Turning To The Qur’an In Times Of Tribulation
The murder of a family member causes great unrest in one’s heart. And indeed the death of a small animal is sufficient for an individual to remember the return to their Lord. Upon the idea of the creation of mankind, the Angels were disturbed because of the potential level of injustice and the spilling of blood that we would cause. Yet Allah, with His infinite wisdom created mankind and informed them of their role as custodians of truth and justice in this world. With this in mind, we reflect on the current situation of the world, and the escalating legitimized removal of wealth, freedom, and life.
The greatest crimes on a global scale are arguably those committed against Muslims and many find entertaining the regular action-packed news of the ‘progress’ being made to maintain safety and security. But the same ‘progress’ is at the expense of the freedom and lives of many Muslims who are often unable to fulfill their basic human necessities. Chilling is the image of another Muslim being killed and even more so, the mass murder that we witness regularly. Allah informs us that “the believers are nothing else than brothers,” (Qur’an, 49:10) and His Messenger (peace be upon him) said that “the Muslim nation is like one body…if a single part hurts then the rest feels the suffering with fever, and cannot sleep.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Throughout history trials and tribulations have faced those nations that affirmed the truth of Allah’s sovereignty and unity of worship. However, this nation, as in those who follow Muhammad (peace be upon him), has been given a special status coupled with a complete and comprehensive source of guidance to last till the Day of Resurrection.
“Thus We have made you the best nation so that you be witnesses over mankind, and the Messenger (Muhammad) be a witness over you.” (Qur’an, 2:143)
The Muslims must therefore appreciate and understand the position that they hold and turn to the guidance that they have been blessed with. Some individuals feel secure from such trials, and find themselves busy with their own affairs. Yet Allah warns us: “Do people think they will be left alone because they say we believe, and will not be tested. And indeed We tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make known (the falsehood of) those who are liars.” (Qur’an, 29:2-3)
All of mankind will therefore be tested and in addition, the same tests will affect both the sinners and pious among mankind due to their vastness. In another verse we are warned:
“And fear the Fitnah (affliction and trial, etc.) which does not affect only those of you who do wrong (but it may afflict all the good and the bad people), and know that Allah is Severe in punishment.” (Qur’an, 8:25)
Tribulations and whatever else the Prophet (peace be upon him) informed us about must surely take place. Therefore, it is incumbent upon Muslims to observe patience, prepare, and be cautious of them. In fact, we must take extra caution in our current times because we have drawn closer to the final hour. The nature of tribulations is that they spiral out of control and often confuse people so that one would assume something prohibited to be permissible or vice versa. The 9/11 and 7/7 events are pertinent examples and the perpetrators are unable to control the plethora of consequences that result.
Due to the complexity of tribulations and their potential implications, many respond incorrectly and often go to extremes, despite knowing the Qur’an has been revealed to guide us in all of our affairs.
If a Muslim responds to a situation in accordance with the Qur’an then they will be elevated in status and rewarded, while if they do otherwise they will be lowered and face the consequences. Thus, we find guidance through correctly contemplating the verses and in particular stories of the Qur’an, and contrasting them with our own situations. Allah says:
“(This is) a Book which We have sent down to you full of blessings, so that they may ponder over its verses, and so that men of understanding may remember.” (Qur’an, 38:29)
Many of the stories in the Qur’an provide exemplary responses which can be correlated to situations that we witness today. Stories of true leaders, who acquired great strength in their belief, were steadfast upon the truth, and endured physical, mental, and emotional tests. Every Muslim who is granted wisdom must contemplate the path that Allah chose for the best of the believers.
Patience and firmness in the religion of Allah, while seeking the reward in the next life, is perhaps the most common lesson that can be taken from the stories in the Qur’an. The knowledge and wisdom in these stories are abundant and a fundamental source of insight into these stories is authentic exegesis.
The Qur’an is the source of guidance, honor, and strength for Muslims. We must all build a relationship with the Qur’an, study its meaning and understanding, contemplate its verses, and remember Allah through them. Allah says:
“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Qur’an, 13:28)