Friday, January 2, 2015

How to pass tests & exams

“Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: ‘We believe,’ and will not be tested.
And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allaah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allaah knows all that before putting them to test)”
[al-‘Ankaboot 29:2-3] 

One of the beauties of being a Muslim is that our lives are never free from tests and trials. Many of us go through hardships on a daily basis while some of us handle them better than others, a good majority of us handle them with grief, sorrow and uneasiness. 

Lately, I have been going through many trials and tests that have really humbled me and made me realize just how weak of a human being I am. The hardships I am trying to overcome may not be something difficult or hard for others, but Subhana'Allah, Allah tests His creations according to each their own weaknesses and their capabilities. Everybody's tests are different and the Wisdom of Allah is UNLIMITED! He Knows what we can handle and He Knows us better than our own selves. Allahu Akbar!

"...Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned" (2:286) 

Initially, I had become really annoyed and impatient with the things that I was overcome by (may Allah rectify my character and increase me in patience ameen!), but then I realised it was a time for me to turn to my Lord and to call upon Him for help and ease. It is hard for us to handle our hardships with patience and humility. I really struggle with this but at the same time I am also trying to realise that everything that happens to us, is already written for us and I must endure it and remember that these tests and trials are meant to shape my character into something that Allah Loves. When we are inflicted with something out of the ordinary and when we go through things that are out of our comfort zone, it is really an opportunity for us to self reflect on our character and our sins. I believe that these hardships sent to us from Allah are meant to make us stronger and to make us realise that we are also very weak individuals and we can not do anything on our own without the Help of our Lord! The tests and trials that Allah sends us are because He Loves us ALLAHU AKBAR! And they are for us to turn to Him and remain STEADFAST after He has helped us through the trials and tests. 

Day after day, I realise just how much this dunya is made to be a test. It is not something that is made to be enjoyed and it is by far no way meant to be a permanent abode of happiness. Every day is a struggle and we must really work hard to fight our desires and try our best to obey Allah's Commands! Remember the tests that Allah gives us is so that we can earn more reward and it can humble us into someone who can be better Muslims and insha'Allah it will be the chance for us to meet Allah with a clean and pure heart. 

: The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said :
“Whoever Allah wants good for him, he puts them to test. He puts them through difficulties. Like a diamond or some metal that has to be burnt and then that which is bad from it is removed so that you have that which is the pure diamond or the pure gold or whatever. Put them to tests, trials and difficulties.” (As recorded in Bukhari and Muslim)

Most of the things that happen to us, we automatically think it is for the worst but Allah says: 

"..But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not." (2:216)

Also, this hadith and Qur'an verse are both such eye openers as to what we can learn from going through tests and trials! Subhana'Allah...If we were not tested by Allah, then we would never know what kind of person we are! Allah tests us to see who of us is faithful and true and who turns to His Lord during the trialing times of hardship! Alhamdulillah we have Allah to turn to unlike the disbeliever who turns to the alcohol bottle, drugs, and parties just to escape temporarily only to repeat the same deadly cycle day after day! Allahu Akbar! How Islam is such a blessing, where we can cry to our Lord with our pain and suffering and He will Respond with His Mercy. Only if we believe and if we have true tawakkul (trust in Allah). May Allah give us all tawakkul and firm conviction that He will help us get through it all! AMEEN!!

 The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said :
‘The greater reward is with the greater trial or the greater the trial or difficulty of test or hardship is then the greater the reward. And when Allah loves a person He will tests them. So he who will be pleased and then He will be pleased. He who is displeased, then He will be displeased.'(Sahaba’s name not clear) ‘The people as long as they are in good health, good shape, good condition they are covered. You don’t know their true character because they are in good situation, they are in good circumstance. As long as they are in a good circumstances they are covered. But if a trial or difficulty or a hardship comes upon them, then you will see their reality. They will go to their reality. The Mu’min will run to his Imaan, the Mu’min will run to his belief, the believer will run to his belief, his Imaan and the hypocrite will run to his hypocrisy, and the hypocrite will run to his hypocrisy. “Without being shaken, you don’t not know what comes to the top and what goes to the bottom. Without being shaken you don’t know a man from those who are faking; you won’t know women from those who are faking. You won’t know those who truly believe from those who don’t. Those who make a claim o­n their tongue and is not really in their hearts and from their limbs from those who are willing to die for this matter. This can o­nly be shown by trials, the tribulations and tests and difficulties.” (As narrated by Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah) 

“Allaah will not leave the believers in the state in which you are now, until He distinguishes the wicked from the good. Nor will Allaah disclose to you the secrets of the Ghayb (Unseen)”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:179] 

Sometimes when I am tested, I wonder why Allah has tested me. I try hard to think about the blessings through my trials and that I will be rewarded more than I could ever imagine if I only stay patient and true to Allah, the Almighty. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves every day for the blessings we have and that we must continue to strive to be better. Remembering that every test is meant to purify us and to earn us reward. I know it is easier said than done, because for me, sometimes my mental state overpowers me and it is hard for me at that moment to remember Allah. I think that is my true test..because most of us, when we get caught up in the moments of our tests and trials, we are so absorbed in our problems, we forget that Allah was the One who put us in it in the first place! Subhana'Allah...O' what a test this life is ! A constant struggle to maintain happy during our trialing times during loss, illness, and mental unrest. But Alhamdulillah for the Qur'an and Sunnah that teaches us and reminds us how to handle ourselves in each and every situation: 

“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Saabiroon (the patient).Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: ‘Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.’ They are those on whom are the Salawaat (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones”
[al-Baqarah 2:155-157] 

Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No misfortune or disease befalls a Muslim, no worry or grief or harm or distress – not even a thorn that pricks him – but Allaah will expiate for some of his sins because of that.” (Agreed upon. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5641)

What to take from this post is that we should constantly be striving to purify our hearts and to always remember that tests and trials are not meant to harm us but only to make us better and to purify us. Allah does not inflict His believers with harm and He is most Just! Don't let the moment you are on your death bed or the last minute of your breath on earth be the first time you reflect upon your sins and your relationship with Allah! Remember Allah has created us only for us to worship Him alone! We must always strive to be better and to use the hardships and trials inflicted upon us to help humble us and to purify our hearts so that we can meet Allah and He will Pleased with us. 

“And I (Allah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)” [al-Dhaariyaat 51:56]

“Say (O Muhammad): Verily, my Salaah (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists)” [al-An’aam 6:162]

“Did you think that We had created you in play (without any purpose), and that you would not be brought back to Us?” [al-Mu’minoon 23:115]

May Allah make us turn to Him alone and may He give us the ability to trust Him and may He forgive us and purify us through all the hardships and trials. Ameen!

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