Does Allah test us?

In this life we face many ups and downs/ difficulties and these difficulties are from Allah Almighty. These ups and downs are from Allah Almighty. Allah Almighty tests his believers with many disasters and crises.
There are many reasons behind these tests which are taken from Allah Almighty. Few reasons are being described here.
*1. For removing our sins and giving reward*
In Quran E Hakeem it is said that:-

And, when he was old enough to walk with him, he said: “O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you, so what do you think?” He said: “O my father! Do that which you are commanded, if Allah Wills, you will find me to be of the patient.” Then, when they had both submitted, and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead, and we called out to him: “O Ibrahim! You have fulfilled the dream!” Verily! Such do we reward the good-doers.”

It is narrated by Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas that it is said by the Prophet of Allah that:-

“Which of the people are tested most severely?” Rasulullah (SAW) replied: “The Prophets, then the righteous, then those who are most like them, then those who are most like them from the people. A man is tested according to his religious commitment. So, if his religious practice is sound, then his testing is increased, and if his religious practice is weak, then his testing is reduced. A servant continues to be tested until he walks the Earth without a single sin on him.”

 *2. For purifying the ranks*

In Quran E Hakeem it is said that:-

Allah was not such as to let the believers remain in the state in which you are, until He distinguished the corrupt from the good. And Allah was not such as to let you have knowledge of the Unseen, rather Allah chooses whom He will of His Messengers. Therefore, believe in Allah and His Messengers; and if you believe and are God fearing, then, for you is a great reward.
*3. For exposing the reality of human being in this world*
In Surah E Nisa it is said that:-

“Verily, we have created man from a mingled sperm-drop that We might try him, so We made him hearing, seeing. Indeed, we have guided him to the way, to be grateful or ungrateful.”
 *4. For revealing the patience*

In Quran E Hakeem it is said that:-

“And surely We shall try you with something of fear, hunger and depletion in goods, lives and crops. Give glad tidings then (O Prophet) to those who endure in fortitude. Such as those who, when visited by an affliction say, ‘To Allah we belong and to Him we will return.”
These are some good reasons which become the biases of the test which are taken from Allah Almighty. May Allah give us success in every test which He takes from us! Aameen….

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Do not despair of the mercy of God

If God could split the sea for Moses, if He could rescue Jonah from the belly of a dark whale, in the depths of the dark sea, if He could provide for Mary as she gave birth to Jesus all alone, if He could reunite Joseph as a ruler of Egypt with the brothers who threw him in the well, He can easily surround you with the love and support you need to get through the difficulties you’re facing.

When me and you cry out, from the depths of our souls, in pain, feeling all alone, He has already responded: “When My servant asks you concerning Me, I am near! I respond to the supplication of the one who asks when they ask!” (Quran 2:186)

No one was with Moses when he fled Pharoh’s city, or Jonah when he was swallowed, or Mary when she gave birth, or Joseph in that dark well. No one but the One Who saw them through it. He’s the same One Who will see me and you through our pain. Even when we forget about Him, when we try to push Him away, no matter how long it has been or how much we’ve done, He’s still calling out:

“O My servants who have transgressed against themselves, do not despair of the mercy of God. Indeed, God forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (Quran 39: 53)

Go back to Him. He is always ready for you.

I’ve always wondered what sabr is…

“I’ve always wondered what sabr is. I was never given a proper definition so my concept of it was somewhat distorted, all I understood was that you wait until it’s over.
But now, if I were to put it into words, bear with me, this is what I’ve gathered so far:

Sabr is suppressing that angry voice in your head, the one that wants to yell at people for being inconsiderate to your struggle.
Sabr is swallowing this voice, overcoming it, learning to channel it towards a heartfelt du’a instead.
Sabr is forgiving someone when they dismiss your feelings. Sabr is meeting those who deserted you, with a smile on your lips, even though your tears are one step away from exposing you.
Sabr is staying silent because you’ve already stated your point too many times before. Sabr is conforming to someone’s demand because of their right over you.
Sabr is fulfilling the rights of others even when they transgress against yours.
Sabr is crying about your heartache in front of ALLAH and no one else. Sabr is believing wholeheartedly that ALLAH has beautiful things in store for you.
Sabr is crawling forward even when you want to stop. Sabr is an active state of being, it is not a theory to simply be discussed and forgotten. And it is worth it.
Every single second of it is so worth it because ALLAH loves the patient. And it’s worth going through the worst of the worst if it means that it will gain you ALLAH’s love. A beautiful patience, ya ALLAH, I ask You for a beautiful patience”

