Disasters & Calamities – Tibb-e-Nabawi

Disasters & Calamities

اللَّهُمِّ إنِّي أعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الهَمِّ والحَزَنِ، وأعُوذُ بكَ مِنْ غَلَبَةَ الدَّينِ وقَهْرِ الرِّجالِ

Prophet’s Guidance on treating shock from disasters and calamities

Allah said:

وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ أُولَئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ وَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ

But give glad tidings to As-Sabireen (the patient). Who, when afflicted with calamity, say; “Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return. They are those on whom are the Salawaat (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy and it is they who are the guided ones. (2:155.157)

وفي “المسند” عنه صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال: “ما من أَحَدٍ تصيبُه مصِيبَةٌ فيقولُ: إنَّا لله وإنَّا إليه رَاجِعُونَ، اللهم أجرنِي في مُصيبَتى وأخلفْ لي خيراً منهَا، إلا أجاَرَه الله في مصِيبَتِهِ، وأخلفَ لهُ خَيراً منها”.

In the Masnad (by Imam Ahmad), it is narrated that Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam said: No person suffers a calamity and then says, “Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return. O Allah! Reward me for the calamity that has befallen me and replace it with what is better”. Except that Allah Will Reward him for his calamity and Will Replace it with what is better than whatever he lost.

The words that are contained in the Hadith are truly effective and are a beneficial cure for those afflicted by disasters or calamities. These words contain two major aspects that if the slaves of Allah acquire knowledge of them, they will relieve them from the shock of the disaster. First, the slave of Allah, his family and wealth are Allah’s exclusive property that Allah Has Loaned to the slave. When Allah Takes back some of what He has Loaned the slave, He is the Owner who Takes back what belongs to Him. Furthermore, whatever Allah Gives the slave is preceded and followed by periods of non-existence, and the slave only takes temporary possession of them when they come into existence. In addition, the slaves of Allah neither create whatever they own, and they are not its true owners, nor are they capable of protecting such possessions and property. Therefore, the slaves are only hired agents who do what they are commanded, since they are not the real owners.

The slave’s return is to Allah, the True Lord, and consequently, they will have to sooner or later depart this life and leave it behind. The slaves will return to Allah just as He created them the first time; dispossessed, without a wife or a family, wealth or tribe. Only the good and bad deeds will the slaves have then. If this is the case with whatever Allah Gives the slaves, its beginning and end, then why should the slaves be proud of whatever they have or get sad if they loose them? When the slaves remember their beginning and end, this thought will help them discard sadness and depression for their loss.

In addition, sadness and depression will be relieved when the slaves realize that they have neither the power to avoid whatever has befallen them, nor to bring about what was not destined for them. Allah said;

مَا أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ فِى الأَرْضِ وَلاَ فِى أَنْفُسِكُمْ إلاَّ فِى كِتَابٍ مِّن قَبْلِ أَن نَّبْرَأَهَا، إنَّ ذَلِكَ عَلَى اللهِ يَسِيرٌ لِّكَيْلاَ تَأْسَوْاْ عَلَى مَا فَاتَكُمْ وَلاَ تَفْرَحُواْ بِمَا آتَاكُمْ وَاللهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُور

“No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al-Lauh Al ­Mahfooz) before We Bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah. In order that you may not grieve at the things over that you fail to get, nor rejoice over that which has been given to you. And Allah Likes not prideful boasters”. (157:22, 25)

In addition, the anguish caused by the calamity will be relieved when the slaves think deeply about what Allah Has Bestowed on them as compared to what they have lost. They will find that whatever they still have of Allah’s bounty is much larger, especially since Allah Has Promised them what is even hatter than whatever they have lost, providing that they are patient with the calamity. If Allah Wills; He Could Make the calamity even larger and more severe.

The shock of calamities could be soothed by observing other people around him and realizing that wherever one looks, he sees a disaster to his right and to his left. If someone searches the entire world, he will see that all of mankind is suffering some type of calamity; either losing a loved one, or from a disaster. He will realize that the joys of this world are jest day dreams or passing shadows; and that even if this earthly life brings a little joy, it brings a comfort for one day, and it can bring about a long term disaster. Furthermore, if this life brings some joy, it can prevent further joy from coming for a long time. No place of residence will be filled with any type of good, but could soon be filled with lessons and losses. Finally, if this life brings happiness for a day, it can be hiding the evil of the days to come.

قال ابن مسعود رضى الله عنه: لكل فرحةٍ تَرْحة، وما مُلِىءَ بيتٌ فرحاً إلا مُلِىءَ تَرحاً

Ibn Masud Radi Allaho Anh said, “Every joy will be followed by sadness, and no house is filled with joy hut will soon be filled with anguish”.

وقال ابن سيرين: ما كان ضحكٌ قَطٌ إلا كان من بعده بُكاء

In addition, Ibn Sireen said, “There is not a laugh but a cry to succeed it”.

