih Muslim). Yet, the virtues and rewards of observing patience in the face of adversity is highly extolled in our deen.

In the story of Umm Al-Momineen, Umm Salamah, she narrates the events following the death of her beloved husband, Abu Salamah. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) taught her how best to respond to her trial, by teaching her the beautiful words of the Istirjaa.

She says:

“The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: ‘There is no Muslim who suffers a calamity and says what Allah has commanded: ‘Innaa Lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raji’oon. Allahummaa ujurni fi musibati w’ukhluf li khayran minha’ (Truly! To Allah we belong and to Him we shall return. O Allah, reward me for my calamity and compensate me with something better than that), but Allah will compensate him with something better.

“When Abu Salamah died, I said, ‘Who among the Muslims could be better than Abu Salamah, the first family to migrate to the Messenger of Allah?’ Then I said (this Du’a) and Allah compensated me with the Messenger of Allah.” (Sahih Muslim).

The inspiring narrative ends on a happy note where she is blessed with a new husband in the person of the Prophet (peace be upon him) – a prospect she could never have imagined. This was the result of her faith, her patience and her Du’a at the time of her loss.

One can feel the emotional turmoil Umm Salamah went through and reflecting on the power of Allah, and make a Du’a: “Oh Allah, don’t put me into any trial. But if and when you do, for You do as You will, according to Your Wisdom, then guide me to remember You when calamity strikes. Guide me to the Istirjaa. Give me the strength of faith and soundness of mind to pray to you for patience and better compensation at that critical moment.”

“Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil).” (Qur’an, 2:155)

Indeed whatever is destined for us, good or bad, will come to pass. Allah can test us and whenever this will happen, don’t forget to say:

“Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raajioon. Allah humma ujurni fi musibati wa ikhlufli khairun minha.”

Indeed, Allah will listen our Du’a. Indeed Allah will guide us. Allah is Most Loving and Most Merciful to His servants.

The scholars have said that if we are guided to patience and to the words of Istirjaa after a disaster hits us, we should thank Allah for this honour. The Qur’an tells us: “… Give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere” (Qur’an, 2:155).

Every traumatic periods are short-lived. We should remind ourselves of the special blessing of Allah on us at hard times.

Only Allah Who took care of us yesterday and will take

“O Allah, if and when you decide to try me again, guide my heart to more than patience. Guide me to the state of Ridha (pleasure in God’s decree and decision).” Ameen.

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