Sheikh Abdul Muhsin Al-Qaasim
Al-Jum'ah 5 Muharram, 1422 (20 March, 2001)

All praise is due to Allaah, may peace and blessings be upon the Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam),
his household and companions.

Fellow Muslims! Fear Allaah as he should be feared, for fear of Allaah brings more blessings and prevents afflictions.

Dear Muslims! Allaah has foreordained the fate of all creatures, written down their impacts and deeds,
 portioned out between them their livelihood and wealth and created death and life that He may test them
which of them is best in deed. Indeed, belief in Allaah's decree and preordainment is one of the pillars of faith.
 Nothing happens in this universe except by His will.

This life is full of misfortune and sorrow. It is destined to be a place of hardships and trouble. Trials and tribulations
 are as inevitable in this life as cold and heat. Allaah says,
"And certainly We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give
 glad tidings to those who are patient."

Pre-destination is a test by which the truthful ones are distinguished from untruthful ones. Allaah says,
"Do people think that they will be left alone because they say, 'We believe,' and will not be tested."
(29: 2)

The human soul does not become pure except through trials, and it is during tribulations that real men are
known. Ibn Jawzee said, "Whoever wants to have everlasting peace and well-being with no affliction does
 not understand the meaning of Allaah's commandments, nor does he perceive the meaning of submission
to Allaah. Every soul (either believing or disbelieving) shall inevitably taste suffering in this world, for this life is
 based on hardships. Man lives between comfort and suffering. Prophet Aadam, for instance, had the angels
prostrated before him and yet was soon after expelled from paradise. A believer is afflicted with trials in order to
 refine him, not to punish him. He is tested in ease as well as in hardship. Allaah says,
"And We tried them with good (blessings) and evil (calamities) in order that they might turn (to Allaah's obedience)."
(Al-A'raaf 7: 168).

Brothers in faith! Something undesireable may sometimes have a pleasant result, while something
seemingly desirable may turn out to have an unpleasant and abominable result. Do not therefore feel that
harmful things cannot come to you through hardship. Allaah says,
"And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you lie a thing which is bad for you.
Allaah knows, and you do not know."
Al-Baqarah (2: 216).

Prepare yourself mentally for afflictions before they occur so as to make their occurrence light on you. Do not
be worried because of tribulations, for they have their limits, and watch what you utter during your hard times for
many a word has ruined its utterer. A resolute Muslim stands firm during hardships, his heart does not change and
he does not complain. Console yourself whenever afflicted with a promise of reward from Allaah. Wise people show
 endurance whenever they are stricken with misfortune so as not to add to their misfortune the malicious joy of their
enemies, for whenever yourenemies know of your misfortune they are overjoyed.

Brothers in Islaam! Endeavour to keep your misfortunes and pains to yourself, for concealment of afflictions and
pains are of the qualities of noble people. Be patient over afflictions, they will soon be removed from you. Those
who perished only suffered that because of their impatience while the patient ones are being recompensed with
 good rewards. Allaah says,

"And those who are patient, we will certainly pay them a reward in proportion o the best of what they used to do."
(Al-Anaam 16:96).

The reward of the patient ones will be doubled for their patience and Allaah will be with them, remove their
 afflictions and make them victorious. O afflicted one! Your Lord does not deny you what you want except
what is better than that, He does not test you but for your well-being and He does not subject you to tribulations
 but to purify you. He tries His slaves with pleasure as he blesses them with calamity. Do not therefore waste
 your time thinking over what has already been guaranteed for you. As long as one is still alive his provision
will no doubt come to him. Allaah ta'ala says,
"And no (moving) living creature is there on earth but its provision is due from Allaah."
(Hood 11:6).

Further, if Allaah – out of His wisdom – closes a door against you, He opens out of His mercy a
 door better for you than the closed one. It is by afflictions that righteous and understanding people are increased
 in rank and reward. Sa'ad bin Abee Waqqaas said: I said, "O Messenger of Allaah, who are the most afflicted
of all people? He replied (r), "The Prophets, then the righteous people, then those who are nearest to them in
 perfection and those who are nearest to them. Man is tested according to his religiosity; if heis strong religiously,
his test is increased and if he is weak in religion, his test is reduced And a believer will be tested until he walks on
the earth sinless [i.e. his sins have been erased by series of afflictions that he endured.]" (Al-Bukhari)

Fellow Muslims! Prophet Aadam laboured along difficult paths beset with affliction; Prophet Ibraheem was
thrown into a blazing fire; Ismaeel was laid down for slaughter; Yoonus was swallowed by a whale; Prophet
 Aayoob suffered from a severe illness; Yoosuf was sold for a pittance, thrown into a well and wrongfully jailed
 and Muhammed (r) suffered different kinds of injury. You also are in path of calamities moving, for the life
does not give pleasure only to anyone. The Prophet (r) said, "If Allaah wants to do good to somebody,
He afflicts him with trials." (Al-Bukharee). Some people ofknowledge said, "Whoever Allaah creates for
paradise will be having trials and undesirable things."

