Trials purify one’s character

A few years ago while I was in prison, sometimes I used to wonder and think to myself, “If I was outside right now, where would I be, and what would I be doing?” And then one day I remembered that before I went inside, I was on the verge of making some really bad mistakes and catastrophic decisions. I was also slowly becoming hard-hearted, and on several occasions I spoke about issues that were well beyond my remit. That’s when I realised that by putting me in prison, Allāh had protected me and saved me from a lot of dangers. Prison gave me the opportunity to take a long, hard look in the mirror, repent and work on myself, and to spend some quality time with my Lord. I thank Allāh as often as possible so that I do not forget His favour.

A couple of days ago, I came across this beautiful statement from Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allāh have mercy on him) that I wish to share with everyone:

It should be noted that were it not for the trials and tribulations of this world, a person could develop arrogance, self-admiration, a pharaonic attitude and hardheartedness which would lead to his doom in this world and in the Hereafter. It is a sign of the mercy of the Most Merciful that He checks on him from time to time with the remedy of calamity so as to protect him from these diseases, to keep his submission and servitude sound, and to eliminate all bad elements that may lead to his doom. (Zād al-Ma’ād)

Yā Allāh, make us from your sincere, humble servants, and remove from our hearts any form of pride, arrogance and jāhiliyyah. Grant us the opportunity to learn from and rectify our mistakes, before it’s too late. And make us from your patient, thankful servants. Āmīn!

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