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Tuesday 21st of January 2020
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Prophethood and affliction- part 2

Prophethood and affliction- part 2

As much as men are given apptitude from the side of Allah, they are expected to perform more good and their duty is more difficult. Prophets are from those people who are given more and are asked more .Therefore , disagreeable moments by which prophets are afflicted are a real example of hardship. Professor Hossein Ansarian In his book “ The land of lovers “ interprets this issue by considering the invocations of Sahifeh Sajjadieh and verses of Quran.  

 

 

Ayyub [Job] and Disagreeable Events:

All scholars and Gnostics contend that nobody can ever excel Ayyub in the area of offering thanks and showing gratitude towards Allah. He used to spend his nights in praying God and his days teaching godly knowledge and helping the poor and the needy and healing the wounds of the wounded.

Iblis, who used to listen to the dialogues between the angels, upon hearing from them good things about Ayyub, it decided to disturb Ayyub's genuine prayers by backbiting him. It addressed God, saying: Ayyub does not perform his prayers out of his will or liking. Rather, he prays you because of the possessions and wealth you have given him. Thus, his prayers are performed artificially because he desires to keep his wealth, cattle, farms, wife and children. So it is natural for him to engage in prayers; he is frightened to lose these assets. Therefore, his prayers are the result of his greed and not due to his sincerity. God told Iblis: Ayyub is My servant and does his prayers out of his love towards me and none of these assets I have given him is the cause for his obedience.

Then all of Ayyub's possessions, cattle, farms, agriculture, slaves, workers were taken from Ayyub. When Ayyub heard this great loss, he said: I was given a trust; now this trust returned to its real possessor. Then his children all lost their lives in an accident. Once again he said: I thank God for giving me children and taking them back from me. Then he fell ill. That man of God was once more thankful to God and put out more hours praying the Almighty God.

This strange program continued for quite a long time. Then one day, he implored God to give him his health, saying.

أَنِّي مَسَّنِي الضُّرُّ وَأَنْتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ فَاسْتَجَبْنَا لَهُ فَكَشَفْنَا مَا بِهِ مِنْ ضُرٍّ وَآتَيْنَاهُ أَهْلَهُ وَمِثْلَهُمْ مَعَهُمْ رَحْمَةً مِنْ عِنْدِنَا وَذِكْرَى لِلْعَابِدِينَ  [1]

“And Ayyub, when he cried to his Lord, saying: Harm has afflicted me, and thou art the most Merciful of the merciful. Therefore, We responded to him and took off what harm he had, and We gave him his Family and the like of them with them: a mercy from Us and a reminder to the worshippers.”

Musa [Moses] and Disagreeable Events:

The story of the birth of Musa and the torture his mother went through when Firon was in power is a Strange one, indeed. The Firon's agents were after the new-born boys in all homes to kill them in the hope to destroy Musa and stop his growth in this way. This terrible accident both annoyed and terrified Musa's mother.

It was revealed to Musa's mother either to milk the child or to throw him in the sea and was assured that the child would be kept safe in the sea upto the time when he would become a prophet:

وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَى أُمِّ مُوسَى أَنْ أَرْضِعِيهِ فَإِذَا خِفْتِ عَلَيْهِ فَأَلْقِيهِ فِي الْيَمِّ وَلَا تَخَافِي وَلَا تَحْزَنِي إِنَّا رَادُّوهُ إِلَيْكِ وَجَاعِلُوهُ مِنْ الْمُرْسَلِينَ  [2]

“And We revealed to Musa's mother, saying: Give him suck, then when you fear for him, cast him into the river and do not, fear nor grieve; surely We will bring him back to you and make him one of the apostles.”

In front of the Mother's eyes the child was thrown into the sea. The roaring water took the box in which Musa had been put directly to the Firon's court, laying him in the hands of the enemy. Although relying heavily on God and having full trust in Him, Musa's mother was extremely disturbed from the moment the child was thrown into the sea upto the moment when he got to Firon's court. By throwing into the enemy's heart a love for Musa, God forced firon to prepare a thorough training and education for Musa. In this way, Musa's mother was relieved. We will read in the sacred surah of Qasas [Quran 28:8-13].

And firon's family took him up that he might be an enemy; but Firon's wife said: he is a refreshment of the eye to me and to you; do not slay him; maybe he will be useful to us, or we may take him for a son; and they did not know what might happen next. And the heart of Musa's mother was free from anxiety; she would have almost disclosed it had We not strengthened her heart so that she might be of the believers. And then Musa's mother told her sister: Follow Musa up. So she watched him from a distance while Firon's Family did not recognize her.

And We had ordained that he [Musa] refuse to suck any foster mother before. So the sister of Musa's mother told them: Shall I point out to you the people of a house who will take care of him for you and they will be benevolent to him?

