Facing Calamity

Facing Calamity

Everyone in this life faces some trials and difficulties. Allah SWA says لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ فِي كَبَدٍ “Verily We have created man into toil and struggle”. Also Allah SWA says “Allah charges no soul except to its capacity” لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَها. It means that any trials we go through in life are actually custom tailored to our capability in order to manage them. What somebody else is going through is may not be something I can handle and what I am going through may not be something they can handle.

There are some things that all of us are equally responsible for. There are commandments of Islam that you can’t say “I can’t do that, it’s not in my capacity” like five daily prayers for example. You can’t make such an excuse because these are a few of commandments of Allah that Allah put in every individual thus believe you have the ability to do them. At the same time, there are few exceptions for some cases. Also  there is no excuse for avoiding the forbidden things.

Allah burdens us with these responsibilities knowing that every single human being is capable of doing obligatory commandments and avoiding the forbidden things. Trials are part of human life. So, what are the nature of these trials and calamities? They are not just volcanic eruptions or hurricanes and rainstorms and all these things, it’s also the earthquakes that happen inside of ourselves.

For example, an issue takes place between a husband and wife, between parents and children, people who are stuck in a very difficult financial situation, any problem related to your emotional, physical health or any circumstances beyond your control. What we would like to highlight is what is the role of our faith in these hard situations?

How are we supposed to respond to calamity as believers?

Quran gives us balance about dealing and understanding the calamities. And if you don’t have that balance you will lose a lot of peace in your life. The book of Allah clarifies how Allah deals with us in this life. And whatever calamity befalls you is of your own making. And (yet) He goes on forgiving a great many of your sins (out of His mercy).
وَمَا أَصَابَكُم مِّن مُّصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُو عَن كَثِيرٍ

We have to draw a line between what is from Allah and this is my fault. For example, if you’re eating junk food and you’re constantly eating all kinds of sugary foods and then you get a diagnostic for some disease related to eating habit, then you don’t get to say this has come from Allah. It’s a test from Allah according to rules of physical world, the cause and effect. But in the moral world, if you missed a Salah or you committed a sin then something bad happen to you! Is that calamity a revenge from Allah!? Actually, the answer is what do you think about Allah? “I will be as you assume me to be”

Our job when we make mistakes is to make Istighfaar and turns back to Allah, not to wait for Allah’s revenge. Also, maybe there is a connection between constantly doing some sins and bad things happen to you in your life. Specially sins which have specific punishments as injustice. We have to have a closeness to Allah that when he planned something for us even when it’s painful. He doesn’t do that for anything except for love. Allah cares for his servants. Allah arranges the best for them. When we forget that, guidance and peace goes away! Problem won’t go away along this life. The thing that you have to keep on in all situations whatever god or bad is your faith and your trust in Allah.

Written by Shaykh Hazem Hamed 

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