You will only find comfort in the remembrance of Allah

I often used to wonder why I had my heart broken so many times. This painful, traumatizing, paralyzing pain that no one can see, yet so severe you feel it could destroy the universe. I eventually came to terms with it that a lot of it had to do with the hearts I had broken, and the sins I had committed. One of the most valuable lessons I learned though was that I went through all of those experiences so that I would sympathize and empathize with all those that would go on to share their stories with me. I want to share some tips with you that will help mend your heart and give you some direction, insha Allah.

1- You will only find comfort in the remembrance of Allah. You will want to do a variety of things to drown out the pain but nothing will permanently eradicate it like the remembrance of Allah and worshiping Him. Temporary fixes only make it worse.

2- Understand that anything that surpasses you was never meant to be yours in the first place. Allah loves us more than our own mothers and if He decreed that something was meant to pass you by it is what is best for you. You will realize this sooner or later.

3- Drowning in your thoughts and sorrows will do you no good. Rather take this opportunity to look at the things you may have done wrong, learn from them, seek Allah’s forgiveness, and get involved in something productive. No one’s situation has ever improved by just drowning in their thoughts, it always required action. Figure out what actions you need to take in your life and start taking baby steps towards it.

4- Surrounding yourself with positive well wishers. The people you hang around with will make a huge difference in how you react and how quickly you recover. Your truest friends are those that remind you of Allah and the hereafter the most. Get rid of all of the pessimists and ill-advisers.

5- When you hit rock bottom you have no where to go but up. Work your way back up by keeping a checklist of small goals you want to achieve throughout the day and week. Every time you feel overwhelmed document it in a journal and get it off your mind. Your best course of action will be to increase in seeking Allah’s forgiveness, pouring your heart out to Allah in your supplications, and asking Allah for everything your heart desires with the condition that it be best for your dunya and aakhirah.

Your patience and trust have no reward except for paradise, and what you lost pales in comparison to paradise. Rather than focusing on what you lost, now make your focus on what you have to gain, as the latter will always outweigh the former.

You’re not alone. The one that understands you best and loves you most is only a supplication away.

Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar

Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar

I was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing I noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for me.

He handed me a laminated card and said: ‘I’m Wasu, your driver. While I’m loading your bags in the trunk I’d like you to read my mission statement.’
Taken aback, I read the card. It said: Wasu’s Mission Statement:
To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.
This blew me away. Especially when I noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!
As he slid behind the wheel, Wasu said, ‘Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.’
I said jokingly, ‘No, I’d prefer a soft drink.’
Wasu smiled and said, ‘No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, lassi, water and orange juice.’
Almost stuttering, I said, ‘I’ll take a Lassi.’
Handing me my drink, Wasu said, ‘If you’d like something to read, I have The Hindu, Times of India, ET and India Today.’
As they were pulling away, Wasu handed me another laminated card, ‘These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you’d like to listen to the radio.’
And as if that weren’t enough, Wasu told me that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him.
Then he advised me of the best route to my destination for that time of day. He also let me know that he’d be happy to chat and tell me about some of the sights or, if I preferred, to leave me with my own thoughts.
‘Tell me, Wasu,’ I was amazed and asked him, ‘have you always served customers like this?’
Wasu smiled into the rear view mirror. _No, not always. In fact, it’s only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do_. *Then I heard about power of choice one day.’
‘Power of choice is that you can be a duck or an eagle*.
‘If you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself. Stop complaining!’
‘Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.’
‘That hit me right,’ said Wasu.
‘It is about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were
unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.’
‘I take it that has paid off for you,’ I said.
‘It sure has,’ Wasu replied. ‘My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I’ll probably quadruple it. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on it.’
Wasu made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.
Have an eagle week..next week… And next…And….
🙂 🙂 🙂
A great Thought..
“You don’t die if you fall in water, you die only if you don’t swim.
Thats the *Real Meaning* of *Life*.

