When facing trials or afflictions, a Muslim is required to keep patient and never despair of Allah’s mercy and to expect reward from Allah. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good, and that does not apply for anyone except the believer. If something good happens to him, he gives thanks, and that is good for him; if something bad happens to him he, bears it with patience, and that is good for him” (Muslim).
Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah, member of the Executive Committee of the Fiqh Council of North America and the Religious Director of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee, stated: The trials and tribulations are part of human life. Allah reminds us in the Qur’an, [Be sure We [Allah] 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] (Al-Baqarah 2:155).
There are four possible reasons for trials and afflictions:
1. They are to test the faith (in Arabic: iman) of believers to separate the true believers from others.
2. They happen to train or educate believers in patience and dependence on Allah and in facing the difficult realities of life in this world.
3. They could befall to elevate the status of believers.
4. And they could be a result of one’s own sins and mistakes and a compensation for one’s wrongdoings.
Allah wants us to be patient during these times of stress and afflictions and not to despair, because despair is the result of non-belief. Allah says, [Truly no one despairs of Allah’s soothing mercy except those who have no faith] (Yusuf 12:87).
It needs a lot of trust in the goodness of Allah, and the hope that He loves us more than our mothers and that He is not going to let us down.