How often do we feel that life’s burdens are just too much for us to bear and we’ve reached our threshold? How often when we are tested and tried in succession do we feel like giving up? Our faith dwindles and we are shaken to such an extent that we even go to the extent of questioning the justice of Allah Ta’ala (May Allah Ta’ala protect us from such actions).

However whatever befalls us no matter how severe and how frequently, is only a decree of Allah Ta’ala that has come to pass. Outwardly it bears hurt, pain, grief and sorrow, but because it is the will of our Creator, the outcome can be nothing but good. This we will only see much later in life. The story below should serve as a beacon of hope and encouragement for us to continue moving forward no matter how tough the road ahead gets! Furthermore when we read the story below we will realise that in comparison our troubles are but small! As a result we should be more grateful that Allah Ta’ala has not tested us so severely.

Hadrat Abul-Hassan Siraj Rahmatul Laahi Alaihi said, “One day I set out for the performance of pilgrimage (Hajj). As I was making a circuit (Tawwaf) around the Holy Ka’ba, I happened to see a fair-faced woman. I said to myself, By God! I have never seen a woman with such beauty before. Perhaps she has all this beauty on account of her not having suffered any grief or sorrow.” She happened to overhear my statement and said, “What did you say? By Allah Ta’ala! I am immersed and saturated in grief and my heart is afflicted with adversities and misfortunes of which only Allah Ta’ala and I know of. To top this up, there is no one to share with me the pangs of grief and pain that I suffer.”

I asked her, “What has happened to you?” She replied, “Once my husband slaughtered a goat. My two small children were playing with each other and another was in my lap. As I got up, one of the children said to the other, “Shall I show you how our father slaughtered the goat?” The other replied in the affirmative. Consequently, he laid his brother on the ground and killed him like a goat exactly like how his father had done.

Sensing what had happened, He fled on account of fear and climbed up a mountain where a wolf devoured him. His father went out in search of him and, during the course of his quest, he died due to the intensity of thirst.

I left the infant to sit and went towards the door of the house. The infant then crawled to the fire upon which the earthen pot was hung. As soon as he touched it, it fell and scalded him so severely that his flesh was removed from the bones.

I had one daughter left who was married. When she came to hear of these successive tragedies, she fell unconscious and died leaving me all alone.”

Shocked by this I asked her, “How did you bear all these misfortunes?” She said, “A person who would ponder over patience and impatience, would see much difference between them. The reward for patience is great and for impatience, there is no reward.” Then, she recited the following three couplets which read: “I endured because endurance is the best thing to rely upon. If any advantage could be obtained by impatience, I would have adopted it. I endured many a misfortune, misfortunes of such intensity that if they were to have fallen on a mountain, it would have been reduced to dust. I have exercised full control over my emotions and never shed a tear. Now they are falling in my heart.”

My only consolation is that this is the decree of my Allah. I have no other option but to be accepting of the divine decree whilst I am hopeful of the great and tremendous rewards reserved for those who exercise patience in the face of adversity! This is my elixir for the beauty you see!

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