A Muslim’s Islamic Outlook on Life

Written by Admin ImanNest
Published on 14 November 2022

Table of Content

Whether in times of crisis or those of sheer pleasure, it is one’s belief, view and outlook on life that regulates one’s emotions and governs their behavior.  Islamic outlook on life – its beliefs, guide to a life of deep satisfaction in this temporal life as well as in the eternal next life.

Purpose of Life & Relationship with Allah

The Human Being and the Creator

Neither are we a result of an accident nor a crazy game by the Almighty!  Rather, we were created with meticulous attention to detail and for a noble purpose.  Our Creator says in the Quran,

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُوا رَ‌بَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ ﴿٢١﴾ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْ‌ضَ فِرَ‌اشًا وَالسَّمَاءَ بِنَاءً وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَ‌جَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَ‌اتِ رِ‌زْقًا لَّكُمْ ۖ فَلَا تَجْعَلُوا لِلَّـهِ أَندَادًا وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٢٢﴾ [سورة البقرة]

“O mankind, worship (do servitude of) your Lord, the One Who created you and those before you, perhaps you may attain righteousness.  The One Who made the earth a bed, the sky a canopy, and sent down from the sky water and brought there from fruits as sustenance for you.  So, do not set up partners with Allah (The One God) while you know!” [Surah Baqarah 2:21-22]

Purpose of our creation, of this life, death and eternal life hereafter

Purpose of our creation  

As in previous verse and in this verse also, Allah created us for a purpose:

وَمَا خَلَقۡتُ ٱلۡجِنَّ وَٱلۡإِنسَ إِلَّا لِیَعۡبُدُونِ (56) مَاۤ أُرِیدُ مِنۡهُم مِّن رِّزۡقࣲ وَمَاۤ أُرِیدُ أَن یُطۡعِمُونِ (57) إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ هُوَ ٱلرَّزَّاقُ ذُو ٱلۡقُوَّةِ ٱلۡمَتِینُ (58) 

“I did not create the Jinn nor the human being, except to worship me (i.e., ebadah). I do not want from them any sustenance nor do I want them to feed Me! Verily, Allah, He is the Sustainer, of mighty power.” [Surah Dhariyat 51:56-58]

Allah doesn’t need from us, but we need to worship Allah

Purpose of this short life before the Judgement Day & the everlasting life

This short life is for striving while the next eternal life is to live it up – not the other way around!  Allah says,

الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ‌ ﴿٢﴾ [سورة الملك]

“He is the One who created the death and life in order to try you as to which of you is the nicest in deeds; He is the all-Mighty, Most-Forgiving.” [Surah Mulk 67:2]

The Judgement Day

{إِنَّ ٱلسَّاعَةَ ءَاتِیَةٌ أَكَادُ أُخۡفِیهَا لِتُجۡزَىٰ كُلُّ نَفۡسِۭ بِمَا تَسۡعَىٰ (15) فَلَا یَصُدَّنَّكَ عَنۡهَا مَن لَّا یُؤۡمِنُ بِهَا وَٱتَّبَعَ هَوَىٰهُ فَتَرۡدَىٰ (16)}

“Indeed, the Hour (i.e., the Day of Judgement) is coming, I keep it hidden so that each person may be rewarded for which he strives. Therefore, let not the one who believes not therein but follows his own lusts, divert you therefrom, lest you perish.” [Surah TaHa 20:15-16]

The Next Everlasting Life  

وَمَا هَـٰذِهِ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا لَهْوٌ وَلَعِبٌ ۚ وَإِنَّ الدَّارَ‌ الْآخِرَ‌ةَ لَهِيَ الْحَيَوَانُ ۚ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٦٤﴾ [سورة العنكبوت]

“And what is the life of this world except merely a play and amusement. And indeed the abode of the Hereafter, that is the life if only they would know.” [Surah al-Ankabut 29:64]

As for this life, it is beautiful yet short-lived, and it can easily delude us to forget about the eternal life hereafter

