Earth Quakes, Tsunamis etc...

How does Islam Views the Human Sufferings that Result from Natural Disasters.

Put together by: Saeed AbdulRahim E-Mail : Islamic_wisdom@yahoo.co.uk

Index
This Article Consists of the Following Parts. 1. Introduction
2. GOD- 2.1 Decree of GOD 2.2 Dominion of GOD 2.3 Our Short memory 2.4

Death, -The Islamic Concept 2.5 GOD’s Promise of Resurrection.
3. Encapsulation of the Islamic View on the Human Sufferings resulting from

Natural Disasters.
3.1 TRIALS set by by God-3.2 Purpose for Creation; 3.3 Trials- a Pre-

Requisite to Paradise; 3.4 Bestowal of Grace-also a Trial; 3.5 Things that we will be Tried in; 3.6 GOD Who Causes / Allows Whole Communities to be Decimated Can Recreate them Again to the Exactitude of their Finger-Prints.; 3.7 Prophets Who were Tried-Prophets in general; Prophet Mohammad – Prophet Issa - Prophet Moosa [Moses ]- Prophet Abraham - Prophet Dawood [David] – Prophet Ayyub [Job] – Prophet Yousef [Joseph] - Saul
4. Patience in Adversity- 4.1 In Awe of God 4.2.GOD is with those Who are

Patient in Adversity; 4.3 Taffakur- The Importance of Reflection; 4.4 The Truly Pious and the Truly Devout?; 4.5 What Do You Think?; 4.6 The Future Belongs to The GOD Conscious; 4.7 Being deeply Grateful to GOD; 4.8 Patience even in an Argument / Debate; 4.9 Repel Evil with Some Thing that is Good and Wholesome; 4.10 GOD’s Promise of Resurrection; 4.11 The Decline of Faith;

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More on Patience in Adversity 4.12 We will be tested through “One Another”; 4.13 GOD Gives us Strength to Endure Adversity 4.14 Gardens of Bliss and Garments of Silk 4.15 Enjoining One Another to be Patient in Adversity
5. Requirement to be Patient in Adversity. 5.1 Addressing Human beings

in General 5.2 Addressing Believers Specifically. 5.3 Vying To Show Patience in Adversity 5.4 Preventing our Spirits and Moral Strengths from Deserting Us 5.5 GOD is the Best of ALL Judges 5.6 Moral lessons to be drawn from the Stories of the past 5.7 GOD takes notes of even small little things 5.8 Believers should Not seek a speedy doom for those who are bent upon denying the truth.
6. Rewards for showing Patience in Adversity 6.1 Basic Pre-requisite for

Rewards; 6.2 who are the Rewards for? ; 6.3 What are the Rewards for? ; 6.4 Various Kinds of Rewards Ratio of Rewards ; 6.5 Gardens with Rivers Flowing Beneath 6.6 Reward Beyond All Reckoning 6.7 Triumph 6.8 Ratio of Rewards to Deeds 6.9 Are the Deeds Lost upon Death?; 6.10 Rewards for the “People of the Books”
7. Apostles who were Patient in Adversity 7.1 All the Apostles; 7.2 Moses;

7.3 David; 7.4 Noah; 7.5 Joseph 7.6 Ayoub (Job) 7.7 ISHMAEL AND IDRIS 7.8 Jonah (Younus) 8. Notable Relevant Islamic Notions 8.1 Islamic Concept of time 8.2 God Created things in Pairs 8.3 Stability Provided by Mountains as pegs 8.4 When will The Hour be established? – 14 signs from the Hadith

1. Introduction: This Article is not in any way a definitive answer to the Question i.e. “How does Islam Views The Human Sufferings that Result from Natural Disasters Like Earth Quakes, Tsunamis etc?”, but it is a humble attempt to pull together some of the range of textual references drawing mainly from the two main sources The Quran and the Hadith, and examining them for the purpose of our query. Methodology When researching a subject or running an enquiry about a matter, the widely accepted Islamic wisdom is not to pick just one reference from the sources and then run away with it thereby shredding to pieces the context of that quotation, but instead, the methodology should be to collect together all the possible references from the various resources, The Quran and Hadith being the two
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main sources, and then studying them all together in a combined way in order to reach an educated and informed conclusion.

2. GOD
2.1 Decree of GOD. When wondering about the decrees of GOD in the wake of natural disasters and devastations like Earthquakes, Tsunamis etc one must reflect upon them in the context of GOD’s entire Cosmos and His Limitless Powers to Re-Create communities Again right down to the very fine details of their fingerprints, and not only this, but that, we must also reflect upon the harmony and balance that exist elsewhere in the rest of the Cosmos and think also of GOD’s Mercy on the rest of His creations that Preceeds and Overwhelms His wrath. An Expression that “God Has Willed Upon Himself the Law of Grace and Mercy” has appeared in the Quran at least twice1We must therefore view GOD’s decrees which may appear to an un-reflecting mind as Him playing out the role of an Avenger but we must view this in the light of Him being The Most Merciful not forgetting also His contention that His Mercy Preceeds His Wrath and His Pardon Preceeds His displeasure. Therefore those who speak about GOD should not dishearten people with talk of punishment all the time NOR should servants of GOD who may have transgressed against their own souls despair of His Mercy, for GOD is Oft-Forgiving and MOST MERCIFUL.2 Peace. The word Peace has appeared many times in the Quran and is a standard form of Muslim greeting. However, it has a spiritual connotation comprising the concepts of Ethical Soundness, Security from all that is Evil and Freedom from all Moral Conflict and disquiet3 Dependence on GOD: The Quran affirms emphatically that there is no creature with soul on earth that does not depends on GOD for it’s sustenance, and so complete is GOD’s knowledge of and over every thing that He knows the time-limit on earth of every living creature and also knows it’s resting-place (both temporary and permanent) after death; all of which is laid down in a clear record of His Decree.4 God continuously reminds us of our dependence on Him in order to test us, to see which one of us is best in deeds, not that God does not already knows, but
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Quran 6:12; 6:54 Quran 39:53 M. Assad’s Note to his translation of verse 6:54 of the Quran at www.islamicity.com Quran 11:6 (M. Asad’s translation of the Quran at www.islamicity.com)

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this is for the benefit of our own argumentative minds so that on The Day of Judgement we will have no excuses left to argue. 2.2 Dominion of God. The Dominion of God is not limited to just China, Chile, Haiti, Kashmir Thailand or Aceh, but in includes many planets, some several times bigger than our earth, and many Galaxies each consisting of millions of stars, and when, frequently entire Galaxies pass through each other without any cataclysmic accident occurring as a result of such Gigantic galactic movements, all pointing to a Supremo who is controlling all of the Cosmos and all other Creation, keeping everything in their proper perspectives and in due balance. Therefore, when we are affected or afflicted by some Natural Disaster we should see it in the context of its position relative to the rest of God’s Cosmos and Creation and not act as if this world is the only one and only about us. In a Chapter called “Dominion”, The Quran Says that “Blessed be He in Whose
hands is Dominion; and He over all things hath Power;- He Who created Death and Life, that He may try which one of us is best in deed: and He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving.5 What is interesting here is that God is talking about Death First, and then, does He talks about Life. This highlights the notion carried in many faiths, that there is Life after Death. Islam maintains that, that Life in the Hereafter is Permanent through the oft repeated assertion, repeated at least 14 times in The Quran, that the Life of the Hereafter will abide for ever.6 Thus, with this realisation that present Life is only temporary, chances are that we will then be able to better bear Divine Trials, Tests and Tribulations by Submitting to GOD’s Will with Patience.