Real trial, dear brothers, is the trial in one's religion and whatevertrial besides that is regarded as well being,
for it raises one in the rank and erases ones sins. Also all comforts that do not bring one closer to Allaah is a
tribulation. Do not therefore grieve over what you miss in worldly materials, for worldly pleasure begets pain
and disobedience. Aboo Dardaa said, "Of the insignificance of this world to Allaah is that He is not disobeyed
 except in it, while what is with Him cannot be obtained except by abstaining from it. Engage yourself in what
will benefit you more. Keep away from what is in peoples' hands you will be the wealthiest of them; do not lose
hope in Allaah's mercy lest you are disgraced; always remember Allaah'sfavour on you and drive away your
distress by being pleased with Allaah's decree, for however long the night may be, it will be followed by the dawn.

Supplicate to Allaah. He will give you relief and if you are patientAllaah will provide a way out for you.
 Ponder over the story of Prophet Ya'qoob who lost a son for a long period and yet did not lose hope of
elief from the Almighty One, but rather said, "Maybe Allaah will bring them all (back) to me."

Dear brother! It is only Allaah who deserves all praise and is capable of attending to all complaints. It is only
Him you must beseech to remove your misfortunes. Pray to Him during the night with submission and
humbleness and request Him to make your affairs easy for you. He says,
"Is it not He who responds to the distressed one when he calls Him (better than your gods.)" (27: 62)

Put your trust in the Omnipotent Lord and take refuge with Him with a humble heart, He will open the doors
 of His mercy for you. Fudayl ben 'Iyaadh said, "If you lose hope in all people and you do not ask anything
 from them, your Lord will give you all that you want." Whoever leaves his affairs to the hands of Allaah will
achieve what he aspires: Always recite the prayer of Prophet Yoonus:

"None has the right to worshipped except You (O Allaah) Glorifed (and exalted) are You (above all that they
associate with You) Truly I havebeen of the wrong doers." The 'Ulamaa said, "No one In distress recites this
prayer except that Allaah gives him relief from his distress." Ibn al-Qayyim said, "It has been tested that whoever says:

"Verily distress has seized me and You are the most merciful of all those who show mercy!" Seven times Allaah
 relieves him of his distress! Put then yourself under the protection of Allaah, depend upon Him, submit your
affairs to Him and ask Him for relief. Try to supplicate in the most appropriate periods like during prostration
and the last hour of the night. Do not feel uneasy if your supplications have not yet been answered, and do
not lose hopeof Allaah's mercy even though the period of your affliction may seem long, for relief is near, and
 continue to pray to Allaah. Also know that when Allaah afflicts you no one except Him is capable of removing
 that affliction for He does whatever He wills.

If your provision seems delayed, do a lot of istighfar, for misdeedsnecessitate punishment; and if it does not
seem that your supplications are having any impact, then examine yourself, for it may be that you have not
been sincere in your repentance. Endeavour also, to give charity to the needy, for charity prevents and removes
affliction. However, if your affliction is removed, give a lot of thanks and praise to your Lord and know that a
 false sense of safety is a big trial. Allaah says,
"Say: Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allaah has ordained for us. He is our Lord and Protector,
and in Alaah let the believers put their trust."
(At-Taubah 9: 51).

Dear Muslims! No condition is permanent. Fortunate is he who is always God-conscious. Fear Allaah in
any condition you may find yourself. You can do nothing to prevent what has been destined to happen as
 you do nothing to attain what has not been pre-ordained. The ability to choose and control is with Allaah
alone and His choice for His slave is better for him than his choice for himself. Dawood bin Sulaymaan said,
"Three things indicate the piety of a believer; his trust in Alaah in what he has not attained; his satisfaction with
 whatever he has attained and his patience over what he has missed." A wise man was asked, "What is wealth?"
He replied, "Fewness of one's mundane desires and one's contentment with what suffices him."

Shurayh said, "A slave will not be afflicted by a trial except that he finds three blessings therein, (1) that the trial
has nothing to do with his religion, (2) that the trial was not bigger than it is, and (3) that Allaah gives him
 patience to bear it."

“And he who brings the Truth and he who confirms (and supports) it -- such are the men who do right.
They shall have all that they wish for, with their Rabb (Only God, Cherisher and Sustainer). Such is the
 reward of those who do good: so that Allah will remit from them (even) the worst in their deeds and give
 them their reward according to the best of what they have done.” (Qur’an 39:33-35)