Allah informs us in the Qur’an,

اعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَزِينَةٌ وَتَفَاخُرٌ‌ بَيْنَكُمْ وَتَكَاثُرٌ‌ فِي الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَوْلَادِ ۖ كَمَثَلِ غَيْثٍ أَعْجَبَ الْكُفَّارَ‌ نَبَاتُهُ ثُمَّ يَهِيجُ فَتَرَ‌اهُ مُصْفَرًّ‌ا ثُمَّ يَكُونُ حُطَامًا ۖ وَفِي الْآخِرَ‌ةِ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَغْفِرَ‌ةٌ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ وَرِ‌ضْوَانٌ ۚ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُ‌ورِ‌ ﴿٢٠﴾ [سورة الحديد]

“Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children - like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion.” [Surah Hadid 57:20]

And its no easy matter to avoid the hell-fire

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ ۗ وَإِنَّمَا تُوَفَّوْنَ أُجُورَ‌كُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۖ فَمَن زُحْزِحَ عَنِ النَّارِ‌ وَأُدْخِلَ الْجَنَّةَ فَقَدْ فَازَ ۗ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُ‌ورِ‌ ﴿١٨٥﴾ [سورة آل عمران]

"Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion." [Surah Aal Imraan 3:185]

Hence, Not a moment to lose in life

A believer values each hour and each minute of this life. He or she realizes that given that Allah is keeping them alive every second of their lives – with a functioning body, food, water and so much more – and thus he/she will be held accountable for each moment of their life. So, each moment in the life of a believer is purposeful and can be spent:

  1. Wrongfully & unjustly doing haram (prohibited) action in disobedience of Allah displeasing Allah which leads one to Hell-fire!
  2. Or spend it doing a merely permissible (mubah) action that is neither an encouraged rewarding act nor forbidden and thus may be a wasted precious moment but at least is not a sin.
  3. Or spend it doing something that is in obedience of Allah via an action that will get the pleasure of Allah, reward in the eternal life, and blessing in this life! Such an action may be a two rak’ah prayer, a Ramadan fast or an extra fast, or it may be as mundane as playing with children, without overdoing it, with an aim to take care of them and guide them to come closer to Allah!

وَمَنْ أَرَ‌ادَ الْآخِرَ‌ةَ وَسَعَىٰ لَهَا سَعْيَهَا وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ كَانَ سَعْيُهُم مَّشْكُورً‌ا ﴿١٩﴾ [سورة الإسراء]

But whoever desires the Hereafter and exerts the effort due to it while he is a believer - it is those whose effort is ever appreciated [by Allah]. [Surah al-Isra 17:19]

What Really Matters – Effect of Sins or Piety upon Happiness

Good deeds bring a blessings and lasting happiness

A good deed is one that Allah either commanded us to do (obligatory) or encouraged us (recommended/mustahabb). Such a deed not only brings a reward from Allah for good in Paradise, it also brings blessings in our worldly affairs.

حَدَّثَنَا سُلَيْمَانُ بْنُ حَرْبٍ، حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ، عَنْ صَالِحٍ أَبِي الْخَلِيلِ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ الْحَارِثِ، رَفَعَهُ إِلَى حَكِيمِ بْنِ حِزَامٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ الْبَيِّعَانِ بِالْخِيَارِ مَا لَمْ يَتَفَرَّقَا ـ أَوْ قَالَ حَتَّى يَتَفَرَّقَا ـ فَإِنْ صَدَقَا وَبَيَّنَا بُورِكَ لَهُمَا فِي بَيْعِهِمَا، وَإِنْ كَتَمَا وَكَذَبَا مُحِقَتْ بَرَكَةُ بَيْعِهِمَا ‏"‏‏.‏ [صحيح البخاري الرقم 2079]

Narrated Hakim bin Hizam: Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "The seller and the buyer have the right to keep or return goods as long as they have not parted or till they part; and if both the parties spoke the truth and described the defects and qualities (of the goods), then they would be blessed in their transaction, and if they told lies or hid something, then the blessings of their transaction would be lost." [Sahih Bukhari, Number 2079]

And sins make this life worrisome & the eternal life a misery

وَمَنْ أَعْرَ‌ضَ عَن ذِكْرِ‌ي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنكًا وَنَحْشُرُ‌هُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَعْمَىٰ ﴿١٢٤﴾ [سورة طه]

"And whoever turns away from My remembrance - indeed, he will have a straightened (tightened) life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind." [Surah TaHa 20:24]

Falling into a sin is possible, but get back on track with istighfar and tawbah

A believer doesn’t lose the resolve for doing good deeds due to many sin he may have fallen into, rather the sincere seeking of Allah’s forgiveness and repentance is all that is required to get back on to the track!