2.3 Our Short Memory –
We allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by Grief and Sorry When struck by some disaster, but we quickly forget GOD’s uncountable favours spread over vast areas of our lives. The Quran frequently reminds us of How Quickly “man” forgets the favours of GOD. Here the generic term "man" primarily, to the agnostics who are either unconvinced of the existence of God or are "bent upon denying the truth"; in its wider implication, however, it applies also to those who, while believing in God, are weak in faith and therefore easily swayed by external circumstances, and particularly by whatever happens to themselves.7 GOD reminds us in the Quran of How He lets human beings taste some of His Grace and then takes them away from us, and this may be disappointing to GOD, that when that happens, “man abandons all hope” forgetting to be Grateful to God for all his past favours.8
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Quran 67:1,2 Quran : 2:39, 81-82,257 / 3: 107, 116 / 7:36,42 / 10:26-27 / 11:23 / 13:5 / 23:11 / 58:17 M. Asad’s Note 16 to his translation of the Quran 11:9

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What is meant here by the term “man abandons all hope” is that he is or becomes utterly hopeless and despairing, a condition described by the Quranic Term “Ya’us” inasmuch as he attributes his past happy state to a merely accidental chain of causes and effects-in short, to what is commonly regarded as "luck"-and not to God's grace. Hence, the term Ya’us, in its Qur'anic usage, is indicative of spiritual nihilism.9 GOD then tells us about a slightly different situation, that instead of being faced with disaster after feeling Grace, there is another situation in which after hardships a man faces “Ease and Plenty” and quite often when that happens man is bound to exclaim that he is “free from all afflictions” thus engaging in vain exultation and glorifying himself claiming credit for achievements which were enabled only by GOD10 The above may be the case with most people, however, those who are patient in adversity and do righteous deeds, then, GOD tells us in The Quran, that for such people; Forgiveness of sins and a Great Reward awaits them11

2.4 Death the Islamic Concept:
In Islam “Death” is Not “The End” of everything, but it is merely a stepping stone or a means to the ultimate end of the Hereafter. Every Soul shall Taste of Death says the Quran on at least three occasions.12 With the exception of one soul, that of Jesus (Issa Son-of-Mary) which has not tasted of death “Yet”, but, even He shall eventually taste of Natural Death subsequent to his second coming.13 One word of caution here though with regards to the Permanence of the Hereafter, and that is that Life then can range from everlasting Bliss in Paradise to Ever Lasting Damnation in the Hell Fire. Where one is stationed in this range will depend on God’s Mercy and the abundance of our Good Deeds done in the temporary Life of this world. Such is the Importance of TRIALS in Islam that a chapter of the Quran is titled AlMumtahinah – the Examined one14

2.5 GOD’s Promise of Resurrection Those who worry if they perish in a Natural disaster, would that be the end of every thing? Should take heart from a Quranic assertion that GOD’s Promise of Resurrection is true indeed, and therefore, we should not allow our minds to be disquieted by those who are devoid of all inner certainty that Resurrection will happen.15 God is with those who are Patient in Adversity
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Quran 11:9 M. Asad’s Note 17 to his translation of of Quran 11:9 Quran 11:10 Quran 11: 11 Quran: 3:185 / 21:35 / 29:57 Hadith Quoted in the book Fateh-ul Bari page 304 and 305 Vol7 Chapter No. 60 of the Quran Quran 30:60

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3. Encapsulation.
In my humble opinion, the entire ethos of Islamic Response in the face of Adversities, Calamities, Death, and Disasters etc is best encapsulated by Three Specific Verses of the Quran which talk First... about the inevitable Trial by means of Danger, Hunger, Loss of Worldly Goods, Loss of Lives AND Loss of Labour’s Fruits, and,

Secondly That these verses then Talk about the Expectation that God has from the People Who are afflicted with such Disasters, and what that Divine Expectation says to such people is that they should show “Patience in Adversity” and say in response to their Afflictions that “We have indeed come from God and Indeed to Him is Our Return.”16 Thirdly Then thirdly, these specific verses Give the Good News to those who fulfil the above condition, a promise that they will then be bestowed with their Sustainers’ Blessings and Grace and with a further additional benefit in the form of a confirmation, that, such People are indeed on the Right Path.17 Let us therefore look at these elements of TRIAL, PATIENCE in Adversity and the Reward of Blessings and Grace in some detail. 3.1 TRIALs Set by GOD... There are nearly 54 Verses of The Quran dealing with the subjects of Trials and Tests. And, In any examination of why a TRIAL has been set, we must first look at the purpose of that Trial, with the Islamic notion that Our Tests and Trails from GOD are to Test us for our resolve to submit to God and our resolve to being Patient whilst these Tests are being made. Flee to GOD: Prophet Mohammad (saw) is asked to urge People to Flee unto GOD from ALL that is False and Evil, and is further asked to URGE them Not to ascribe Divinity to anything besides God with the description that those who do so are regarded by GOD as people with Overwhelming Arrogance.18 These
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Quran 2:156 Quran 2: 155-157 Quran 51:55

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instructions being a Test of Obedience Not only to GOD but also to the Prophet for The Quran say Obey GOD and the Messenger.19 3.2 Purpose of Creation It is the Overwhelming Arrogance which Quran refers to, that causes people to ignore the Purpose of their Creation20 which is best explained as thus, that..... The innermost purpose of the creation of all rational beings is their Cognition of the existence of God, and the Arabic word that comes closest in definition to the English word Cognition is Marifah. Human beings and Genies and all those created with a soul, must show a willingness to conform their existence to their perception of God’s Will and Plan. Variations in this perception are what give rise to the differing levels of Piety. The cognition of God’s existence combined with the willingness to conform to the Divine Will and Plan gives the deepest meaning to the Islamic concept of Worship. The call to worship however, does not arise from any need on the part of GOD who is self-sufficient21 but is designed to be an instrument of self-surrender to the all-pervading Divine Will, in the hope that the worshipper may hope to come closer to an understanding of the Divine Will, and thereby come closer to God Himself22 Therefore, Those who Knowingly, Deliberately and Obstinately Persist in denying the Purpose of their creation and the call to worship GOD and continue to ascribe partners to God, which they have been asked by God Himself Not to do so, are deemed to have Failed in the Trials mentioned in The Quran and referred to above, trials which may take the form of Dangers, Loss, Depravation and Adversity that GOD has been setting for us. Only GOD knows what Punishments await those who do not take heed or draw lessons from the Trials.
Trials are imposed upon those created with a soul such as Human Beings and Genies so that God may reward the truthful worshippers for having been steadfast and true to their word, and these trials cause the hypocrites to suffer –But if the hypocrites repent, and if it be God’s Will, God can accept their repentance: for, verily, God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!23
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Quran 5:92, 64:12 Quran 51:56 Quran 2:263 Note 38 to Quran 51:56 translation by M. Asad at www.islamicity.com Quran 33:24

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3.3 TRIALS a Pre-Requisite to Paradise. God rhetorically says that “do you think that you could enter Paradise without having gone through some suffering in this life on earth.???”. He then reminds us of the Misfortune and Hardships that befell Believers of the earlier generations who were so shaken by their sufferings that, they and the Apostle cried out: “When will God’s Help Come?-But indeed, The Quran assures us that God’s Succour is always near!24

3.4 Bestowal of Grace can also be a Trial. The Quran gives a very interesting contrast between man’s different reactions to afflictions and his reactions to Grace from GOD. When afflictions befall men, they usually cry unto GOD for help, however, when GOD bestows some boon or Grace upon the same person he arrogates himself and says in exultation that such blessings are by virtue of his own wisdom, but The Quran insists that such bestowal of Grace is also often come as a Trial, and laments that most men do not understand this.25 3.5 Things That We Will we be TRIED In? Trials Will be by means of (1)Danger,

(2)Hunger, (3)Loss of Wordly Goods, (4)Loss of Lives (5) Loss of Labour’s Fruits, (6) Hurtful things said by others (7) Game and Gain that may have tantalisingly come within reach of our hands26 (8) By means of One Another by giving material possessions to those who are Not Grateful to God whilst keeping us in suspense27, (9) By way of what God has bestowed upon us in terms of Character, Strength, Knowledge, Social Position, Wealth etc28(10) By means of our own iniquitous doings29(11) By way of our worldly goods and our children as temptations30(12) By Testing us Year in Year Out31(13) Bt Frequent reminders of our dependence on GOD32(14) By means of the Spinning of Yarns and the deceiving by others using their oaths33(15) By the story of the Ascension of The Prophet(saw) and by the Tree of Hell cursed in the Quran34(16)
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Quran 2:214 Quran 39:49 Quran 5 :94 Quran 6:53 Quran 6:165; M. Asad’s Translators Note; www.islamicity.com Quran 7:163 Quran 8:28 ; 64 :15 Quran 9:126 Quran 11:7 Quran 16 :92 Quran 17:60

