العَطَایَا عَلٰی مَتْنِ البَلَایَا
Al Ataaya A’la matnil Balaaya
The gifts of Allah come riding on the backs of calamities and problems.
When the problems and difficulties come to a person and that person makes Sabr then he can get the gift of Allah which is riding on the back of that particular problem. Every problem that comes to us is carrying on its back a special gift from Allah with the instruction that, “if this person accepts you, he is happy with you, and makes Sabr with you, then give him the gift.”
You can think of this like a guest that comes to your house and the guest is carrying a special gift for you. Everyone likes gifts. No one can say I do not like gifts. Someone knocks your door. You open the door for the guest while this guest is hiding behind his back a special gift. But you cannot see though because if you were to see it from the beginning then there would be no test in all of this. The only thing you can see is the Soorat (appearance) of this person and his appearence is not a good sight. It is difficult to look at him. This person is ugly, outwardly dirty and smelling. He is such type of person whom you would normally not let into your house. So, you opened the door, and he asks you, “please can I come in? I am very thirsty, would you give me a glass of water? Can I sit on your sofa in the sitting room?”
Obviously it is a test.
Majority of people when they see such a person get scared, get Gabrahat (disturbed) and feel, “how can I let such a person enter? So ugly, so scary, what is he going to do to me? I cannot let such a stranger enter into my house, let alone sit in my sitting room on my precious sofas, no!” People get scared. The stench, smell and look of that person is like a proper tramp of a street gangster.
His sight is a very, very scary Manzar (scene). When people see him, they slam the door in his face. Not only do they do that but they are going to put on all the locks also thinking it should not be that he breaks in and after that then they will feel very relieved. Most of the people are going to do that, despite the fact that person was just asking for a glass of water saying “Can I come and sit in the sitting room and have a glass of water?” That was all. But we looked at the Soorat, panicked and slammed the door. What happened? We did not give him a glass of water. Had we brought him in then he would have given us something.
On the other hand just selected few and the special few are going to open the door and they understand when someone knocks on their door and asks for a glass of water, they realize, he has been sent by Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala. Although when he sees his face and appearance, Tab’an (naturally), automatically the urge comes that, “do not let this person in, just close the door.” But at the same time, this person understands that, “someone has come to my door and is asking to come in and have a glass of water. Who knows? Maybe through this act of kindness, Allah will forgive my sins.” The chosen servants of Allah are always on the look out for how they can be forgiven – “What can I do, so that I can be forgiven?”
So the (special) person will look at him and he will say, “come in, it’s okay, come in”. He will lead the so-called tramp or gangster (as that is how he looks like) into the sitting room and tells him to sit. He will go into the kitchen, bring him a glass of water and further ask, “what else do you want, are you hungry, maybe you have not eaten? Do you want something to eat? Let me get you something to eat.” He is going to go into the kitchen again, bring him something simple to eat and told him “here take, eat and drink.”
When a person does that, then he has passed the test. He did not make a decision based on the Zaahiri Soorat (outward appearance). His focus was on Allah and he thought to himself” this is from Allah, he has been sent to me for my benefit. Allah will not send anyone to my door for no reason. If Allah has sent someone to my door, there is a reason for it. So I will let that person in. This person has not come on his own. Nothing can happen on its own. If this person is standing at my door and knocking at my door, it means Allah has sent him. If Allah has sent him, then I will open the door and I will bring him in.” So, then the person treats him kindly and accepts him. He is happy with the man who came into his house. He does not scold him, shout at him or complain regarding, “why have you come here, what do you want or why did you knock at my door? Didn’t you find any other door? Go.”
As he (so called tramp or gangster) starts eating and drinking, from behind he pulls out a present, a surprise gift and he says, “since you brought me inside your house and you treated me so nicely, despite the fact that I look like a monster and yet, you brought me inside your house. You treated me so nicely with a smile on your face. You didn’t hate me. You didn’t try to kick me out. You didn’t call the police on me and for that, this is the gift that Allah has sent for you. This is the gift I am supposed to give to you for treating me kindly.”
The man which had let in that person is what we call Musibat, a calamity. If we are going to let him in, treat him nicely, then he is going to give us a present. When he gives us the present, and when we open it, Allahu Akbar!
The little bit of discomfort and fear which naturally a person goes through in letting him in and making him sit in the sitting room is now erased by the gift he received. The gift made all that forgotten but also made the person feel, not only was it worth it but a cheap deal – “just for this act I am getting such a gift.” The gift changes the life of that person. This is not worldly, material gift, but it is a gift from Allah. It is a Celestial and Noorani gift. It is a gift of Noor, Maghfirat, Rahmat and Ecstasy of which we cannot understand and imagine unless we receive it.
The gift is given, the person passes the test and he advances forward. It will not stop there. After some time another person will come knocking on the door whose sight will be even more hideous than the one before. This is how it goes on. As long as we keep letting them in, and treating them nicely, always with a smile on the face, giving them food and water, then we will keep getting those gifts which they are bringing for us. So think of these Musibats as people who are coming to us and knocking on our door bringing gifts for us depending on how we treat them.
So, If you think about problems and difficulties in that way then Inshallāh, Inshallāh, it will make a big difference. We all want those gifts which they are bringing, so for that we will have to let them in. Do not push them out. If they have come let them in.
May Allah give us the Toufik and the ability.
~Hadhrat Maulana Aarif Umar (Daamat Barakaatuhum)