عَنْ أَنَسٍ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ كُلُّ ابْنِ آدَمَ خَطَّاءٌ وَخَيْرُ الْخَطَّائِينَ التَّوَّابُونَ ‏"‏ ‏. [الحديث أخرجه الترمذي وابن ماجه، وقال ابن حجر إسناده قوي، وحسنه الألباني وغيره]

Anas narrated that the Prophet (s.a.w) said: "Every son of Adam sins, and the best of the sinners are the repetant." [Sunan of Tirmidhi & of Ibn Majah, classed as Hasan]

As long as a person is trying their best, Allah forgives an inadvertent relapse:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِيمَا يَحْكِي عَنْ رَبِّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ قَالَ ‏"‏ أَذْنَبَ عَبْدٌ ذَنْبًا فَقَالَ اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي ذَنْبِي ‏.‏ فَقَالَ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى أَذْنَبَ عَبْدِي ذَنْبًا فَعَلِمَ أَنَّ لَهُ رَبًّا يَغْفِرُ الذَّنْبَ وَيَأْخُذُ بِالذَّنْبِ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ عَادَ فَأَذْنَبَ فَقَالَ أَىْ رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي ذَنْبِي ‏.‏ فَقَالَ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى عَبْدِي أَذْنَبَ ذَنْبًا فَعَلِمَ أَنَّ لَهُ رَبًّا يَغْفِرُ الذَّنْبَ وَيَأْخُذُ بِالذَّنْبِ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ عَادَ فَأَذْنَبَ فَقَالَ أَىْ رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي ذَنْبِي ‏.‏ فَقَالَ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى أَذْنَبَ عَبْدِي ذَنْبًا فَعَلِمَ أَنَّ لَهُ رَبًّا يَغْفِرُ الذَّنْبَ وَيَأْخُذُ بِالذَّنْبِ وَاعْمَلْ مَا شِئْتَ فَقَدْ غَفَرْتُ لَكَ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ عَبْدُ الأَعْلَى لاَ أَدْرِي أَقَالَ فِي الثَّالِثَةِ أَوِ الرَّابِعَةِ ‏"‏ اعْمَلْ مَا شِئْتَ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ [صحيح مسلم الرقم 2758]

Abu Huraira reported from Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) that his Lord, the Exalted and Glorious, thus said. A servant committed a sin and he said: O Allah, forgive me my sins, and Allah (the Exalted and Glorious) said: My servant committed a sin and then he came to realise that he has a Lord Who forgives the sins and takes to account (the sinner) for the sin. He then again committed a sin and said: My Lord, forgive me my sin, and Allah, the Exalted and High, said: My servant committed a sin and then came to realise that he has a Lord Who would forgive his sin or would take (him) to account for the sin. He again committed a sin and said: My Lord, forgive me for my sin, and Allah (the Exalted and High) said: My servant has committed a sin and then came to realise that he has a Lord Who forgives the sins or takes (him) to account for sin. O servant, do what you like. I have granted you forgiveness. 'Abd al-A'la said: I do not know whether he said thrice or four times to “do what you desire". [Sahih Muslim, Hadith 2758a]

This World and the Next Life

So, hold onto piety & don’t get deceived by the sinner’s temporary enjoyment

When a believer sees people of this Dunya strut about enjoying the life of this world, it is easy to lose track of our purpose of life – to worship Allah by striving for the Hereafter by doing good deeds in every moment of this life. Allah advises us in the Qur’an to not be deluded by them but to set our eyes on the greater alternative for the pious obedient believers in the eternal life:

