Writer: Yusuf Akbar Sarwari Qadri, Lahore

Allah tests those of His lovers who He admires the most, so they start obeying Him and become more efficient on the path of righteousness. They learn becoming more patient with regards to the trial they go through so as to bless them with blessings and bounties without any judgement. He tests His chosen men so He distinguishes pure from the impure and honest from the dishonest.

Allah states in the Holy Quran:

أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوا أَن يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ

Do people think that they will be released (just) on saying: ‘We have believed,’ and Allah will not try them? (al-‘Ankabut, 29 : 2)

وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ

And surely, We tried (also) those who were before them. (al-‘Ankabūt, 29 : 3)

أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَن تَدْخُلُواْ الْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَأْتِكُم مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ خَلَوْاْ مِن قَبْلِكُم مَّسَّتْهُمُ الْبَأْسَاءُ وَالضَّرَّاءُ وَزُلْزِلُواْ حَتَّى يَقُولَ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مَعَهُ مَتَى نَصْرُ اللّهِ أَلا إِنَّ نَصْرَ اللّهِ قَرِيبٌ

Do you think that you will enter Paradise (for nothing, without any trial,) whilst you have not yet undergone the predicament of those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with a diversity of sufferings and hardships and were jolted (in such a manner) that the Messenger (of that nation) and his companions in faith (too) cried out: ‘When will the help of Allah arrive?’ Beware! The help of Allah is definitely at hand. (al-Baqarah, 2: 214)

Allah tries His men by giving them happiness, difficulties, respect, ease, and by putting them through hardships. Just like He tried His men before us. So, it seems Allah will test any man who claims to stand by Him.

The Holy Prophet said, “the ones who are tried the most are prophets, then those who are like them, and then those who follow.” (Ibn-e-Maja)

This hadith proves Allah trying you does not imply He is angry with you. If that was the case, why would Allah test his prophets, his fakirs and loved ones? In fact, it is a source of eternal happiness since it leads to increased patience, obedience and consistency towards Allah’s will and the prophets appreciate it. The following incident of Abdul Qadir Jillani proves the above-mentioned hadith:

  • The stronger a man’s faith, the harder gets his trial by Allah. His suffering gets only as intense as his belief. The trial of a messenger is harsher than that of a prophet since a messenger’s faith is more ardent. Then a prophet’s trial is harder than a saint’s trial which is harder than an abdal’s. Since, Allah tests everyone according to their belief, which is based on a quote by the Prophet, “we, the group of prophets go through severer trials compared to other people, and then so on and so forth.” (Fatooh-ul-Ghaib_ 56)

Why Allah puts you to trial

Allah never tortures anybody. Rather He makes one go through trials, difficulties, hardships, anxiety and troubles because He aims for them to succeed in closeness with Him and strengthen their bond. Allah thinks of them as His friends since they are the lovers and the Beloved never wants to be apart from His lover.

Abdul Qadir Jillani states:

  • Amongst the true believers, there’s a group that Allah holds close who are His knowers and saints. He tries these people so they could raise questions in front of their Lord. He loves their prayers and the questions asked. Hence, when these people make prayers to Allah, He answers them quickly to bestow upon them great deal of blessings and bounties. (Fatooh-ul-Ghaib 52)

What is this specific group and which people does it consist of? Indeed, these are the lucky people, the perfect spiritual guide purges souls of. They are ever ready to give up anything and everything they have to, go through all kinds of trials, just to gain Allah’s appreciation, gnosis and Vision.

People who purge the souls of others and spark the fire of revolution in their beings, and prove to be of help to others in the way of Allah, are sure to go through trials.

On this way of gnosis come many obstacles and one has to face numerous rebels and unfortunate sinners who come in the way. If he remains steadfast and doesn’t budge, fights those who come between him and his Lord, and doesn’t lose patience, shall surely ultimately achieve his goal.

Don’t give up

And in case you lose confidence in the initial stages and give up on the path of righteousness, you shall be considered amongst the losers who aren’t capable of walking this path and neither are of any help to others. Such people are neither called members of the group nor helpers.

Allah states in the Holy Quran:

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ  (الْبَقَرَة, 2: 155)

And We will most certainly test you somewhat by means of fear and hunger and certain loss of wealth and lives and fruits. And, (O Beloved,) give glad tidings to those who observe patience.

This ayah makes it pretty clear how significant is it for true believers for having been through trials. If only seekers of Allah make this point clear in their minds that it is of extreme beneficence to them. Trials would feel so much easier and also their levels of Divine Vision would increase uplifting their souls. As long as travelers of the path of righteousness stay consistent, fight through the trials with love of Allah in their hearts and hold hands with their spiritual guide, no outward power can undo this bond or affect his success. Gradually he shall reach his destination of unity with Allah.

