The world is full of embitterment.

وَقَالُوا الْـحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَذْهَبَ عَنَّا الْـحَزَنَ إنَّ رَبَّنَا لَغَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ} – فاطر: ٣٤]

And they will say, “Praise to Allah, who has removed from us [all] sorrow. Indeed, our Lord is Forgiving and Appreciative – [TMQ Fatir:34]

It is the source of wealth and money however more than often distress and trouble may come from where man expects comfort and well-being.

فَلا تُعْجِبْكَ أَمْوَالُهُمْ وَلا أَوْلادُهُمْ} التوبة: ٥٥].

So let not their wealth or their children impress you. [TMQ Tawbah:55]

It is due to the nature of the life of this dunya that man must settle himself in it with all the anguishes, difficulties and painful fates.

Belief in fate (qadar), both in its good and in its evil aspect:

This is the Sunnah of Allah in this Dunya.

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْـمَوْتِ وَنَبْلُوكُم بِالشَّرِّ وَالْـخَيْرِ فِتْنَةً وَإلَيْنَا تُرْجَعُونَ} الأنبياء: ٣٥]

Every soul will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as trial; and to Us you will be returned. [TMQ Al Anbiya:35]

Therefore it is from one of the pillars of faith to believe in the fate being good and evil.

The reason behind Jibril’s hadeeth is to establish that fate is good and evil.

This evil is not evil in Allah’s respect, but it is evil in respect with the slave. As for Allah, Almighty, he did not create pure(intrinsic) evil and he only created evil as a wisdom. And so evil is not attributed to him even though he is the creator of evil.

How do we deal with painful fates?

From what man faces as a destiny/fate in this dunya includes what is evil, and man will face something from it, as he (swt) said,

{وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْـخَوْفِ وَالْـجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الأَمْوَالِ وَالأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ} البقرة: 155

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, [TMQ Al Baqarah:155]

It was therefore necessary to know the etiquette of facing calamities or painful destiny/fates, and this includes:

  • Patience (Sabr) and Content/satisfaction (Ridha)
  • Not to attribute evil to Allah and not to look at it as pure(intrinsic) evil, but rather to reflect on the good (khayr) and the wisdom (Hikmah) behind it.
  • Not to believe in the permanency/perpetuity of the situation, rather he should consider that the situation is not perpetual and he should be optimistic about it changing for good (khayr). This is the Sunnah of Allah in this worlds life that the permanency of the situation is impossible

First: Satisfaction/Content (Ridha) with the Destined (Qadhaa)

Ridha: It is a comprehensive rank for what is more than patience (Sabr) regarding which Allah said:

وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ . الَّذِينَ إذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإنَّا إلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ} – البقرة: ١٥٥، ١٥٦].

But give good tidings to the patient. Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.” [TMQ Al Baqarah:155-156]

And from among his (saw) duas:

«وأسألك الرضا بعد القضاء».

I ask You to make me pleased with that which You have decreed

The difference between before the occurrence of a painful fate and after it occurs:

Satisfaction with the destined (Qadhaa) does not contradict making du’aa’ to change it or seeking to replace it, while knowing the following:

– The destined (Qadhaa) will only change through du’aa’.

Du’aa’ will benefit what has already occurred and what has not yet occurred.

– Take lessons from the misfortune or painful fate.

Imam Shafi’I said,

دع الأيام تفعــــــــل ما تشــاء *وطب نفساً إذا حكم القضـاء
ولا تجــــــــزع لحادثة الليالي*فما لحـــوادث الدنيا بقـــــاء
وكن رجلاً على الأهوال جلداً * وشيمتك السماحة والوفـــاء

Let days go forth and do as they please * And remain firm when settled is the Decree

Don’t be afraid of what happens by night *  For the affairs of this world are not to last

And be a man, strong in the face of calamities *  And let your nature be that of kindness and honesty

Second: The belief that Allah is not Evil, and then avoiding the attribution of evil to Allaah.

As discussed above, Allah did not create pure evil or evil in itself, and what is considered as an evil is in the case of the servant. But behind  this situation there is good (khayr) concerning this person.

He is Almighty, he will test you to heal you, and he will make you ill to treat you, and he will make it difficult for you so as to raise your position in the Hereafter, and anguish will come down upon you so as to bring out your servitude to him.

This is why the prophet (saw) said

والخير كله في يديك، والشر ليس إليك.