لَا يَغُرَّ‌نَّكَ تَقَلُّبُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُ‌وا فِي الْبِلَادِ ﴿١٩٦﴾ مَتَاعٌ قَلِيلٌ ثُمَّ مَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ ۚ وَبِئْسَ الْمِهَادُ ﴿١٩٧﴾ لَـٰكِنِ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا رَ‌بَّهُمْ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِ‌ي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ‌ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا نُزُلًا مِّنْ عِندِ اللَّـهِ ۗ وَمَا عِندَ اللَّـهِ خَيْرٌ‌ لِّلْأَبْرَ‌ارِ‌ ﴿١٩٨﴾ [سورة آل عمران]

Be not deceived by the [uninhibited] movement of the deniers throughout the land. [It is but] a small enjoyment; then their [final] refuge is Hell, and wretched is the resting place. But those who feared their Lord will have gardens beneath which rivers flow, abiding therein, a hospitality from Allah. And that which is with Allah is best for the righteous. [Surah Aal-Imran 3: 196-198]

In fact the enjoyment of dunya is, for some people, an unenviable trial

وَلَا تَمُدَّنَّ عَيْنَيْكَ إِلَىٰ مَا مَتَّعْنَا بِهِ أَزْوَاجًا مِّنْهُمْ زَهْرَ‌ةَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا لِنَفْتِنَهُمْ فِيهِ ۚ وَرِ‌زْقُ رَ‌بِّكَ خَيْرٌ‌ وَأَبْقَىٰ ﴿١٣١﴾ [سورة طه]

And do not extend your eyes toward that by which We have given enjoyment to [some] categories of them, [it is not except] the splendor of worldly life by which We test them. And the provision of your Lord is better and more enduring. [Surah Ta Ha 20:131]

Our Trials & Happiness in Comfort & in Hardship

Trials of comfort and of hardship

This world is neither the place to indulge in pleasure nor expect complete justice – rather, that is for the next life.  In this life, Allah tries a person with pleasure and comfort as well as with hardship and loss.  As Allah says,

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ ۗ وَنَبْلُوكُم بِالشَّرِّ‌ وَالْخَيْرِ‌ فِتْنَةً ۖ وَإِلَيْنَا تُرْ‌جَعُونَ ﴿٣٥﴾ [سورة الأنبياء]

“And we try you with adversity and with good; and to Us you will be returned.” [Surah Anbiya 20:35]

So, it is the true Believer that perseveres

الم ﴿١﴾ أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَ‌كُوا أَن يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ ﴿٢﴾ وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ۖ فَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ اللَّـهُ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ الْكَاذِبِينَ ﴿٣

“Alif, Lam, Mim, Do people think they will be left alone having merely said ‘We have believed’ while they have not been tried?  We have certainly tried the ones before them and Allah will surely know those who have been truthful (in their claims of belief) and those that are liars.” [Surah Ankabut 29:01-03]

A Believer is happy in richness and in poverty

Perhaps we seek a life of comfort and wealth whereas, if we had that, it may have led us to oppress the weak and indulge in extreme behaviour causing our own destruction.  Allah says,

وَلَوْ بَسَطَ اللَّـهُ الرِّ‌زْقَ لِعِبَادِهِ لَبَغَوْا فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ وَلَـٰكِن يُنَزِّلُ بِقَدَرٍ‌ مَّا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِنَّهُ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرٌ‌ بَصِيرٌ‌ ﴿٢٧﴾ [سورة الشورى 42:27]

“Had Allah spread forth the sustenance for His slaves, they would have transgressed the limits therein.  But He sends whatever He wills as He determines, verily, He is with His slaves fully acquainted, with insightful.” [Surah Shura 42:27]

Worldly pleasures and the eternal ones                

The greater a pleasure is in this life and more beautiful and joyful, the greater is its version in the eternal Paradise. So, whenever you see a worldly pleasure, think of how incomparably greater it will be in Paradise and seek the latter. Allah says,

