نحمدہ و نصلی و نسلم علی رسولہ الکریم
فاعوذ بللہ من الشیطان الرجیم
بسم اللہ ارحمٰن الرحیم
قال اللہ تبارک و تعالٰی فی القرآن المجید و الفرقان الحمید
صدق اللہ العظیم و صدق رسولہ النبیّ الکریم
ان اللہ و ملائکتہ یصلّون علی النّبی یا ایھا الذین اٰمنوا صلّوا علیہ وسلّموا تسلیما
Please read this out loud:
الصلوۃ والسلام علیک یا رسول اللہ
الصلوۃ والسلام علیک یا حبیب اللہ
الصلوۃ والسلام علیک یا نور اللہ
الصلوۃ والسلام علیک یا رحمت للعالمین
May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’la make me write only the truth and the right, and May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’la make us all read, understand, implement, and spread the right and the truth. (Ameen)
Assalamualaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,
Ramadan represents patience, month that tests a person’s strengths. “They” can limit our sources, but they cannot limit the spread of Noor and knowledge in the hearts, minds and souls of us Muslim women. This series of articles on every first Sunday of the month is my way of still trying to keep our connection with each other, our hopes alive, and our strength strong. Last year during Ramadan we discussed Good Deeds on the first Sunday of the month at Noor Academy, this year in Ramadan I want to discuss the way Allah tests us. My humble request to everyone would be not to rush through the article, to read it, understand it, and learn from it. While reading this article please keep me and my family in your prayers.
In the Quran it states,
“And We will surely test you with some fear and hunger, and with lessening of wealth and lives and fruits; and give good news to those who patiently endure.” Surah Baqarah (155)
This month is not only about staying hungry, or counting how many times you finish the Quran, or reading Taraweeh, though all are reward worthy deeds. This month is not just about physical and outward patience; it’s also about mental and inner patience.
Allah Subhanahu wa ta’la tests us in many ways, like the above verse stated. The above verse stated some things that Allah tests us with,
The testing that is mentioned above is indicated for a life span, meaning in a lifetime a person will be tested with these things. But Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’la tests a person with all of the five things in the month of Ramadan.
What is Allah’s test?
If we think about a test, what comes to my mind? As a high school student mostly the SAT’s or the ACT’s or the AP examinations. If you’re an immigrant from another country and I ask you what does “test” mean to you, automatically the immigrant will think of the citizenship test. If I ask the same question to a driving student, they will immediately think of the DMV. So, the real question here is, if I ask a Muslim what is the meaning of a test, what will the response be? What is Allah’s test? Do we really know the true meaning of Allah’s test?
There’s a waqiah (true story) that is stated in Qasasul Awliya,
There was a guy that came to a wise old man, and said, “You have knowledge of the Ism-e-Azam, please teach it to me, so I as well can see what you have seen, and I as well can do dua, and immediately get the answer to my prayer.” When the wise old man heard this he said, “I can only teach you the Ism-e-Azam if you go sit on the outskirts of the city and watch the city’s gates.” The guy agreed and sat down near the gate of the city and watched. The day passed and he saw nothing extra ordinary, he saw some travelers leaving the city and some people entering the city. It was almost sunset and he was about to leave, that he sees a very old fragile man carrying a bundle of wood on his back entering the city. He was about to go help the old man that he sees the guards on the city gate go to the old man and take the bundle of wood and throw it on the ground and start beating the old man. He went running back to the wise old man to tell him of what he had just seen. He was furious with the guards. The wise old man asked the guy, “If you had known the Ism-e-Azam what would you have done?” The guy immediately replies, “I would pray to Allah to make the guards perish.” The wise old man smiled and answered calmly, “The old fragile man that you observed getting beaten by the guards, was my teacher. He was the one that taught me the Ism-e-Azam, yet he did not wish ill for the guards, because he was happy with the test that Allah had given him.” The old man that was getting beaten and had the option to do dua against the guards, but he didn’t, because he knew Allah was testing him. Would he use the power that Allah had given him or would he accept the test that Allah had given.
To understand this quite easily, look at the fast. When keeping a fast, a person is not allowed to eat or drink. Does that mean the person does not have the ability to eat or drink? No, the refrigerator is filled with food, more food than in the other 11 months, but still no one eats when the sun is up. Why? Is it because you don’t have the power? Is it because suddenly when you’re fasting you’re hunger and thirst goes away? No, we fast not because we don’t have food or water; we fast because this is a test from Allah. Allah is testing us, by giving us power, and then seeing do we still do the right thing.
