**This is the text for the Friday Khutbah on 10th July 2009, in Hradec Kralove
There was a story of a nine year old girl who lived in Afghanistan during their war with The Soviet Regime. She and her family was among those who left her village during the attacks by the Soviet Union. She had seen many of her family members dying during the war. She and her family went to the mountain hoping to cross over the border to the Pakistan, and the mountain was dangerous. She and her family took more than 2 months to cross the border. She said she will never forget her experience while crossing the borders in the mountains. While on the run she and her family suffered the cold of the night, suffered hunger, suffered from fear of any approaching army offensives. In fact many of the refugees died due to the severe condition. Finally she reached a refugee camp in Pakistan, and she saw many hundreds of children just like her. Her life was very dark. She hated her life. She was asking why she is destined to suffer all this misery. What wrong had she made to suffer all this ibtila’, this tests and sufferings.
She said, the answers came very clear many years later, when her family moved to US. They settled down there. And she realized then looking at her self, when compared with her cousins, her aunts, woman like her in country. She has 2 degrees from well known universities. She has major role in the community, she runs an Islamic School, in which she arranges the curriculum for the kids in the school. She said, if she had been in Afghanistan, she would be just another copy of her aunts and cousins. Yes it was difficult in the beginning. But Allah had planned for her something that she totally don’t expect in her life.
This story is just one example of so many things in which in the first moment, we might asked the big question WHY? Why such and such thing is happening to me? You may meet a very difficult condition, difficult situation and you can’t understand why you have to suffer this? You might be thinking I’m praying, I’m doing my solat, I am a practicing Muslim, why so much suffering on me? You know, you might never get the answer for it
For a Muslim, one of the prime principle for us - anything Allah s.w.t. legislate, Allah determined, Allah ordered, that Allah created, Allah does that with His Great Wisdom and His Great Knowledge. Who else knows how to handle us? Only He Knows the best about us. If you have a company, you built that company, you have full information about the company, you have total control for the company, you would be the best people to decide on what is good for the running of the company. Subhanallah, Allah created us, He Knows what is best for us. His knowledge is not restricted by time, not by location, not limited to the present. He Knows everything.
Allah says in surah al- Baqarah, verse 216,
”.. and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know. “
Thus, whatever Allah has chosen for us, that’s the best for us. You might not see the Hikmah about it, you’ll not see it today, but you will see the benefit in the the Day Of Judgement. So, it comes back to the one simple word, but of utmost importance- FAITH, the trust. Faith that he would chose the best for us. How do we know that? By knowing the nature of Allah swt whom we worship. Whoever who know Allah, truly know Allah, they will have so much trust, sabar, satisfaction, for everything thas has been ordained for them. It’s easy to be said, but to practice it, it’s so much difficult.
Allah chose only those who are fully committed to the deen to carry the message of deen. That’s, why, the Prophet saw and the Sahabah r.a. was among those who faced the most difficult challenges yet they’re the most committed to the deen. Because of the trust, the Imaan.
Allah swt. When he created human being he said:
“Verily We created Man from a drop of mingled sperm, in order to try him: So We gave him (the gifts), of Hearing and Sight” ( Al-Insan : 2 )
From the moment we are created, when we are in our mother’s womb, we are destined to be in trials. Not us, even our fathers, Adam was tried. Some of the trials he passed, for example telling the angels what Allah has thought him, but some he failed, for example eating the forbidden fruit.
And allah goes on to say in Surah al-Kahf, verse 7:
“ Verily, we have made that which is on earth an adornment for it, in order that We may test which of them are best in deeds “
This is the nature of dunya. This is why the dunya is created, to test us. Those who have faith, who believes in Allah, who pass through the trials successfully, they’re the successful one. Those who fail , are those who get the punishment from Allah swt.
Allah not only test the mukmin, but also the non believer. So we should not go on to think that “oh,I’m muslim, I pray yet I’m under such and such difficulty”. Sometimes the nature of the test on the Muslim can be harder. But we have Allah to turn to, to seek help. But the none believer they have only themselves.
It’s amazing how some non believer have no believe in Allah at all. They have no dependence on Allah at all. They are so poor, only left to themselves. All they have is how the medicine worked, how the drug is effective, how the treatment would be successful. We Muslim should never be like that. We always try our best in everything, in studying, in seeking treatment, but at the end of the day, we should always return to Allah, and we should always believe that it is Allah who ha decreed it, not our books, not our studies, not our abilities.
Allah tests us with 2 things-al - Khair and al - Sayyi’at. The Good and the Bad. Among the good things are of that which Allah has legislated for us, the eating, drinking, even Solah, Siyyam, to see how we react to it? And others include our wealth, our health, our senses. We don’t realize it until we will lose it. In fact, actually, everyday you are going through hundreds and hundreds of tests. And how do we fare? What is our result? How much is our syukur?
Once there was a King of Egypt, and he had an advisor who gave this beautiful advise. If you cannot drink water, would you purchase a sip of water with the price of of half your kingdom? The king said yes. If you have water stuck in you, u can’t urinate, would you pay the price of half the kingdom to release this retention? He said yes. Then the man goes on to say,” if your kingdom is just the price of a sip of water. Having it in or out, then your kingdom is worth nothing, don’t be arrogant with it.”
And the second type of test is Sayyi’at and this include sins and the calamities. Allah allowed so many things to happen in this world. Zina, Riba, cheating and many others. And there are so many access to sins especially in today’s day and age with the internet. Allah allowed it to happen to test us.
Another test is calamities. Losing a family member, losing wealth natural disaster, fear, hunger and many others.
In surah al-Nahl, verse 112 ,
“ And Allah gives the example of a township (Makkah), it was secure and peaceful: its provision coming to it in abundance from every place, but it (its people) denied the favors of Allah. So Allah made it taste extreme hunger (famine) and fear, because of what they did “
According to Ibn Katsir rah., this example refers to the people of Makkah, which had been secure, peaceful and stable, a secure sanctuary while men were being snatched away from everywhere outside of it. Its provision coming to it in abundance from every place, but it (its people) denied the favors of Allah. So Allah made them taste extreme hunger (famine) and fear, because of what they did.
They were in peace and contentment, but they were denying all this blessing of Allah, they were being disrespectful of Allah. And Allah let them taste just a bit of this test, not a complete one, just a taste of it. And we see the same things happening to us. We have all these blessing which we never contemplate enough and have thankfullness. We forget this blessings from Allah azza wa jal.
Now, what do we get out of this ? When you go out of this khutbah, what you should do or learn? Practically speaking:
- Always remember that we are in the test. Either you have it easy or difficult.
- There is always chance to pass although you might fail in some, there will always be chance for you to correct yourself.
- Learn how to prepare yourself to face the calamity. No matter what happened it’s always for the benefit of you. There were some story about a man coming to a sheikh asking him, what benefit is there of him having his 5 year old daughter dead. The Sheikh replied, telling that the benefit is that she is in Jannah. What else do you need? If she would life a longer life Allah knows what would happen to her. And if you are patient, there is also Jannah for you. Isn’t that what we want? Do u think life is only in this world?
- Remember as the Prophet saw once said, take 5 before 5 – health before sickness, leisure time before business, the wealth before getting poor, youth before old age and life before your death.