Monday, October 6, 2014
How can one know if an affliction is a test or a wrath from Allaah?
Imâm Abdul-Azeez bin Baaz رحمه الله was asked:
'If someone is afflicted with an illness or a trial in one’s self or wealth, how can he know if this affliction is a test or a wrath from Allaah سُبحانه وتعالى?'
He رحمه الله replied: Allaah سُبحانه وتعالى tries His servants with prosperity and adversity, and with hardship and ease, and He may try them with that to elevate their ranks and to raise high their fame and to multiply their good deeds like He سُبحانه وتعالى does with the Prophets and Messengers and the righteous ones from His servants.
The Prophet صلّى اللَّهُ عليه وسلّم said:
“People who are tried most severely are the Prophets, then those who are like them then those who are like them”
[Graded authentic by Al-Albaani in Saheehul-Jaami’ no. 993]
And sometimes Allaah سُبحانه وتعالى does that [i.e. trying His servants] because of sins and disobedience, so the punishment is hastened as He سُبحانه وتعالى said:
وَمَا أَصَابَكُم مِّن مُّصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُو عَن كَثِيرٍ
'And whatever of misfortune that befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much.'
For most parts, the nature of man is negligence and not fulfilling the obligations, so whatever that [has] befallen him is because of his sins and shortcoming. If one from the righteous servants of Allaah سُبحانه وتعالى is tried with some illness or like it, this would be from the kind of trial that befalls the Prophets and Messengers, i.e. [it happens to him] to raise the rank1 and to multiply the reward and so that he becomes to others an example in patience.
So the conclusion is trial happen to raise the ranks and multiply the rewards as Allaah سُبحانه وتعالى does to the Prophets and some of the righteous ones, and it may happens to expiate sins as Allaah سُبحانه وتعالى said:
مَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ وَلاَ يَجِدْ لَهُ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ وَلِيًّا وَلاَ نَصِيرًا
'Whoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof..'
and the saying of the Prophet صلّى اللَّهُ عليه وسلّم:
“No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls the Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from thorn, but that Allaah expiates some of his sins for that.”
[Saheehul-Bukhari no. 5642]
and his صلّى اللَّهُ عليه وسلّم's saying:
“If Allaah wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts him with trials.”
[Saheehul-Bukhari no. 5645]
And that [trial] could be a hastened punishment because of sinning and not repenting as it is in the hadeeth that is narrated from him صلّى اللَّهُ عليه وسلّم:
“If Allaah wants good for a servant, He hastens the punishment for him in the world, and if He wants evil for a servant, He withholds from him [punishment] due to his sin until he appears before Him on the day of Judgement.”
[Collected by At-Tirmithee no. 2396 and Al-Albaani رحمه الله graded it sound & authentic]
Source: Fatwas of Ibn Baaz 4/370-371
(1) and what supports this saying is the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah رضي اللّه عنـه narrating from the Messenger of Allaah صلّى اللَّهُ عليه وسلّم:
“Verily, the servant will have a lofty rank [in paradise] which he cannot reach by an act, so Allaah will not cease afflicting him with that which he dislikes until [it] makes him reach it.”
[As-Silsilah As-Saheehah no. 2599]