The Wisdom Behind Calamities

1 – To attain true submission and servitude (uboodiyyah) to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

Many people are slaves to their whims and desires and are not true slaves of Allah. They say that they are slaves of Allah, but when they are tested they turn on their heels and lose out in this world and in the Hereafter, and that is an evident loss.

2 – Trials prepare the believers to prevail on earth.

It was said to Imam al-Shafa’i (may Allah have mercy on him): Which is better, patience or tests or prevailing? He said: Prevailing is the level attained by the Prophets, and there can be no prevailing except after trials. If a person is tried he will become patient, and if he remains patient he will prevail.

3 – Expiation of sins

Al-Tirmidhi narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Trials will continue to befall the believing man or woman in himself, his child and his wealth until he meets Allah with no sin on him.”

4 – Attainment of reward and a rise in status

Muslim narrated that Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The believer is not harmed by a thorn or anything greater, but Allah will raise him in status thereby, or erase a sin thereby.”

5 – Calamities provide an opportunity to think about one's faults and shortcomings and past mistakes.

6 – Calamity is a lesson in Tawheed, faith and trust in Allah.

It shows us in a practical sense who we really are, so we will realize that we are a weak slave, and we have no strength and no power except with our Lord, then we will put our trust in Him in a true sense, and will turn to Him in a true sense, and put aside our position, pride, arrogance, self-admiration and heedlessness, and we will understand that we are poor and in need of our Lord, and we are weak and need to turn to the Most Strong, the Almighty, may He be glorified.

7 – Calamities drive out self-admiration from our hearts and bring them closer to Allah.

Ibn al-Qayyim said in Zaad al-Ma’aad (3/477), "In His wisdom, Allah decreed that the Muslims should first taste the bitterness of defeat, despite their great numbers and adequate equipment and strength, so as to humble some people who felt proud."

8 – To demonstrate the true nature of people, for there are people whose virtue is unknown until calamity strikes

Al-Fudayl ibn Iyad said, "As long as people are doing fine, their true nature is concealed, but when calamity strikes, their true natures are revealed, so the believer resorts to his faith and the hypocrite resorts to his hypocrisy."

9 – Calamities strengthen people’s resolve.

Allah chose for His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) a hard life filled with all kinds of hardship from a young age, in order to prepare him for the great mission that awaited him, which none could bear but the strongest of men, who have gone through hardship and who are tested with calamities and bear them with patience.

10 – Another reason behind calamities and hardship is that a person becomes able to distinguish between true friends and friends who only have their own interests at heart.

11 – Calamities remind us of our sins so that we can repent from them.

Calamities offer an opportunity to repent before the greater punishment comes on the Day of Resurrection. If life continues to be easy, a person may become conceited and arrogant, and think that he has no need of Allah, so by His mercy He tests people so that they may return to Him.

12 – Calamities show you the true nature of this world and its transience, and that it is temporary conveniences, and shows us that true life is that which is beyond this world, in a life in which there is no sickness or exhaustion.

13 – Calamities remind us of the great blessings of good health and ease.

Calamity shows us in the clearest way the meaning of health and ease that we enjoyed for many years, but did not taste their sweetness or appreciate them fully. Calamities remind us of blessings and the One Who bestows them, and cause us to thank and praise Allah for His blessings.

14 – Longing for Paradise

We will never long for Paradise until we taste the bitterness of this world. How can we long for Paradise when we are content with this world?

"Wisdom Behind Calamities" - Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid