Subject : Muslim’s Attitude in Times of Affliction and Islamic Creed`s Role in His Steadfastness
Fatwa Number : 3567
Date : 25-03-2020
Classified : Divinities
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

What attitude should a Muslim take in times of affliction? Do acts of devotion, supplications and Islamic creed help overcome crisis? And what is Allah`s wisdom behind creating diseases and illnesses?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all of his family and companions.

Occurrence of afflictions is amongst Allah’s laws in this life for He, the Exalted, said(What means): "And surely We shall try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and crops; but give glad tidings to the steadfast,Who say, when a misfortune striketh them: Lo! we are Allah’s and lo! unto Him we are returning.” [Al-Baqarah/155-156].

In addition, The Prophet (PBUH) guided us to the right of action in the event of trials and tribulations where he said (What means):" Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Be prompt in doing good deeds (before you are overtaken) by turbulence which would be like a part of the dark night. A man would be a believer in the morning and turn to disbelief in the evening, or he would be a believer in the evening and turn disbeliever in the morning, and would sell his Faith for worldly goods."[Muslim]. Thus, a Muslim should be keen on performing obligatory acts of devotion such as the five daily prayers, fasting Ramadan, giving Zakah, preserving people’s rights and warding off harm, in addition to taking the precautionary measures that regulate different affairs of life. He should also draw nearer to Allah through offering voluntary acts of worship: charities, donations, night prayers, remembrances of Allah, supplications and sending prayers upon the Prophet (PBUH).

Further, the key brick of Islam is the true creed, which is based on texts from the Quran and the Prophetic Sunnah in addition to the mental evidence. In fact, it guides a Muslim to the best course of action in the times of affliction, makes him realize the gravity of the situation and put his trust in Allah. This makes him refrain from recklessness or any act of ignorance. Therefore, he won`t engage with others in worldly competition since his selflessness will prevail. These qualities aren`t bound to fade away under any circumstances or afflictions since Allah The Exalted said (What means), when describing Al-Ansar(Supporters), "Those who entered the city and the faith before them love those who flee unto them for refuge, and find in their breasts no need for that which hath been given them, but prefer (the fugitives) above themselves though poverty become their lot. And whoso is saved from his own avarice - such are they who are successful.” [Al-Hashir/9].

The firm Islamic creed in the heart of the believer is embodied in recognizing that Allah is the Doer, Chooser and Creator of everything, be it useful or not. This is in addition to the fact that none enjoys the power to influence this ephemeral life save Allah. Consequently, miserliness, selfishness and envy vanish from his heart since Allah the Exalted said (What means):" Allah is He Who created you and then sustained you, then causeth you to die, then giveth life to you again. Is there any of your (so- called) partners (of Allah) that doeth aught of that ? Praised and Exalted be He above what they associate (with Him)! [Ar-Rum/40], As a result, the nation abiding by the aforementioned creed will be united and stable in the face of seditions, crises and turbulences as collective interest takes precedence over individual interest for Allah has the ability to ease everything for his believing slaves.

Furthermore, Allah’s wisdom behind sending different kinds of diseases and epidemics is to punish some nations, have mercy on others and raise the rank of  believers. Some of these wisdoms is reflected in the following Hadith in which the Prophet(PBUH) said (What means):" When Allah has previously decreed for a servant a rank which he has not attained by his action, He 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 previously decreed from him by Allah." [Abu Dawood & Al-Tabarani].

In addition, some of Allah’s wisdoms behind this is to examine the belief of the believers where He, the Exalted, said (What means): "Do men imagine that they will be left (at ease) because they say, We believe, and will not be tested with affliction? Lo! We tested those who were before you. Thus Allah knoweth those who are sincere, and knoweth those who feign.” [Al-Ankaboot/2-3].

Another wisdom is to increase believers’ knowledge, moral strength and certainty as regards the transient nature of worldly life where He, the Almighty, said(What means):" Bethink thee (O Muhammad) of those of old, who went forth from their habitations in their thousands, fearing death, and Allah said unto them: Die; and then He brought them back to life. Lo! Allah is a Lord of Kindness to mankind, but most of mankind give not thanks.” [Al-Baqarah/243].

Consequently, the most important thing that a believer should do in such hard times is to follow precautionary procedures, abide by instructions of authorities and put his trust in Allah while deeply-certain that whatever He has ordained for him must come to pass. Likewise, the Prophet (PBUH) pointed out the importance of invocation, praying and asking Allah for help for he said (What means):" O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee from leprosy, madness, elephantiasis, and evil diseases." {Abu-Dawood}.

Finally, the vigilant believer should grasp Allah`s wisdom behind every event. He should also be strong-willed, steady-hearted and not shaken by hardships for he knows for certain that Allah aims to awaken people from their state of inadvertence.  This is attested to in the Hadith in which the Prophet (PBUH) said (What means):"How wonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him." {Muslim}. And Allah, the Almighty, knows best.




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