[4] Admonitions: The Souls Will Not Be Purified And Upright Until They Are Put To Test Through Afflictions- By Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah]

In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy

Allaah [The Most High] stated in several Aayaat of the Qur’aan that the people will be put to trial through prosperity and adversity; therefore, a person is in need of exercising patience [i.e. in times of adversity] and being thankful to Allaah [i.e. in times of prosperity]. Allaah [The Most High] said:

[إِنَّا جَعَلۡنَا مَا عَلَى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ زِينَةً۬ لَّهَا لِنَبۡلُوَهُمۡ أَيُّہُمۡ أَحۡسَنُ عَمَلاً۬ – Verily! We have made that which is on earth as an adornment for it, in order that We may test them (mankind) as to which of them are best in deeds. [i.e. those who do good deeds in the most perfect manner, that means to do them (deeds) totally for Allah’s sake and in accordance to the legal ways of the Prophet] [Surah Al-Kahf’ Aayah 7] [Ref 1]

Allaah [The Most High] said:

أَمۡ حَسِبۡتُمۡ أَن تَدۡخُلُواْ ٱلۡجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَعۡلَمِ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ جَـٰهَدُواْ مِنكُمۡ وَيَعۡلَمَ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ

Do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allah tests those of you who fought (in His Cause) and (also) tests those who are As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.)? [Surah  Aal Imraan’ Aayah 142]

And in Surah Al-Baqarah Allaah [The Most High] said:

أَمۡ حَسِبۡتُمۡ أَن تَدۡخُلُواْ ٱلۡجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَأۡتِكُم مَّثَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ خَلَوۡاْ مِن قَبۡلِكُم‌ۖ مَّسَّتۡہُمُ ٱلۡبَأۡسَآءُ وَٱلضَّرَّآءُ وَزُلۡزِلُواْ حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَ ٱلرَّسُولُ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُ ۥ مَتَىٰ نَصۡرُ ٱللَّهِ‌ۗ أَلَآ إِنَّ نَصۡرَ ٱللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ۬

Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, “When (will come) the Help of Allah?” Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allah is near! [Surah Al-Baqarah’ Aayah 214]

This is because the soul will not be purified and upright until it is put to test through afflictions, just as gold cannot acquire its pristine state until it is refined to separate it from other less precious metals.

However, if a person is [guilty of] wrong doing, he [or she] is not visited by evil except as result of that behaviour. Allaah [The Most High] said:

مَّآ أَصَابَكَ مِنۡ حَسَنَةٍ۬ فَمِنَ ٱللَّهِ‌ۖ وَمَآ أَصَابَكَ مِن سَيِّئَةٍ۬ فَمِن نَّفۡسِكَ‌ۚ وَأَرۡسَلۡنَـٰكَ لِلنَّاسِ رَسُولاً۬‌ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِٱللَّهِ شَہِيدً۬ا

Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allah, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself. And We have sent you (O Muhammad ) as a Messenger to mankind, and Allah is Sufficient as a Witness.[Surah An-Nisaa’ Aayah 79]

Allaah [The Most High] said:

وَمَآ أَصَـٰبَڪُم مِّن مُّصِيبَةٍ۬ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتۡ أَيۡدِيكُمۡ وَيَعۡفُواْ عَن كَثِيرٍ۬

And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much. (See the Qur’an Verse 35:45). [Surah Ash-Shooraa’ Aayah 30]

Allaah [The Most High] said:

ذَٲلِكَ بِأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَمۡ يَكُ مُغَيِّرً۬ا نِّعۡمَةً أَنۡعَمَهَا عَلَىٰ قَوۡمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُواْ مَا بِأَنفُسِہِمۡ‌ۙ وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ۬

That is so because Allah will never change a grace which He has bestowed on a people until they change what is in their ownselves. And verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower. [Surah Al-Anfaal’ Aayah 53]

Indeed, Allaah [The Most High] mentioned the the reason behind the punishment sent to the nations of the past and that which will happen to the people till the day of judgement because of their wrong doing.  Our first parents – Aadam and Hawaa- were the first to acknowledge this fact. Allaah [The Most High] informed us that they said:

رَبَّنَا ظَلَمۡنَآ أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمۡ تَغۡفِرۡ لَنَا وَتَرۡحَمۡنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلۡخَـٰسِرِينَ

They said: “Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.” [Surah Al-A’raaf’ Aayah 23]

Allaah [The Most High] informed us that Iblees said:

قَالَ رَبِّ بِمَآ أَغۡوَيۡتَنِى لَأُزَيِّنَنَّ لَهُمۡ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَلَأُغۡوِيَنَّہُمۡ أَجۡمَعِينَ

إِلَّا عِبَادَكَ مِنۡہُمُ ٱلۡمُخۡلَصِينَ

[Iblis (Satan)] said: “O my Lord! Because you misled me, I shall indeed adorn the path of error for them (mankind) on the earth, and I shall mislead them all. “Except Your chosen, (guided) slaves among them.” [Surah Al-Hijr’ Aayaat 39-40]; Then Allaah [The Most High] said:

إِنَّ عِبَادِى لَيۡسَ لَكَ عَلَيۡہِمۡ سُلۡطَـٰنٌ إِلَّا مَنِ ٱتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ ٱلۡغَاوِينَ

“Certainly, you shall have no authority over My slaves, except those who follow you of the Ghawin (Mushrikun and those who go astray, criminals, polytheists, and evil-doers, etc.). [Surah Al-Hijr’ Aayah 42]

And in a Hadeeth Qudsi reported by Abu Dhar [radiyallaahu-anhu], he said that the Messenger of Alaah [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] said that Allaah said: O My Slaves!  It is only your deeds that I record for you and then recompense for you; so, whoever finds good, let him praise Allah, and whoever finds something else, then blame no one but himself.” [Saheeh Muslim 2577]

And it is reported in a Hadeeth about seeking forgiveness that a person [should say]:

 اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّي لا إِلَهَ إِلا أَنْتَ خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا صَنَعْتُ

أَبُوءُ لَكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَيَّ وَأَبُوءُ لَكَ بِذَنْبِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي فَإِنَّهُ لا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلا أَنْتَ

‘’O Allaah, You are my Lord! There is no one who has the right to be worshipped except you. You created me and I am your slave, and I am (sincere) to my covenant and promise (to You) as much as I am able. I seek refuge with You from the evil I have done. I acknowledge in your presence all the blessings You have granted me, and I confess to You my sins. So forgive me, for indeed none is able to forgive (a slave his) sins, except You.’’ [Bukhaari Hadeeth Number:Number:6323] [Ref 2]

And the Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] used to say in his sermons: All praises and thanks belong to Allaah; we seek His Aid and Assistance; and we seek Allaah’s refuge from the evils of ourselves and the evil consequences of our deeds. [Saheeh Muslim’ Number 868]

Al-Fawaa’id’ pages 296-298. Abridged and slightly paraphrased


Ref 1: https://salaficentre.com/2016/01/1-everything-in-this-worldly-life-is-an-adornment-for-it-in-order-to-test-us-few-reflections-benefits-and-reminders-from-some-aayaat-in-surah-al-kahf/

Ref 2: https://salaficentre.com/2012/03/abridged-the-best-way-to-seek-allaahs-forgiveness-with-comments-from-imaam-bin-baaz-rahimahullaah/

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The Quran and Sunnah Upon The Understanding of The Salaf

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