Further, Hind Bint An-Nu’maan said, “Once, we were some of the mightiest people enjoying the most respected authority. Soon after, when the sun went down, we became the fewest people. It is Allah’s Promise that He Will not Fill a house with joy but it will soon be filled with lessons (or sadness).

Once, a man asked Hind to tell him her story and she said, “One morning, we woke up while none among the Arabs surpassed us in wealth & eagerness. When the night fell, all the Arabs felt pity for us”.

Further, her sister Hurqah once cried, at a time when they were mighty. When she was asked about why she cried and if someone had bothered her, she said, “No. I saw that my family was enjoying comforts and remembered that no house is filled with joy but would one day be tilled with grief”.

Furthermore, Ishaq bin Talha said, “I came by her (Hurqah) one day and said to her, what do you know about the lessons from the stories of the kings?” She said, “What we enjoy today is better than what we enjoyed yesterday. We read in the books that no people of a house would enjoy a bounty, but would later on be tested with a trial, time would never show people a joyous day but would be hiding another day that they would hate”.

Curing the shock of disasters and calamities comes through knowing that sadness and grief will not avert the calamity but will intensify it.

In addition, curing grief and anguish comes through knowing that missing the rewards for being patient and content, such as mercy and correct guidance that Allah Has Promised in return for being patient; is much larger than the calamity itself.

A part of the cure comes through knowing that grief brings comfort to the heart of enemy, grief to the friends, anger to the Lord, joy to the devil, destruction to the reward and weakness to the heart. On the other hand, when one observes patience and satisfaction, he will expel the devil and defeat his plots, will please the Lord, bring joy to the friends and sadness to the enemy. In this case, the person would say words of condolence to his friends instead of them to him. This indeed is the sought after perfection and firmness, unlike striking the cheeks, uttering foul words and being dissatisfied with what Allah Has Decided…

Curing grief after disaster strikes comes through knowing that being patient and content would lead to a type of joy, tranquility and comfort that is much greater than what had been lost because of the disaster. In this case, it will be enough of a reward for the patient slave that he will acquire a house of praise that will be built for him in Paradise; as a reward for praising his Lord and referring all matters to Him. Let one think about the bigger disaster that he had suffered or to lose the rewards that he would have gained in the Residence of Eternity [for being patient].

وفى الترمذى مرفوعاً: “يَوَدُّ ناسٌ يَوْمَ القيامة أنَّ جُلُودَهُم كانت تُقْرَضُ بالمقارِيض فى الدُّنيا لما يَرَوْنَ من ثوابِ أهلِ البلاءِ”.

Tirmizi related from Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam that he said, “On the Day of Resurrection (Qiyamah), some people would wish that their skins were sliced with scissors in the life of this world because of the reward that they witness the people who endured disasters would receive for being patient”.

وقال بعضُ السَّلَف: لولا مصائبُ الدنيا لورَدْنا القيامة مفاليس.

Some of the followers of the people of Al-Madinah once said, “If it was not for the calamities of this life, we would be bankrupt of rewards on the Day of Resurrection”.

In addition, curing anguish and grief entails feeling content in the heart seeking Allah’s rewards, for everything can be replaced, except for Allah’s Pleasure. The cure entails knowing that the calamity’s affect on one is all what he will gain of it. Those who are content with the calamity will gain contentment, while those who are enraged, will only gain rage. The calamity will affect one as much as he allows it. One should then choose between the best of rewards or the most evil consequences. If one feels rage and disbelief, he will be written in the record of the destroyed ones. If one feels grief and abandons an obligation or commits a prohibition, he will be written in the record of those who neglect their duty. If the calamity caused one to complain and be impatient, he will be written with those who commit injustices against themselves. If one rejects Allah’s Decision and questions His Wisdom, he will have knocked on the door that leads to hypocrisy or will have entered through it. If one is patient and firm for Allah’s sake, he will be written among the content believers. If one praises and thanks Allah, he will be written with the thankful slaves and will be gathered under the flag of those who praise Allah. If the calamity directed one to feel eager to meet his Lord, he will be written among the sincere persons in their love for Allah.

Ahmad and Tirmizi reported that Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam said :

وفى “مسند الإمام أحمد” والترمذىِّ، من حديثِ محمود بن لبيد يرفعه: “إنَّ اللهَ إذا أحبَّ قوماً ابتلاهُم، فمَن رَضِىَ فَلَهُ الرِّضى، ومَن سَخِط فَلَهُ السُّخْطُ”. زاد أحمد: “ومَن جَزِع فَلَهُ الجَزَعُ”.

“When Allah Loves some people, He Tests them with trials. If they are content, then they will achieve contentment, those who get enraged will only reap rage”.

Curing grief entails knowing that no matter how much grief one feels he will sooner or later be forced to forego the matter. And then, he will not be rewarded for this forced patience.

