In the Face of Abuse and Hardship

In the Face of Abuse and Hardship: You shall most certainly be tried in your possessions and in your persons; and you shall hear much hurting abuse from those who were given revelations before you and from those who set up partners with God. But if you persevere and continue to fear God -that is indeed a matter requiring strong resolve. (Quran 3:186)


In this verse, God tells the believers in no uncertain terms that they will have to undergo tests and trials which will affect them and their possessions. They have to persevere and remain steadfast in order to prove themselves worthy of God’s trust and His great reward. It is the natural way of things when it comes to the establishment of any faith in real life that its advocates should stand a hard test. There is no escaping the fact that they will have to demonstrate their patience in adversity, their determined resistance and strong resolve as also their readiness to sacrifice whatever is required of their possessions and their persons. This is the only way to heaven which cannot be attained without sacrifice and hardship. Hell, on the other hand, is surrounded by easy pleasures and temptations. Moreover, there is no other way to mould the community which will become the standard-bearer of Islam and discharge its duties. This community must receive thorough education and cultivation in order to heighten its potentials and strengths. The only way is the practical discharge of the duties imposed by their faith and by their gaining a true and practical knowledge of life and people as they are. The trials are needed so that only the strongest in faith continue to advocate the Islamic call. It is only such people that are worthy of its advocacy since only they are fully equipped to be so entrusted. Moreover, it is through trial and perseverance that faith becomes dearer to the faithful. The more they have to endure of hardship and the more sacrifice they have to give for their faith the more valuable it becomes to them. They do not turn their backs on it afterwards, not in any circumstances.


This is in the nature of faith and ideology: to withstand such trials while maintaining fear of God, so that repelling aggression by others does not turn into counter-aggression, and despair is not allowed to becloud one’s vision as one goes through the hardships. But this is far from easy: “That is indeed a matter requiring strong resolve. “

Trials strengthen those who are tried. It is resistance which sharpens potentials and consolidates them. A new faith requires that these potentials be heightened so that it can establish its roots deep in the most fertile soil of human nature.

It is also through trials that the advocates of a faith come to know themselves as they are. They will look at themselves as they struggle for their faith. They become more aware of human nature in reality and its latent potentials, and they know the true nature of societies and communities. They observe the struggle between their own principles on the one hand and desires and temptations on the other. They become aware of how Satan works on man leading him astray and causing him to err.

Moreover, it is through the trials endured by the advocates of a certain faith that its opponents come to realize that there is much good irk it; its followers have stuck by it despite all the hardships they have endured for its sake. It is then that those opponents may themselves accept that faith en masse.

This is in the nature of faith and ideology: to withstand such trials while maintaining fear of God, so that repelling aggression by others does not turn into counter-aggression, and despair is not allowed to becloud one’s vision as one goes through the hardships. But this is far from easy: “That is indeed a matter requiring strong resolve. “

The Muslim community in Madinah was thus made aware of what awaits it of sacrifice, agony, abuse and trial in possessions and persons. These were to be inflicted by its enemies, whether these followed earlier religions or were idolaters. Despite all this, the Muslim community was determined to go along its way, without reluctance or hesitation. Members of that Muslim community in Madinah were certain that every soul will taste death, and that rewards are paid on the Day of Resurrection. They knew that true triumph is that of being drawn away from the fire and of being brought into paradise. To them, the life of this world was nothing but an illusory enjoyment. It is on such hard rocks that the Muslim community in Madinah stood and along that straight and correct way it made its strides. The same hard rocks and the same straight way are available to its advocates in every generation. The enemies of this faith remain the same. Generations follow generations and still they plot to undermine it. The Qur’an, however, remains the same, well preserved by God.


 Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Quran 3:186

(And you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those who received the Scripture before you and from those who ascribe partners to God.)

God informed the believers that upon their arrival in Madinah, prior to the Battle of Badr, they would face much grief from the people of the Scripture and from the polytheists, but they, in turn, should remain calm and patient, until God should relieve them.

