Every ayah in the Quran is important as it is the word of Allah but then there are some ayat which touch us particularly depending on our state of mind and situation. It sometimes happens that we are going through a certain scenario and we randomly hear an ayah being recited or read an ayah that somehow gives an answer to our worry or if not soothes the heart and mind regarding that worry.
When there is no one there for us, it is as if the Quran comes to speak and console us in our time of need. If you think you were alone in experiencing this then you’ve never been more wrong. Problem is we think of Quran as a book because that’s how we have always seen it. But the Quran didn’t come down as a book. Rather it come down in bits and pieces over 23 years depending on the situation faced by our beloved Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم. What we stumble upon in the Quran that helps us subconsciously used to happen to him in actuality and consciously. The Quran used to be revealed as an answer, support, reassurance, upliftment, confidence and a booster throughout our Prophet’s صلى الله عليه وسلم mission.
Keeping this point in mind we move on and read the hadith of Aisha رضي الله عنها where she described the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم as, “His character was just (a reflection of) the Quran.” [Sahih Muslim]
Coming to the crux of the matter, we focus on one ayah
Verily with hardships/difficulties comes ease – [Surah AshSharh]
This is I guess one of the most widely shared ayah on Muslim Internet (yeah that’s a thing). I had just read this ayah on a large poster before I started reading on of the Seerah books going indepth into the life of Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم. From the beginning of the book till the very end this ayah kept popping up. not in text but in essence. Wallahi it blew my mind away. It was like tadabbur but of the Seerah. I could go on and on and if we focus on the lives of the sahaba and the first 3 genereations I think this would become a whole book in its own. Though there are countless incidents I’ll try and point out a few incidents that stand out from the Seerah specifically InshaAllah.
1. Arabia before the Prophet
The Arab society was engrossed in evil acts and had completely moved away from the religion of Ibrahim عليه السلام by worshipping idols and burying their daughters alive to name just a few acts. They had hit rock bottom of darkness which had engulfed the world since Isa عليه السلام. Though the highlight generally is Arabia but it was the world at large experiencing this darkness. It was at this point of difficulty for the world that the light of mercy shone and Allah sent Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم to tear away darkness.
2. Oppression against Abdul Mutallib
Abdul Mutallib the grandfather of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم came from Madinah to Makkah with his uncle. The people thought he was a slave of Al Mutallib and when Al Mutallib passed away his relatives in Makkah tried to usurp him. Not only did Allah aid him by helping him overpower and regain his rights but he also blessed Abdul Mutallib to find the well of Zamzam hence highlighting his status with the Quraish. From mistaken to be a slave to being established the leader of the Quraish.
3. The Passing of Abdul Mutallib and Aminah
Being left an orphan with not much to his name scholars say was a key point to take note of. Here Allah was teaching our Prophet humility, being down to Earth, not letting the tribal pride get to him, understanding the pain of the poor, needy and orphans and much more. He grew up living the life of a shepherd. Along with all these life lessons we see that Allah blessed him صلى الله عليه وسلم with a marriage to our mother Khadija رضي الله عنها who at that time was a rich businesswoman, sought after by the creme de la creme of the men around her who despite all that chose to marry him. He صلى الله عليه وسلم because of this honest and truthfulness lessons would stop bloodshed amongst the Quraish and get the honour of replacing the black stone in its place when it was being reconstructed following in the footsteps of Ibrahim عليه السلام.
4. Abu Lahab Abusing the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم
When the Prophet lost his second son, Abu Lahab لعنت اللہ came and instead of fulfilling his responsibilities as an uncle, the dog of hell fire called the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, “the man cut off with offspring” or he whose bloodline has been cut off and there will be no one to carry on his name. Allah blessed our the Prophet’s name by:
Mentioning it in the Quran and making it as a tent of faith which will be read and memorized till the end of the world.
Muslims would name thier children after their Prophet so much so that it would become one of the most popular names in the world.
Xazillion books mentioning and glorifying his name would be written.
A part of the adhan, that is continously being called around not just Arabia but the whole wide world proclaiming his name.
Well Allah didn’t forget Abu Lahab لعنت اللہ either. He immortalized his curse against him by cursing him in the Quran which will be recited till the end of the world.
5. Oppression Against Muslims
Muslims were being oppressed left right and center. Not only this but the Prophet’s clan was boycotted. After all such difficulties in practicing their deen, Allah blessed them with the conversion of Hamza Ibn AbdulMutallib and Umar Ibn Al0Khattab رضي الله عنهم. For the first time Muslims would be able to pray at the Kabah. This eventually would open doors of migration to Abyssinia and Madinah.