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By means of All Beauty on Earth35(17) By means of delay in God’s Judgement36(17) By sending “mortal men” as Messengers37(18) By GOD Willing us to struggle38(19) By putting to TEST all our assertions39(20) By making us a plaything by those who are bent upon denying the Truth40 (21) Through Death and Life41(22) By creating us from Sperm intermingled with the female ovum42 3.6 GOD Who causes / Allows Whole Communities to be decimated can recreate them again to the Exactitude of Our Finger-Prints. Similitude is given in The Quran about a man who passed by a hamlet and saw it in utter ruins and total destruction, and wondered, how can GOD bring back to life a Community that has been given such complete death? GOD then caused this man to die as well, and kept him in the state of death and sleep for 100 years thus. Resurrecting him after a century, GOD asked this man, “How long do you think you have been asleep?” the man replied, “perhaps a day or a part of it!!!”-GOD told him that, No, Not for a day or two, but that you have been in this state for 100 years. GOD then asked that man to look at his Food and Drink, and both appeared fresh as if the passage of time and age had not touched them. So, whilst GOD kept that man in a state of Death for 100 years, miraculously, He kept that man’s Food and Drink fresh as ever for that time-showing that GOD has Power of giving Death and Freshness and Sustenance to whomever and to whatever He wishes. Then as a further demonstration of His Power and Majesty over every thing, GOD asked that man to gaze at his donkey, and lo and behold!, that man’s donkey who had also experienced death for a 100 years slowly began to re-form and re-shape with his bones restructuring back to the state they were in 100 years ago, flesh forming around the bones again and all being re-clothed in the skin that was on him before, and all his limbs and senses returned.

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Quran 18:7 Quran 21:111 Quran 25 :20 Quran 47:4 Quran 47:31 Quran 60:5 Quran 67 :2 Quran 76:2

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GOD’s recreation of the above was meant as a Sign Post for All People to come, of his Majesty and Power to recreate even after the most utter of destruction. No Wonder then, that when the man saw himself and his donkey re-created just like that whilst his food and drink were kept fresh all the while, submitted to GOD’s Will, Power and Majesty and admitted by saying that I know that ALLAH hath Power Over All THINGS..!!!43 So Thorough is GODS’s re-creation of souls, and this recreation of His is to such a fine degree of exactitude, that we are told that we will all be put together in perfect order to the point of having exactly the same finger-prints44. We are also told of the debate that Prophet Ibrahim (Biblical = Abraham, peace be upon him) had with Pharaoh whence Ibrahim referred to GOD’s power to give life and death. In arrogance, Pharaoh claimed that he also grants life and death referring to the powers that he had assumed to spare the life of whosoever he lets to live and send to the gallows any one he wishes, to which, Ibrahim retorted, but it is ALLAH who causes the Sun to rise from the East, and then he threw the gauntlet at Pharaoh by challenging him to get the Sun to rise from the West, instead.?!45 Abrahams’ (Prophet Ibrahim) own spiritual development and His Firm belief in GOD’s Power to recreate after death came after an exchange with GOD in which he asked GOD to show him “How He gives life after death?” GOD then set Ibrahim an assignment whereby he was asked to take four birds and train them to respond to his summons. And, after they were trained, he was asked to chop them into several pieces and shuffle those pieces thoroughly. He was then asked to put a portion of those shuffled pieces on the various hills around. Then Ibrahim was asked to address those thoroughly mixed and shuffled pieces and summon those birds as if they were originally, and, Lo and behold, just as he summoned them, those birds reformed with each chopped up piece going back to its original bird, and the reformed-birds came flying to him with speed. The above incident as told in the Quran serves as guidance and a reminder to all who believe, of ALLAH being exalted in Power, Wise.46 3.7 Prophets who were Tried
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Quran 2: 259 Quran 75:4 Quran 2:258 Quran 2: 260

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Prophets in General: Prophet Mohammad(saw) is told in The Quran that GOD has never sent as His Messengers any but Mortal Men who indeed ate food like all other human beings and went about life trading and performing as other human beings only to Test us, the followers of those Messengers to see how well we are able to endure this test, and to test people’s moral perceptions and dispositions as manifested in their reactions to the Prophets’ message i.e. their willingness or otherwise to accept it on the basis of it’s intrinsic merit without demanding or expecting any supernatural proof of it’s origin. God then reminds us that Our Sustainers’ is Truly All-Seeing.47 The Quran tells us about how Apostles of earlier times were tested for their resolve by being put in situations where they were labelled as liars, but they endured all the hurt done to them and the charges of falsehood levelled against them till succour from their Lord came to them as promised for there is No Power that could prevent the Promise of GOD’s succour from coming true.48 Prophet Mohammad: Persecution, threats, actual physical harm, hunger through laying of blockades and sieges, tribal and family pressures through abandonment were the standard lot of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and his companions during the early days of Muslims in Mecca. Gradual enhancement of persecutions forced them to leave Mecca and emigrate* to Medina where they established themselves into an expanded community regained their strengths and came back to liberate Mecca. *Some Oreintalist writers on the history of Islam have referred to this emigration as a “Flight to Medina” when in actual fact it was an emigration rather than a flight planned a couple of years ahead and executed in several stages. In the first stage a small band of Muslims were sent to Abyssinia where they found Asylum under the protection of Emperor Negashi. Some other Muslims were then asked to gradually and surreptitiously emigrate in dribs and drabs to Medina. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) himself was invited to emigrate by the Medinans whom he met in secret rendezvous on two separate occasions over a year negotiating terms, and when these were agreed, he was one of the last to leave Mecca and emigrate to Medina. Prophet Issa (Biblical = Jesus) Son-of-Mary The Trials faced by Issa Son-of-Mary begin from the time of his birth with the awesome calumny uttered against his mother Mary. This then expanded into overstepping the bounds of truth in people’s religious beliefs whereby Issa (Jesus) was assigned a part in Trinity with him being assigned son ship of God.

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Quran 25:20 and M. Assad’s Note in his translation as on www.islamicity.com Quran 6:34

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People are asked to desist from such assignments for God is described as being utterly remote in His Majesty and Glory from having a son49 GOD then consoles Issa (Jesus) by saying to him that He will raise him (Issa) upto Himself and cleanse him of all the falsehoods attributed to him by those who blaspheme. GOD then promises Issa (Jesus) that He will make those who follow him (rather than the followers of the Christianity attributed to Paul50) superior to those who reject faith till the day of Resurrection. GOD then tells all of us that we shall all return to Him and that He will judge between us on matters where in we have disputes.51 Prophet Moses: Moses and his people were ALSO put to an awesome Trial from their Sustainer52 through Pharaoh’s people who subjected them to cruel torture by slaughtering their male born children and sparing their women. The story of the suffering of the Israelites during their bondage in Egypt, their deliverance through Moses and the destruction of Pharaoh and his hosts and GOD’s promises of His blessings On the Israelites for their Patience in Adversity are mentioned in The Quran53 Prophet Abraham: Abraham was ALSO subjected to what may appear to be an extreme Trial by His Lord through His Commandments of sacrificing the thing most beloved to Abraham in the way of God, which Abraham duly set out to fulfil, but which, being meant only as a Test and a Trial of Abraham’s resolve to obey God, was switched at the last moment to a symbolic sacrifice of a lamb.54
Prophet Dawood (Biblical = David). The Quran frequently guides us USING the examples of various Prophets (peace be upon them All), and one such Prophet mentioned in the Quran is Dawood (Biblical = David) who was endowed with tremendous inner strength which he used to good effect by always turning to GOD at times of Trials, Tests and Tribulations, and though his example ALLAH (swt) urges us in The Quran to be Patient in response to whatever the disbelievers might say.55 Prophet Ayyub (Biblical = Job)

