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Have you ever taken part in an activity called “Trust Fall”?
Basically, “Trust Fall” is a trust-building activity performed as a group in which a person deliberately allows himself to fall, relying on the other members of the group to catch him. This type of activity is very popular in team building away sessions where the emphasise is on building a trusting relationship with your colleagues.
It’s amazing how during those type of exercises, we can just easily relax and fall back! We have the complete confidence that the individual/group will catch us. We trust them.
When the trials of life overwhelm us and we find ourselves perturbed, worried, distressed etc, we should apply the same principle and have conviction that no matter what happens, Allah will not let us fall! He subhanahu wa’tala will catch us.
So relax, fall back and let Him catch you. Just like Mawluna Rumi says in one of his poems “Fall into the Safety of God”.
A story is told about a King in Africa who had a close friend that he grew up with. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) by remarking, “This is good, Allah Almighty knows best”
One day the King and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the King. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the King fired it and his thumb was blown off.
Examining the situation the friend remarked as usual, “This is good! Allah Almighty knows best.”
To which the King replied, “No, this is NOT good!” and ordered his soldiers to put his friend into jail.
About a year later, the King was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured the King and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake.
As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the King was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone who was less than whole. So after untying the King, they chased him out of the village.
When the King reached his Palace, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend.
“You were right” the King said, “It was good that my thumb was blown off.” And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. “I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this.”
“No,” his friend replied, “this is good…Allah Almighty knows best“
“What do you mean, ‘this is good’! How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?”
The King’s friend replied: “Remember that the Almighty knows best and if I had NOT been in jail, I would have been with you on that hunting trip.”
“He knows what is before them and what is behind them: And to Allah go back all questions (for decision)”
Qur’an: Surah Al Hajj 22:76
Do Not Judge Things or Events by its Immediate Outcome!
Although the decisions of Allah Ta’alah may seem harsh to us, they are full of wisdom
“17 Benefits of Tribulation” is a remarkable talk given by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf many years ago, based on the treatise of the seventh century scholar Al-`Izz Ibn `Abdus-Salam – Sultan of the `Ulama’ (may Allah be pleased with him).
This must be one of the talks I actually listen to quite often, especially when I’m feeling down. All of Shaykh Hamza’s talks leave a strong impact on one’s heart; however after listening to this specific talk, it leaves the person with a deeper sense of inspiration and himmah to snap out of the “feeling low” state and to invigorate the high aspirations one has set themselves.
One of the profound analogies Shaykh Hamza makes in the talk, and which I love is:
…we/you are all in the ocean of this duniya; if you panic or have anxiety about things or situations, you will drown. Just RELAX, and you will float because you are in good hands!…. [Paraphrased]
Shaykh Hamza focuses on the hardships the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam went through but never allowed any of those afflictions to perturb him. After listening to this lecture, I can say for sure that one will have a different attitude and outlook on calamities and hardships; and it will heal the broken or agitated heart no doubt.
The 17 Benefits of Tribulation are listed below:
- You realize the power of Lordship over you.
- You realize your object servanthood and your complete state of resignation and brokenness before the will and power of God.
- Sincerity to God; one has no place of return in putting off or defending against the calamity except to Him. It makes you sincere because the muhsin is the one who call on God without any shirk. A moment of ikhlas in this world is enough to save a person.
- He returns to God and suddenly is fervent in his desire of his Lord.
- It leads to a humbled state before God and it leads to prayers (du’a) that you call on God.
- You’re forbearing towards the One who has afflicted you.
- You forgive the one who has wronged you.
- To be patient during the tribulation.
- To be happy about what’s happening because of those benefits.
- To be grateful for it.
- Purification that these calamities have towards peoples’ wrongs and sins.
- Compassion that God enables you to show to people who are in tribulation and to help them.
- Tribulation gives you the blessing of having true knowledge of the extent of well-being.
- God has prepared rewards for the calamities that you’ve beared patiently or with contentment.
- What is hidden inside the folds of these calamities are blessings.
- Tribulations prevent you from arrogance.
- Contentment. Tribulation afflicts the good and the evil (people), whoever doesn’t like it, it’s on Him, he’s lost the dunya and the akhira. Those who are pleased with it, it’s because he knows it, because paradise is better than anything in this world and if these tribulations are what it takes for him to get to paradise, then he’s content with it.
[Courtesy of ihsaan.wordpress]
I strongly recommend everyone to buy a copy of this lecture and listen for themselves.
May Allah elevate Shaykh Hamza’s rank in both worlds, and protect him from all harm and evil. May we use each trial and tribulation as a means of reaching closer to Him Ta’ala.