Tuesday, July 20, 2010

[Series] How should Muslims respond to calamities?

Calamities keep befalling us every single day of our lives, both individually or collectively as an Umma (a nation). However, the greatest test of the faith, wisdom and fortitude of a Muslim is how he or she handles this calamity or misfortune.

This life is a place of trials and tribulations. A place where we as humans will necessarily have to go through difficulties at one point of our lives or the other. How then do we respond to these calamities as Muslims who profess to have believed in Allah, Exalted be He? 


As Muslims, the moment we are afflicted by any calamity, the first thing we have to do is immediately turn to Allah, Exalted be He, in Repentance. Why you ask? Because He says
"And We shall cause them to taste of the small punishment before the greater one, in the hope that they return (to our Way)."
So when a calamity befalls us, it just might be that we are committing some sin that Allah, Exalted be He, wishes to jolt us into refraining from, so He sends a calamity our way. We as Muslims should never, ever go round complaining about how so and so has befallen us. No! 

We must reflect upon our lives, ask what we just might be doing wrong that might cause the Most High to send such a calamity down our way. And believe me, if you do an honest assessment of your life in times of calamity, you are sure to find some wrong doings that your heart will immediately tell you to not ever do again.


Reflecting upon our lives is just the first step. The next step is patience. In fact, patience should be the middle name of every Muslim out there. Allah, Exalted be He, has said 

"Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere"

The above verse should be enough to cure the anxiety disorder of many people out there. You have been told before hand that you will DEFINITELY be tested with all forms of calamities. But then the best of you are the patient. Why then would you fret and go out of your way to worry when that calamity you were promised befalls?

There are those who believe this life should be all rosy and any misfortune is from the devil. NO! Allah, Exalted be He, has never said anywhere that life is without trials. Even the Prophets were subjected to trials, how much more you and I in this day and age?

You must have patience and have full faith in Allah Exalted be He. Knowing with conviction that all that is befalling you is by the permission of Allah Exalted be He and are part of life to help you distinguish yourself from the rest.

You must have patience, patience and patience all your life as Muslim. You owe it to yourself for it is a great remedy for the heart. Most anxiety disorders, heart problems and other medical disorders can easily be avoided if we just have a little patience, fortitude and a firm conviction that Allah, Exalted be He is in control of every molecular atom on this Earth and for that matter, our lives.

In the next discussion, we are going to look at some very enchanting verses from the third Surah, Al-Imaran of the Quran that demonstrates, in very beautiful ways how we as Muslims should respond to a calamity Insha Allah.
For the mean time, do share with us how you handle calamities that befall you.