There are many sorts of trials, some of which are as follows:

  • Trial through illness
  • Trial through captivation
  • Ridiculing
  • Abusing and cursing
  • Trial through pain, torment and punishment
  • Through fear and turmoil
  • Trial through worry and tension
  • Exile
  • Dominance of enemy
  • Propaganda of the hypocrites
  • Loved ones go missing or die
  • Hunger and poverty
  • False accusations, defamation
  • Trial though children and wealth
  • Trial by empowering
  • Weakness
  • Disagreements

Persistence and Perseverance

Undoubtedly, to receive the Divine favor and gnosis the spiritual guide along with the companions and followers are an essential and active source. If a man spends his entire life in seclusion offering salat, fasting and reciting day and night, giving alms, and spends his money among the poor and destitute, performs hajj, kisses the black stone in Holy Kaaba and worships in all the sacred places where the reward increases manifold. Even then the reward from Allah will remain at individual level. Yet as soon as an individual gives his hand in that of his spiritual guide, the perfect saint he will be attached with the organization. And accordingly, his heart will become vast.

Allah blesses the organization with special favors and benediction which consists of people who remain persistent and with perseverance to face the trials. Although the people of gnosis are usually courageous even then during trial few seekers of Allah are able to make it through.

This reality too is eternal and open like the light of day. The extent to which they struggle and face hardships is the level of spiritual and physical triumph they shall gain. For instance, take sowing seeds as an example which takes a lot of effort, the farmer endures troubles like the heat of sun and scorching soil. And all this struggle transforms you into a newer better version of yourself. Thus, that person can know the significance of the struggle who has been through it and creates a new world.

Allama Iqbal says:

Meaning: Obliterate yourself if you want to reach to a certain spiritual level, just like a seed dissolves into the soil blooming out an entire garden.

The Companions of Prophet ranking highest at the level of spiritual life had to go through extreme hardships. In the initial era of Islam, hearing sword fight rustle in every corner was really common. In spite of that, neither any of the companions left the Truth nor desired to part ways with the Prophet. They never paid any heed to greed, calamity, hardships, regrets, penalties or trials. And they never doubted they weren’t on the path of righteousness. They stood by the Truth and remained perseverant. Indeed, perseverance is the real recognition of the Truth.

Zubayr Ibn-al-Awam is a brave modest and honorable companion of the Prophet. His uncle used to fold him in a mat then set it to fire and demand him to quit Islam. Yet trials and troubles could not shake his perseverance even a little. And no atrocity could force him to deviate from Islam. The prophet used to say seeing his bravery that every prophet has such an apostle and his apostle is Zubayr Ibn-al-Awam.

By this recount it is obvious that the companions too faced hardships. Nobody complained about their fate. Whenever Allah put them to trial under some tyranny for the sake of Truth, they gained guidance by the Prophet and the Divine word, and adopted perseverance. Together they desired and fought for the Truth and prioritized the Prophet over everything. They maintained unity amongst themselves. And ever endeavored for the establishment of Truth. Also, never hesitated to sacrifice any physical or financial asset.

Loyalty to Spiritual Guide

The seekers of Allah should be the protectors of the Truth and remain loyal to their perfect spiritual guide. The truth is verified only by standing by it. Seekers of Allah should adopt temperament and steadfastness like those of the Companions. Since their relationship with the Prophet was strong enough that they never paid attention to reasoning in the matter of Truth. Due to this basis, these personalities performed such great tasks and we should try to mold ourselves like them so that we can strengthen our faith with perseverance and vastness.

It is essential to have strong arms and muscles in order to carry great weights. It is impossible to lift heavy burden with weak muscles. Likewise, for great victories, it is crucial to have the manners, health and attributes of the Companions. To gain dominance and success of the Truth it is essential to organize ourselves with perseverance and unity. As Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen says:

Meaning: He who does not acknowledge the change and doesn’t search for the meaning of new things, is left behind.

The more hardships the seekers go through, the more blessings are bestowed upon them. Whatever they achieve is only through Allah by the source of their spiritual guide, and no personal capabilities whatsoever. This proves the perfection of the sight of a spiritual guide.

My spiritual guide, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen is busy spreading the word of Faqr. He struggles day and night to purge the souls of his disciples and seekers of Allah through the Prophetic way. You are all invited to join the organization of this Universal Divine Man. Finally, I pray Allah grant the knowledge of Faqr to all seekers and make them able enough to distribute the Ism-e-Allah Zaat. Ameen.