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M. Asad’s Translation of Quran 4:171 “The First Christian-St. Paul’s Contribution to Christianity” – by Karen Armstrong Quran 3:55 Quran 2:49 ; 7 :141 Quran 7:137 Quran 2:124 Quran 38:17

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Prophet Ayyub had been afflicted with an Illness that struck him for nearly 40 years, a story commonly told in the Bible and The Quran albeit with slightly differing angles. In the words of the Bible (The Book of Job ii,9) Job’s wife reproached him for persevering in his faith and cursed The Divine ostensibly at the behest of the Devil. Commentators of the Quranic verses relating to Prophet Ayyubs’ (Job) story as above, have narrated Prophet Ayyubs’ (Job’s) response to that insult, by swearing that if GOD would restore him to health, then he would punish his wife’s blasphemy with a hundred stripes. But when he did recover, he bitterly regretted his hasty oath, for he surmised that his wife’s blasphemy was an outcome of her love and pity for him; and there upon he was told in a revelation that he could fulfil his wow by striking her symbolically just once with a “bunch of grass with a hundred blades or more”.56 This brings into focus, another Islamic Notion that wows against natural instincts e.g.: Taking an Oath to Not eat food or drink, not to sleep, or not to have matrimonial relations with one’s spouse, must not be kept and should be broken for GOD will not take us to task for Oaths which we may have uttered without thought.57 Prophet Ayyubs’ (Job) afflictions ended when he showed supreme submission to Allah’s Will by putting an insect back onto his body, saying to it, that if it be GOD’s Will that you should partake of my flesh then don’t crawl away, but take your intake to the full. And, No sooner had he done that, that the Divine Word of “Be” was ordained and Prophet Ayyub (Job) was miraculously restored to normal health. Such is the reward to those who are Patient in Suffering.

Prophet Yousef (Biblical Name = Joseph): Prophet Yousef (Joseph) was tested by GOD by having his brothers scheme against him by abandoning him in a well and then going home to their father and concocting a story that a wild animal had devouvered Yousef (Joseph). He was then tested further by the temptation of Zulekha58, and even further by being thrown into a prison where he languished for several years. But eventually GOD’s succour to Yousef (Joseph) caused him to be placed above those who had harmed him. Such is GOD’s Plan that He had revealed it to Yousef in a dream59, even though he had not perceived it at as such at that time, through a dream where he saw the Sun, the Moon and 11 stars (nocturnal representations of his family members) prostrating to him. The entire Story of Yousef (Joseph) is summarised in a chapter (No.12) of The Quran.
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M. Asad’s Translators’ Note No. 41 re: Quran 38:44 Quran 5:89 Quran 12 :23-24 Quran 12:4

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Saul: Saul’s forces were tested by a river bank to see how well they obeyed his commandments, for he said to his forces not to drink from that river. However, save a few of them, they all drank to their fill. But as soon as they got to the other side of the river to face Goliath and his forces, they mysteriously lost all strength to stand up and fight. Yet, those who knew with a certainty in their heart that they were destined to meet their Lord, said: “How often has a small host overcome a Great?

4. PATIENCE in ADVERSITY.
4.1 In Awe of GOD Showing Patience in face of Adversity is mentioned along side the virtue of being in Awe of GOD’s majesty and its manifestation is described as having a heart that trembles with awe whenever GOD is mentioned. Grouped together with these virtues is the requirement to show constancy in prayer and to spend on others out of what GOD provides for them as sustenance.60 The Quranic word for the “Provision of Sustenance” is Ar-Rizq and this applies to all that may be of benefit to GOD’s creation. This may include concrete things like food, drink; material possessions off-springs etc or the term may also apply to abstract things like Knowledge, Piety etc. The spending on others, as in this verse and in the verse 2:3 of The Quran is mentioned in one breath with GODConsciousness and Prayer to demonstrate that true piety comes to its full fruition through selfless acts of charity.61 4.2 GOD is With Those Who Are Patient in Adversity. The subject of Patience in Adversity is picked up early in The Quran when addressing those who have attained to Faith. The Quran urges them to Seek GOD’s help with steadfast patience and prayer, assuring those who do so, that indeed “GOD is with those who are Patient in Adversity”62 . Islam also encourages people to vie with one another in exhibiting and exhorting Patience. The Quran even regards the act of showing Patience in Adversity as an act of those who have surrendered to GOD as VIRTUES and Blessings to be prayed for as demonstrated by the verse: O our Sustainer! Shower us with Patience in Adversity,
and make us die as men who have surrendered themselves unto Thee!"63

4.3 Taffakur - The Importance of Reflection....!!!!.
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Quran 22:35 Note 4 Verse 2:3 M. Asad’s Translation of the Quran available on www.islamicity.com Quran 2:153 Quran 7:126

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One major problem with adherents of most of the Faiths these days is that, people only recite their texts and read it with only with their eyes but not with their heart, and even if they do read it, they do so formally without reflecting on what has been said in that reading. Reading is so important in Islam that, the “Very First” word that was revealed to Prophet Mohammad (Peace of Allah be upon him, as it may be on All Other Prophets) was “READ”..!. He was off course Ummi i.e. Un-Lettered who had never been taught by any temporal teacher, so his gut response to the instruction by the Arch Angel Gabriel to READ met with the response that “I am un-lettered”, the Angel then grabbed him in a very tight hug and repeated the to READ instruction, again getting the same response that “I am un-lettered”. This process of hug and then release and then the instruction to READ was repeated several times, each time getting the same response. Then finally, the READ Instruction was paraphrased differently by saying “READ in the Name of Your LORD...”64 The Contextual Meaning of the word READ vis-a-vis Religious Texts is not that one should READ them with the Optical Eyes only but READ with the “Inner Eye” of Reflection and Understanding and attempting to digest what is being Read. In the context of READ being the Very First Word Revealed to Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), the wider meaning of it also implies the obligation to “Proclaim” that which is being Read. TAFAKKUR or Reflection is highly recommended in Islam. So much so, that it is reported that Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) on one occasion highlighting it’s importance said that “Even a Moment spent in REFLECTION is far Superior than a Whole Night spent in voluntary (non-obligatory) prayers.” 4.4 The Truly Pious and Truly Devout. Such is the importance of being Patient in Adversity in Islam, that The Quran describes this as being one of the definitions of the Truly Pious that they are those who are Patient in misfortune, hardship and in time of peril. These people are then said to be those who have proved themselves true and are further defined as those who are conscious of GOD.65 Spending in GOD’s way and seeking forgiveness from their innermost hearts are defined as further qualities of those who are Patient in Adversity and True to their word, such people are said to be the ones who are truly Devout.66
64

Quran 96 : 1 Quran 2: 177 Quran 3: 17

65

66

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There are at least 12 occasions when the Quran focuses on the Requirement to be Patient in Adversity. Addressing people of Faith, The Quran asks them to be “Patient in Adversity” and instructs the Believers to vie with another in adopting the virtue of Patience being always conscious of God in what they do so that they may reach a happy end.67 And in another place, once again Highlighting the need and importance of Patience, The Quran says, that if people are “Patient in Adversity” and forever conscious of God in whatever they do, then guiles of those who are our enemies and those who harbour jealousies in their hearts because of our blessings, will not be able to harm us in the least for indeed God encompasses all that they do.68 4.5 What do you think? Asks God, in another place in the Quran, that if he were take away our hearing, our sight and had sealed up our hearts so that we do not feel, is there any deity other than God who can bring all of these gifts of God back to us?. This is God’s way of showing His Message in many different facets, but in spite of all these some, using their Free Will, still turn away from God in disdain.69 Little do they think that even their Free Will is a gift from God. If a situation “appears” to demand a response to either a verbal or a physical attack, then even here the extent of the response should be very finely balanced to the magnitude of the attack, and inspite of this permissibility of response, the choice, The Quran says, to bear one selves with patience is preferable for indeed God is with those who are “Patient in Adversity” 4.6 The Future Belongs to the GOD Conscious. Forgiveness of Sins and a Great Reward awaits THOSE who are Patient in Adversity reminds us The Quran70 which exhorts us to follow the example of Noah71 who was Patient in Adversity for indeed, The Quran tells us that The future belongs to those who are GOD CONSCIOUS.72 At every natural disaster, If God was to respond to the cry “Where is God in all this..?”About human sufferings resulting from natural disasters, then He would
67

