A Cycle of Fortune and Misfortune


Do not be faint of heart, and do not grieve; for you shell gain the upper hand if you are truly believers. If misfortune befalls you, a similar misfortune has befallen other people as well. Such days [of fortune and misfortune], We deal out in turn among men. God wants to mark out those who truly believe and choose from among you such as [with their lives] bear witness to the truth. God does not love the wrongdoers. (Quran 3: 139-40)

Believers must not lose heart, nor should they allow grief to overtake them because of what may happen. Eventually if they remain steadfast they will gain the upper hand, because they have faith. Believers submit themselves only to God, while others are worshiping false deities and worldly desires.

These verses makes it plain to the believers that they are indeed on the path of truth. It tells them, they follow a way of life established by God while the methods followed by other groups have been devised by His creatures. Moreover, their role is noble, because they have been selected for a position of trust, to convey God's guidance to all mankind. Other people are unaware of this guidance, and have gone astray. Their place on earth is righteous, and it is the righteous that will inherit the earth. Therefore, believers have to demonstrate the strength of their faith by not losing heart and not grieving. The rules determined by God make it possible that they may score a victory or suffer a defeat, but in due course, after enduring the test and striving for God's cause, will be in their favor.

Art work by RB Studios

"If misfortune befalls you, a similar misfortune has befallen other people as well" The misfortune which is said to have befallen the Muslims and the fact that a similar one befell those who reject the truth may be a reference to the Battle of Badr, in which the idolaters suffered a heavy defeat. On the other hand, it may be a reference to the Battle of Uhud, in which the Muslims were initially close to victory, but were then defeated. What the Muslims suffered was fair reward for their disagreement and disobedience. Moreover, it represents an aspect of how the rules of nature established by God never fail. The disagreement among the rearguard of the Muslim army was the result of their greed. In any campaign of struggle, God grants victory to those who strive for His cause, without regard of the petty gains of this world. Another rule of nature which is seen in full operation is the dealing out of fortune and misfortune among people according to their actions and intentions. In this way, true believers are distinguished from hypocrites. Mistakes are identified and the way ahead becomes very clear.

"If misfortune befalls you, a similar misfortune has befallen other people as well. Such days [of fortune and misfortune] We deal out in turn among men. God wants to mark out those who truly believe." (Verse 140) When hardship is followed by prosperity and the latter is followed by another hardship, people's true characters emerge. They reveal how clear their vision is , how much they panic and how patient in adversity they can be, as well as how great their trust in God is and how submissive to His will they are. Thus true believers are distinguished from those who are hypocrites. Their true intentions are apparent to all. The believers who submit them selves to God are strengthened by the fact that those who do not truly submit to God are identified and excluded.

God knows all secrets and He is aware of those who are true believers and those who are not. But the alternation of days of fortune and misfortune does not merely reveal secrets; it also translates faith into action and compels hypocrisy to express itself in practical measures. Hence, it is action that merits reward.

God does not hold people to account for what He knows of their position, but He counts their actions for or against them. The cycle of hardship and prosperity is an accurate criterion. Prosperity is as good a test as hardship. Some people may withstand hardship but become complacent when they are tested with ease and prosperity. A true believer is one who remains steadfast in adversity and is not lured away by prosperity. He knows that whatever befalls him of good or evil happens only with God's permission.

In the process of molding the Muslim community and preparing it for the role of leadership of humankind, God tests it with hardship after prosperity and with a bitter defeat after a spectacular victory. Both happen according to the laws of nature which never fail. That is because God wants the true believers to learn what brings them victory and what causes defeat. Thus, they become more obedient to God and reliant on Him. Through the cycle of fortune and misfortune they become aware of the true nature of the Islamic way of life and what is required to implement it.

 

References:

1. In the Shade of The Quran by Sayyid Qutb

2. The Holy Quran - Text, Translation and Commentary by Abdullah Yusuf Ali


Related posts from similar topics:


Disclaimer
The opinions expressed herein, through this post or comments, contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of IslamiCity. These are offered as a means for IslamiCity to stimulate dialogue and discussion in our continuing mission of being an educational organization. The IslamiCity site may occasionally contain copyrighted material the use of which may not always have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. IslamiCity is making such material available in its effort to advance understanding of humanitarian, education, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, and such (and all) material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml If you wish to use any copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

  27 Comments   Comment

  1. Mohamed Salaam from U.S.A.

    Excellent Article. I will share this with other Brothers and Sisters. I am currently experiencing misfortune after great fortune and I am closer to Islam and Allah now than ever before.

    I strive to learn more about Islam and to be a true believer and I know that I will experience fortune once again.

    I encourage all brothers and sisters to be good Muslims and to surrender themselves to Allah for He will make things easy for us.