Dealing with Life’s Challenges and Difficulties

We all come across various difficulties in our lives. However, not all of us handle them as effectively as we should. As strategies for getting through life’s problems are rarely formally learned, we are constrained to use trial and error, sometimes leading to suboptimal results.

Dealing effectively with our difficulties and problems requires appropriate emotional control, acceptance of realities, charting out a course of action, and finally taking preventive measures to keep future problems at bay. Thus, arming ourselves with the right intellectual, mental, and spiritual strategies to get through these phases can help us achieve successful breakthroughs.

Let’s go over those steps in more detail.

The Emotional Response

An emotional response to a difficulty or calamity is normal and only human. However, emotions have to be managed and channeled appropriately; else they can manifest negatively within our personalities and affect our lives in general. Research, too, confirms that emotionally-reactive individuals confronting even relatively minor challenges in their lives are prone to increased physical problems and diseases.

One potential way people channel their emotions is to act them out uncontrollably and irresponsibly. In such situations, the prophet (peace be upon him) instructed us to exercise patience and to maintain a composed demeanor instead. When his son Ibrahim was dying, the prophet’s eyes filled with tears. Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Awf said, ‘Are you weeping when you have forbidden us to weep?’ The Prophet said, ‘I do not forbid weeping. What I have forbidden is two foolish and evil kinds of voices: voices at times of entertainment and play and the flutes of Shaytaan, and voices at times of calamity and scratching the face and rending the garments and screaming.’” [Al-Tirmidhi, al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra (4/69), classed as hasan by al-Albaani]

In other cases, emotions are channeled to fester, which then leads to the development of a victimized mindset. You may not realize it, but believing that your life is a teary saga may be the anchor weighing you down and preventing you from moving forward.

So, be conscious of how you channel your emotions. You can temper them with positive thinking and a strong faith. If you show any signs of having a victimized mindset then you need to snap out of it and adopt a more positive and reality based mindset instead. That can put you on the right path to get out of your difficulties faster.

Trying to make sense of the difficulties

The divine decree: When facing difficulties, our weak faith can sometimes drive us to question the fairness of it all. In this context, we should remind ourselves that believing in al-Qadr (Allah’s divine will and decree) is one of the pillars of Islamic faith. As the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, it means belief in (1) Allah, (2) Angels, (3) revealed Holy Books (Quran, Bible, Torah, etc.), (4) His Messengers, (4) Day of Judgment, and (5) to believe in al-qadar (the divine decree) both good and bad. Allah also says in the Quran, “No calamity befalls on the earth or in your selves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al?Lawh Al?Mahfooz) before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah.” [al-Hadeed 57:22].

As part of that belief, we should therefore recognize that Allah does what He wills for reasons that are only known to Him. Any attempt to comprehend with our limited minds His wisdom, or to understand how our current situation fits in His overall plan can only lead us to erroneous conclusions.

The “If-Only” Trap: Another trap that many of us fall into has to do with using the “if-only” logic. Very often, our minds tell us that “if I could have done such and such, then this wouldn’t have happened.” The prophet warned us against falling into such satanic traps. In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah, the prophet remarked,

“…….If anything befalls you, do not say ‘If only I had done (such and such), the such and such would have happened,’ rather say: ‘Allah has decreed and what He wills He does,’ for ‘if only’ opens the door to the work of the shaytaan.” Narrated by Muslim (2664).

We see another example of this during the battle of Uhud when many Muslims died. This gave the hypocrites an excuse to criticize the divine decree. But Allah refuted their claims by stating (interpretation of the meaning): “Say: ‘Even if you had remained in your homes, those for whom death was decreed would certainly have gone forth to the place of their death’”. [Aal ‘Imraan 3:154].

This further goes to show that what Allah decrees is inevitable. Any attempt to imagine a different outcome based on different actions that we could have taken in the past will only increase our frustrations. This belief is also a blessing because it prevents us from returning to the past that can result in nothing but an added emotional baggage.