Then God comforts them: (but if you perserve patiently, and become al-Muttaqun (pious) – then that is of the steadfast heart of things)

In this respect, Ibn Abu Hatim narrated, on the authority of Usama Ibn Zaid: “The Prophet and his Companions used to pardon the idolators and the People of the Scripture as God commanded them, and used to show patience in the face of the abuse they used to receive.

God said: (And you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those who received the Scripture before you and from those who ascribe partners to God)

Usama Ibn Zaid commented: “The Prophet used to pardon them a great deal as God has commanded him until God permitted him to confront them.

The methods of trial may differ from time to time, but the principle remains the same: “You shall most certainly be tried in your possessions and in your persons; and you shall hear much hurting abuse from those who were given revelations before you and from those who set up partners with God. “(Verse 186)

The surah gives many examples of the schemes adopted by people of earlier religions and the idolaters and their propaganda which aimed to cast doubt and confusion on the very fundamentals of Islam and on its followers and their leadership. These examples are always renewed and new methods and forms added to them as new means of communication become available. They are all directed against Islam and its principles of faith as well as against the Muslim community and its leadership. Hence, the same principle which God explains to the first Muslim community as He points out its way and the nature of its enemy remains always applicable.

This Qur’anic directive remains valid for the Muslim community every time it takes upon itself to implement God’s method in practical life. It reassures the Muslims that God’s promise will come true. All that it has to endure of trials, abuse, false accusation and hardship becomes very pleasant, since it is no more than a confirmation that the community is going along the way God intends. It is fully certain that perseverance and maintaining its fear of God are all the equipment it needs. All enemy schemes are of little effect. Trials and abuse are of no consequence.



Excerpted from "In the Shade of the Quran – Fi Zilala al-Quran" by Sayyid Qutb. Translated and edited by Adil Salahi & Ashur Shamis

In the Shade of the Quran is more than ‘just another’ commentary; yet it is not too overreaching or outlandish to be a completely new interpretation. It is an earnest, sincere and sober look at man’s contemporary achievements and difficulties in the light of the message of the Quran.



By: sayyid qutb | Source: IslamiCity | Category: Articles, Faith, Featured | Topic: iman (faith and belief), quran | Views: 6,729 | Comments: 14

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14 Comments

  1. Assalam alaikum,

    After reading your article on the “potrayal of Prophet Muhammed by the western juornalists” and “in the face of abuse and hardship” my aqggressive mood towards thse journalists changed. I was very touched by your article expecioally the when i was rminded that Prophet Muhammed passed through the same trial in the hands of meccans Please send your calming articles to our brothers in the East and in other parts of the world that they should endure all the persecution they are facing in the hands of the western media and that all muslims should be praying to Allah for total victory against the western media and their evil agenda.

    We muslim in Africa are appreciating your great contribution to the propation of Islam, please continue and utilise every opportunity provided by this incident(the cartoon’s incident) to present the positive side of Prophet Muhammed and Islam to the western world through dialogue, public lecture, television programme, advertisement and writing of articles about Islam. This is because whenever this a crisis against Islam, there is always an opportunity to spread the message of Islam.And please engage in public conversation and national dialogue to express the true picture of Islam. Please appeal to uor muslim brothers and sisters in western countries not to engage in violence rather to use this as an opportunity to spread the message of Islam.

    May Almighty Allah reward your efforts wit Al-jannat.

    From a servant of Allah,

    Abdul Ganiu okunnu

  2. Asalam Alaykum brothers and sisters

    This article is indeed relevant to our lives today. I found it very useful to reflect on my personal problems where I need constant reminder to practice sabr. Patience, endurance by the grace of Allah is alhamdullilah full of reward!It also helped me to remember that with every hardship there is ease, beautiful words from the Holy Quraan. To the rest of the umma I wish to say remember the beautuful words from this article and practice sabr. To the author, I say, May the infinite mercies of Allah be with you always.Thank you very much for sharing one of the greatest duties of a mummin.