    May Allah guide and bless all of us.

    When we are experiencing misfortune it is a wake up call for us and we should not remember Allah during these time only but at all times.

    Mohamed Salaam

  2. Dr Edriss from US

    Assalam Alaikom,

    A True Believers(to the last message of Allah Subhaanah wa ta'aala) does not scare about Islam or about themselves. It is Allah's Words that He protects Islam and reward the true believers with the best rewards. and Allah's Words does not change. A true believers, when they see the disbelievers are preparing to fight them, their True Belief to Allah increase instead of decreasing (3:173 Men said to them: "A great army is gathering against you": And frightened them: But it (only) increased their Faith: They said: "For us Allah sufficeth, and He is the best disposer of affairs." )

    A True belief, following Assalaf Assaalih of this Ummah(the first Humains other than the Prophet Mohammad Salla Allah alaih wa sallam who Established this Deen successfully) , is:

    what you accept as certain with your heart, you confirm it with your mouth and you practice it thru the pillars of Al Imane(the True Belief).

    True belief can not be without practice, that's what makes us different of those who call themselves believers to something in our time. the True Belief can not be thru claiming with your mouth what is not in your heart, that's what makes us different than the secret organizations of faith. the true belief can not be thru accepting in your heart the things that Allah and His Prophet did not say. that's why we are different than the hypocrites.

    May Allah accept us from the True Believers to Him and helps us to defeat our enemy number one: shaytan who promised to not stop challenging us in this life. Amine. and thanks to Allah the only one to deserve thanks in every situation we live in.

  3. Faisal Farooq from Pakistan

    Greate Article. Here is another article of Harun Yahya "THE SECRET BEHIND OUR TRIALS" related to the topic.

    http://www.harunyahya.com/books/faith/secret/secret3.php

    The World Is a Place of Testing:

    - Exchanging Eternal Life for the Life of This World

    - Allah Tries People with Good and Evil

    The Great Secret:

    - Submission to Destiny

    - To Look at Events from the Vantage

    Point of the Future

    The Muslim of Difficult Times:

    - The Voice of Conscience and the Voice of the

    Lower Self in Times of Difficulty

    - The Separation of Good from Evil

    - Exhibiting Good Moral Qualities at Times

    of Difficulty and Frustration

    - The Strength that Supports Believers

    - Meticulous Obedience to Allah in

    Times of Difficulty

    - Muslims Are True Friends in Times of Need

    - With Every Difficulty There Is Some Ease

    How Unbelievers Act when Faced with Difficulty:

    - The Inner State of Those who Are Attached to This World

    This Testing Continues until Death:

    - Those who Come to Belief but Later Reject It

    - Those who Lag Behind in the Struggle and Those who Avoid It

    Conclusion:

    The Deception of Evolution:

    - The Scientific Collapse of Darwinism

    - The First Insurmountable Step: The Origin of Life

    - "Life Comes From Life"

    - Inconclusive Efforts of the Twentieth Century

    - The Complex Structure of Life

    - Imaginary Mechanism of Evolution

    - Neo-Darwinism and Mutations

  4. J Proust from Leeds UK

    Clyde Furgeson, please keep your comments coming as they provide endless entertainment for the rest of us. I can just see it now, Jesus standing there with a halo above him, holding Christian hands, dripping blood and over the bodies of the countless innocents murdered, tortured, raped and sodomized. Hey if you funny Christian guys will fill up heaven even after all the horrors you have subject the world to throughout your history, then what about the devil? Where will that poor guy go? After all, you funny Christian guys have taken away his job. He might as well put in for his retirement cheques, but if he plans on retiring in the US, do remind him, given that you guys are such close friends, that the US social security system is bankrupt - robbed by the Republicans and Democrats to benefit Israel. So he might just end up in the UK.

  5. Tasneem from USA

    Great article..Thank you Islamicity for this article. This misfortune that has befallen on us is of our doing and one has to realize that this misfortune will only turn around if we follow Islam in its true sense..no interest..no alcohol, no cheating other fellow being no matter what race or color, no back talking and praying and holding to pillars of Islam with all our might..so many of your readers are thinking that Allah will one day change our situation--why should Allah do that..we under the shadow of Quran blow ourselves and kill innocent people and call ourselves Shaheed. Look at Saudi Arabia, Dubai and UAE..look at their tall buildings with Alcohol being served..they are not concerned abt ummah or anybody..we the people are in turn keeping it quiet and are dreaming that one day our fortune will turn...I dont think so..you guys are all in LaLa land. We have not even started ..Wake up...Tasneem

  6. mohammad Shafique from Canada

    Dear Doin Phine this is Islam and that's what a good Muslim should

    be doing. The writer has been kind enough to present this article

    for all of us as an wake-up call. We tend loose our patient when we

    are in distress or hardship. We forget the unlimited mercy and

    blessings of Allah definitely destined for the believers in the next

    world. Which is eternal and permanent.

