In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful the Most Compassionate All praise be to Allah, and may peace and blessings be upon the most noble of the Prophets and Messengers
Most of us who live in this part of the world have gotten used to a “daily routine”. How many times have we heard the expression “time is flying”. This is because our lives are going by without many obstacles or without any significant event that force us to stop for a moment to reflect. While we should reflect about our deeds regardless, we fail to do so most of the times. However, sometimes things happen in our lives that do not give us much of a choice and force us to reflect. Be it after the death of a loved one, a misunderstanding with a friend, a natural disaster or during times of financial difficulties. These moments should be taken as a hidden blessing; no matter how painful they are at the time they happen. Why is this?
First, it is a warning of our vulnerability. It is so easy to have our heads up in the sky. At times this high-headedness becomes inevitable as we forget the essence of who we are. These trials should be seen as a sign that everything in this life has an end. In the same way that our “routine” cannot go on forever, the trial is also finite. Thus, we should live each moment with the consciousness that we are travelers in this world. In the same way that a traveler won’t be travelling for the rest of his life, our travel in this world will one day come to an end. What matters is that we reach our final destination by following the only path to success, that of siratal mustakeem (the straight path). These events insha Allah help us find our way back to that road.
Second, these unexpected events are a reminder to us about our purpose in life. Humans are forgetful in nature. However unexpected trials are not ordinary reminders. These are very special reminders indeed. A friend can be a reminder to us through their good advice. These tarbiyah groups are a reminder on ways to please Allah. However, unexpected events are special. Why? Because they come directly from Allah. When our mother reprimands us, it means they like us and want us to be better persons. Allah loves us even more than a mother’s love for her offspring. These unexpected events are signs that we should never be too comfortable in this world. We should instead strive to live according to the purpose Allah has set for us in this life.
Finally, unexpected trials are learning opportunities. Sometimes it is hard to see the good behind these events and we tend to waste these precious openings because of that. “The will of Allah will never take us where the Grace of Allah will not protect us” and so Allah said, “I am at My servants opinion of me.” (Muslim) The way we perceive these events will determine what lesson we take of them. It is not always easy to think cool headedly when our routines are disrupted and trials come to us. For some people this is an acquired skill, a product of ongoing relationship with Allah, of taqwa (consciousness). However, sometimes these trials can also signal a new beginning, a re-birth of our soul. This means that trials are not specific to those closer to Allah, such as the tests put to Ibrahim a.s., but they are an opportunity for everyone, regardless of their level of imaan (faith). As servants of Allah, each of us is gifted with the capacity to see beyond these events and redirect our energies to productive outcomes in accordance to our Deen. It is up to us to do that though. It is never too late to turn to Allah for forgiveness – “O you who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance, in the hope that your Lord will remit your evil deeds and admit you to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow.” (At-Tahrim 66:8)
In conclusion, whatever happens in our lives we should put our trust in Allah, we should praise Him and ask for His assistance. The greater test to us is not the trial but our reaction to it.