Quran 3:200 Quran 3:120 Quran 6:46 Quran 11:11 Quran 11:49 Quran 11:49

68

69

70

71

72

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most probably reply with the lyrics of a song which state: “You are so vain; you think that this song is about you” In our clamour when disasters befall us, we fail to appreciate or acknowledge that we Human Beings and our Earth are only a minuscule part of God’s Universe, and we fail to see the harmony that exists in rest of God’s creation. 4.7 Being deeply Grateful to GOD. Being deeply Grateful to GOD should accompany the virtue of being Patient in Adversity. As we are reminded in the story of Moses who was sent with GOD’s Messages to a people who had arrogated themselves. Moses was then asked to Lead the Israelites out of the depths of darkness into Light and to remind them of the Days of GOD when they were supposed to keep the Sabbath. GOD often reminds people of events and promises stating that in these reminders are Pearls of Guidance, but only those who are wholly Patient in Adversity and who are Deeply Grateful to GOD73 pay heed to the reminders and draw benefit from the messages therein. 4.8 Patience Even in an Argument / Debate. If we get into a situation where we are embroiled in an argument, then the response should be only to the extent of the charges levelled against us, although far better it is for us to bear ourselves with patience for the Quran reminds us that GOD is with those who are Patient in Adversity74 We are then asked to endure all the false arguments, denials of the existence of GOD and of the truth by the disbelievers always remembering that it is None but GOD who gives us the strength to endure with Patience in Adversity the distresses caused by the false arguments devised by the disbelievers75 The believers are admonished and asked to observe self-restraint while arguing with people of another persuasion. Although retaliation in argument is permissible if one’s integrity is impeached by an opponent, the sequence makes it clear that it is morally preferable to renounce it altogether and to bear the unjust attack with patience.76 On this theme, we remember the occasion, when an opponent was hurling arguments and allegations against Abu Bakr (who later became the first Caliph after Prophet Mohammad) in the presence of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) who
73

Quran 14:5 Quran 16:126 Quran 16 :127 M. Asad’s Translators’ Note No. 150 to Quran 16:126 at www.islamicity.com

74

75

76

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was smiling all the while. However, when Abu Bakr stood up to respond to those attacks, the Prophet (pbuh) walked away from the gathering. On being asked by Abu Bakr why did he walk away, Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) replied, that, “Whilst that man was hurling abuse at you, Allah (swt) had sent an Angel to respond on your behalf, but, the moment you stood up to defend yourself, the Angel left and in his place the Devil appeared”, and so, he the Prophet (pbuh) cannot remain in a gathering in which the Devil is present, so, he left. 4.9 Repel Evil With That Which Is Good and Wholesome. Since Good and Evil cannot be equal, therefore The Quran extols us to respond to Evil with some thing that is better, good and wholesome. Perchance that Enmity that exists between us and others that we may then become as though we had always been close and true friends. But this restoration of harmony in relationships is awarded only to those who are Patient in Adversity and who are endowed with The Greatest of Good Fortune.77 However, if it should happen that due to a prompting from the devil that we are stirred into a rage and blind anger, then we are asked to seek refuge with GOD for He alone is all knowing and All Hearing78

4.10

GOD’s Promise of Resurrection.

Another subject that is brought into focus whilst practicing Patience in Adversity is GOD’s promise of Resurrection, whence the Quran advises against allowing those who are devoid of the inner certainty about this Resurrection and we are asked Not to disquiet our minds with their denials regarding it, and we are asked to Remain Patient in Adversity.79 4.11 Decline of Faith. The Quran often alludes to the decline of FAITH among the people of earlier times, and the tendency among many of their leaders and learned men to corrupt the texts of their religious books and thus to overlay the truth with falsehood.80
77

Quran 41:34 Quran 42:36 Quran 30:60

78

79

80

M. Asad’s Translators’ Note No. 19 re: Quran 32:24; see also 2:42, 75 and 79 and the corresponding notes

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The Quran is destined to provide guidance and light so long as the Muslim Community’s Religious Leaders are patient in adversity and steadfast in their faith. 81An implied understanding here is that The Quran will cease to be of benefit if the Imams, like the religious leaders of earlier times, cover-up the truth and assign people to suicide missions which the The Quran and Hadiths both specifically prohibit. More on Patience in Adversity 4.12 We Will be Tested through “One Another” One of the Tests set us by GOD is the sending of mortal men as His Message Bearers who indeed ate food like other human beings and went about the market places. And, it is not just being tested through the Prophets, but the wider meaning of this verse is that we will be Tested through one another as well, and then The Quran poses this Rhetorical Question: Are we able to endure this Test with Patience?82 4.13 GOD Gives us Strength to Endure Adversity Apart from adversities handed out by Natural Disasters, there can be other forms of Adversities as well. Spiritual and Intellectual adversities being two other forms. The Quran emphasises that we must remember at all times that “It is none but GOD who gives us the strength to Endure Adversity” and this Patience in Adversity must not be allowed to become a source of spiritual arrogance or false self righteousness83. There are people who are scheming by inventing false and irrelevant arguments against GOD’s Messages. God therefore asks us not to allow our minds to be distressed by such false arguments and also not to grieve over the people who invent them84" 4.14 Gardens of Bliss and Garments of Silk One form of rewards for those who demonstrate Patience in adversity is that they will be presented with Gardens of Bliss where in they will be given garments of silk to wear85 4.15 Enjoining One Another to be Patient in Adversity One of the requirements for those who have attained to faith is, that, they should enjoin upon One Another the virtues of being Patient in Adversity, and, in
81

M. Asad’s Translators’ Note No. 20 re; Quran 32:24 Quran 25 :20 M. Asad ‘s Note 151 to his translation of the Verse 16 :27 of The Quran Quran 16:127 Quran 76:12

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83

84

85

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addition to this, they should also enjoin upon one another Compassion and the keeping to Truth.86

5. Requirement to be Patient in Adversity
5.1 Addressing Human beings in General When GOD addresses people, he addresses them either in the general term as human beings or he addresses those who have Faith in Him. Of the first category there is a verse of The Quran in which GOD unequivocally ask human beings, as in general, to show Patience in Adversity, the most prolific of these

86

Quran 90:17; 103:3

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verses being the one in which all human beings are asked to “endure all adversity with goodly patience”87 5.2 Addressing Believers Specifically. Then GOD also specifically addresses those who have attained to Faith in Him by charging them the task of Seeking His Aid with patience and Prayer assuring them that GOD is with those who are Patient in Adversity88 5.3 Vying To Show Patience in Adversity hen in another verse, GOD asks those who have attained to Faith in Him Not only to be Patient in Adversity but urges them further to vie with one another in doing so and expects them to be ever ready to do what is right and to be conscious of HIM in all that they do in the hope of attaining to a happy state.89

87

Quran 70:5 Quran 2:153 Quran 3:200

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89

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5.4 Preventing our Spirits and Moral Strengths from Deserting us.
Paying heed to GOD and His Apostle and not allowing ourselves to be at variance with one another lest our spirits and moral strengths desert us is linked in another verse to the Requirement to be Patient in Adversity emphasising once again the assurance that: GOD is with those who are Patient in Adversity90

5.5 GOD is the Best of ALL Judges
In some verses of the Quran, the addressing is indirectly to the person of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and then through him to the rest of his followers, urging that we follow only that which has been revealed to him and asking further that in situations of disputations, disagreements

90

Quran 8:46

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and conflicts of interests with others we should not feel overburdened with adversity but instead await GOD’s Judgement in all such situations with the assertion that GOD is the Best of all Judges.91

5.6 Moral lessons to be drawn from the Stories of the past.
Then GOD strengthens our resolve to being Patient in Adversity by relating to us stories of earlier Prophets which would otherwise have remained beyond the reach of our perceptions such as the story of NOAH who was patient against his own folk who ridiculed him but he was patient in such adversity for he knew very well that, “the future belongs to the GODConscious”92 M. Asad, points out in this -that "narrative" as such is never the purpose of the Qur'an.