A wise man once said. “In the first day when a calamity strikes, the wise person behaves just like the ignorant person behaves days later. Those who do not observe an honorable patience; will soon be forced to forget just as the animals do”.

In addition in the Sahih, it is related that Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam said:

وفى “الصحيح” مرفوعاً: “الصَّبْرُ عند الصَّدْمَةِ الأُولى”.

“Verily, patience (SABR) is at the first stroke of the calamity.

وقال الأشعث بن قيس: إنك إن صبرتَ إيماناً واحتساباً، وإلا سَلَوْتَ سُلُوَّ البهائِم

Further, Ash’as bin Qays said, “Observe patience with Faith and await the reward from Allah Alone. Otherwise, you will he bowed to forget just as the animals do”.

Among the cures of grief is that the person should know that the most useful remedies for his case are his agreeing with his Lord; in what He Has Chosen for him, for the secret that love contains; is that those who love agree with the loved ones.

وقال أبو الدرداء: إنَّ الله إذا قضى قضاءً، أحب أن يُرضَى به.

Abu Ad-Darda Radi Allaho Anh once said, When Allah Decides a matter, He Likes that His Decision is accepted. In addition, Imran bin Al-Husain used to say when he was ill, “The most beloved to Him is the most beloved to me. Abu Al-Aliyah said similar words. This remedy only works for those who have sincere love for Allah and is not suitable for just any one.

Furthermore, curing grief includes comparing what is more joyous, beloved and enduring; being content with the calamity or the joy of receiving Allah’s reward. When one realizes and acquires the superior option, he should thank Allah for His Guidance. If one chooses the lesser of the two, let him know that the affliction that his mind, heart and religion have suffered is more than the affliction he suffered through the disaster.

Curing grief requires knowing that He Who Has Tested the slave with the affliction is the Most Wise, the Most Merciful and that He Did not Test him with the affliction to destroy, punish or overwhelm him. Rather, the affliction is merely a test of his (SABR) patience, contentment with Allah and faith. Allah Wants to Hear the slaves pleas, supplications, and humility before Him, seeking refuge with Him, his heart’s humbleness before Him and his explaining his grievances to Him.

Sheikh Abdul Qadir said, “My son! The affliction was not meant to destroy you. Rather, it was meant as a test of your patience and faith. My son! Fate is a lion and lions do not eat carrion”. The affliction is just like the bellows for the believer that rids him of impurities. The believer will either end up being pure gold or rusted evil ! When the bellows ho not benefit the slave in this life, he will be faced with the mightiest bellows, hell. The slave should thus know that his being tested with the bellows of this life is better for him than being tested with the bellows of the next life. In addition, the slave has no other choice bet to be tested with one of the two bellows, so let him appreciate Allah’s Bounty on him by Testing him with the bellows of this world.

Curing grief entails knowing that if it were not for the afflictions of this life, the slave would become arrogant, proud and brittle-hearted, which would ultimately cause his destruction. It is the mercy of the Most Merciful that He tests the slave with affliction; sometimes so that these afflictions act as a prevention against evil manners, thus preserving the health of one’s slavery to Allah. They extract spoiled substances from his system. All praise is to He Who Sends down mercy with afflictions, and Who Tests the slaves with the bounties he grants.

If it was not for the fact that Allah treats His slaves with the remedies of afflictions and trials, they would be arrogant and would commit injustices and aggression. When Allah Decides to do good for a certain slave, He Tests him with pain and affliction, according to the degree of his faith. This is how Allah Rids the slaves of destructive ailments (sins and lusts), until the slave is purified and correctly guided, and Allah Qualifies him to the highest degree in this world; being His slave. He Will Qualify him for the best rewards in the Life Hereafter; gazing at Allah and residing close to Him.

Curing grief entails knowing that the bitterness of this life is itself the sweetness of the Life Hereafter, as Allah will Convert it to sweetness later on. The sweetness of this life is itself the bitterness of the Life Hereafter-. Moving away from a short-lived bitterness to acquire an eternal sweetness is surely better than vise versa.

If one does not comprehend these facts, let him remember the words of the truthful one,

“حُفَّتِ الجَنَّةُ بالمَكَارهِ،وحُفَّتِ النَّارُ بالشَّهَواتِ”

“Paradise is surrounded with joys while the Fire is surrounded with lusts”.

Therefore, bring yourself to what Allah Has Prepared for His loyal supporters; those who obey Him are Rewarded with eternal joy, everlasting happiness and ultimate success.

In addition, consider and remember the torment, everlasting sadness and the humiliation that Allah Has Prepared for the evil and wasteful slaves.

كُلٌ يَعْمَلُ عَلَى شَاكِلَتِهِ

“Every one does according to Shakilatihi (i.e. his way or his religion or his intentions)” (17:84)

Every person seeks what is suitable for him and what he deserves. Do not think that the cures mentioned herewith are over explained; for the otter need of them by both the doctor and the sick required explaining them in detail. Allah Knows best.