The Arabic word for trial/test often used in the Qur’an is fitna. What does it mean?
Fitna means to burn something, e.g. in Surah 85:10, “Those who burned the believing men and believing women…”
Fitna also means to put precious metals into the fire to separate the bad from the good, according to the great linguist Raghib Al-Asfahani.
Allah describes the difficulties in life as a fitna because they burn away our sins, just like the fire burns objects. But more importantly, the tests of life are not a mere punishment – though for some it could feel that way.
We are like gold: precious and valuable. But impurities hold us back from our true potential. Tests are a way to bring out the best in us, just like the fire purifies gold.
When a test comes in life, that is an opportunity to return back to Allah. He’s not punishing, He’s treating you like gold.
The translations for the Ayaat are taken primarily from M. A. S. ABDEL HALEEM’s translation with some changes and noted exceptions.
Those who persevere patiently will be given their reward in full without measure.
Key to Victory/Success in Dunya
When they [the children of Israel] became steadfast and believed firmly in Our messages, We raised leaders among them, guiding them according to Our command.
We made those who had been oppressed succeed to both the east and the west of the land that We had blessed. Your Lord’s good promise to the Children of Israel was fulfilled, because of their patience, and We destroyed what Pharaoh and his people were making and what they were building.
They grieve at any good that befalls you [believers] and rejoice at your misfortunes. But if you are steadfast and conscious of God, their scheming will not harm you in the least: God encircles everything they do.
Key Reason for the Jazaa and Rewards of Jannah
Surely whoever is pious and (endures) patiently, then surely Allah does not waste the reward of the fair-doers [Dr.Ghali]
Today I have rewarded them for their patience: it is they who will succeed.
These servants will be rewarded with the highest place in Paradise for their steadfastness.
They will be given their rewards twice over because they are steadfast, repel evil with good, and give to others out of what We have provided for them.
and we reward them, for their steadfastness, with a Garden and silken robes.
The Reason for Peace/Safety and Congratulations from the Malaaikah
Can someone who knows that the revelation from your Lord is the Truth be equal to someone who is blind? Only those with understanding will take it to heart; those who fulfill the agreements they make in God’s name and do not break their pledges; who join together what God commands to be joined; who are in awe of their Lord and fear the harshness of the Reckoning; who remain steadfast through their desire for the face of their Lord; who keep up the prayer; who give secretly and openly from what We have provided for them; who repel evil with good. These will have the reward of the [true] home: they will enter perpetual Gardens, along with their righteous ancestors, spouses, and descendants; the angels will go in to them from every gate, ‘Peace be with you, because you have remained steadfast. What an excellent reward is this home of yours!’
A Small Price to Pay
From Ibn Rajab (Fadl ‘Ilm al-Salaf ‘Alaa al-Khalaf):
It is necessary that the believer have patience for a short while such that through it he will attain everlasting bliss. If he despairs and becomes impatient, he is as ibn al-Mubaarak said,
“Whoever is patient,then how little is he patient for. And whoever is impatient,then how little does he enjoy himself.”
Al-Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee used to recite the following lines of poetry,
O my soul! It is nothing but a few days of patience; It’s duration is like muddled/jumbled dreams. O my soul! Pass through the world quickly; And leave it alone, for the (true) life is certainly ahead of me.
Allah’s Common Surah Ending Command
so be patient, for God’s promise is true: do not let those with no firm beliefs discourage you.
Be steadfast [Muhammad], like those messengers of firm resolve. Do not seek to hasten the punishment for the disbelievers: on the Day they see what they had been warned about, it will seem to them that they lingered no more than a single hour of a single day [in this life]. This is a warning. Shall any be destroyed except the defiant?
You who believe, be steadfast, more steadfast than others; be ready; always be mindful of God, so that you may prosper.
Abu Huraira [RA] reported that Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ said: “Whoever would be pleased by Allah’s answering/granting/acceptance to him/her during tough and distressing times should increase dua’a in the easy times”. [Reported by Tirmidhi and authenticated by Shaikh Al-Albani]
Vocabulary from the Hadith:
الشدائد is the plural of شديدة, and it means a tough, difficult situation.
الكرب is the plural of كرب, and it means depression, distress.