91

Quran 10 :109 Quran 11:49

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Whenever it relates the stories of earlier prophets, or alludes to ancient legends or to historical events that took place before the advent of Islam or during the lifetime of the Prophet, the aim is, invariably, a moral lesson; and since one and the same event, or even legend, has usually many facets revealing as many moral implications, the Qur'an reverts again and again to the same stories, but every time with a slight variation of stress on this or that aspect of the fundamental truths underlying the Qur'anic revelation as a whole93

5.7 GOD takes notes of even small little things.
For those who may wonder, whether if GOD ever makes or takes note of small little things, can take heart from an assertion of the Quran that GOD does not fail to requite the doers of Good

93

Quran 11:49 and M. Asad’s Note No. 73 to it’s translation

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and specially if they are Patient in Adversity.94 Requiring and asking us to “be” Patient in adversity is supplemented by GOD urging those who are, to REMAIN steadfast in being Patient in Adversity just as all the apostles who were endowed firmness of heart, bore themselves with patience.

5.8 Believers should Not seek a speedy doom for those who deny the truth.
Believers are then cautioned to not ask for a speedy doom for those who persist in denying the Truth. Their matter is with GOD who on the Day of Judgement will make those people see the fulfilment of what they were promised by way of requital for their disbelief, the entire life span

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Quran 11 :15

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of such people will appear to them to be cut short to no longer than one hour of an earthly day. This is GOD’s message to those who deny the Truth. The Quran then puts forward a rhetorical style of Question asking if any will be destroyed except the iniquitous folk.95

6. Rewards for being Patient in Adversity
6.1 Basic Pre-Requisite for Rewards FAITH & BELIEF is the basic pre-requisite for earning of rewards.96For how can

95

Quran 46:35 Quran 16:97

96

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you expect Reward from a GOD if you don’t believe in him? 6.2 Who are the Rewards for? Whoever works righteousness, Man or Woman, and has Faith, GOD will give them a New Life, a life that is good and pure and will bestow on such people irrespective of their gender a reward according to the Best of their Actions.97 The fact that GOD rewards people without making any distinction between them for their gender is stated very succinctly in another verse of The Quran which states that rewards are for : “ For Muslim men and women,- for believing men and women, for devout men

97

Quran 16.97

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and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in Charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise,- for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward.”98 6.3 What are the Rewards for? The Rewards are given for various various virtues and deeds, included amongst which are “Good Deeds”99, “Seeking of Allah, His Messenger and the Home of the Hereafter”100,”Belief and Deeds of Righteousness”101,”Belief and Spending in Charity”102, “for Those who Give Thanks”103,”for Those who give a Beautiful Loan to Allah”104,”Fearing Allah”105, “for Those who Fear their Lord Unseen”106, “for

98

Quran 33:35 Quran 32:17 Quran 33:29 Quran 34 :4, 34 :37, 35 :7, 41 :8, 95 :6 Quran 57:7 Quran 54:35 Quran 57:11, 57:18 Quran 65:5 Quran 67:12

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Those who are Patient and Constant” 6.4 Various Kinds of Rewards. The Quran describes “Rewards” in many different ways, included amongst which are descriptions such as “Delights of the Eye”107, “Great”108, “Forgiveness and a Sustenance Most Generous”109, “Forgiveness and a Magnificent Reward”110,”Forgiveness and Great Reward”111,“Residence with Security in the Dwellings on high”112,”Reward that Never Fails”113,”Reward that is Complete”114,”A Grace from God”115”Reward that is Liberal”116,”The Highest of all the Rewards”117,”Removal of ills and an Enlarged of Reward”118,”A Garden and

107

Quran 32:17 Quran 33:29, 57 :7 Quran 34:4 Quran 35:7 Quran 67:12 Quran 34:37 Quran 41 :8, 68 :3, 84 :25, 95 :6 Quran 53:41 Quran 54:35 Quran 57:11, 57:18 Quran 64:15 Quran 65 :5

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Garments of Silk”119. 6.5 Gardens with Rivers Flowing Beneath The image of “Gardens with Rivers Flowing Beneath” is a constantly repeated image of Rewards for those who Believe and do Good Deeds. More specifically, In some of these verses the Garden is mentioned in conjunction with the rivers flowing beneath120, whilst in some of the verses the Garden is mentioned on it’s own121, and in one verse this, i.e. the Garden is described as one of Eternity.122 On one of such occasions it is said that “One of the rewards from GOD is that he will admit the recipients into Gardens with rivers flowing beneath which is then defined as “A Reward from the presence of Allah, and since it is a present from

119

Quran 76:12 Quran 3:136 Quran 10:26; 20:76 Quran 16:31; 98:8; 20:76

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the presence of Allah, it has got to be the best of the rewards."123 6.6 Rewards beyond All Reckoning. The reward for being “Patient in Adversity” is of such a nature that frailty of human perceptions cannot comprehend its magnificence or magnitude, for verily, those who are patient in adversity will be given their reward in full beyond all reckoning. The caveat being that we servants of GOD who have attained to faith must at all time be conscious of our Sustainer! For Ultimate good awaits those of us who persevere in doing good in this world. And we must never forget that Wide is GOD’s dominion.124

123

Quran 3:195 Quran 39:10

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6.7 Triumph Reward from GOD for showing Pateince in Adversity is said by the Quran to be a real Triumph.125 6.8 Ratio of Rewards to Deeds Rewards Without Measure...! One of the Best thing about the rewards from God that he can give Rewards without Measure. It is stated emphatically that if someone Believes and Does Right, then they will have a Reward Without Measure.126 This Relationship between Good Deeds and Rewards of More than in Measure is stated again where, in addition, in a further description of the Rewards, it is stated that “No darkness nor shame shall cover the faces of those in receipt of

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Quran 23: 111 Quran 3:179

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Rewards from their Lord, and additionally, the recipients will be companions one of the other in the Garden (Nominal description of Paradise) wherein they will abide forever. 127 According to the Best of Our Deeds and Efforts The Grace of Allah (swt) is so profuse, that in so far as the ratio of deeds to rewards is concerned, it will be based on the best of our deeds and efforts128. What this means is, that, if we make several efforts of various grades in

127

Quran 10:26 Quran 16:97

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attempting to achieve a virtue, then our Rewards will reflect the “best of those efforts”—hence, Muslims and everyone else should relate to the very famous adage that says that: “Good, Better, Best...Never let it Rest, till your Good is Better, and, Your Better, Best.” Having determined a Reward for us which is according to the Best of Our Deeds, GOD’s benevolence then adds to it even more out of His Grace, and goes even further as His prerogative of giving “Without Measure” to whoever He wills.129

129

Quran 16 :96, 24:38, 39 :35

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RATIO of Rewards 1:1 and 1: Without Measure Ratio It is indeed due to the Mercy of Allah (swt) that He Requites those who do evil with a measure equivalent to their deeds in a 1:1 ratio, but He “throws Open the doors of His Mercy” upon those who Believe and do Good Deeds By Giving them Rewards whose magnificence cannot be imagined or measured by the faculty of human minds and these rewards remain without stint and without measure130 This is emphasised once again in another verse of the Quran which states that if any one does a good deed then the reward for them is better than their deed,

130

Quran 53:31

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but the doers of evils are punished only to the extent of their deeds131 6.9 Are the deeds lost upon death? In the context of the subject of this Article i.e. How does Islam views the human sufferings that result in Natural Disasters a very interesting rhetorical question that is posed in The Quran itself is as follows: That is that, after we die and become dust and bones will we still receive the rewards and punishments that we have accumulated over our life by virtue of our deeds?132

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Quran 28 :84 Quran 37:53

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Such a question suggests a lack of knowledge of what is to come in the hereafter where not only we will be re-created, but be re-created to the exactitude of the finer details of our finger prints. In more than one places, in the Quran GOD emphasises that "Never will I suffer to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female”133 A fact that is stated again, that Allah suffereth not the reward of the Faithful to be lost in the least134 Then again, Allah assures those who hold fast by the Book and establish regular prayers that he will never suffer their reward to perish135 And, Once again, the assurance is given that: Allah suffereth not the reward to be lost of those who do good136 and similar assurances are given in four other

133

Quran 3:195 Quran 3 :171 Quran 7:170 Quran 9:120, 12:56; 11:115; 12:90; 18:30

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places in the Quran. And even then, if some fear that their rewards will vanish with their death should take heart from the verse of the Quran that states that: Allah is never unjust in the least degree137 So, let us be prepared to answer for our deeds and be ready to receive both rewards and punishments which our own hands and deeds have sent ahead of us.