كُلًّا نُّمِدُّ هَـٰؤُلَاءِ وَهَـٰؤُلَاءِ مِنْ عَطَاءِ رَ‌بِّكَ ۚ وَمَا كَانَ عَطَاءُ رَ‌بِّكَ مَحْظُورً‌ا ﴿٢٠﴾ انظُرْ‌ كَيْفَ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ ۚ وَلَلْآخِرَ‌ةُ أَكْبَرُ‌ دَرَ‌جَاتٍ وَأَكْبَرُ‌ تَفْضِيلًا ﴿٢١﴾ [سورة الإسراء 17: 20-21]

“Everyone We extend to – these and those – from the Grant of your Lord; and the Granting of your Lord is not limited.  Look how We gave some superior means (of pleasure and goods) to some above others (in this life).  And the Hereafter (next life) is greater in ranks and greater in superiority!” [Surah Isra 17:20-21]

This life is to strive for the Next Life – not the other way around!

So, the more a Believer sees the riches of others and their worldly comfort, the more he/she gets inspired to work deeds of righteousness in obedience to Allah for the superior life of the Hereafter in Paradise.  Allah describes them,

وَمَنْ أَرَ‌ادَ الْآخِرَ‌ةَ وَسَعَىٰ لَهَا سَعْيَهَا وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ كَانَ سَعْيُهُم مَّشْكُورً‌ا ﴿١٩﴾ [سورة الإسراء 17:19]

“And whoever wanted the Hereafter (eternal Paradise) and strove for it as is befitting for it, then such ones their striving is (rewarded with) gratefulness.” [Surah Isra 17:19]

Not a moment to waste in this life without doing a good deed!

These believers are in a state of mind, as encouraged by Allah in the Quran,

وَسَارِ‌عُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَ‌ةٍ مِّن رَّ‌بِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْ‌ضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْ‌ضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿١٣٣﴾ آل عمران.

“And rush to the forgiveness from your Lord and a Paradise, the breadth of it is as great as the breadth of the skies and the earth – prepared for the God-fearing (and pious).” [Surah Aal-Imran 3:133]

Let Not Others Derail Our Journey to the Hereafter

Difficulties posed by tyrants do not deter a Believer

Tyrants and oppressors may be let off for some time in this life while being tested, however, Allah ensures that they be stopped at the right time.  Allah says,

وَلَوْلَا دَفْعُ اللَّـهِ النَّاسَ بَعْضَهُم بِبَعْضٍ لَّفَسَدَتِ الْأَرْ‌ضُ وَلَـٰكِنَّ اللَّـهَ ذُو فَضْلٍ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٢٥١﴾ سورة البقرة.

“Had it not been that Allah keeps away some people by others, the earth would have been spoilt; but Allah is full of grace for all the worlds.” [Surah Baqarah]

Until then, the wrong-doers cannot harm a believer, except a little hurt!

Whether an oppressor deprives a believer from some rights or Allah saves hthe believer from the oppressors in this short life till another testing time later, either way is rewarding for a believer – victory now or in Paradise!  Allah says,

قُلْ أَرَ‌أَيْتُمْ إِنْ أَهْلَكَنِيَ اللَّـهُ وَمَن مَّعِيَ أَوْ رَ‌حِمَنَا فَمَن يُجِيرُ‌ الْكَافِرِ‌ينَ مِنْ عَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ ﴿٢٨﴾ سورة الملك.

“Say, do you see, if Allah were to cause me and those with me to perish (in this life) or shows mercy to us (either is good for us); but who will give protection to the deniers from a painful chastisement?” [Surah Mulk 67:28]

Dealing with worldly loss and turning it into an eternal gain!

Once, one of the Prophet’s daughters lost her child in infancy.  The Prophet sent her condolences reassuring her, “Indeed to Allah belonged whatever He took away, and to Him belonged whatever He gave (in the first place) and everything is with Him for an appointed time (and no longer or shorter).  So, persevere patiently and look forward for its reward for you (with Allah).”