All goodness is in Your hands, and evil is not attributed to You [Sunan Nasaai]

The Quran taught us not to ascribe Evil to Allah (swt)

1 –

وَأَنَّا لا نَدْرِي أَشَرٌّ أُرِيدَ بِمَن فِي الأَرْضِ أَمْ أَرَادَ بِهِمْ رَبُّهُمْ رَشَدًا} الجن: ١٠].

And we do not know [therefore] whether evil is intended for those on earth or whether their Lord intends for them a right course. [TMQ Al-Jinn:10]

2 –

صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْـمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلا الضَّالِّينَ} الفاتحة: ٤ – ٧].

The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray. [TMQ Al Fatiha: 7]

3 –

زُيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ حُبُّ الشَّهَوَاتِ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ وَالْبَنِينَ وَالْقَنَاطِيرِ الْـمُقَنطَرَةِ مِنَ الذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ- آل عمران: ١٤

Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire – of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver [TMQ Aal-Imran: 14]

Allah created it as a Zeenah (adornment)

وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ حَبَّبَ إلَيْكُمُ الإيمَانَ وَزَيَّنَهُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ – الحجرات: ٧

but Allah has endeared to you the faith and has made it pleasing in your hearts [TMQ Al-Hujurat:7]

4 –

أَمَّا السَّفِينَةُ فَكَانَتْ لِـمَسَاكِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ فِي الْبَحْرِ فَأَرَدتُّ أَنْ أَعِيبَهَا – الكهف: ٧٩.

As for the ship, it belonged to poor people working at sea. So I intended to cause defect in it [TMQ Al Kahf:79]

وَأَمَّا الْـجِدَارُ فَكَانَ لِغُلامَيْنِ يَتِيمَيْنِ فِي الْـمَدِينَةِ وَكَانَ تَحْتَهُ كَنزٌ لَّهُمَا وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَالِـحًا فَأَرَادَ رَبُّكَ أَن يَبْلُغَا أَشُدَّهُمَا وَيَسْتَخْرِجَا كَنزَهُمَا رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ – الكهف: ٨٢.

And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure for them, and their father had been righteous. So your Lord intended that they reach maturity and extract their treasure, as a mercy from your Lord. [TMQ Al Kahf: 82]

Therefore, evil is not with respect to Allah (swt), rather the evil is with respect to the salve.

Thirdly: Being optimistic about the change in the Evil situation and not to believe in the permanency of the situation

Ibn Abbas (Ra) said, regarding the Ayah in the Quran

يَسْأَلُهُ مَن فِي السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ هُوَ فِي شَأْنٍ – الرحمن: ٢٩:

Whoever is within the heavens and earth asks Him; every day He is bringing about a matter [TMQ Ar-Rahman:29]

He gives life and he take it away, he gives Izzah (honour) and he dishonours and does what he pleases.

Abu al-Dardaa said: It is his right to forgive a sin, remove anguish, raise people and put others.

It was narrated from Mujaahid from ‘Ubayd ibn ‘Umair that it is his (swt) right to answer the one who supplicates, and give someone who is asking, and remove the suffering or heal a sick person.

قَالَ وَمَن يَقْنَطُ مِن رَّحْمَةِ رَبِّهِ إلَّا الضَّالُّونَ – الحجر: ٥٦

He said, “And who despairs of the mercy of his Lord except for those astray?” [TMQ Al-Hijr:56]

ا بَنِيَّ اذْهَبُوا فَتَحَسَّسُوا مِن يُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ وَلا تَيْأَسُوا مِن رَّوْحِ اللَّهِ إنَّهُ لا يَيْأَسُ مِن رَّوْحِ اللَّهِ إلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْكَافِرُونَ – يوسف: ٨٧.

O my sons, go and find out about Joseph and his brother and despair not of relief from Allah . Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.” [TMQ Yusuf:87]

That is why loss of hope in Allah’s mercy is considered as going astray and blasphemous.

Imam Shafi’I said:

ولا تَجْزَعْ لحـــادثـة  اللَّيــــالي * فما لحــوادثِ الـدنـيــا بَقَـــاءُ

Don’t be afraid of what happens by night* For the affairs of this world are not to last

ولا حُزْنٌ  يَــدُومُ و لا سُــــرُور * ولا بؤس عليك ولا رخاءُُ

No sadness lasts forever, nor any happiness* And you shall not remain in poverty, or any luxury

The permanence of the situation is impossible, and Allah changes the conditions of the slaves from one destiny to another, in a manner that the mind does not understand.

– إنَّ الَّذِي فَرَضَ عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ لَرَادُّكَ إلَى مَعَادٍ- القصص: ٨٥.

