Islamic Religious Council of Singapore
26 May 2023 / 6 Zulkaedah 1444H
Acceptance – The Key to Navigating Times of Hardship and of Ease
My beloved fellow Muslims,
Let us continue our efforts to increase our taqwa towards Allah (s.w.t.), by obeying all His commands, and by abstaining from all His prohibitions. May Allah grant us steadfastness in navigating the trials of life. Amin Ya Rabbal 'Alamin.
My brothers and sisters,
In this life, there will be good times and hard times. We will certainly face difficulties and challenges in our daily lives. Adversity is part and parcel of life.
Some people are tested with sickness. Some have estranged family members who have not spoken to each other for a long time. Some are affected by loss of jobs and find it challenging to meet even the basic needs of their families. This is on top of the global challenges facing all of us, such as the economic recession. All these worries can certainly affect a person's quality of life.
These unrelenting problems can lead to more complicated issues in the future. A survey of studies published by psychologists, in 2018, show that there is an association between depression and financial strain.
As believers, we accept all these tests and understand that this is a reality that cannot be avoided. However, how can we best navigate the hardships and challenges of life?
Let us observe what Allah (s.w.t.) said in surah At-Taghabun, verse 11:
Which means: “No calamity befalls anyone except by Allah’s Will. And whoever has faith in Allah, He will rightly guide their hearts through adversity. And remember, Allah has perfect knowledge of all things.”
My brothers and sisters,
The verse that was recited earlier provides us with a very important guidance - that all the trials that befall us are decreed by Allah (s.w.t.). And that Allah (s.w.t.) will guide the hearts of believers to be patient, and that He will provide a way out and a solution to their problems. For those who are steadfast in their belief, their faith in Allah (s.w.t.) will definitely increase, their life affairs will be made easier, and their hearts will be at peace. This is because every test we face is proof of Allah's love for His servants.
Let us look at a hadith of the Prophet (s.a.w.), which says: "Surely, there is a great reward for a great trial. And verily, if Allah (s.w.t.) loves a people, then He will inflict trials on them. Those who accept, then they will gain Allah's pleasure. Whoever does not like being put to the test, then Allah’s anger is upon them." (Hadith narrated by Imam Ibn Majah).
My brothers and sisters,
In addition, having faith alone is not enough. As believers, we need to put in the effort to improve our lives. This is because faith should be accompanied by continuous efforts to find solutions to our problems, as well as by making careful plans for our lives.
For example, when faced with financial inadequacy, a believer will not just wait and sit idle. Rather, he will explore all means to find a way out of the situation. This can be done by managing his finances better – by seeing where he can further reduce his expenditure, and by prioritising needs over wants. All these efforts also need to be coupled together with patience - patience in controlling our desires, our wants, and so on. This is called mujahadatun-Nafs, or the struggle against desires.
The Prophet (s.a.w.) said in a hadith:
الْمُجَاهِدُ مَنْ جَاهَدَ نَفْسَهُ
Which means: "A person who fights in Allah’s cause is a person who struggles against his desires." (Hadith narrated by Imam Al-Tirmizi).
My fellow Muslims,
We must remember that any trials that come our way are actually blessings from Allah (s.w.t.). There is always a silver lining to such tests, and these tests contain valuable wisdom and lessons, as long as we take the time to reflect upon them. As such, a true believer would work to emerge stronger from any test, armed with new lessons that he has learnt. This is so that he can strive to improve himself and his situation.
That is what our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said about the characteristics and nature of a believer, which was that a believer whose soul has been shaped and guided by his religious beliefs is a wise person, so much so that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said that such a person would not make the same mistake a second time. This is because he would have learnt the wisdom behind every incident and test.
May Allah (s.w.t.) grant us the courage and strength to face the tests of life calmly, and in a manner that would strengthen our faith. Amin Ya Rabbal 'Alamin.
أَقُوْلُ قَوْلِي هَذَا وَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ العَظِيْمَ لِي وَ لَكُمْ، فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُوْرُ الرَّحِيْم
الحَمْدُ للهِ حَمْدًا كَثِيرًا كَمَا أَمَرَ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَن لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَأَصْحَابِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ. أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَيَا عِبَادَ الله، اِتَّقُوا اللهَ تَعَالَى فِيمَا أَمَرَ، وَانتَهُوا عَمَّا نَهَاكُم عَنْهُ وَزَجَرَ.
أَلَا صَلُّوا وَسَلِّمُوا عَلَى النَّبِيِّ الْمُصْطَفَى، فَقَدْ أَمَرَنَا اللهُ بِذَلِكَ حَيْثُ قَال فِي كِتَابِهِ العَزِيزِ: إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَـا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسلِيمًا. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَ بَارِكْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ.
وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ المَهْدِيِّينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيِّ، وَعَن بَقِيَّةِ الصَّحَابَةِ وَالقَرَابَةِ وَالتَّابِعِينَ، وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ، وَعَنَّا مَعَهُم وَفِيهِم بِرَحْمَتِكَ يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِلمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالمُؤْمِنَاتِ، وَالمُسْلِمِينَ وَالمُسْلِمَاتِ، الأَحْيَاءِ مِنهُم وَالأَمْوَاتِ. اللَّهُمَّ ادْفَعْ عَنَّا البَلَاءَ وَالوَبَاءَ وَالزَّلَازِلَ وَالمِحَنَ، مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ، عَن بَلَدِنَا خَاصَّةً، وَسَائِرِ البُلْدَانِ عَامَّةً، يَارَبَّ العَالَمِينَ. رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنيَا حَسَنَةً، وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً، وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.
عِبَادَ اللهِ، إِنَّ اللهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي القُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ، فَاذكُرُوا اللهَ العَظِيمَ يَذْكُركُمْ، وَاشْكُرُوهُ عَلَى نِعَمِهِ يَزِدكُمْ، وَاسْأَلُوهُ مِن فَضلِهِ يُعطِكُم، وَلَذِكرُ اللهِ أَكبَرُ، وَاللهُ يَعلَمُ مَا تَصنَعُونَ.