Hardships Benefit the Believer
Allah has decreed that, in this life, hardships and disasters strike both believers and non-believers. For a non-believer, they are inconveniences that hinder him from proceeding with his normal involvement in the worldly life. For a believer, on the other hand, they are instances of rest and remembrance, tests that promise great rewards, and indications of atonement and expiation of sins. Regardless of how little is the harm that strikes a believer, it carries with it good news of forgiveness and elevated rank ( in Jannah ). The Righteous Predecessors used to be pleased when a hardship afflicted them, seeing it as a token of Allah's forgiveness and benevolence.
Expiations of Sins
Sign of Allah's Love
Abu Hurayrah (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: " Whenever Allah wills good for a person, He subjects him to adversity" [Bukharee and others]
Sign of Eeman
Abu Hurayrah (RA) and Ka'b Bin Maalik (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: " The parable of a believer is that of a fresh and moist plant; the wind tilts it this way and that way; and so is the believer; he continues to be subject to affliction. And the parable of a hypocrite is that of a firm cedar tree; it does not shake - until it is uprooted all at once." [Bukharee and Muslim]
Sign of Righteousness
The prophets and righteous people are afflicted the most, and their rewards are the highest. Sa'd (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: " The most in their suffering among the people are the prophets, then the best, then the (next) best. One is afflicted in accordance with his deen (faith). If his deen is firm his affliction is hard, and if his deen is weak, his affliction is light. Indeed, one would be so much subjected to adversity until he walks among the people without any sins. " [Ahmad, Tirmithee]
Anas (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: " When Allah wills good for a servant of His, He expedites his punishment in this life; and when He wills retribution for a servant of His, He holds his sins for Him to judge him by them on the Day of Resurrection." [Tirmithee]
Multiplication of Rewards
Anas (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: " The amount of reward is in accordance with the amount of suffering. When Allah (SWT) loves some people, He tries them (with affliction). He who then is content (with Allah's decree) has achieved the acceptance (of Allah), and he who is dissatisfied (with Allah's decree) will attain the anger (of Allah)." [Tirmithee]
Rewards for Sickness
One should not look to sickness as a gloomy episode, but should remember the great good in it. It is one form of affliction with which Allah (SWT) tests His 'ibaad (servants), giving them a
chance to acquire rewards, as was explained above, as is further emphasized below.
Removal of Sins and Elevation in Ranks
Abu Hurayrah (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: " Whenever a Muslim is afflicted by harm from sickness or other matters, Allah will drop his sins because of that, like a tree drops its leaves." [Bukharee and Muslim]
Abu Sa'eed al-Khudree (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: "A Muslim is not afflicted by hardship, sickness, sadness, worry, harm, or depression - even if pricked by a thorn, but Allah expiates his sins because of that. " [Bukharee and Muslim]
Sa'eed said, " I was with Salmaan (RA) when he visited a sick man in Kindah ( in Persia ), and he said to him: " Expect good because Allah (SWT) makes a believers sickness an expiation (for his sins) and a period of rest. However, when a disbeliever falls sick, he is like a camel whose owner ties it then lets it loose - it does not understand why it was tied nor why it was freed." [Bukharee]
'Aishah (RA) narrated that once some pain afflicted the Prophet (SAW) causing him to suffer and turn about in his bed. she said: "Had one of us done this, you would have blamed him." He (SAW) replied: " An ailment is intensified for the righteous. whenever a believer is afflicted by a hardship, whether it is a thorn or more, a sin is taken off from him because of it, and he is elevated by one rank (in Jannah). " [Ahmad]
Retaining Rewards for Deeds Before Sickness
Usually, when a believer falls sick, he would not be able to do the same amount of good (prayer, fasting, helping Muslims etc) that he used to do when he was well. But Allah out of His great mercy, continues to record for him the good deeds that he was forced to stop because of his sickness. Abu Moosa Al-Ash'aree narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said: " For a traveling or sick person, his deeds will be recorded in accordance with what he used to do when he was resident or well." [Bukharee]
