ArE YoU pLeAsEd?
This is a story about a young woman who gave birth to a round faced, bright-eyed boy three decades ago. The bigger the boy grew, the more mischievous he became. These small bundles of mischief are miracles of Allah (Subhânau wa Ta’âla) – we wonder in amazement how they take on risks and adventures as happily as we would take on a piece of chocolate cake. We watch in awe as they stumble and trip their way through life, rising from each fall, bawling or laughing.
One day, his mother went out to visit her sister and left the child with his older siblings. Never satisfied within four walls, the young boy quietly made his way to the balcony. He pushed his small face between the railings. The view was not to his satisfaction. So the little boy pushed a stool towards the railings and stood on it. His body bent over the railing, watching the maze-like sight of the cars below. Perhaps it was a slip of his foot, perhaps his head was bent too low, perhaps … perhaps … but alas, what happened, happened. His little body fell through the air, and if not for a blanket spread out by frantic neighbours, the boy tumbling down nine stories would have landed on the pavement with a sickening splat. The boy was caught, a nauseating scene was avoided. But the Angel of Death was waiting at the scene, leaving the small body intact, quietly took his life.
The aunt was informed by the neighbours who adviced her to break the news gently to the mother. She said: “Go home quickly, my sister, there was an accident.” The mother read grief in her aunt’s teary eyes, but didn’t utter a word. On reaching home, she found her living room crowded with sympathetic relatives and neighbours, some called out to her crying as she entered, some were waving their hands and wailing loudly. Then the mother was told what had happened to her son. Not a moan escaped her lips. She turned and entered the bathroom and made wudu – exiting the bathroom, faced the qiblah.
“Allahu Akbar, Allah is Great.” She prayed two rak’ahs, and cried: Wa assalooka al ridaa ba’aad al qadaa‘ ” (I ask You to make me pleased with what You have decreed). I am pleased with Your decree O Allah! I ask You to grant me patience and strength in this trial! Alhamduli’llah – All praise is due to Allah!”
Steadily she rose from her prayer mat and entered the living room and calmly sat down. Looking at the grieving faces of friends and family, she softly whispered that she was pleased with Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala’s decree.
This story should inspire all of us and remind us of what Suhayb (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated, that once while the Prophet (Sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) was sitting amongst his companions, he smiled and asked:
“Will you not ask me why I smile?”
They responded: “What makes you smile, O Messenger of Allah?“
He replied: “I am amazed at the believer’s situation! His situation is always good! If something occurs to him that he likes, he praises Allah, and that is good for him. If something occurs to him that he dislikes, he perseveres, and that is good for him. No one’s situation is always good – except a believer’s.“ (Recorded by Ahmad and others. Verified to be authentic by Al-Albaani, as-Sahihah no.147)
This is the difference between the believer and the non-believer. The believer holds no feelings of pain, remorse, vengeance, stress, guilt or anger in his heart once he is afflicted. He is not besieged with constant thoughts of “if only … if only …” He praises his Lord, thanking Him Ta’ala for his past blessings, thanking Him that it was not worse.
So dear brothers and sisters, when you have been given a test (trial), when the earth is constricted around you, when you feel like everything has been turned upside down, remember what Allah (Subhânau wa Ta’âla) tells us (interpretation of the meaning):
“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to the ones who are patient. Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” (al Baqarah 2:155-156)
And also remember that Allah (Subhânau wa Ta’âla) forbids us to be amongst those who:
“…. when his Lord tries him by giving him honour and gifts, then he says (puffed up): ‘My Lord has honoured me. But when He tries him by restricting his means of life, he says (in despair): ‘My Lord has humiliated me!'” (Al Fajr 89:15-16)
Subhan-Allah! Exalted is Allah the Almighty! How true are the words of our Prophet (Sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam):
“I am amazed at the believer’s situation! …. No one’s situation is always good – except a believer’s.”