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Archive for June, 2010

Reactions to Calamity

Q: What is the ruling on one who becomes discontented when he is afflicted by calamity?

A: In times of calamity, people divide into four different levels:

The First Level: Discontent and there are different types of discontent:

1. In the heart, as if he is angry with his Lord, and so he rails against what Allāh has ordained for him, and this is forbidden and could even lead to disbelief. Allāh, the Most High, says:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ عَلَى حَرْفٍ فَإِنْ أَصَابَهُ خَيْرٌ اطْمَأَنَّ بِهِ وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ فِتْنَةٌ انقَلَبَ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ خَسِرَ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةَ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْخُسْرَانُ الْمُبِينُ

“And among mankind is he who worships Allah as it were upon the edge (i.e. in doubt): if good befalls him, he is content therewith; but if a trial befalls him he turns back on his face (i.e. reverts to disbelief after embracing Islam). He loses both this world and the Hereafter.” (Al-Hajj 22:11)

2. That it is spoken, such as invoking woe, destruction and the like and this is forbidden.

3. That it is physical, such as striking the cheeks, tearing the clothes and pulling out the hair and the like, and all of this is forbidden, because it negates the patience which is required.

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Some of them say concerning His saying, اهدِنَــــا الصِّرَاطَ المُستَقِيمَ ‘Guide us to the Straight Path’ saying: ‘Allaah has already guided the believer, so what benefit is there in seeking guidance?’ Then some of them reply by saying that the meaning is ‘keep us firm upon guidance’, as the Arab would say to the one who is asleep, ‘sleep until I come to you.’ Others from amongst them say that the meaning is, ‘keep our hearts firm upon the guidance’ and that the request for firmness has been omitted. Yet others from amongst them say that it means, ‘increase me in guidance’.

This question really occurs due to the absence of their contemplating upon the Straight Path to which the servant seeks guidance to, for the meaning (of the verse) is (seeking guidance to) act according to what Allaah ordered, and leave what He forbade in all matters.

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Abul-Qaasim Al Junayd said:

When you desire to be honored by knowledge and to be ascribed to it and to be from its people before giving the knowledge what right it has over you (from action), its light becomes veiled from you and all that remains upon you is its mark and appearance. That knowledge is against you, not for you. This is since knowledge directs to implementing it. So if knowledge is not implemented in its due stages, its blessings depart.

Iqtidaa-ul-‘Ilm al-‘Amal | Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadee

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