'Abdullah Bin 'Amr reported that the Prophet said: "No (believing) person gets sick, but (his deeds) will be recorded for him in accordance with what he used to do when he was well." [Bukharee] Anas (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: " No Muslims body is afflicted by Allah, but He will record (his deeds) foe him in accordance with what he used to do when he was well - as long as he is sick. Thus, if He takes his life, He forgives him; and if He cures him, He washes him (from sins)." [Bukharee]
'Uqbah Bin 'Aamir reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: "Each days deeds are sealed with it. thus, when a believer gets sick, the angels say, " Our lord! Your servant such and such, You have restrained him (from doing good this day)." And the lord replies, " Seal his day in accordance with his (usual) deeds, until he is cured or dies". [Ahmad]
Reason for the Reward
'Atta Bin Rabaah reported that Ibn 'Abbaas (RA) told him, "Do you want to see a woman from the people of Jannah (paradise)?" He said "Yes". He said: " It is this black woman. She came to the Prophet (SAW) saying, " I have (epileptic) seizures, and I get exposed, so supplicate to Allah for me." He (SAW) said: " If you wish, be patient and you will attain Jannah; or if you wish, I will ask Allah to cure you." She replied, " I will be patient ! But my body gets exposed (because of the fall), so supplicate to Allah for me that I do not become exposed." and he (SAW) did." [Bukharee and Muslim]
The scholars have differed in opinion as to whether a sick person will be rewarded for the sickness itself or for being patient during it. the correct opinion is that if he is patient and submits to Allah's will, as in the above hadeeth, he would be rewarded for both the submission and the sickness, otherwise, he would not be rewarded at all; because he resented Allah's decree. This is what should be understood from Ibn hajar al-'Asqalaanees words: "The authentic hadeeths are clear in that the rewards are recorded once affliction strikes a Muslim. As for patience and acceptance, they are virtues for which a person may get additional rewards over those for the affliction." 'Abdullah Bin 'Amr reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: "If a Muslim is pricked by (as little as) a thorn in the worldly life, and he seeks its reward from Allah, some of his sins will be removed, because of it, on the Day of Judgement."[Bukharee]
"True believers are only those whose hearts are filled with awe whenever God is mentioned, and whose faith is strengthened whenever His revelations are recited to them. In their Lord do they place their trust." (Chapter 8: Verse 2)
A Warning from Wasting away the Prayer – Imaam as-Sa’dee
Sheikh ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Naasir as-Sa’dee, may Allaah have mercy upon him, says in one of his friday sermons;
“All praise due to Allaah, the Lord, the Great, Most Forbearing, Full of Kindness, Most Merciful. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, Most Kind, Most Generous. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger and who is to the believers kind and merciful. Oh Allaah send salutations, blessings and peace upon Muhammad, his family and companions and all those who follow them upon the Straight Path. As for what follows;
Oh Mankind! Fear Allaah, the Most High, and beware of being from those who Allaah mentioned concerning them:
“Then, there had succeeded them a generation who have given up As-Salat (the prayers) [i.e. made their Salat (prayers) to be lost, either by not offering them or by not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed times, etc.] and have followed lusts. So they will be thrown in Hell.” [19:59]
They disregarded the prayer by not praying it at it’s correct time and were negligent concerning the juma’ (friday prayers) and congregational prayers. They did not fear there Lord nor were they heedful of His punishments. When they offered the prayer it was like the pecking of a bird not consisting of any tranquility, serentiy or hope of a reward. You would think they were being propelled when they began to pray and you see them careless about its pillars and conditions, unconcerned about its completeness. They forgot Allaah, therefore He forgot them and they wasted the worldly and religous benefits.
They squandered away the prayer and followed their desires because of their wretchedness and preferred the cravings of the soul over establishing the obligations. When they desire a thing they rush towards it with no hesitation, but when the command of Allaah comes they are (extremely) lethargic. This is sufficient enough a loss and deprivation. Woe be to the one who gives precednece to his evil desires over the obedienece of his Master! And how deprived is he who forsakes the good and follows the lusts of his soul, thus destroying him.
Where is the Islaam and Eemaan oh you who claim to have it?! Where is the fear from a day that a person will find and encounter everything that he did?! The day this bankrupt individual will not find his deeds sufficient enough to save him from the punishment of His Lord.
