Shock from disasters and calamities

Allah said:

“.. But give glad tidings to As-Sabirun (the patient). Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: ‘Truly, to Allah, we belong and truly, to Him we shall return. They are those on whom are the Salawat (i.e. Who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones.” (2:155,157)

In the Musnad (by Imam Ahmad) it is narrated that the Prophet said:

“No person suffers a calamity and then says, ‘Truly! To Allah, we belong, and truly, to Him, we shall return. O, Allah! Reward me for the calamity that has befallen me and replace it with what is better.’

Except that Allah will reward him for his calamity and will replace it with what is better than whatever he lost.” The words that are contained in the Hadith are truly effective and are a beneficial cure for those afflicted by disasters or calamities. These words contain two major aspects if the slaves of Allah acquire knowledge of them, they will relieve them from the shock of the disaster. First, the slave of Allah, his family, and wealth are Allah’s exclusive property that Allah has loaned to the slave. When Allah takes back some of what he has loaned the slave, He is the Owner who takes back what belongs to Him. Further, whatever Allah gives the save is preceded and followed by periods of non-existence, and the slave only takes temporary possession of them when they come into existence. In addition, the slaves of Allah neither create whatever they own, and they are not their true owners, nor are they capable of protecting such possessions and property. Therefore, the slaves are only hired agents who do what they are commanded since they are not the real owners.

The slave’s return is to Allah, the True Lord, and consequently, they will have to sooner or later depart this life and leave it behind. The slaves will return to Allah just as He created them the first time: dispossessed, without a wife or a family or wealth or tribe. Only the good and bad deeds will the slaves have then. If this is the case with whatever Allah gives the slaves, it’s beginning and end, then why should the slaves be proud of whatever they have or get sad if they lose them? When the slaves remember their beginning and end, this thought will help them discard sadness and depression for their loss.

In addition, sadness and depression will be relieved when the slaves realize that they have neither the power to avoid whatever has befallen them, nor to bring about what was not destined for them. Allah said;

“No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al-Lauh AI Mahfuz) before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah. In order that you may not grieve at the things over that you fail to get, nor rejoice over that which has been given to you. And Allah likes not prideful boasters.” (57:22,23)

In addition, the anguish caused by the calamity will be relieved when the slaves think deeply about what Allah has bestowed on them as compared to what they have lost. They will find that whatever they still have of Allah’s bounty is much larger, especially since Allah has promised them what is even better than whatever they have lost, providing that they are patient with the calamity. If Allah wills, He could make the calamity even larger and more severe.

The shock of calamities could be soothed by observing other people around him and realizing that wherever one looks he sees a disaster to his right and to his left. If someone searches the entire world, he will see that all of mankind is suffering some type of calamity: either losing a loved one or from a disaster. He will, In addition, realizes that the joys of this world are just daydreams or passing shadows and that even if this earthly life brings a little joy, it brings many tears, and if it brings comfort for. One day, it can bring about a long-term disaster. Further, if this life brings some joy, it can prevent further joy from coming for a long time. No place of residence will be filled with any type of good, but could soon be filled with lessons and losses. Finally, if this life brings happiness for a day, it can be hiding the evil of the days to come.

Ibn Mas’ud said,

“Every joy will be followed by sadness, and no house is filled with Joy but will soon be filled with anguish.”

Curing the shock of disasters and calamities comes through knowing that sadness and grief will not avert the calamity but will intensify it. Curing grief and anguish comes through knowing that missing the rewards for being patient and content, such as mercy and correct guidance that Allah has promised in return for being patient, is much larger than the calamity itself.

A part of the cure comes through knowing that grief brings comfort to the heart of the enemy, grief to the friends, anger to the Lord, joy to the devil, destruction to the reward, and weakness to the heart.

On the other hand, when one observes patience and satisfaction, he will expel the devil and defeat his plots, will please the Lord, and bring joy to his friends and sadness to the enemy. In this case, the person would say words of condolence to his friends instead of to him. This, indeed, is the sought-after perfection and firmness, unlike striking the cheeks, uttering foul words, and being dissatisfied with what Allah has decided. Curing grief after disaster strikes a so comes through knowing that being patient and content would lead to a type of joy, tranquility, and comfort that is much greater than what had been lost because of the disaster. In this case, it will be enough of a reward for the patient slave that he will acquire a house of praise that will be built for him in Paradise as a reward for praising his Lord and referring all matters to Him. Let one think about the bigger disaster the one that he had suffered or lost the rewards that he would have gained in the Residence of Eternity {for being patient],

At-Termezey related from the Prophet s& that he said, “On the Day of Resurrection some people would wish that their skins were sliced with scissors in the life of this world because of the reward that they witness the people who endured disasters would receive for being patient.”

Some of the followers of the people of Al-Medina once said, “If it was not for the calamities of this life, we would be bankrupt of rewards on the Day of Resurrection.”