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Quran 4:40

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Before we delve into the specific subject of Rewards for being Patient in Adversity let us look at the subject of Rewards in general. 6.10 Rewards for the People of the Books and others. There is recognition in the Quran of those amongst the “People of the Books” (i.e. those whose Prophets were given a Book as Revelation) WHO believe in Allah and in the Revelation given to Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) apart from their own true revelations, who bow themselves in humility to Allah and will not sell the signs of Allah for a miserable gain, and with all these humbling qualities, there is a reward from their Lord fro such people from amongst the People of the Books.138 The Rewards for the “People of the Books” is mentioned in another verse of the

138

Quran 3:199

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Quran where they are mentioned not just nomenclature wise as the People of the Books but are identified severally by the name of their faiths as (a) Those who believe in the Quran (b) Those who follow the Jewish Scriptures (c) the Christians and (d) the Sabians..And...Indeed any Who Believe in Allah and the Last Day and work righteousness shall have their reward with their Lord.139 7.The Apostles Who Were Patient in Adversity 7.1 All the Apostles. The believers are asked to remain Patient in Adversity in the examples of All the

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Quran 2 :62

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Apostles who being endowed with firmness of heart bore themselves with patience. We are told that we should not ask GOD for a speedy doom of those who deny the truth for on The Day of Judgement such people will see the fulfilment of what they were promised, and it will seem to them as if they dwelt on Earth no longer than an hour of an earthly day. The Quran then assures the GOD Conscious with a rhetorical question like statement that the real destruction will only be of the iniquitous folk140 7.2 MOSES Moses asked his people to Turn to GOD for aid, and to have patience in

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Quran 46:35

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Adversity. He further taught them that all the earth belongs to GOD and He gives it as a heritage to His servants to such as He wills. He further urged his followers to note that the future belongs to the GOD Conscious141. GOD’s promise to the children of Israel was given as a result of their Patience in Adversity whereas GOD Utterly Destroyed their opponents, the Pharaohs and his people had wrought and built142 These Messages were sent forth to the people through the mission of Moses who was asked by GOD to Lead his people out of the depths of darkness into

141

Quran 7 :128 Quran 7:137

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the light on the understanding that the messages are for all those who are wholly Patient in Adversity and are deeply grateful to GOD143 7.3 DAVID

In being asked to bear with Patience whatever Adversity befalls us, GOD refers to the example of David who had faced tremendous adversities, but he was endowed with such inner strength, that he would invariably always turn to GOD in the face of an Adversity144. 7.4 NOAH We are asked in The Quran to “be” like NOAH who was patient in Adversity145, and once again, we are asked to behold the Divinely instructed belief that the

143

Quran 14:5 Quran 38:17 Quran 11 :49

144

145

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Future belongs to the GOD Conscious. In this connection it should be remembered that whenever The Quran narrates Stories of earlier Prophets, People, Incidents or Events-and it cannot be stressed too often-that "narrative" as such is never the purpose of the Qur'an. The aim of asking us to reflect on such stories is, invariably, a moral lesson; and since one and the same event, or even legend, has usually many facets revealing as many moral implications, the Qur'an reverts again and again to the same stories, but every time with a slight variation of stress on this or that aspect of the fundamental truths underlying the Qur'anic revelation as a whole146.(Quran

146

M. Asads’ Note 73, to the translation of verse 11 :49 of The Quran

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Ref: 11:49 ) 7.5 Joseph The news of the alleged death of Joseph carried by his brothers who went to their father with their concocted story did not convince him in the least. The father clearly saw through the thin veneer of their story and told them that, what they were claiming was merely a figment of their own imagination. The fact that the brothers showed little regret or sorrow at what they were claiming

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had happened gave away the facelessness of their story. The father was clearly resolved to show Patience in what “appeared” to be an adversity, which he thought to be a most goodly gesture from to GOD147 7.6 Ayoub (JOB) Prophet Ayoub (Job)’s story is a fine example of one fully immersed in being Patient in Adversity. With an illness thought to have lasted for 40 years Ayoub persevered with his Faith in GOD. His story is found both in the Biblical and Quranic Text.

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Quran 12:83

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In the words of the Bible (The Book of Job ii, 9), at the time of his seemingly hopeless suffering Job’s wife reproached her husband for persevering in his faith: "Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die." Islamic legends has it, that Ayoub’s wife was approached by the Devil in disguise of a Pious looking Holy man who advised his wife to thrash her husband with a Broom which she is thought to have done so and may have uttered profanities against GOD whilst doing so. The story is then picked up by classical Qur’an-commentators (where there is an assumption that Ayoub was very upset with his wife for some reason); Ayoub (Job) then swore that, if God would restore him to health, he would punish her blasphemy

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with a hundred stripes. But when he did recover, he bitterly regretted his hasty oath, for he realized that his wife’s "blasphemy" had been an outcome of her love and pity for him; and thereupon he was told in a revelation that he could fulfil his vow in a symbolic manner by striking her once with "a bunch of grass containing a hundred blades or more".148 A very important Islamic Notion is, that GOD will not take us to task for oaths which we may have uttered without thought.(Cf. 5:89 - Quran Ref: 38:44 ) 7.7 ISHMAEL AND IDRIS Prophets Ishmael and Idris are mentioned here only as an example of all the Prophets, for all of them had pledged themselves, and those who do so are referred to in the normative Arabic grammar as Lit “him of the pledge”. The expression for this is dhul-kifl – which signifies “he became responsible [for some thing or some one or the expression may also signify some one who has “pledged himself to do some thing”149. This though can be a generic term as well as a name of a person as some commentators have implied that this term dhul-kifl refers to a Prophet by that Name.150 The Point here is, that, all of the Prophets had pledged to deliver the Message that GOD had assigned them to deliver, and all of them were Patient when they faced Adversity in the performance of the task assigned to them.

148

Quran 38:44, and M. Asad’s Note No. 41 to his translation of this verse M. Asad’s Note 81 to his translation of the verse 21:85 M. Asad’s note 81 to his translation of verse 21:85

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Prophet Idris (Enoch) [PBUH]151 Allah's Praises of Enoch Allah has praised Enoch, describing him as being a prophet and truthful: And mention in the Book (the Qur'an) Idris (Enoch). Verily! He was a man of truth, (and) a prophet. And We raised him to a high station. Chapter 19: 56-57 Birth and Teachings

151

www.islamicity.com

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Idris (Enoch) was born and raised in Babylon following the teachings and religion of Prophet Adam and his son Seth. Enoch was the fifth generation of the Prophet Adam. He called the people back to his forefathers' religion, but only a few listened to him, while the majority turned away. Prophet Idris (Enoch) and his followers left Babylon for Egypt. There he carried on his mission, calling people to what is just and fair, teaching them certain prayers and instructing them to fast on certain days and to give a portion of their wealth to the poor.

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The Wise saying of Enoch He was the first of the Children of Adam to be given prophethood after Adam and Seth (PBUT). It is reported that he was the first to invent the basic form of writing. Some of his wise sayings are: "Happy is he who looks at his own deeds and appoints them as pleaders to his Lord."