So woe that day to those who waste their prayers when:
“…the Day a man will flee from his brother. And from his mother and his father. And from his wife and his children. Everyman, that Day, will have enough to make him careless of others.” [80:33-36]
Where are these despicable ones from the people who consider the prayer as one of the greatest blessings from Allaah?! Coming to it with open hearts, sincere aspirations and upright actions. Not a jumu’ah nor congregational prayer misses them unless they have an legitamite excuse.
“Men whom neither trade nor sale diverts them from the Remembrance of Allah (with heart and tongue), nor from performing As-Salat, nor from giving the Zakat. They fear a Day when hearts and eyes will be overturned (from the horror of the torment of the Day of Resurrection). That Allah may reward them according to the best of their deeds, and add even more for them out of His Grace. And Allah provides without measure to whom He wills.” [24:37-38]
May Allaah bless us by the Noble Qur’aan.”
The Prophet of Allah, Muhammad (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam), said: "The Hour will not come to pass until people vie in boasting with each other in building masjids." [Abu Dawud]
The majority of the jurists (may Allah have mercy upon them) are of the view that it is disliked to decorate masjids with gold or silver, or engrave them, or write on them, or do any other thing that might distract the praying person from his prayer. The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "I have not been ordered to build high and lofty masjids." [Ibn Habbaan] Ibn Abbas (radi Allahu anhu) said: "Indeed you will embellish the masjids [and decorate them] in a similar way the Christians and Jews did to their places of worship." Imam Maalik and Ahmad (may Allah have mercy upon them) also disliked the decoration of masjids. Some jurists of the Hanbali and Shaafi'ee school are of the view that it is forbidden to decorate masjids with gold or silver, and any such decoration should be removed, because it is a waste of money, and hurts the feelings of the poor.
We see that when substance vanishes people concentrate more on the forms. Decorating masjids is one such example. As Muslims have stopped behaving like Muslims, much attention is now given to beautifying their places of worship and the appearance of Islam. We give more importance to insignificant things to compensate for our leaving the commands of the religion, such as protecting Muslims and their land from the attacks of the Kuffar.
We don't see heads of Muslim countries competing to achieve closeness to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), or to implement the beloved Shariah prescribed by Him, or to return to the simplicity of original Islam: But we see them competing to make the more beautiful masjid or taller building or wear the most expensive suit. Companions such as Abu Hurairah, Abu Ad-Dardaa, Abu Dharr Ghifari, Abu Sa'eed (radi Allahu anhum) used to say: "If you [begin to] decorate the Quran and the masjids, then await your destruction."
The raising high of the levels
Allaah, the Perfect, has informed in His Book about the raising high of the levels. The first of them is His saying:
O you who believe! When you are told to make room in the assemblies, (spread out and)make room. Allah will give you (ample)room (from His Mercy). And when you are told to rise up, rise up. Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge. And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do.[Surah Al-Mujaadilah 58:11].
The second aayah is His saying:
The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Qur'an)are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses)increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone); Who perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and spend out of that We have provided them. It is they who are the believers in truth. For them are grades of dignity with their Lord, and Forgiveness and a generous provision (Paradise). [Surah Al-Anfal 06:2-7]
And the third aayah is the saying of Allaah, the Most High:
But whoever comes to Him (Allah)as a believer (in the Oneness of Allah, etc.), and has done righteous good deeds, for such are the high ranks (in the Hereafter), [Soorah Taa Haa 20:75].
HOW DO WE WORSHIP ALLAH?
WE WORSHIP HIM AS HE AND HIS MESSENGER PEACE BE UPON HIM HAVE COMMANDED, AS ALLAH SAYS:
O you who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger (Muhammad ) and render not vain your deeds.[SURAH MUHAMMAD 47:33]
THE PROPHET PEACE BE UPON HIM SAID:
"Whoever does any deed [in religion]which our matter is not in accordance with, it is rejected."[MUSLIM]
Ref.: ISLAMIC CREED based on Qur`an and sunna by MUHAMMAD BIN JAMIL ZINO