SubhanAllah, what kind of test is this, in an ACT, or SAT, or a citizenship test, or a driver’s test, none of these test give you the option to look at the answers and then give the test. Allah puts the answers in front of a person, gives them a choice, gives them freedom to choose, gives them power, and then sees if the person will give up his will for Allah’s will. This is Allah’s test. Putting his will far above and beyond oneself will.
Imam Hussain in Karabalah, could he not pray to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’la to make the yazeedees perish on the spot? Ali Asghar in the tent at Karbalah, kicked the ground with his heel and water rose from there, Imam Hussain covered the water with dirt saying that this is Allah’s test and we put His will over ours. The ultimate sacrifice, the test that was far beyond anyone else’s, the hardships that were faced, that one can only imagine. Imam Hussain had the power, when his grandfather, the holder of the keys of the entire universe, the Prophet Sallal lahu alaihi wasallam had so much power that was given to him by Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’la, that when the people of Taif troubled the Prophet Sallal lahu alaihi wasallam, Hazrat Jibreel came to the Prophet and said by your order do you want Allah to send down severe punishment on these people? But the Prophet Sallal lahu alaihi wasallam has been sent down as Rahmatul lil alameen, mercy for universe, how could he do dua for destruction? Imam Hussain had power, but how could he go against the teachings of his grandfather, that when Allah Subhanahu wa Tala tests you, you put Allah’s will over yours and this is your success. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’la only tests those who are capable of passing His test.
In Surah Baqarah verse 32 Allah states, “They said, "Purity is for You! We do not have any knowledge except what You have taught us! Indeed You only are the All Knowing, the Wise."
The ayat is mentioning when Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’la created Hazrat Adam Alaihi Salam and taught the names of the objects, when Allah asked the angels the names of the objects, they said we do not know except of what you have taught us. The angels knew even though Allah has asked us this question, it’s not a test, because a test is only then taken when you have been taught the subject and the teacher knows you’re capable of taking the test. Allah only tests those who are capable of His test, which is why we say the only true believers of Allah are tested.
The Quran mentions various different verses on being tested how the Prophet’s were tested with different things.
Hazrat Ibrahim’s test is mentioned in Surah Baqarah verse 124
"And (remember) when Ibrahim’s (Abraham’s) Lord tested him in some matters and he fulfilled them;”
The Sahaba’s test is mentioned in Surah Muhammad verse 31
“And We shall indeed test you until We make known the warriors and the steadfast among you - and to test your proclamations.”
Tests are known for evaluating a person, and in this verse Allah is telling us that His test is to evaluate who is a warrior and who is steadfast in His religion. The warriors at the battle of Badr were tested, they were only 313 Sahaba.( 77 Muhajir and 236 Ansaar). They had 2 horses, 70 camels, 14 weapons including 8 swords.
تھے ان کے پاس دو گھوڑے، چھ زرہیں آٹھ شمشیریں پلٹنے آئے تھے وہ لوگ دنیا بھر کی تقدیریں
یہ لشکر ساری دنیا میں انوکھا اور نرالا تھا کہ اس لشکر کا افسر ایک رحمت والا تھا
یہ وہ تھے جن سے حق کا بول بالا ہونے والا تھا یہ وہ تھے جن سے دنیا مین اجالا ہونے والا تھا
The Kuffar were 1000 in counting, they had 100 horses, 700 camels, and uncountable weapons and supplies. In addition they took Alcohol with them, and for entertainment they took women dancers and singers. They were ready for the after party to begin; they thought they had it in the bag, they thought they had already won. The Sahaba were tested by the hunger, the thirst and the enormous pressure that they were outnumbered and the Kuffar were already celebrating.
The Sahaba still did not lose hope they did not give up, they did not back down, they did not go home, they did not change religions or sides, they put Allah’s will over their own will. When they put Allah’s will over their own will, Allah Subahanahu wa Ta’la showed his mercy from the forces of the unseen and with the Prophet Sallal lahu aliahi wasallam’s prayer helped the Sahaba with 5000 angels.
The success and reward for the Sahaba for putting Allah’s will over their own was tremendous, they not only won the battle, but this was the first battle for the Sahaba, and they defeated those who were experts at fighting. They not only killed the Kuffar, but 2 of the youngest members, Hazrat Maooz ibn Afra and Hazrat Muaaz ibn Umroo, killed the Leader of the Kuffars, Abu Jahl. This is the victory one receives when they trust Allah’s will over their own will.
Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’la also tested the Sahaba when the Qibla changed from Baitul Muqaddas to Baitullah and Allah himself states this was a test to see who follows the orders of Allah and the Prophet and who sticks to their own wishes.