7.8 Jonah Younus (Jonah) is another of those narrow band of “selected” Prophets who have a whole Chapter of the Quran named after them152 but interestingly enough, except for one mention of the people of Younus (Jonah) in the chapter that bears his name in 10:98, the details of Younus (Jonah)’s story is narrated in another Chapter Called Saffat (Lit serried ranks), i.e. Ch No. 37 from verse 139 - 149
Note 83 (Quran Ref: 21:82 )

According to the Biblical account (which more or less agrees with the Quranic references to his story), Jonah was a prophet sent to the people of Nineveh of a hundred thousand or more souls153, the capital of Assyria. At first his preaching was disregarded by his people, and he left them in anger, thus abandoning the mission entrusted to him by God; in the words of the Qur'an (37:140), "he fled like a runaway slave’’. The allegory of his temporary punishment and his subsequent rescue and redemption is referred to elsewhere in the Qur'an (i.e., in 37:139-148) and explained in the corresponding notes. It is to that punishment, repentance and salvation that the present and the next verse allude to. (The redemption of Jonah’s people is mentioned in 10:98 and 37:47148.)(Quran Ref: 21:82 ) 154 One Group of verses of The Quran that tell us the story of Younus (Jonah) state as follows:
AND, BEHOLD, Jonah was indeed one of Our message-bearers155 when he fled like a runaway slave onto a laden ship156 And then they cast lots, and he was the one who lost157
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Quran Chapter 10 Tiled Yusuf (Jonah) Quran 37:147 M. Asad’s Note 83 to his translation of Quran (21:87) Quran 37:139 Quran 37:140

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8.3 Stability Provided by the Mountains as Pegs...! The Quran refers to the Mountains as Pegs on the Earth in a number of verses222, for had it not been so, then the Earth would have shaken even more. Scientists are of the view that these verses of the Quran allude to what they think is a fact that the Mountains owe their rise to the gradual balancing process that the crust of the Earth is subject to – this, in turn say the geologists, is due to some internal geological struggles and stresses taking place under the surface of the earth. The internal movements are, the scientist think, at least

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37:141 37:142 37:143 37:144 37:145 37:146 37:147 Quran 6:86 Quran 68:48 Quran 7:54 Quran 70:4 Quran 97:3 M. Asad’s Note No. 63 Accompanying his translation of Quran 22:47 M. Asad’s Note No. 5 Accompanying his translation of Quran 70:4 M. Asad’s Note No. 19 “ Quran 76:1 M. Asad’s Note No. 1 Accompanying his translation of Quran 76:1 “ “ Note No. 2 “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ Quran 79:46

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Quran 103:1 M. Asad’s Note No. 1 Quran 54:50 M. Asad’s Note No.30 Accompanying his translation of Quran 54:50 Quran 22:47 “ “ “ “ “ 103:1

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partially, kept in check by the enormous surface pressure of which the mountains are the most vivid evidence.223
Note 11 (Quran Ref: 16:15 )

This is apparently an allusion to the fact that the mountains owe their rise to the gradual balancing process to which the solid crust of the earth is subject -a process which, in its turn, is the result of stresses and disturbances due to the cooling and hardening, progressing from the -surface towards the centre, of the presumably molten or perhaps even gaseous matter of which the earth's interior seems to be composed. It appears that part of this interior is kept solid only by the enormous pressure of the overlaying material, of which the mountains are the
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Quran 32:5 M. Asad’s Note No. 4 Accompanying his translation of Quran 32:5 “ “ Note No.4 “ “ “ “ Quran 70:4

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Quran 70:4 Quran 97:3 The Quran 9:36 M. Asad’s Note No. 53 Accompanying his translation of Quran 9:36 Quran 10:5 M. Asad’s Note No. 11 Accompanying his translation of Quran 10:5 Quran 17:12 M. Asad’s Note No.10 Accompanying his translation of Quran 10:5 Constructed from an answer to a question on the subject at www.islamq&a.com (Sharh Muslim, 15/3)as quoted on www.islamq&a.com See: Fataawa al-‘Aqeedah by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 1/163 as quoted in www.islamq&a.com Fataawa al-‘Aqeedah, 1/197 Quran 11;107 Quran 11:106 Quran 11:107 Quran 11:108
M. Asad’s Note 134 Accompanying his translation of Quran [ 11:107 ]

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Quran 15:46 Quran 15: 47-48 Quran 44:51-57 Quran 2:166

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most vivid evidence: and this explains the Qur'anic reference (in 78:7) to mountains as "pegs" (awtad), i.e., symbols of the firmness and relative equilibrium which the surface of the earth has gradually achieved in the course of its geological history. Notwithstanding the fact that this equilibrium is not absolute (as is evidenced by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions), it is the solidity of the earth's crust - as contrasted with its possibly fluid but certainly very unstable interior - which makes life on earth possible: and this, to my mind, is the meaning of the phrase "lest it sway with you" (or "with them") occurring in the above verse as well as in 21:31 and 31:10.(Quran Ref: 16:15 )

What we fail to acknowledge, when faced by an Earth Quake, that the “State of Equilibrium” that exists between the Stresses Existing in the Core of the Earth and the Stability provided by the Mountains acting as pegs, as alluded to by the Quran, is one of those “Favours of God” that makes Life on Earth Possible. No wonder then, that The Quran rhetorically ask frequently in chapter 55, that “Which of the Favours of Your Lord will you deny?”224
http://www.islamicity.com/quranSearch
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Quran 2:167 Quran 5:37 Quran 17:97 Quran 4:168 Quran 4:169 Quran 72:23 Quran 33:64 Quran 33:65 Quran 51:49 Quran 78:8 Quran 3: 191 Quran 20 :53 Quran 22:5 Quran 31:10 Quran 23:27 Quran 35:1 Quran 36:36 Quran 42:11 Quran 16:15; 21:31; 31:10, 78:7 www.islamicity.com

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The REMINDER....! The Quran constantly reminds us of the Fate of the People who denied or Disobeyed God or both. It also describes itself as a Rehearsal and as a Reminder225. A Rehearsal of What is to come in the form of the Hereafter and a reminder of the Day-of-Judgement to come. Pateince in Adversity...! Wrath and Mercy. We human beings are quick to complain about God’s Wrath but are not as quick in acknowledging the Vastness of His Mercy ever present in innumerable forms.

8.4 When will the Final Hour arrive?
In a Hadith narrated by Sayidna Abu Huraira

Allah's Apostle said, "The Hour will not be established (1) Till two big groups fight each other whereupon there will be a great number of casualties on both sides and they will be following one and the same religious doctrine (2) Till about thirty Dajjals (liars) appear, and each one of them will claim that he is Allah's Apostle (3) Till the religious knowledge is taken away (by the death of Religious scholars) (4) Earthquakes will increase in number (5) Time will pass quickly (6) Afflictions will appear (7) Al-Harj, (i.e., killing) will increase (8) Till wealth will be in abundance ---- so abundant that a wealthy person will worry lest nobody should accept his Zakat, and whenever he will present it to someone, that person (to whom it will be offered) will say, 'I am not in need of it
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Quran 55:(31 verses in this chapter that Repeatedly ask “ Which of the Favours of Your Lord Will You deny ?”)
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Quran 15:9, 29:51

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(9) Till the people compete with one another in constructing high buildings, (10) Till a man when passing by a grave of someone will say, 'Would that I was in his place (11) And till the sun rises from the West. So when the sun will rise and the people will see it (rising from the West) they will all believe (embrace Islam) but that will be the time when: (As Allah said,) 'No good will it do to a soul to believe then, if it believed not before, nor earned good (by deeds of righteousness) through its Faith.' (6.158)
(12)And the Hour will be established while two men spreading a garment in front of them but they will not be able to sell it, nor fold it up; and (13) The Hour will be established when a man has milked his she-camel and has taken away the milk but he will not be able to drink it; and (14) The Hour will be established before a man repairing a tank (for his livestock) is able to water (his animals) init; and the Hour will be established when a person has raised a morsel(of food) to his mouth but will not be able to eat it."

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