Written By: Ali Asad Chandia
In his final reflections of a five part series, Ali Asad Chandia highlights the fragility and shortness of this life, but the trials we face in this life are opportunities to be grateful, to exercise patience and to gain spiritual strength.
I got to know Adham at Montgomery College, Maryland. A humorous young man from Yemen was in the United States pursuing his bachelor’s degree. Everyone in the college who knew Adham loved him dearly and was aware that Adham was planning to travel back to Yemen that summer to get married. One day, Adham gave me a ride home from college and told me, ‘Ali, Allah’s Messenger sallaAllahu ‘alaihi wassallam told us that if we love a Muslim brother, we should inform him of that. I want you to know that I love for Allah’s sake’. The new semester had started but Adham wasn’t around. Some time later, I happened to come across a mutual acquaintance and inquired about Adham. The man informed me, as if he was in a state of shock himself, that Adham got killed in an accidental shooting between two rival tribes in Yemen.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
The Day they see it (it will be) as if they had not stayed (in this world) except an afternoon or a morning. (The Qur’aan 80:1)
This life is extremely short and no one knows what will happen tomorrow except Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. The trials that we go through only make up a small portion of this life. Soon we will all die and for those who confront these worldly trials using the divine guidance that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala sent His Messenger Muhammad sallaAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam with, these trials will only make them stronger. For such, the trials will serve as an opportunity to gain patience and all other aspects of spiritual strength. They will also see these trials as an opportunity to be grateful to Allah who didn’t test them with a trial that they couldn’t handle. Such an attitude will further serve as an opportunity to enter paradise where there are no trials, tribulations, sadness or despair. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
Verily those who say, “Our Lord is Allah and then remained steadfast, on them the angels will descend (saying): “Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of paradise which have been promised!” (The Qur’aan 41:30)
As for those who when faced with worldly trials forsake the divine guidance and follow the whispers of Shaitaan, Shaitaan will be their intimate companion who will only add to their sadness and despair. For them disgrace in this life and what awaits them after this short life is even worse. I conclude with the words of the cousin of Allah’s Messenger sallaAllahu ‘alaihi wassallam, Ali Ibn Abi Talib radiAllah ‘anhu who said,
“Verily, this world is departing, and the Hereafter is approaching. Both – this life and the Hereafter – have children. Be the children of the Hereafter and not the children of this life. Today, there are deeds but no accountability, but tomorrow we have accountability but no deeds.” (Jaami’ Al-‘Uloom wal Hikam, pg 379)
May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala make use from the children of the Hereafter and not from the children of this life.
(CC image courtesy of a k i r a on Flickr)
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