Curing anguish and grief entails feeling content in the heart and seeking Allah’s rewards, for everything can be replaced, except for Allah’s Pleasure. The cure In addition entails knowing that the calamity’s effect on one is all that he will gain from it. Those who are “content with the calamity will gain contentment, while those who are enraged, will only gain rage. The calamity will affect one as much as he allows it. One should then choose between the best of rewards or the evilest consequences. If one feels rage and disbelief, he will be written in the record of the destroyed ones. If one feels grief and abandons an obligation or commits a prohibition, he will be written in the record of those who neglect their duty. If the calamity caused one to complain and be impatient, he will be written with those who commit injustices against themselves. If one rejects Allah’s decision and questions His wisdom, he will have knocked on the door that leads to hypocrisy or will have entered through it. If one is patient and firm for Allah’s sake, he will be written among the patient ones. If one feels content, he will be written among the content believers. If one praise and thanks Allah, he will be written with the thankful slaves and will be gathered under the flag of those who praise Allah. If the calamity directed one to feel eager to meet his Lord, he will be written among the sincere persons in their love for Allah.

Ahmad and At-Termezey related that the Prophet said:

“When Allah loves a people. He tests them with trials. If they are content, then they will achieve contentment. Those who get enraged will only reap rage.”

Curing grief entails knowing that no matter how much grief one feels he will sooner or later be forced to forego the matter. And then, he will not be rewarded for this forced patience.

A wise man once said, “On the first day when a calamity strikes, the wise person behaves just like the ignorant person behaves days later. Those who do not observe honorable patience will soon be forced to forget just as the animals do.”

In addition in the Sahih it is related that the Prophet said:

“Verily, patience is at the stroke of the calamity.”

Further, Al-Ash’ath bin Qays said, “Observe patience with Faith and await the reward from Allah Alone. Otherwise, you will be forced to forget just as the animals do.”

Among the cures of grief is that the person should know that the most useful remedies for his case are his agreeing with his Lord and God in what He has chosen for him, for the secret that love contains is that those who love to agree with the loved one. Those who claim to love then disagree with what the loved one likes and seek what he dislikes will anger the loved one and will be testifying to the untruthfulness of their claimed love, Abu Ad-Darda once said, “When Allah decides a matter, He likes that His decision is accepted.” ‘Imran bin Al-Husain used to say when he was ill, “The most beloved to Him is the most beloved to me.” Abu Al-Aliyah In addition said similar words. This remedy only works for those who have sincere love for Allah and is not suitable for just anyone. Curing grief includes comparing what is more joyous, beloved, and enduring: being content with the calamity or the joy of receiving Allah’s reward. When one realizes and acquires the superior option, he should thank Allah for His guidance. If one chooses the lesser of the two, let him know that the affliction that his mind, heart, and religion have suffered is more than the affliction he suffered through the disaster,

It also requires knowing that He Who has tested the slave with the affliction is the Wisest, the Most Merciful and that He did not test him with the affliction to destroy, punish or overwhelm him. Rather, the affliction is merely a test of his patience, contentment with Allah, and faith. Allah wants to hear the slave’s pleas, supplications, and humidity before Him, seeking refuge with Him, his heart’s humbleness before Him, and his explaining his grievances to Him.

The slave should thus know that his being tested with the bellows of this life is better for him than being tested with the bellows of the next life! In addition, the slave has no other choice but to be tested with one of the two bellows, so let him appreciate Allah’s bounty on him by testing him with the bellows of this world. It entails knowing that if it were not for the afflictions of this life, the slave would become arrogant, proud, and hard-hearted, which would ultimately cause his destruction

. It is the mercy of the Most Merciful that He tests the slave with afflictions sometimes so that these afflictions act as a prevention against evil manners, thus preserving the health of one’s slavery to Allah. In addition, they extract spoiled substances from his system. All praise is to He Who sends down mercy with afflictions, and Who tests the slaves with the bounties He grants.

If it was not for the fad that Allah treats His slaves with the remedies of afflictions and trials, they would be arrogant and would commit injustices and aggression. When Allah decides to do good for a certain slave, He tests him with pain and affliction, according to the degree of his faith, This is how Allah rids the slaves of destructive ailments (sins and lusts) , until the slave is purified and correctly guided, and Allah qualifies him to the highest degree in this world: being His slave. He will qualify him for the best rewards in the Life Hereafter: Gazing at Allah and residing close to Him. Curing grief In addition entails knowing that the bitterness of this life is itself the sweetness of the Life Hereafter, as Allah will turn it to sweetness later on. In addition, the sweetness of this life is itself the bitterness of the Life Hereafter. Moving away from a short-lived bitterness to acquire eternal sweetness is surely better than vise versa.

If one does not comprehend these facts, let them remember the words of the truthful one, “Paradise is surrounded with joys while the Fire is surrounded with lusts.”

Therefore, bring yourself to what Allah has prepared for His loyal supporters – those who obey Him – of eternal joy, everlasting happiness, and ultimate success. In addition consider and remember the torment, everlasting sadness, and humiliation that Allah has prepared for the evil and wasteful slaves.

“Each one does according to Shakilatihi (i.e., his way or his religion or his intentions).” (17:84)

Every person seeks what is suitable for him and what he deserves. Do not think that the cures mentioned herewith are over-explained, for the utter need for them by both the doctor and the sick required explaining them in detail. Allah knows best.

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