عَنْ أُسَامَةَ بْنِ زَيْدٍ، قَالَ كُنَّا عِنْدَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذْ جَاءَهُ رَسُولُ إِحْدَى بَنَاتِهِ يَدْعُوهُ إِلَى ابْنِهَا فِي الْمَوْتِ فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ ارْجِعْ فَأَخْبِرْهَا أَنَّ لِلَّهِ مَا أَخَذَ، وَلَهُ مَا أَعْطَى، وَكُلُّ شَىْءٍ عِنْدَهُ بِأَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى، فَمُرْهَا فَلْتَصْبِرْ وَلْتَحْتَسِبْ ‏"‏‏.‏ فَأَعَادَتِ الرَّسُولَ أَنَّهَا أَقْسَمَتْ لَتَأْتِيَنَّهَا، فَقَامَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَقَامَ مَعَهُ سَعْدُ بْنُ عُبَادَةَ وَمُعَاذُ بْنُ جَبَلٍ، فَدُفِعَ الصَّبِيُّ إِلَيْهِ وَنَفْسُهُ تَقَعْقَعُ كَأَنَّهَا فِي شَنٍّ فَفَاضَتْ عَيْنَاهُ فَقَالَ لَهُ سَعْدٌ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ هَذِهِ رَحْمَةٌ جَعَلَهَا اللَّهُ فِي قُلُوبِ عِبَادِهِ، وَإِنَّمَا يَرْحَمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الرُّحَمَاءَ ‏"‏‏.‏ [صحيح البخاري الرقم 7377]

Consider at time of a calamity, loss or a death, how can we be sorrowful given that Allah only took back what He gave to us from Himself, and that too He declared clearly that what He is giving us in this life is only for a short time – not to indulge in pleasures with that but in order to give us all a chance to choose how we behave with Allah’s grant & Allah’s property!  Yes, in Paradise, we can have the gift of Allah (our child, our life, our loved ones, our wealth, our health, etc) forever, but not so in this short temporary life, for here it was from the outset meant to be a temporary life, be tried & tested, and then taken away from this life to be judged by Allah and rewarded accordingly thereafter in the promised eternal life. 

So, in time of loss and calamity, switch your mind’s focus away from the loss aspect and instead turn it towards the gratitude for having had it for this long, and towards regaining it in the eternal life by virtue of good deeds done now!

Ways of Dealing with a Loss and Turning it into a Gain Forever!

Allah reassures us all in the Quran,

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَ‌اتِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ‌ الصَّابِرِ‌ينَ ﴿١٥٥﴾ الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّـهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَ‌اجِعُونَ ﴿١٥٦﴾ أُولَـٰئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِّن رَّ‌بِّهِمْ وَرَ‌حْمَةٌ ۖ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ ﴿١٥٧﴾ [سورة البفرة 2: 155-157]

“We will surely try you with something of fear, hunger, and loss of wealth, lives and fruits.  So, give glad tidings to the Patient.  Those, who, when a calamity befalls them, say, ‘Indeed to Allah we belong and to Him we are returning (Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raaji’oon)!’  Such are the ones on whom are praises from their Lord and mercy; and it is them who are the prosperous.” [Surah Baqarah 2:155-157] 

Not an event passes by a believer except that he/she faces it with an attitude described in the above verse of the Quran, Indeed to Allah we belong so all that comes our way in our lives is Allah’s property given to us for short time for a test of our worship with it – He can give it and take it back any time and that is only fair; and to Him we are returning so all that concerns us is how we discharge our responsibility and invest in this short life for reaping its rewards in the eternal superior life in Paradise. 

عَنْ صُهَيْبٍ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ عَجَبًا لأَمْرِ الْمُؤْمِنِ إِنَّ أَمْرَهُ كُلَّهُ خَيْرٌ وَلَيْسَ ذَاكَ لأَحَدٍ إِلاَّ لِلْمُؤْمِنِ إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ صَبَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ [صحيح مسلم 2999]

Suhaib reported that Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said: Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (God), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it. [Sahih Muslim 2999]

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ مَا يُصِيبُ الْمُسْلِمَ مِنْ نَصَبٍ وَلاَ وَصَبٍ وَلاَ هَمٍّ وَلاَ حُزْنٍ وَلاَ أَذًى وَلاَ غَمٍّ حَتَّى الشَّوْكَةِ يُشَاكُهَا، إِلاَّ كَفَّرَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِنْ خَطَايَاهُ ‏"‏‏.‏ [صحيح البخاري الرقم 5641 , 5642]

Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri and Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that." [Sahih Bukhari: 5641 & 5642]

In fact, a hardship in this life, may be an expiation for our sin, and a deliverance from the punishment of hell fire, so it is all actually good!

