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The Attitude of the Believer Towards Catastrophe and Hardship

Imām ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Saʿdī

How does the believer react to hardship and trials?

Imām ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Saʿdī said: “[From among the means of happiness as well] is to relate [to one another] the apparent and hidden bounties of Allāh. For, truly, acknowledgement [of those bounties] and speaking of them is a means by which Allāh removes sadness [on what has transpired] and stress [about the future]. It also encourages the slave [of Allāh] to be thankful [to Him], which is from among the highest levels [a slave can achieve when dealing with catastrophes]. Even if the slave [of Allāh] is in a state of deprivation, sickness, or any other kind of tribulation; if he was to compare the bounties of Allāh on him—which he could never enumerate or fully appreciate—with the catastrophe that has befallen him, there would be absolutely no comparison between the two.  

For if Allāh chooses to test His slave with a catastrophe or tribulation, and [the slave] can meet [what has befallen him] with patience, pleasure, and submission, that catastrophe becomes insignificant, and easily dealt with [for the slave]. As the slave has set his hopes on the attainment of the reward [from Allāh] and worshipping Him through meeting what has befallen him with patience and acceptance. Thus, what was once bitter is sweetened as the sweetness of reward allows him to forget the bitterness of being patient.”

Source: Al-Wasāʾil al-Mufīdah li al-Hayāt al-Saʿīdah: 40
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: February 7, 2022
Edited: May 27, 2022


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