Surah Baqarah verse 143
“We had appointed the qiblah which you formerly observed only to see (test) who follows the Noble Messenger, and who turns away; and it was indeed hard except for those whom Allah guided;”
Tests are there to differentiate people, to show people the results. For example the teacher already knows that this student is the smartest in the class, but other students only find out when the results come out. When that student gets a scholarship or a higher GPA or becomes valedictorian, the teacher knew it all along but people found out, because the test made a difference in those who were smarter and those who were lacking.
You will find many different people in this world in many different masks. Their get up will be exactly like yours, they will look like you, act like you, sometimes better than you, but they are not a part of you. They are nothing like you. There is a Hadith in which the Prophet Sallal lahu alaihi wasallam states, “There will be a time when people will read better Quran than you, they will pray better than you, you will think to yourself that they are the true believers, the Momins, but their Iman will not be below their throats, their Iman will not reach their hearts.” A person cannot judge a person’s level of Iman, but The Prophet Sallal lahu Alaihi wasallam who told us about Iman can tell us the criteria.
Tests come in many different forms from Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’la, some are as simple as deciding to wear our shoes from the right foot first, and some are so difficult that only those that are going through the hardships can explain. The test that we Muslim’s face today is the fact that there is a disease that has spread amongst us; there is a catchy phrase that everyone has put on repeat, “Why can’t Muslim’s unite?”
The answer was given to us 1433 years ago by the Prophet Sallal lahu alaihi wasallam, “There was disagreement amongst Jews and they split into 72 groups. In exactly the same way, there will be disagreement and divisions in my Ummah. It will split into 73 groups. Except for one of these groups, all the remaining will be thrown into Hell.”When asked about which group will be on the right path, the Prophet Sallal lahu Alaihi wasallam replied, “The group on the right path, which will enter Paradise, will be the group which follows my Sunnah and this will be the largest group of Muslims.” (Tirmidhi; Imam Ahmad; Abu Dawud; Mishkat)
Our test is if we can stay firm on the straight path of the Sunnah of the Prophet Sallal lahu alaihi wasallam, and recognize and save ourselves from the other 72 groups. There are tricky parts in all tests, and here the complex thing is that all 72 of the other groups claim to be Muslims, claim that they follow the Sunnah of the Prophet, claim that they love the Prophet. They have long beards and niqabs to prove these claims. But is this what Islam has come down to for us Muslims in the 21st Century the outer description of a person, rather than the inner? This is our test to not be distracted by a person’s appearance and to analyze ones inner Iman.
You may ask yourself who are we to judge a person? Well Allah and The Prophet Sallal lahu alaihi wasallam have given signs of hypocrites, the Munafiqeen, the other groups that will form in Islam, and Allah and the Prophet Sallal lahu alaihi wasallam, the Sahabah, the Ahle Bait, the Tabieen, the Taba Tabieen, the Buzurganideen, the Auliya, the Ulama, have all told us to beware of them, to stay away from them, for the safety of our Iman. If a person still ignores all the signs, if a person is still not cautious, if a person is still afraid to analyze because of the fear of judging. If a person lives in a neighborhood where he knows a robbery can happen at any time, he doesn’t put any locks on the door, he keeps his door wide open, what will we call that person? Will we say he was right, because he didn’t "judge" his neighborhood, and the people in it?
This is our test in this world that we’re living in today, who will we follow? Our will or Allah’s will? Who will we make our Imam, our leader, who will we believe in? Are we still ignorant and oblivious to the facts surrounding us? Or will we wake up and realize and smell the danger that is arising from all directions?
Alhamdulillah we are knowledgeable people, we have a strong hold on what is morally right and wrong. Let us expand on this knowledge through Islam, through Allah, through the Prophet Sallal lahu alaihi wasallam, because they will teach us how to pass the difficult test of all, the test that everyone has to take, the test of life.
Allah’s test is only for the warriors and the steadfast.
Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’la mentions in Surah Ale Imran verse 142
“What! You assume that you will enter Paradise while Allah has not yet tested your warriors, nor yet tested the steadfast?”
A summarization would be a saying of Hazrat Ali Radi Allahu Anhu, "The difference between the test and punishment of Allah is simple. A test brings you closer to Allah, while a punishment takes you far from Allah."
Keep hope, the world is running, (not on dunkin’) but on hope.
Just because a Teacher is silent during a test does not mean that he isn’t watching.
May Allah give the fear of Allah in our hearts, and the will to choose Allah’s will on our own. (Ameen)
Remember me and Noor Academy in your prayers.
وما علینا الا البلاغ المبین