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The Most Severely Tested of People (1).

Texts in the Islamic Shari'ah and stories of the Prophets as well as their followers over the ages has indicated that each one is tested and tried according to his faith; the most severely tested people are those who have the highest levels of faith and struggle. Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that he said: "O Messenger of Allah(peace be upon him)! Which of the people is tried most severely?" He (peace be upon him) said:

[الأَنْبِيَاءُ ثُمَّ الأَمْثَلُ فَالأَمْثَلُ فَيُبْتَلَى الرَّجُلُ عَلَى حَسَبِ دِينِهِ فَإِنْ كَانَ دِينُهُ صُلْبًا اشْتَدَّ بَلاَؤُهُ وَإِنْ كَانَ فِي دِينِهِ رِقَّةٌ ابْتُلِيَ عَلَى حَسَبِ دِينِهِ فَمَا يَبْرَحُ الْبَلاَءُ بِالْعَبْدِ حَتَّى يَتْرُكَهُ يَمْشِي عَلَى الأَرْضِ مَا عَلَيْهِ خَطِيئَةٌ].

[The Prophets, then those nearest to them, then those nearest to them. A man is tried according to his religion; if he is firm in his religion, then his trials are more severe, and if he is frail in his religion, then he is tried according to the strength of his religion. The servant shall continue to be tried until he is left walking upon the earth without any sins].

(Narrated by Al-Nasa'i in Al-Kubra: 7481, Al-Tirmidhi: 2398, Ibn Majah: 4023, Ahmad: 1481, Al-Darmi: 2783, Al-Bayhaqi in Al-Sunan Al-Kubra, 6326, Abu Ya`la: 830, Al-Tayalisi: 215, Ibn Hibban: 2901, and Al-Hakim: 120. Al-Dhahabi agreed with him and corrected it)

 Al-Tirmidhi said: This hadith is hasan and sahih.

According to the hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah and the sister of Hudhaifa ibn Al-Yaman in the chapter, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked: Which of the people is tried most severely? He (peace be upon him) said:

[الأَنْبِيَاءُ ثُمَّ الأَمْثَلُ فَالأَمْثَلُ].

[The Prophets, then those nearest to them, then those nearest to them].

However, Allah has doubled their afflictions even though they are His best and beloved slaves for some reasons,  including the following:

1- Conveying and reporting of this religion to the world is a great responsibility and a very heavy liability that require men with high motivation, firm and solid, and strong and steadfast souls, who can uphold this great responsibility and be able to overcome obstacles, solve problems, overcome impediments and inhibitors, and get rid of the earth's attractions as well as the impact of whims and desires.

Therefore, facing trials and tribulations in this life refine and purify their souls, strengthen and cultivate them, prepare them for such  responsibility, expel the devil away from them, build up their strengths, revive their energies, improve their capabilities, provide them the necessary expertise to succeed in this task, to bear the trouble and overcome obstacles and difficulties.  

Tribulations and afflictions teach them patience and struggle. Thus, they get victory, empowerment, pride and dignity; cheap victory is out of reach, and even when it's reached, it dissipates quickly. Allah Almighty says in the Qur'an:

{وَلَوْ يَشَاء اللَّهُ لَانتَصَرَ مِنْهُمْ وَلَكِن لِّيَبْلُوَ بَعْضَكُم بِبَعْضٍ}(محمد:4).

{That [is the command]. And if Allah had willed, He could have taken vengeance upon them [Himself], but [He ordered armed struggle] to test some of you by means of others} (Qur'an 47:4).

Thus, tests and trials as well as struggle and patience are inevitable and necessary to obtain victory and good consequences. Imam Shafa'i (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: "Is it better for a man to be given authority (in the earth) or to suffer?" He said: "He will never be given authority unless he's being tested". Allah Almighty tested those of determination among the Messengers but when they showed patience, Allah gave them the authority; Leadership in religion can't be  obtained but only through patience and certainty. Allah Almighty says in the Qur'an:

{وَجَعَلْنَا مِنْهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا لَمَّا صَبَرُوا وَكَانُوا بِآيَاتِنَا يُوقِنُونَ}(السجدة 24).

Interpretation: {And We made from among them leaders guiding by Our command when they were patient and [when] they were certain of Our signs} (Qur'an 32:24).

 

To be continued, insha Allah…

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