In this context, many among us also resort to blaming people, including those close to us. This blaming attitude in turn nurtures a mindset where people (even within families) resist future temptations to recommend anything or engage in an open dialogue. This not only weakens communications amongst people but also causes irreparable rifts and a loss of trust between them.

To summarize, accepting the divine decree can help us in not only forgoing the past but to also win Allah’s pleasure. Suppressing our urge to blame others by maintaining a positive mindset can help us maintain healthy relationships and in also keeping good recommendations and advice flowing.

Getting yourself out of trouble

Having accepted Allah’s decree, and after getting over any emotional challenges, the next step involves taking the right actions to get us out of our problems and difficulties. Actively engaging our God gifted faculties to pull us out of such situations is not as common as one may think. Thus, many a time we fail to achieve successful breakthroughs because we either follow a haphazard approach to resolve our problems or give up on our efforts too early in the process. This leads us to get stalled and makes us regard situations as irresolvable, hoping and praying for miracles to pull us out.

If you find yourself in such situations, this may be the time to rethink your overall approach. You see, most of us are accustomed to looking for “silver bullet” types of solutions. However, such solutions aren’t that many and thus can’t be relied on to get you out of your life’s challenges. Adopting a realistic but methodical approach instead has a better chance of putting you closer to your desired outcomes.

This requires that you take time to define the problems and difficulties that you face with increased clarity and specificity. This is bound to yield better results because you will get clearer about the outcomes that you desire. You will also be able to clearly delineate the constituent tasks that potentially can put you closer to your desired solution. Follow those tasks through to the end with perseverance and patience and you may reduce the load of your problems.

On the spiritual front, we should recognize that if Allah puts us through trials or punishes us because of our sins, the decision is His. However, as highlighted in another post on this site, seeking forgiveness through repentance (Istighfar) can help undo the damage of our sins. As the prophet (peace be upon him) said: “whoever does a lot of Istighfar, Allah will provide him a way out of each concern he has, and will solve all his troubles, and will provide him with livelihood from sources that were not known to him” (Narrated by Imam Ahmad, Sanad Sahih.)

Preventive measures

Finally, although Allah’s decree is ordained, there are things we can do beforehand to influence the outcome of our efforts, and thus prevent problems from piling up. First, we should never forget that Allah has provided us with a free will and associated faculties to think and act. As the prophet had stated, while we should fully trust Allah, we should tie our horse first – meaning we should use all our God-gifted faculties and exercise the required due diligence.

Second, for cases in which we fumble to choose between options, we should exercise the use of the Istikhara prayers. The text of the dua recited in those prayers clearly reflects your plea to Allah to make the desired decision work for you if it’s good for you, or to ward it off if it’s not. By doing so, you consciously put your faith in Him to guide you. This will reduce the likelihood of you ending up with a failed outcome and thus an added burden for you to carry in the future.

Conclusion

To summarize, remember that effectively channeling your emotions, letting go of a negative past, maximizing the use of your God-gifted faculties, and above all a strong faith can help you attain the wisdom that life demands from you to get through even the most difficult challenges. Just ensure that you get serious about resisting the old attitudes and inculcate a positive mindset to propel you forward.

Source :Iqrasense.com

How do we be ‘patient’ in the face of turmoil?

Just as Allah (swt) has created tests involving struggle, risk and loss, Allah (swt) has also told us how to approach these tests; He has revealed to us that the patient are those who, when afflicted with calamity, say, “Inna lilLahi wa inna ilayhi raji`oon.In His infinite Mercy, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala has allowed for relief to accompany difficulty. This also shows us that the losses and difficulties won’t last forever, and that everything which we regard as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in the dunya is of temporal nature.

No pain or grief or disagreement can last forever, but with certainty, Allah (swt) lasts forever and from Him we came to be and it is to Him we will with certainty return.

This means that the events which take place in this dunya are mere moments. We become so consumed by our grief that we fail to see that al-Qahhar (the Conqueror, the Ever-Dominating) has provided us with light and that even in the most difficult times, Allah (swt) provides ease with hardship.