عَنْ أَنَسٍ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ إِذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِعَبْدِهِ الْخَيْرَ عَجَّلَ لَهُ الْعُقُوبَةَ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَإِذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِعَبْدِهِ الشَّرَّ أَمْسَكَ عَنْهُ بِذَنْبِهِ حَتَّى يُوَفَّى بِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ‏"‏ ‏.‏
وَبِهَذَا الإِسْنَادِ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏"‏ إِنَّ عِظَمَ الْجَزَاءِ مَعَ عِظَمِ الْبَلاَءِ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ إِذَا أَحَبَّ قَوْمًا ابْتَلاَهُمْ فَمَنْ رَضِيَ فَلَهُ الرِّضَا وَمَنْ سَخِطَ فَلَهُ السَّخَطُ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ غَرِيبٌ مِنْ هَذَا الْوَجْهِ ‏.‏ [سنن الترمذي  2396 و سنن ابن ماجه وحسنه الألباني وغيره من المحدثين]

Anas narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: "When Allah wants good for his slave, He hastens his punishment in the world. And when He wants bad for His slave, He withholds his sins from him until he appears before Him on the Day of Judgement."
And, (it was reported) from the Prophet (ﷺ) who said: "Indeed greater reward comes with greater trial. And indeed, when Allah loves a people He subjects them to trials, so whoever is content, then for him is pleasure, and whoever is discontent, then for him is wrath." [Sunan Tirmidhi, Albani classed it as Hasan authenticity]

Hence, a hard time in this life doesn’t knock down a believer, it only strengthens and reassures

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ مَا يَزَالُ الْبَلاَءُ بِالْمُؤْمِنِ وَالْمُؤْمِنَةِ فِي نَفْسِهِ وَوَلَدِهِ وَمَالِهِ حَتَّى يَلْقَى اللَّهَ وَمَا عَلَيْهِ خَطِيئَةٌ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى الترمذي هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ ‏.‏

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah(s.a.w) said: "Trials will not cease afflicting the believing man and the believing woman in their self, children, and wealth, until they meet Allah without having any sin." [Sunan Tirmidhi 2399]

Every hardship is within our ability and for our purification

عَنْ مُصْعَبِ بْنِ سَعْدٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، قَالَ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَىُّ النَّاسِ أَشَدُّ بَلاَءً قَالَ ‏ "‏ 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 ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ ‏.‏ وَفِي الْبَابِ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ وَأُخْتِ حُذَيْفَةَ بْنِ الْيَمَانِ ‏أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ سُئِلَ أَيُّ النَّاسِ أَشَدُّ بَلَاءً قَالَ الْأَنْبِيَاءُ ثُمَّ الْأَمْثَلُ فَالْأَمْثَلُ. [سنن الترمذي 2398]

Mus'ab bin Sa'd narrated from his father that a man said: "O Messenger of Allah (s.a.w)! Which of the people is tried most severely?" He said: "The Prophets, then those nearest to them, then those nearest to them (i.e., in piety). 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 trials remain with the slave (of Allah) until he is left walking upon the earth without any sins (remaining)." [Sunan Tirmidhi 2398]

