Some Practical Guidelines in Dealing With Trials – Part 1

The above discussions will hopefully help one understand the Islamic philosophy behind trials and tribulations and prepare his or her heart for tests. Below, we describe some practical guidelines, drawn from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, about dealing with trials.

Seek Refuge From Trials
One should not solicit trials from Allah (swt). No matter how pious one might be, he or she should not be proud of having unshakable faith but always remain humble and ask Allah (swt) to guide him and to keep him on the right path. Indeed, if it was not for the mercy and guidance of Allah (swt), he could not have remained a believer and a practicing Muslim. Therefore, he should often ask for forgiveness from Allah for sins and mistakes committed so that He does not take him to task for those mistakes. In the Qur’an, Allah (swt) teaches the believers to make the following supplication:

Our Lord! Take us not to task if we forget or commit mistakes. Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden such as You laid on those gone before us. Our Lord! Lay not on us burdens which we do not have the power to bear. And overlook our faults, and forgive us, and have mercy upon us. (2:286)

The Prophet (p), the most pious and faithful of all believers, frequently used to make the following supplication:

O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee from the punishment of the grave; I seek refuge in Thee from the trial of the Antichrist; I seek refuge in Thee from the trial of life and the trial of death; O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee from sin and debt. (Muslim)

Giving sadaqa (charity) often can prevent calamity for a believer. The Prophet (p) said:

Give the sadaqa without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity. (Tirmidhi)

Be Ready For Trials
While a believer should seek refuge in Allah from trials, he should, at the same time, be always ready for trials. His supplications for forgiveness might save him from some trials, but there will still be trials that he will face for sure. Therefore, a believer should always be mentally prepared for afflictions and calamities so that he can pass the tests with success. See above for detailed discussions on this topic.

Always Have Focus on the Hereafter
If one is afflicted with a calamity, he should remember that our life is short and our ultimate destination is the Hereafter. Therefore, he should remain patient, ask Allah (swt) for help, and remember that he will be meeting Him soon:

Who say when afflicted with calamity: “To Allah we belong and to Him is our return.” They are those on whom (descend) blessings from Allah and Mercy and they are the ones that receive guidance. (2:156-157)

The Prophet (p) said:

If any Muslim who suffers some calamity says that which Allah has commanded him: “ ‘We belong to Allah and to Him shall we return’: O Allah, reward me for my affliction and give me something better in exchange for it”, Allah will give him something better than it in exchange. (Muslim)

The Prophet (p) once grabbed Abdullah ibn ‘Umar by his shoulders and said:

Be in the world as if you were a stranger or a wayfarer. (Bukhari)

When a believer always keeps the Hereafter in focus, he remains calm and in control at whatever calamity he faces. For him, dunya (this world) is not the end of everything, and thus he does not breakdown but stays calm and deals with all crisis with faith and trust in Allah (swt).

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