To exhibit pleasure in difficulties, and to be pleased when matters go contrary to one’s temperament is possible, due to the following three reasons:Seeing one’s beloved, and an excess of love, causes one to be unmindful of pain. Thus, if the beloved hits the lover, he does not experience discomfort. When a person is overcome by desires or anger, then we witness that the body is wounded, the head is hurt, blood flows, and the body becomes saturated with blood, but then too, one does not experience pain. At times, you may have noticed that when you were completely absorbed and immersed in something beloved to you, and whilst walking, a thorn settled in your foot, you experienced no pain or difficulty.

However, when the anger dissipates, or the enthusiasm and love fades, then the pain is now felt e.g. when one receives the item he was desirous of, or when one loses hope in ever receiving it. When one does not feel pain, due to this minuscule amount of love, then where there is excessive love, the feeling of even gigantic difficulties, will not be felt.

In the world a person becomes enamored, and is inclined to another human being- who is permeated with filth and dirt. This beloved can only be seen with the eye, which causes so many errors. At times, it sees something huge as small, something far as close, and something ugly as beautiful. When this is the condition with a mortal being, then why is this feeling impossible for that Being Jalla Jalaaluhu whose Beauty is Everlasting, whose Grandeur Jalla Jalaaluhu is Perpetual, who can never die, and has no form of imperfection, and who can be perceived with internal vision, which is much clearer and truthful, than the outer eye?

Based on this Junaid Bagdadi Rahmatullahi Alaihi asked Sirri Saqati Rahmatullahi Alaihi, ” Does a lover feel the pain of difficulty?” he replied in the negative. He then asked him, “Even if he is struck with a sword?” “Even if he is struck seventy times with a sword,” came the reply.

Umar ibn Abdul Aziz Rahmatullahi Alaihi said, ” For me no pleasure remains except in that which Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu has decreed.”

2) The second reason why it is possible for one to be pleased with Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu’s Decision, is that one feels difficulty, and dislikes it naturally. However, since his intellect informs him of a great result i.e. reward in the Hereafter, he accepts this difficulty happily. An example thereof, is when a doctor gives a patient bitter medicine to swallow, this causes discomfort and pain. Nonetheless, since the patient is aware of its beneficial effects- that it will lead to good health- he is pleased with the doctor, and in fact, feels obligated to him and appreciates him.

A businessman is pleased with all the difficulties and the encumbrances he has to undergo, even though it is completely against his temperament. Since his intellect has explained to him the great benefits and results of this difficulty, this dislike and hardship converts to love and desire, When one does not regard difficulties to be difficulties, just for attaining the temporary benefits of this world, then why should it be surprising when one is pleased to bear difficulties and hardships, in attaining the felicity of the Hereafter?

A pious woman once slipped. Her toenail fell out. Instead of moaning and wailing, she began smiling. People asked her, “Are you not feeling pain?”

She replied, “The enjoyment of the reward I will receive, has removed from my heart the bitterness of its pain.”

In short whoever believes from the bottom of his heart, that he will receive such a great reward from Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu for every difficulty he bore; that this difficulty will bear no comparison to the reward, will find himself happy and pleased, even in difficulties.

3) A person understands that there are amazing secrets and workings of Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu in every action. In every amazing incident and new event, there is not one, but hundreds of mysteries hidden, some of which only a person of great insight will be able to fathom. Looking at these benefits and wisdoms, a difficulty does not remain a difficulty. Whatever is happening in this temporary world, which is regarded to be a cause of worry, concern and anguish by an ignorant person, is seen in a different light by people of understanding.

The Meeting Of Two Oceans

The surprise of this, is like that of the surprise shown by Musa Alaihis-Salaam to Khidr Alaihis-Salaam , after staying in his company, as explained in Surah Kahf. Whilst sitting in a boat of poor people, Khidr Alaihis-Salaam damaged it by removing a board from it. Musa Alaihis-Salaam in surprise, asked him why he committed such an act of excess. Thereafter, Khidr Alaihis-Salaam killed an immature yuongster. Again Musa Alaihis-Salaam,in astonishment, objected, that sincewhen had the blood of an innocent youngster become permissible?

