Lifelong Iman Rush – Tip #10 Turn Tests Into Opportunities

In life, we experience something amazing that makes us feel compelled to come closer to Allah, where we feel a sense of iman-rush. But after a while, dunya gets to us and our reality check makes us feel that we cannot be spiritual consistently. Here’s a tip on how to remain consistently on the path towards the pleasure of Allah. To catch up on the previous posts of this series, click here 📌

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Those (i.e. believers) unto whom the people (hypocrites) said,
“Verily, the people have gathered against you (a great army), therefore fear them.”
But it (only) increased them in Faith, and they said:
“Allah (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs.”

[Ali Imran 3:173]

In this ayah, the hypocrites were saying that the disbelievers were going to oppress and kill the believers –  in order to frighten the believers. But instead of being afraid, it only increased the believers in their iman. The believers turned this test into an opportunity to strengthen their faith by seeking the help and trust in Allah s.w.t. Consider the following hadith:

Rasulallah s.a.w. said:
“Sufficient for you among the women of mankind are
Maryam bint ‘Imran,
Khadijah bint Khuwailid,
Fatimah bint Muhammad
and Asiyah the wife of Fir’aun.”
[Tirmidhi]

If we ponder on the stories of these 4 women who perfected their faith, the NUMBER ONE lesson that we learn from them is that they have full and complete tawakkul in Allah. Think about it:

Did Maryam’s tawakkul get stronger before her pregnancy, or after?

When tested with boycott by her own people, did Khadijah’s iman get stronger or weaker?

After Khadijah died, Fatima was Rasulallah’s (s.a.w.) only sole supporter for some time – and during those times and the times to come, did her iman get stronger or weaker?

And when Fir’aun severely tortured Asiyah, did it only strengthen her iman, or weaken it?

All these 4 great women were defined by the same theme:
Tawakkul.
Every test increased them in faith.

Yes, pain and suffering can become negative if we allow them to become barriers between us and Allah. But they can become great motivation if we use them to propel us back to Him. This is one of the wisdoms of trials and tribulations – they force us to turn back to Allah, humbled. Maybe we have been heedless all this while – so Allah s.w.t. sends trials to jolt us out from our spiritually-neglectful state. Maybe Allah wants to raise our status:

“If Allah wants to do good to somebody,
He afflicts him with trials.”
[Sahih Bukhari]

“When Allah has decreed for a servant a rank which he has not attained by his action,
He (Allah s.w.t.) afflicts him in his body, or his property or his children. 
He then enables him to endure that. So that He may bring him to the rank decreed from him by Allah.”
[Sunan Abi Dawood]

“When Allah wants good for his slave, He hastens his punishment in the world.
And when He wants bad for His slave, He withholds his sins from him until he appears before Him on the Day of Judgement (with those sins).”
[Sunan At-Tirmidhi]

 If we are undergoing a test or calamity, then it is upon us to be patient and remain steadfast on the truth for Rasulallah s.a.w. said in the same hadith:

“Indeed greater reward comes with greater trial.
And indeed, when Allah loves a people He subjects them to trials; so whoever is content then for him is pleasure, and whoever is discontent then for him is wrath.”
[Sunan At-Tirmidhi]

Therefore when something happen, don’t allow ourself to be weak. Take that test as an opportunity to strengthen our faith, and say: “Alhamdulillah, I recognize that Allah is testing me, and insya Allah I will be patient.” Know that our Rabb will give us something better than what we have missed or lost if we are patient. This is a beautiful quote that aptly explains this tip:

“I swear by The Rabb of the Heavens and the Earth and all that which lies between, that there is a great blessing and sweetness in the tests which afflict the believer. If you truly say that you believe in Allah ta’ala, then be ready to face difficulty and walk in the shoes of those which Allah has already tested prior to us and has promised them Paradise.
What makes a test so sweet is the fact that there is so much reward in it
despite the great difficulty involved. You are forced to call upon Allah, remember Him and stay patient. You are forced to raise your hands high and cry in sujood to none but Allah. This is one of the greatest blessings and honour given to us by Allah. Alhamdulillah.”

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