    Maasalama

    sister

    Z

  3. Im a little disturbed that Islamicity, which I have always viewed as a moderate islamic website is putting up an article by the founding father of the modern fundementalist movement, in his Fi Zilal Al-Qur’an, he also states that Arabs are the best Muslims and the natural leaders of Islam, in direct contrast to the words of the Prophet (pbuh) in his last sermon.

  4. It’s true we shoul endure and be patient but As we are able to react and defend our religion by boycote and chowing our wrath we must not stand mute. In the time of Our prophet endurance was necessary because they were little with had little military power; but after, they never endured any invasion or mistreat. We have our power and we must react because we are to do so if we realy love our religion other wise we are coards and have no pride at all.

  5. The author has compeletely missed the point with this article. Moreso with the cotradiction he puts forth himself thus:

    “Usama Ibn Zaid commented: “The Prophet used to pardon them a great deal as God has commanded him until God permitted him to confront them.”

    Does this mean the sahabas were still waiting for that permission till date? No. You see there are two issues where application of sabr is needed 1)issues to do with the religion and 2) issues to do with self. In the former case when you practiced sabr you get your reward accordingly. But on the question of defending ISLAM or the prophet (SAW) there can be no SABR! Period.

    As far as this case and previous actions (like the Salman Rushdie) are concern application of Q9:7-11 is the only reasonable thing to do. All we need to do is to pray that Allah provide us with, good leadership, the Iman to fight in his way through coming back to Him, impacting the religion to others (with words and good deeds) and to continue to be wiser and forth coming in facing these challenges.

  6. asalaam alaikum wa rahmatullah he wa barakatu. warm greetings to all my true muslim brothers and sisters around the world. i have to say that it is these trials and tribulations that are put in front of us that strengthens us. Without such trial, which are in fact trials to our fate, or iman , how would we be sure that our fate is true and not just something we say with our tongues but isn’t found in our hearts? It is crucial to keep in mind that this life that we have been given by Allah subhana watahalla isn’t merely for fun and games. just as in nature there is intellegent design and a purpose for everything, every creature, every plant, and so on, our existance has a purpose. After Allah Subhanna watahallah sent Adam and Eve to the earth for the sin that Shaytan provoked them to commit, all of us children of Adam have been given the duty and obligation to our own souls to learn Islam’s teachings and follow them with a pure and open heart. We must strive to please our One and Only Creator, the most mercifal, the most forgiving,and know that any good that comes our way is from our Lord. Our destiny is open to us and with prayer true and sincere God can change even something that is pre-determined if God wills. Also no matter how advanced human kind gets in the field of science and technology and other areas of higher knowledge, we will and can never have knowledge of the unknown until God wills it. Even if we were equiped with 10 brains each we could not know an atom size of God’s universe, for it is indeep grand and magnificant. So therefor we give thanks for all our blessings (which are countless, if we but knew) and try to be on the straight path (suratal mustaqeem). Ameen.

  7. Is there a total disconnect from what is written in this article, and from muslim reaction around the world concerning the cartoons. The statment below is not being taught to muslims, thats for sure.

    “It reassures the Muslims that God’s promise will come true. All that it has to endure of trials, abuse, false accusation and hardship becomes very pleasant, since it is no more than a confirmation that the community is going along the way God intends.”

    Secondly the statement, “All enemy schemes are of little effect.” shows that for many muslims they look as Westerners as the enemy “Land of Warfare” are the words used in the Koran.

    The teachings of Islan have to change, the terminoly of 1400 years ago are no longer applicable. If the belief that the Koran is perfect and don’t have to be modernised, well then Islam will live in the past.

  8. Assalaam-O-`Alaiqum 2 al my bros and sis`.just read this article and i think it was a great time to print it. with whats been happening, i think al of us need to remember who we are and what we stand for.we are MUSLIMS and we STAND FOR PEACE.sure what happened was totaly wrong but what our bros and sis` are doing isnt exactly right either.