  7. Clyde Furgeson from Christians will rein with Christ

    hate to burst you bubble but CHRISTIANS will rein in the Kingdom of God along side Jesus Christ

  8. ahmed asgher from bahrain

    Let us not forget that God does all this to us out of His pure Love and not to punish us for what purpose that be to One Almighty to torment a weak soul and body created by Him in the first place?

    His pure love is to Purify and Sanctify us, so that we are worthy of returning to Him with a Pure Soul/heart.

    2:151 A similar (favour have ye already received) in that We have sent among you an Messenger of your own, rehearsing to you Our Signs, and sanctifying you, and instructing you in Scripture and Wisdom, and in new knowledge.

  9. umm isa from bahrain

    As salam alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatu.

    MashAllah this is a wonderfull artical to say the least. InshAllah after every hardship we face there will be ease. Ya Rabb. SubhanAllah wa bihamdi. Alhumdulillah Ya Rabbil Al Amin.

    keep up the wonderfull work. shukran

  10. Munthasir from India

    Salaam. True, the pendulum of life always swings between fortune & misfortune. But the change of misfortune to fortune isn't relevant to time. If muslim starts to believe that my difficulties will get over soon if they withstand quietly(inaction), then they have to revise their opinions. It is not forbearing or endurance which will change our situation,but perseverance.

    You have to apply Islam irrespective of the difficulties we would face, that's what being referred in this article. There is hell a lot of difference between people who go easy during difficult times & people who persist with their belief even it means aggrevating their situation, thats Submission.

  11. YVETTE from US

    Very encouraging article for those of us currently experiencing hardship. My family has been separated, income has decreased more than half and based on man's law the future doesn't look bright regarding my family's reunification. I know that Allah tests us and we must endure and seek His guidance. But, somedays I am discouraged and afraid to even move on. Thanks for posting this article, for you have reminded me that "with every difficulty comes ease."

  12. Amsat from Nigeria

    Truly Allah knows best,life is all about misfortune and fortune, the problem with us "human", is that we have short memory when things are bad we feel is forever but when things are good we forget God and enjoy it only for God to remind us that it is only tempoary by bringing in misfortune.

    As muslims we should always remmber that the way of Allah is the way of "just and true",that nothing is permanet. Just take a look at what is happening in the Middle East,we should see it as a tempoary set-back and Allah that is "just and fair" will not let the enemy go unpunish. Let pray for those killed and remind enemy of Allah that sooner than they expected misfortune of Allah will soon smile at them.

  13. Rais Ahmed Farooqui from India

    Assalam-u-alaikum-vr-vb!

    Jazakallah. Such an article is an eye opener esp. to the believers. As our fate is decided by the Almighty, we should bother about the result, but continue to do the good deeds as has happened to famous converts like Mohammed Ali Clay, Yusuf Islam and Idris Tawfique.

    May Allah give us the desired strength, Imaan and patience to bear the losses and/or prosperity for the total submission and faith in Allah. Amin-Summa-Amin.

    I request IslamiCity to keep sending such articles for further Islah (correction) of our actions.

    Alhamd-u-lillah

  14. doin phine

    As a non-Muslim you can be reassured that I will show this article to as many non-Muslims as possible. Thank-you for this insightful article.

  15. Tahseen Kauser from UK

    JazakumAllah

    We need these articles to be send to one another to strengthen ourselves and many others who are suffering with no fault of theirs. The Holy book is such a pivotal guidance at such times and we have to very firmly believe in these verses which take the whole burden away from the suffering hearts and make us closer to our Almighty Creator. Even sufferings make so much meaning to your life as a believer now and in the hereafter.

  16. Fatima from Pakistan

    JazakAllah to the whole team of Islamicity.Indeed this site is doing a tremendous job in strenthening the faith of Muslim Ummah.

    Let us all make sure that we spread knowledge and wisdom that we gain after reading the enlightening articles from this site to as many muslim brothers and sisters as we can!