So We gave Musa back to his mother so that her eye might be refreshed, and that she might not grieve, and that she might know that the promise of Allah is true, but most people do not know.[3]

When matured, he started his struggles against the Fironians for the depressed and miserable ones. He could have easily got executioned but the compassionate Allah saved him and he came to know Shoa'ib, the Prophet, after his wanderings in the deserts. He spent ten years as a shepherd and finally married the generous daughter of Shoa'ib. After a while he asked Shoa'ib's permission to let him go to Egypt to visit his relatives. On his Way to Egypt, he entered the Sina Desert and got the revelation to be a Prophet of the class of the possessors of determination (Olol Azm).

Yaqoub [Jacob] and Yusuf [Joseph] and Disagreeable Events:

The adventure of this father and son is so well-known that we do not have to describe it in much details. Yaqoub missed his son for fourty long years. And Ysuuf, upon separation from his father, fell in the hands of his cruel brothers, was thrown in a well, and later was sold as a slave, and still later fell in the hands of the libertine women of the king's court as a result of which he had to endure a long time in the prison and to undergo a lot of tortures.

Yaqoub's beloved son endured all these immense tortures out of his love for God and came out glorious and respectful out of those examinations of tortures. He became so much adorable by Allah that he is set as an example for chastity and dignity by Allah. His adventures are the best ones in the Holy Quran.

All Prophets of Allah have suffered a lot and have gone through disagreeable events, but have come out victorious and prosperous because:

فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا  [4]

“Surely with difficuly is ease. With difficulty is surely ease.”

Regarding this, imam Sajjad(s) has said:

يا مَنْ تُحَلُّ بِهِ عُقَدُ الْمَكارِهِ وَيا مَنْ يُفْثا بِهِ حَدُّ الشَّدائِدِ

You are the One Who can solve all hardships and put aside all obstacles with your care and Benevolence.

When a disagreeable event befalls man he can engage in repentance and beg God to solve it for him.

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِي الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ[5]

Say: O my servants! Who have acted extravagantly against their own souls, so not despair of the mercy of Allah; surely Allah forgives the faults altogether; surely He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.

A disagreeable event which is caused by natural phenomena such as earthquake, flood or by social difficulties or economic turmoil's could be solved through endurance, patience and perseverance and begging God for assistance.

The stories of those who prospered after enduring hardships:

Parable 1:

Qotaybe Ibn Kolthum governed some cities of Yemen. Once he left his country to attend the Hajj ceremonies.

On his way hack, he and his few attendants were attacked by the rival tribe called Banu 'Aqil due to their long-standing enemity. He was taken a prisoner and was imprisoned for three years. The people of Yemen thought he and his men had been killd. Therefore, they gave up searching for him. One day all the men of Banu 'Aqil's tribe were away and Qotaybe asked his guard, an old woman, to let him go over then nearby hill to have a glance at the desert so that he could rest for a while.

The old woman agreed with his request. Being upon the hill, Qotaybe looked towards kaaba and implored:

“O God, I ask Your Magnanimity and Glory to release me from my tortures”

Suddenly, he saw a camel-rider passing down the hill swiftly. He asked the rider's name: He answered his name was Talhan and was heading towards Yemen. Hearing the name of Yemen, Qotaybe became disturbed and told the youth: If you carry my message to my tribe, I promise you will receive one hundred red-haired camels. Talhan asked his name. Qotaybe replied: I am Qataybe Ibn Kulthum and three years ago I fell a prisoner to this tribe. Talhan said: Maybe Your men would not believe me. Qotaybe said: climb down so that I may write some verses on the camel's packsaddle. You then show these verses to my men. The youth climbed down the camel and Qotaybe wrote these verses on the packsaddle:

Let those men know of my situation.

Let them travel to free me;

Take an army to the country of the enemy,

Let all the statesmen know;

Instead of the king's throne,

You will see chains and shackles on me.

And he wrote to his brother to give one hundred camels to Talhan. However, upon his arrival to Yemen, he forgot the whole issue. But some day he heard two women discussing the Qotaybe's adventure and were grieving. Talhan asked them the address of Qotaybe's brother. Having met him he showed him Qotaybe's verses. That gentleman gave Talhan one hundred camels immediately. Qotaybe asked Qeis Ibn Maadi karab to help him. But Qeis had a special pre-condition. He would help Qotaybe only if he marched under Qeis's banner. Qotaybe wanted to disagree but was warned by his relatives not to oppose to this proposal. Then they fought with Banu 'Aqil, releasing Qotaybe.[6]

Ibn Mas'ud narrates the Messenger of God having said:

اِسْألُوا اللهَ عَزَّوَجَلَّ مِن فَضْلِهِ، فَإنَّهُ يُحِبُّ أنْ يُسْألَ، وَأفْضَلُ الْعِبادَةِ انْتِظارُ الفَرَجِ مِنَ اللهِ تَعالى.

