Hardships…Trials…Tests!

Bismillah Walhamdulillah Wassalatu Wassalamu ala Rasulillah

Surah al-Anbiya’, the Chapter of Prophets. In this profound Surah we go through passages where the lives of some of the Prophets are recapped. But it’s not their entire life that is detailed here; instead, Allah `azza wa jall alerts us to their moments of hardship, their trials, and their tests.

About Ibrahim: ‘They said, “Burn him and support your gods – if you are to act.” Allah said, “O fire, be cool and safe for Abraham.” –
“And remember Nuh, when he cried (to Us) aforetime…”
“And remember Dawud and Sulaiman, when they gave judgement…”
“And remember Ayub, when he cried to his Lord: “Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.”
“And remember Isma’il and Idrees and Dhul-Kifl; all were of the patient.”
“And remember Dhan-Nun (Yunus), when he went off in anger…”
“And remember Zakariya, when he cried to his Lord: “O My Lord! Leave me not single (childless), though You are the Best of the inheritors.””
“And remember she who guarded her chastity (Maryam)…”

And so the passages unfold, each one giving us an insight into the lives of the Prophets and legends before us. They were tested, and so they called out to Allah for help. The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) was once asked ‘Who from the people are the most tested’, and he said: “The Prophets, then the next best and the next best. A man will be tested in accordance with his level of religious commitment. If his religious commitment is strong, he will be tested more severely, and if his religious commitment is weak, he will be tested in accordance with his religious commitment. Calamities will keep befalling a person until he walks on the earth with no sin upon him.” [al-Tirmidhi, sahih]

Hence it’s no surprise that in the Chapter of the Prophets, these tests are mentioned. But immediately after each mention, Allah `azza wa jall says, “So We answered his call…’ ‘So we saved him…’ etc. And in the end, He says, “Truly! This Ummah of yours is one Ummah, and I am your Lord, therefore worship Me.” [al-Anbiya’: 92].

We are slaves of Allah following trails set by Prophets before us. They encountered hard times, and so we will encounter hard times. They were tested, and so we will be tested. They bore patience, and so we must bear patience, because we are one Ummah, with one religion. It’s truly uplifting when we take these legends and towering figures as our role-models and guides, because despite the struggles, they remain the best men to walk the face of this planet and this is something to truly look up to and be proud of.

May Allah keep us firm on His Path and keep us strong within the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), ameen.

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