الرخاء means a normal, easy situation
– Everyone wishes that Allah answers their prayers in tough times. The way to guarantee this is by making plenty of consistent dua in easy times.
– Laziness is one thing that deters a person from making dua in easy times. For this, make the dua, “الّلهُمَّ إنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ الْعَجْزِ وَ الْكَسَلِ” – Oh Allah, I ask your protection from senility and laziness.
– Ramadan is one of the most blessed times to make dua in. Allah says in the middle of the ayat of fasting in Ramadan in Surah Al-Baqarah, “And when my slaves ask you about me tell them that surely I’m close: I respond to the dua of the person making dua when he/she makes dua to Me.” [2:186]
– Some times to make dua are: between the adhan and iqamah, in sujood, after salah, and before iftaar.
– “Whoever asks Allah for Jannah three times, Jannah will say: “O Allah, enter him into Jannah.”” [Tirmidhi]
Vocabulary of hadith taken from the explanation of Tirmidhi by Al-Allamah Mubarakpoori [RA].
“The occupier of the left raises [and holds] his pen for six hours from the Muslim servant of Allah who has wronged or committed a mistake. So if he regrets and seeks Allah’s forgiveness from it he returns it back, and if that is not the case then it is written as one.”
Source: Mu’jam al-Kabeer: 7765, Saheeh Jam’i as-Sagheer: 2097 – Imaam Albaanee said it is hasan.
When a Muslim sins, the angel who writes the bad deeds (ashabul shimaal – the companion/occupier of the left) is supposed to write that down as a bad deed. But instead of doing so right away, the angel waits for a reasonable time (note: it mentions six hours in the hadith, but that doesn’t necessarily mean 360 minutes exactly) waiting to see if the sinner repents to Allah. If he does, then the sin is not written as if it never happened.
And if he doesn’t, it is written as one bad deed.
It’s never too late for repenting. And the best time to repent is right after the sin or soon after. It almost feels like hypocrisy to be making istighfar (repentance to Allah) right after committing a sin, but that is nothing more than a trap of Shaitan. In fact, Allah describes the people of Jannah as, “Those who when they commit a sin or wrong themselves remember Allah right away and ask for forgiveness for their sins.” [Surah Al-e-Imran (3)]. May Allah make us of those who repent from sins immediately, ameen.
Bismillah. We say and repeat the kalima so often that at times, we forget its significance and its power. The kalima is testifying (meaning, as if you witness this fact using your senses) that la ilaha ill-lal-lah: there is no deity/object/thing worthy of any act of worship except Allah.
Recipe for Success
…Say la ilaha ill-lal-lah and you will be successful…
[Excerpt from an authentic narration]
Highest Level of Faith
Eman (faith) consists of 60 or 70 parts, the highest is to testify la ilaha ill-lal-lah, lowest is to remove a harmful thing from a road, and modesty is from eman.
[Reported by Sahih Muslim]
Equivalent of Freeing Noble Slaves
The Messenger of Allaah (S) said: “Whoever says the following in the morning:
‘None has the right to be worshiped except Allah, alone, without partner, to Him belongs all sovereignty and praise and He is over all things omnipotent.’
…has indeed gained the reward of freeing a slave from the children of Ismaa’eel [AS], and ten of his sins are wiped away and he is raised ten degrees, and he has found a safe retreat from the devil until evening. Similarly, if he says it at evening time, he will be protected until the morning.’
Why don’t I get scared after listening to the stories of the perished nations?
Why don’t I feel dismay at disobeying Allah?
Why does the Qur’an sound so distant, irrelevant and unpalatable to me?
Nay, but their hearts were covered over by what (sins) they earned.
Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “It is because of doing one sin after another, until the heart becomes blind and dies.”
Qataadah also said, “It is because of doing one sin after another, one sin after another, until the heart dies and becomes black.”
Ibn Zayd said, “Their sins overcome their hearts until no good can get through to them.”
Mujaahid explained, “They used to consider the heart like a hand: when a person sins, his heart starts to scrunch up,” and he folded his little finger, “and when he does another sin,” he folded the next finger and continued until he had his fist clenched. “Then a seal is placed over it, and they used to say that this is the ‘covering’.”