Indeed, [O Muhammad], He who imposed upon you the Qur’an will take you back to a place of return [TMQ AL Qasas:85]

Ponder over what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said when he was leaving Makkah, and when he went back to it.

– أَوْحَيْنَا إلَى أُمِّ مُوسَى أَنْ أَرْضِعِيهِ فَإذَا خِفْتِ عَلَيْهِ فَأَلْقِيهِ فِي الْيَمِّ وَلا تَخَافِي وَلا تَحْزَنِي إنَّا رَادُّوهُ إلَيْكِ وَجَاعِلُوهُ مِنَ الْـمُرْسَلِينَ القصص: ٧.

And We inspired to the mother of Moses, “Suckle him; but when you fear for him, cast him into the river and do not fear and do not grieve. Indeed, We will return him to you and will make him [one] of the messengers.” [TMQ AL Qasas: 7]

– وَقَالَ الَّذِي اشْتَرَاهُ مِن مِّصْرَ لامْرَأَتِهِ أَكْرِمِي مَثْوَاهُ عَسَى أَن يَنفَعَنَا أَوْ نَتَّخِذَهُ وَلَدًا  – يوسف: ٢١

And the one from Egypt who bought him said to his wife, “Make his residence comfortable. Perhaps he will benefit us, or we will adopt him as a son.” [TMQ Yusuf: 21]

– وَكَذَلِكَ مَكَّنَّا لِيُوسُفَ فِي الأَرْضِ يَتَبَوَّأُ مِنْهَا حَيْثُ يَشَاءُ نُصِيبُ بِرَحْمَتِنَا مَن نَّشَاءُ وَلا نُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْـمُحْسِنِينَ – يوسف: ٥٦

And thus We established Joseph in the land to settle therein wherever he willed. We touch with Our mercy whom We will, and We do not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good. [TMQ Yusuf: 56]

Glad tidings, and true empowerment after difficulty

قَالَ اجْعَلْنِي عَلَى خَزَائِنِ الأَرْضِ إنِّي حَفِيظٌ عَلِيمٌ – يوسف: ٥٥

[Yusuf] said, “Appoint me over the storehouses of the land. Indeed, I will be a knowing guardian.” [TMQ Yusuf: 55]

Changes can take place in suddenly with a situation changing into a completely opposite one in moments.

Some scholars have recorded historical narration about that, including what Shams al-Din ibn Tulun narrated:

Badr al-Din al-Asadi narrated regarding the events of the year 556 Hijri when the Naqeeb of the Ashraaf in Damascus became severely ill,  Sultan Nouruddin delegated the Niqaba and what he had in his responsibility from the states to his son. The son worked to arrange for his fathers eventual demise including his Kafan (shroud) and grave, And it so happened that Allah healed the Naqeeb, and his son fell ill, and he died on the fifth day! The same arrangements were used for him and he was buried in the very grave that he had dug for his father.” (Kawakib Ad-Durriya, 159)

I said: Some scholars witnessed a funeral in Baghdad, and grave robberers followed them. When the night came, the robbers opened up the grave of a young man who had suffered a stroke – When the grave was opened, the boy sat up and the grave robber fell and died and the young boy left the grave and went to his family.

Badr Ad Deen said – In the year 534 Hijri a pious man from the Bab Al-Azj area died (A large locality with markets in eastern Baghdad),  So his salatul Janaza was announced for in the masjid of Sheikh Abdul Qadir, When they went to bathe him, he sneezed and started breathing, and the one assigned to bathe him went into a shock and died (Al kawakib Al Durriya, p. 110).

Ibn Jawzi also narrated the incident in the Muntazam, however instead of the death of the one assigned to bathe (someone elses Janaza was brought to the masjid and the people prayed for him) 4/18, and this is also narrated in Al Bidaya Wal Nihaya 6/216-217.

And one of the strange change of situation was when a man invented a torture machine for the Sultan And he was the one who was tortured with it, (Muhammad ibn Abd al-Malik, made it for AlWaathiq), a wooden stick with nails with which he was tortured for days and then he died).

Something similar is what Anas narrated, where the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ate from a food bowl, and he blessed the food and it was enough for hundreds and Musaylama spat into a well after he claimed prophethood and the well turned dry and he wiped the head of a young boy and he went bald.

In conclusion, there are three etiquettes to deal with painful Aqdaar (fates): As-Sabr (Patience), Ridhaa (content/Satisfaction) and to acknowledge that the fate is not evil in itself and that the perpetuity of the situation is impossible i.e rather it will change with time.

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