6. Passing away of Abu Talib and Khadija رضي الله عنها
This occurred at a very bad time. People were rejecting our Prophet, his followers were being persecuted and then he was tested with the passing away of the closest of his family. This period was termed as the Year of Grief. He was rejected by the people of Taif and stoned till he bled.
It was in this period that Allah blessed our Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم by taking him from Masjid AlHaram to Masjid Al Aqsa in a night. He had his heart washed clean by Jibreel عليه السلام . He led all the Prophets in prayer as their Imam. He was raised and given a VIP tour of heaven. He was allowed to a point close to Allah that even Angel Jibreel عليه السلام was not allowed to access. He was given the gift of Salat and ayat from the base of the tree that grew under the throne of Allah (Last 2 ayah of Surah AlBaqarah). On his descent eventually he was given permission to migrate to Madinah.
7. Life in Madinah
When the Prophet came to Madinah the weather was bad and in general the Muhajirun could not adapt to it. They were missing home. For nearly 18 months Muslims prayed towards AlAqsa but didn’t say a word of complain as it was a command from Allah. Once their submission was complete we see Allah reveal verses of the change of qiblah to the Kabah which was respected, loved by the Muhajirun and a sign of worship for all Arabs. Not only this but Allah blessed the weather and living conditions. Yathrib had become Madinah. Our Rabb not only satisfied the sahaba physically but also mentally and spiritually.
8. Battle of Badr and Uhud
The first main battle fought by the Muslims was at Badr. Muslims marched out to battle the Quraish with naught but belief in their hearts while the Quraish were thrice their number and better armed. They are tested and Allah is pleased with them. He sends down rain to bless them and along with the rain comes an army of angels who routed the Quraish. Allah blessed victory to Muslims that would instill respect for them in the surrounding areas and keep at bay the Jews around Madinah.
In Uhud, it was revenge time for the Quraish. The Muslims were winning but seeing the booty of war they disobeyed the commands of their Prophet and Allah tested them severely. Many sahaba lost their lives. Eventually they realized the error of their ways and rallied around the Messenger. Allah blessed the Muslims with an important lesson and another hard fought victory.
9. The Hudaibiyah Treaty
Hudaibiyah was indeed a turning point for Islam. At face value it looked like a defeat where Muslims were turned back from doing Umrah and were subject to harsh conditions in the treaty. It was very difficult for the Sahaba to accept.
Those who were sent back to Makkah as per the treaty turned into callers for Islam. In this period of peace people began to see the success and understand the message of Islam and became Muslim. A treaty that was thought to reduce Muslim numbers by sending people back to Makkah was now bringing people from Makkah. This was the time that Allah blessed Islam with the acceptance of Khalid Ibn Walid. I don't need to even write how great a blessing this would turn out to be. This treaty further allowed the message of Islam to spread like nothing before even beyond the borders of Arabia. This treat in the long run would lead up to conquering Makkah itself. From not being able to perform one Umrah to being the champions of Makkah. Allah had indeed provided relief to the Muslims.
10. Battle of Hunain
After conquering Makkah, the Prophet and his army set out for Hunain. Nearly 13,000 in number no one in Arabia could match this kind of force. Some sahaba got overconfident and said we surely cannot be defeated now due to our numbers. Allah tested them by giving the enemy the upper hand and the Muslim army was being routed. The Muslims realized their mistake and pleaded Allah for help. Allah eventually blessed them with victory after they had learnt of the ills of boasting. Muslim armies would go on to conquer Taif and eventually the whole of Arabia would accept the message of Islam.
From a man being mocked in the valley of Makkah with no followers to becoming the greatest leader and man to walk the face of the Earth with people swarming around him as far as the eye could see.
From a man having no family to man whose name would be held onto till the end of the world and loved by his Ummah more than they love their own parents.
From opening eyes in a period of idolatry to closing his eyes seeing them bow down to Allah.
From darkness to light – From hardship to relief.
Indeed the promise of Allah is true.
Lesson – If Allah tests us, then there is infinite wisdom behind it which we cannot comprehend but one thing that we know for sure is that its always for our own good. Maybe Allah is testing us so that we may be ready for something greater, teaching us or making us able to appreciate a blessing once we get it.
You may be hurt and you may not see the plan of Allah but sooner or later its all going to work out in ways you would never have imagined and that mind would never have comprehended. Tawakkul and dua are from the most beautiful things in Islam.
Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty, ailments and were shaken. [Surah Al Baqarah]
Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear. [Surah Al Baqarah]
Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest. [Surah ArRa’d]
Verily, if Allah loves a people, He makes them go through trials. [Tirmidhi]
and ofcourse the most important one
Verily with hardships/difficulties comes ease [Surah AshSharh]
Hang in there. Indeed the promise of Allah is true.
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