Even poverty brings the believer a smile, happiness & still a quality of life

عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيِّ، قَالَ دَخَلْتُ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ وَهُوَ يُوعَكُ فَوَضَعْتُ يَدِي عَلَيْهِ فَوَجَدْتُ حَرَّهُ بَيْنَ يَدَىَّ فَوْقَ اللِّحَافِ فَقُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ مَا أَشَدَّهَا عَلَيْكَ قَالَ ‏"‏ إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ يُضَعَّفُ لَنَا الْبَلاَءُ وَيُضَعَّفُ لَنَا الأَجْرُ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَىُّ النَّاسِ أَشَدُّ بَلاَءً قَالَ ‏"‏ الأَنْبِيَاءُ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ مَنْ قَالَ ‏"‏ ثُمَّ الصَّالِحُونَ إِنْ كَانَ أَحَدُهُمْ لَيُبْتَلَى بِالْفَقْرِ حَتَّى مَا يَجِدُ أَحَدُهُمْ إِلاَّ الْعَبَاءَةَ يُحَوِّيهَا وَإِنْ كَانَ أَحَدُهُمْ لَيَفْرَحُ بِالْبَلاَءِ كَمَا يَفْرَحُ أَحَدُكُمْ بِالرَّخَاءِ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ [أخرجه ابن ماجه في سننه وصححه الألباني وحسنه مقبل الوادعي]

Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri said: “I entered upon the Prophet (ﷺ) when he was suffering from a fever, I placed my hand on him and felt heat with my hand from above the blanket. I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, how hard it is for you!’ He said: ‘We (Prophets) are like that. The trial is multiplied for us and so is the reward.’ I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, which people are most severely tested?’ He said: ‘The Prophets.’ I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, then who?’ He said: ‘Then the righteous, some of whom were tested with poverty until they could not find anything except a cloak to put around themselves. One of those will rejoice at calamity as one of you would rejoice at ease!’” [Sunan Ibn Majah 4024 | Authentic hadith]

Real richness & eternal happiness comes from good deeds

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ بَيْنَمَا رَجُلٌ يَمْشِي بِطَرِيقٍ، وَجَدَ غُصْنَ شَوْكٍ فَأَخَذَهُ، فَشَكَرَ اللَّهُ لَهُ، فَغَفَرَ لَهُ ‏"‏‏.‏ [صحيح البخاري 2472]

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "While a man was on the way, he found a thorny branch of a tree there on the way and removed it. Allah thanked him for that deed and forgave him." [Sahih Bukhari Hadith 2472]

So, the believer invests each moment of this life for the eternal life

Allah describes the bargain of a lifetime,

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ اشْتَرَ‌ىٰ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُم بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ الْجَنَّةَ ۚ [سورة التوبة 9:111]

“Verily, Allah has purchased from the Believers their own selves and their wealth; and in exchange theirs is the Paradise.”  [Surah Tawbah/Bara’ah 9:111] 

A believer, then, strives to spend each minute of his/her life – as a mother/father, son/daughter, politician/citizen, businessman/labourer, doctor/patient – doing that which will get him/her the pleasure of Allah and enduring great time of their lives in the eternal life in Paradise.

Allah sends angels to help those who keep an Islamic & pious outlook on life!

Rain, hail or shine, a learned Muslim – a true Believer – thus walks the earth with a deep satisfaction, a sense of purpose in life, loving every moment of it and looking forward to an even greater bliss in the eternal Paradise.  Allah describes them in the Quran,

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَ‌بُّنَا اللَّـهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَبْشِرُ‌وا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ ﴿٣٠﴾ نَحْنُ أَوْلِيَاؤُكُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَ‌ةِ ۖ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِي أَنفُسُكُمْ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَدَّعُونَ ﴿٣١﴾ نُزُلًا مِّنْ غَفُورٍ‌ رَّ‌حِيمٍ ﴿٣٢﴾ [سورة الفصلت 41: 30-32]

“Indeed those who say, ‘Our Lord is Allah,’ and then stay upright (in their deeds), the Angels descend upon them (at time of death, saying), ‘Do not be afraid (of the future) nor be sorrowful (of anything ‘missed’ or befell you in the past); and have the glad tidings of the Paradise that you were promised.  We are your patrons (helping and protecting you) in the life of this world (Dunya) and in the Hereafter.  And for you therein is whatever that your soul’s desire and for you therein is whatever you make a claim for – a (generous) hospitality from (Allah) a Forgiving and Merciful One!” [Surah Fusilat 41:30-32]

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