  17. Siddiqui from USA

    This is an excellent and timely article. While I agree with most of what is written, it is a misnomer to suggest that some are suffering misfortune, to me misfortune connotes bad luck,(a gamble) there is no such thing as bad luck in Al Islam. Either we submit totally to the will of ALLAH in Al Islam or we are doomed to failure. Muslims reap what they sow, when hypocrisy/enmity is sowed in the ummah, those who give in to discord and weakness recieve what they earn. Al Islam is a system of Justice, Equity and Unity. Al Islam cannot fail when properly adhere to and practice. Those who choose to hold fast to the rope of Al Islam, which ALLAH has extended to the Muslim Ummah, they will reap the victory. The West/Media constantly fans the fire of Schisms under guise of freedom/democracy misleading many muslims who appear to be very gullible and thus succumb to Avaricious Global Capitalism, consequently those who missed the mark, will not be victorious. A certain Biblical story tells about the Holy Prophet Christ, Jesus (pbuh) disbanding, the evil avaricious, disbelieving money changers out of the temple/world. So, eventhough they may appear to be having some success they will eventually fail. The victory is promise to the true Believers, who humble self with constancy, strentghening/increasing their Iman, doing good deeds, practicing what our Holy Prophet Muhammad, (pbuh) has brought/left us. Qur'an/Sunnah. Not innovation and schisms. Historically, schisms have desparately failed mankind, no schisms can defeat Al Islam.

  18. Modu Baba Shehuri from Nigeria

    Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi.Infact i have Read your Article on the fortune&misfortune of life with the referrence to the Glorious Quran. It is very important for both Muslim&non-Muslim in the Article their is Lesson to be Learn more especially a issue related to anger,grief,sorrow&depression,more grease to your elbow ,may Almighty Allah Reward in his infinite mercy Ameen.Thanks massalam.

  19. Akil Clark from USA- Iowa

    Wow, this is so very true. It is also just amazing that this was put up the very day I needed to hear it. Allahu Akbar.

  20. Shahista from South Africa

    Jazakallah for this wonderful article. It is so important for us to remember that whatever good or bad comes to us is from Allah alone. The difficulties are a test of our faith & trust in Allah. Nothing good or bad lasts forever. When the difficult times come I always say, "Allah alone is sufficient for me & He is the best disposer of my affairs." This gives me the courage to get through the dark days.

  21. Mas from UAE

    A brilliant reminder to make us understand life ordeals and how we as muslims should react or proact to such ordeals.

  22. Shahista from South Africa

    Jazakallah for this wondeful article. It is so important for us to remember that whatever good or bad comes to us is from Allah alone. The difficulties are a test of our faith & trust in Allah. Nothing good or bad lasts forever. When difficult times come I always say, "Allah alone is sufficient for me & He is the best disposer of my affairs." This gives me the courage to get through the dark days.

  23. Monroy from USA

    This helped me opem my eyes..Im sorry Allah for not staying in faith through my hardship...I will do better..Please help me.

    Ameen

  24. Imtiaz Ahmed from Pak

    Your title could also be :

    A matter of Tuning or MisTuning ....to the Qurn

  25. mohammed waseem from Canada

    May ALLAH ALIMUN HAKIM HAKIMULHAKMIN be meriful upon us, reward you for the article you wrote.I would like to suggest that you use the word ALLAH (God) once and then continue to write ALLAH INSTED OF THE WORD GOD. Jazak ALLAH. PLease brother pray to ALLAH that I write the intended paper on the function of blood tissue in human thinking.Wasslam, Mohammed Wasem.

  26. Siddiqui from USA

    This is truly an excellent article, Muslims need to be aware that the enemies of Islam will never be victorious over the true Believers. Islam has never failed, and cannot fail, it is the only system that will withstand the tests of time. Some Muslims have failed and are failing as a result of their hypocracy, weak iman or lack thereof, coupled with becoming victims to schisms conncocted by the transgressing evil arrogant/ignorant forces of the West/East. Historically, all the "isms" and schemes of World have failed miserably. Avarious Global Capitalistism likewise is failing and soon will be defeated by the Righteous Believers who have submitted totally to Will of Allah in Al Islam. O Muslins Unite and Hold fast to the Rope of Al Islam, do not be decieved by Satan and his imps and isms. Strengthen your Iman, Victory is yours, It is promise by Qur'an and Sunnah. Al Islam cannot be defeated. ALLAH has perfected the Deen of Al Islam for you. There is no force military or otherwise that is more mightier than the Almighty Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. This is not Rhetoric, nor empty words. This is a promise made by ALLAH to his Holy Prophet Muhammad(PBUH)and all the True Prophets including Christ Jesus (PBUH) sent to the Worlds. It is a very clear message to those who are Wise.

  27. Yasmine Fahim from Saudi Arabia

    I thought that it is the ability to hold on to faith in the face of hard times which distinguish a believer from another. I come to realize, out of experience, that it is the perseverence in holding on to faith when the heart shuts down, when one loses a sense of connection with Allah, when one is so depressed that nothing seems to matter anymore, that this is the true Jehad, the true test, the real crisis. One has little control over the psyche, the ego, the ups and downs of emotions. The only power one has is in the will to fight the feeling until one gains back that sense of connection with Allah. Thank you.