The Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, said,
“and that with hardship comes ease.”
This statement is taken from His, Glorious is He, sayings,
“Allah will appoint after every difficulty, ease.” (al-Talaq 65:7)
“For truly with hardship comes ease; truly with every hardship comes ease.” (al-Sharh 94:5-6)
When Abu Ubaydah was besieged, Umar wrote to him saying, ‘No matter what hardship a person faces, Allah will send relief afterwards, for one hardship cannot overcome two eases and He says,
“You who have faith! Be patient; be supreme in patience; be form on the battlefield; and have taqwa of Allah so that hopefully you will be successful.” (Ali Imran 3:200)
This was how ibn Abbas and other exegetes explained this verse saying, ‘One hardship will never overcome two eases.’
Some of the subtleties, benefits and wisdoms of tribulation are:
- The expiation of sins and being rewarded for bearing tribulation with patience. The scholars have differed if a person will be rewarded for the actual tribulation itself.
- The servant is reminded of his sins so that he can repent and turn back to Allah, Mighty and Magnificent.
- The heart becomes soft after having been coarse and hard. One of the Salaf said, ‘ A person could fall ill and as result bring his sins to mind. Then, by virtue of his fear of Allah, they would break up and disperse like flies and Allah would forgive him.’
- A person humbling himself and submitting himself before Allah, Mighty and Magnificent. Indeed such a state is more beloved to Allah than many deeds of obedience.
- They lead a person’s heart to return to Allah, to stand at His door, implore Him and to be submissive before Him. This is one of the greatest benefits of tribulation. Allah has censured those who are not submissive to Him at times of hardship. “We seize them with the punishment, but they did not go low before their Lord; nor will they humble themselves.” (al-Muminun 23:76) “We sent Messengers to nations before you and afflicted their nations with hardship and distress so that hopefully they would humble themselves.” (al-Anam 6:43) One of the previous Scriptures states, ‘Allah puts a servant to trial because He loves to hear his humble entreaty.’ Said ibn Abdul-Aziz said, Dawud, may Allah’s peace be upon him, said, ‘Glory be to the One who causes a person to supplicate when faced with tribulation. Glory be to the One who confers gratitude to a person in a state of ease.’ Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Ali passed by Muhammad ibn Munkadir who was in a state of intense grief. He asked after him and he was told that he was burdened by debt. Abu Jafar said, ‘Has the door of supplication opened for him?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘A servant is truly blessed if, when in need, he frequently invokes his Lord, no matter what that need.’
- Tribulation leads the heart to relish the delight of patience and to be content. This is a station of immense rank and importance; the excellence of which we have already alluded to.
- Tribulation leads to a servant giving up dependency on the creation and leads him to turn to the Creator alone. Allah has told us that the polytheist turns to Allah sincerely when supplicating to Him at times of need, what then of a believer?!
- Tribulation leads a person to actualise and live Tawhid in his heart and this is the most sublime of stations and noblest of rankings.
One of the Judea-Christian narrations mentions, ‘Tribulations bring you and Me together. Well-being brings you and your self together.’
The Legacy of the Prophet Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali p150-158