Upon coming to terms with the truth and power imbued in inna lilLahi wa inna ilayhi raji`oon and proceeding to integrate this magnificent statement into each moment of your daily life, when you are faced with any minor or major losses, you will see a whole new world of contentment and serenity opened up to you, insha Allah (God willing).

The trials faced by Umm Salamah radi allahu `anha, may God be pleased with her, teach us important lessons about how to handle tests, loss and situations in which we do not get something we had hoped for. Her approach towards calamity shows us what it means to be patient in the face of adversity and to recognise that Allah (swt) will always restore what He takes away from a patient believer with something better.

All is NOT lost.

The beautiful way in which she approached her afflictions reminds us to rely on Allah (swt) and to never despair for He is Able to do anything at any moment; Allah (swt) is our Provider, and when we are struck by loss, and things don’t go the way we want them to, Allah (swt) is Ever-Watching and He is the Best of planners. Umm Salamah’s first husband was Abu Salamah radi allahu `anhu, may God be pleased with him, who returned to Allah (swt) during Jumada Al-Akhir in the fourth year after Hijra, after receiving wounds in the Battle of Uhud. His passing from this dunya resulted in grief for she had loved him sincerely; nonetheless, Umm Salamah (ra) did not fail to turn to Allah (swt). Heartbroken by his departure, she remained steadfast in her relationship with Allah (swt) and supplicated to Him for our Rabb (Lord) is Al Mughni—the Enricher, the One Who satisfies the necessities of His Creation. In her grief-stricken state as she wondered who could possibly be better than Abu Salamah, she supplicated:

inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji`oon; Allahumma ajirni fi musibati wa akhlif li khayran minha

‘Verily, we belong to Allah and verily, unto Him shall we return. O Allah! Reward me for the calamity that has befallen me and grant me better than it.’

Allah (swt) then answered her du`aa (supplication) by giving her the Messenger ﷺ (peace be upon him) himself! In Shawwal of the same year in which Abu Salamah (ra) returned to Allah (swt), the Messenger of Allah ﷺ married her. Thus, because of her patience and acknowledgement that we belong to Allah (swt) and unto him we return, Allah (swt) compensated her with reward and recompensed her loss. Allah (swt) alleviated her and answered her question, “Who is better than Abu Salamah?” by blessing her with our beloved Messenger ﷺ.

This legacy speaks volumes of the reward and relief Allah (swt) grants to those who are patient, and those who havetawwakul (reliance) on Allah (swt) to replace what is taken away from the believer who lives with patience. What we are provided with is His to give and take, and it is in acknowledging that He is the Owner of all that we are able to see through loss and hardship, and witness blessings.

If you are facing any trial in the present, know that Allah (swt) provides ease and that the cure is with you by Allah’s Will. Reflect on, and realise that none other than Allah (swt) Knows best about what adversity or struggle you are going through for Allah (swt) is the One Who tested you with such, and on no soul does He place more than that which it can bear—Allah (swt) is closer to you than your jugular vein, than your own self, and so He Knows what you are feeling. The next time you are faced with a grief or loss, or even happiness and blessing from Allah (swt), by uttering, comprehending and believing that our final destination is Allah (swt)—the end is essential for our eternal bliss—through making Allah the means to Him, glimpses of light make their way through your feeling of loss.

For each time that you submit to Allah (swt) alone by not only uttering inna lilLahi wa inna ilayhi raji`oon but by understanding it and feeling its essence in your heart and limbs through acknowledging Allah’s Power, you will not only be rewarded insha Allah but Allah (swt) will return His favours and blessings upon you for submitting to His Will with sabr(patience). Like Umm Salamah (ra), place your trust in Him to get you through any manifestation of loss, however slight or major you may consider it to be, and trust Allah (swt) to answer your supplications, for no du`aa is lost.

No distress or loss is too difficult to deal with when we know Allah (swt), and place our trust in Him to get us through everything, whether we consider the moments as good or bad. No distress or loss is too difficult to deal with when we acknowledge and apply that we certainly belong to Allah, and we certainly return to Him.

Source:Suhaibwebb