  9. Islam is relavent today as it was 1400 years ago, and will be. Do you think the vangurd of muslim revival is old, have beens. Most fervent in the defence of Islam are the young generations, this is Allah’s mercy and time is nearby for bigger battle. What is Moderanisation? So we become more westerner? know what westerners are! They can not offer us, any thing which we do not have in 1400 years old manual. Westerner should know, that you shall never again insult honor of a man (pbuh) who is dearer to muslims more then any thing.

  10. This is reply to Thomas :

    Yes,… the teachings of Islam is completed before 1400 years. Since that day till today it is same, useful for all people on the earch. and it is useful for the people those who to come, till end of this world.

    See, what Allah says in the Quraan:

    This day, those who disbelieved have given up all hope of your religion, so fear them not, but fear Me. This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. (5:3)

    Say (O Muhammad ): “O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: “Bear witness that we are Muslims.” (3:64)

    Or they say, “He (Prophet Muhammad ) forged it (the Qur’an).” Say: “Bring you then ten forged Surah (chapters) like unto it, and call whomsoever you can, other than Allah (to your help), if you speak the truth!”

    To learn and understanf more, please read the Quraan and the history of our Prophet Muhammad (Pease and Blessings be upon him)

    http://www.nicheoftruth.org

  11. Thank-you Mr. Hassan to your polite reply, with more people like this, I feel that I’m welcome here and able to discuss in a logical and polite manner. Thanks again to the reply to my comment.

    Concerning the Koran I try to read some passages each week. Not with the objective of becoming a Muslim, but to better understand Muslim culture and beliefs. I read from the Bible (I’m Agnostic however) each week and sporadically from other religious texts and books of philosophy. I think everybody should read as many different ideologies as possible, so that can pick what is the best for them. Thank-you.

  12. To Sister, you said ‘what happened was totaly wrong but what our bros and sis` are doing isnt exactly right either.’. Please tell me you are not referring to the burning of Embassies and killing of innocents as just ‘isnt exactly right either’. I think what you should of said as a ‘human being’ is that the killing of people and destruction of property with no regard to law is TOTALLY not acceptable, should not be allowed, and be punished severly. With your comment, how can you even critize the West at all. In relationship one is much much worst then the other. Or has Islam, made you lose the value of human life.

  13. Assalamou Aleikoum

    Members of the Islamic Community.

    The Al-qur’an il Kerim is just FANTASTIC; reading it, feel like coming across an OASIS, in the middle of nowhere, after a long treck through a blazing hellish barren land. It is such a REMEDY, truly it can only come from the ONE made us, Who knows us well insid and out.

    I think we are very luck to be a member of a community that rely on such wonderful Material of a complete guidance. Truly it is a Mercy from Allah Subhaanahu wa taala.

    “ABUSES and HARDSHIPS”, O! Brothers and Sisters, do you not think we are really having an easy life as a Muslim, these days? If truly one does understand the true meaning of being a MUSLIM, someone who SURRENDERS to the will of Allah. Whilst baring in mind that, the soul purpose of our this short TRANSITORY life, is to be tried through tribulations meanwhile being consistant with regard to ones’ faith. One would have nothing to complain, but simply to give thanks for being tried by the Most Benevolent.

    Peharps, one should read about the life of those who were chosen to guide us, or the early Muslims, who laid down there lives in order for us to be, where we are now with the Dean. Truly we are having too far an easy life.

    As far as I am concerned, my worries are not about our relationship with the Western Idealogy. I am much more concerned about the divisions bitween us: Secterianism, our enability to become one entity as it has first started. In the face of these problems, here we are creating new names: “Moderate, Fundementalist, Extremist. I say nonesens, ONE is a Muslim or not, there is no half and half, period. Those who claim to be a Muslim and do otherwise, are HYPOCRITES. Then one should realise, HELL is the final resting place. The West will try to destroy Islam, but will not succeed by the will of Allah.

    I think if there ought to be a SIX pillar to Islam; It would be for A MUSLIM TO LIVE HERE in the West for a time.

    O Allah, have Mercy<

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