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!

Your du’ā will be answered

Your du’ā will be answered

Two years ago, while I was in prison, I would make du’ā’ for a number of individuals by name, especially those who prayed for me, wrote to me, visited me, or supported my family.

But there were three brothers I used to make du’ā’ for the most. They were looking at potentially spending a lot of time behind bars – between 30 years to life. And each one of those brothers would say they were completely innocent of what they were accused of doing.

Despite their situation looking pretty “hopeless”, I used to make a lot of du’ā’ for them, hoping that due to the situation I was in (my being in prison), my du’ā’ would get answered, while bearing in mind that Allāh is Al-Qadīr – Capable of all things.

Approximately a year later, one of those brothers was freed, al-ḥamdu lillāh. A couple of months later, another one of the brothers was freed, al-ḥamdu lillāh. And a few days before this Ramaḍān just gone, the last of those three brothers was freed. All praise is for Allāh! They are all now back at home, living with their respective families.

Lessons:

1) Sometimes it takes years for one’s du’ā’ to be answered. Never lose hope and be patient.

2) Make use of the special times and circumstances (according to the Sunnah) during which du’ā’ is answered.

3) Have no doubt that Allāh will answer your du’ā’. He is, after all, Samī’ ad-Du’ā’ (the Hearer of prayer).

4) Be sincere in your du’ā’, abandon sins, and avoid the things which prevent one’s du’ā’ being answered.

5) If you know of anyone who has been oppressed or wrongfully imprisoned, ask them to make du’ā’ for you, because there is no ḥijāb (barrier) between them and Allāh.

Posted on Facebook in July 2016