Ask God for His Bounty and Grace since Almighty God loves your asking Him. And the best kind of worship is to wait for God's Grace.

Imam Ali(s) has narrated from the Prophet(s):

أفْضلُ أعْمالِ اُمَّتي انْتِظارُ الْفَرَجِ مِنَ اللهِ تَعالى.

The best deed of my people is their expectation of Mercy from God.

قالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ3 لِعَبْدِاللهِ بْنِ عَبّاسٍ: ألا اُعَلِّمُكَ بِكَلِماتٍ يُنْتَفَعُ بِهِنَّ؟ قالَ بَلى يا رَسُولِ اللهِ، قالَ: اِحْفَظِ اللهَ يَحْفَظْكَ، اِحْفَظِ اللهَ تَجِدْهُ أمَامَكَ، تَعْرِفُ اللهَ فِي الرَّخاءِ يَعْرِفْكَ فِي الشِّدَّةِ، وَإذا سَألْتَ فَاسْألِ اللهَ، وَإذا اسْتَعَنْتَ فَاسْتَعِنْ بِاللهِ. جَفَّ الْقَلَمُ بِما هُوَ كائِنٌ، فَلَوْ جَهَدَ الْعِبادُ أنْ يَنْفَعُوكَ بِما لَم يَكْتُبْهُ اللهُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ لَكَ لَمْ يَقْدِرُوا عَلَيْهِ، وَاِذا اسْتَطَعْتَ أنْ تُعامِلَ اللهَ عَزَّوَجَلَّ بِالْصِدْقِ وَالْيَقِينِ فَافْعَلْ، فَإنْ لَمْ تَسْتَطِعْ فَإنَّ الْصَبْرَ عَلى ما يُكْرِهُ خَيرٌ كَثِيرٌ. وَاعْلَمْ أنَّ النَّصرَ مَعَ الصَّبْرِ، وَأنَّ الْفَرَجَ مَعَ الْكَرْبِ، وَأنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْراً.

The Great Prophet, Mohammad(s) told Abdollah Ibn Abbass:

Shall I teach you some words which would benefit you and keep you away from miseries?

Abdollah said: Yes, please, the Messenger of God. The Prophet(s) said: keep God so that He may keep you (Of course a man could never keep the supporters of the earth and skies. This simply means: through your obedience keep God).[7] Keep God so that you may see Him in front of you. When you are delighted, try to recognize God so that He will take care of you when you are depressed. Only call on God for assistance since He has pre-determined everything for you. If all nation tries to give you something which God has not pre-determined for you, you would not get it. Try to bargain with your Lord honestly or else your patience towars rejecting what is wrong is a great asset for you. Try to understand that victory is the result of patience, and surely with difficulty is ease and with difficulty is surely ease.

 

*  *  *  *

Regarding what the Prophet(s) told Ibn Abbass, we will conclude that nobody should be frightened with disagreeable events. Rather, he should strongly rely on God and adopt patience and perseverance.

The deceased Fazel, in his book called “Imam Ali's statements”, says:

“The life pleasures lie in the life disturbances and turmoil's. A silent and quiet world resembles a graveyard. The recluse and isolated individuals, who become secluded out of their fears to encounter hardships, are, in fact, living people who have been buried alive.

How lucky is the one who has a turbulence inside his heart, who is restless and energetic! The vigorous youth would never be quiet in this world. They enjoy commotions and vigor. This is because their growth in this world depends on the adventures and disagreeable events.

Paying heed to this significant issue, Imam Ali(s) has stated:

One's soul and body may become weak and bored: the former because of the weight of the latter, and the latter because of the flight and vigor of the former. Decorate your soul with knowledge and wisdom and provide it with knowledge and wisdom and provide it with good ethics and good thinking. Then you could easily socialize with people and you would be asked to associate with people. In this way, you would carry the burden of life much easier.

Make your body work; do not let it deteriorate this will help your soul to be vigorous and desireful to fly.

Never ask God to release you from the burdens of life. God is not content with people who say at their prayers: O God! Keep me away from calamity and trouble. This is because a man of God will encounter all hardships and will remain honest and hard working at such times. One has only to be sincere and clean in his proceedings.

The ill-fated, who chooses seclution and escapes the life commotions, does not understand the secrets of life. He should know that he is not created to be a recluse. Rather, he should take part in the turmoil's of life and be vigorous like lively people; he should rise to help the miserable and teach knowledge to an illiterate.

Therefore, rise and be resolute. Take part in the life turmoils. Be a man and partake in social roles clean-handed. In this way, you may both enjoy life and carry out your human tasks.”[8]

 



[1] Quran 21:83-84.

[2] Quran 28:7.

[3] Quran 28:8-13.

[4] Quran 94:5-6.

[5] Quran 39:53.

[6] Zinatol Majale, P 700.

[7] Joy after Sorrow, P 47.

[8] Imam Ali's(s) statements, P 181.


source : land of lovers
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