Continuing ahead, they reached a certain area where the inhabitants did not even care to host them. In the morning, whilst leaving the area, their gaze fell on a wall which was about to collapse. Khidr Alaihis-Salaam repaired this wall. Musa Alaihis-Salaam was again taken aback, objecting that he should not have favoured such an unfriendly community, who cared not in the least bit for their guests. After this third objection, the two of them parted ways, in accordance to their agreement.

It is clear that the only reason Musa Alaihis-Salaam was surprised by these two incidents, was that he was not aware of the underlying secrets and wisdoms of these incidents. Thereafter, Khidr Alaihis-Salaam informed Musa Alaihis-Salaam that the boat belonged to some poor sailors. The king at that time, was unjustly seizing ships that were in an excellent condition. He thus damaged the ship, so that these poor people’s means of livelihood would not be taken away.

The child who was killed was naturally irreligious, and there was a strong fear that on reaching adulthood, he would lead his believing parents astray, since due to their parental love for him, they would not be able to resist his demands. This child was thus taken away , and another child was to be bestowed to them, which would be pious, and cause for their success in the Hereafter. As for the wall, it belonged to two orphans, whose father was pious. Underneath this wall was buried his wealth, which he had left behind for these two children. Thus he straightened the wall, so that these two children could retrieve the wealth after attaining maturity. If the wall had to fall now, the wealth would have been usurped by others. After these explanations , the amazement of Musa Alaihis_Salaam was eradicated.

Goodness In All THat He Has Ordained

An incident is mentioned of a pious man who would always utter in every problem, “Goodness is in that which Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu Ordained.” He used to reside in a village. He possessed a donkey on which he would load his goods; a dog that would guard his house; and a cock that would wake him up in the morning. When he saw his wife disheartened, he said to her,”Goodness is in that which Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu has Ordained.” Thereafter, a wolf came, and killed the donkey. Again, he uttered these words to console his wife. The dog thereafter fell sick, and died. Once again, he uttered, “Goodness is in that which Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu has Ordained.” His wife was astonished at him, that there was so much of loss caused to them, but he continued to say that there must be goodness in these actions.

One morning they awoke to find that the houses around him had been attacked the night before. All the people were imprisoned, and all the children were made into slaves. The soldiers had recognized the houses in the darkness of the night by the braying of peoples donkeys, the barking of their dogs, and the crowing of their cocks. The pious man then said to his wife, “You have seen now that goodness is in the what Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu has Ordained. The animals of the people were the cause of their problems. Of our animals had not died before this, then you and I would also have been taken away as prisoner.”

A Nabi Witnessing Oppression

A Nabi Alaihis-Salaam was once sitting worshipping Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu in the cavern of a mountain. Nearby a stream flowed. Once, a person riding a horse came to this stream. He removed his money-belt and placed it on the floor before drinking water. He then went away, forgetting this belt in which was a thousand dinars (gold coins). After a short while, another person came and took this belt away. Then a poor came and took this belt away . Then a poor man came, carrying a bundle of wood on his back. He removed this bundle from his back, and sat down to drink and rest. The horseman, in the meantime, returned very agitated, looking for his money-belt. He caught hold of the poor man and started beating him, asking for his bag. When the poor man denied any knowledge of the bag, he brandished his sword, and killed him. The Nabi Alaihis-Salaam, having witnessed this whole incident, remarked, ” O Allah! (Jalla Wa Jalaaluhu), this incident was most amazing. This poor man did not take the bag but was killed for it, and the other oppressor who stole the bag, was not taken to task.”

Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu Revealed to him, “Remain in engaged in your worship, Knowing the mysteries behind Divine Workings is not your work. The reality of this matter is that this poor person had killed the father of the horseman. I (Jalla Jalaaluhu) thus Allowed retribution to take place by the son of the murdered person. The horseman’s father had once stolen one thousand gold coins from the person who took the bag. I (Jalla Jalaaluhu) thus returned it, from his estate.”

In Summary, whoever believes in these wisdoms, and deeper secrets, will not be in the least bit surprised at the Actions of Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu. In fact, he will be surprised at his own ignorance and foolishness. He will not question Divine Decisions by using words like, ‘why’ and ‘how’. He will be pleased with the Decisions which Allah Ta’laa has ordained.

Extracted from Tabligh-E-Deen

Imaam Muhammed Al-Ghazali Rahmatullahi Alaih

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