Examinations from the Divine - Ramadan Reflections 14/30 - 1436/2015

Translated by Shaykh Saleem Bhimji and edited by Arifa Hudda, this work looks at 30 topics through the supplications taught by Prophet Muhammad, prayers of God be upon him and his family, to be recited in the Blessed Month of Ramadan. In this installment, the topic of "Examinations from the Divine" is elucidated upon.

Allahumma la tuaakhidhni fih bi al-eatharat wa aqalani fih min al-khataya wa al-hafawat wa la tajealni fih gharadaan lil-balaya wa al-'afat bi eizzatik ya eizza al-muslimeen. Oh Allah, on this day, do not condemn me for my slips; and on this day make me decrease my mistakes and errors; and on this day, do not make me a target for afflictions and troubles; By Your Honour. Oh the Honourer of the Muslims.

'A'udhu billahi min al-Shaytan al-rajim, Bismillah, al-Rahman, al-Rahim. Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. We have reached to the 14th day of the blessed month of Ramadhan, and today we want to focus our attention on a topic which is a very sensitive topic on many different fronts and some topic which I'm sure many people have thought about within their lives, and that is examinations from the divine. Examinations that come from Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta'ala.

Now we know when we look at the world today that no two people lead the same life. We have people who are living in opulence, who are millionaires, billionaires, perhaps even multibillionaires and who apparently have no troubles. And maybe on the other side of town, will be a family who are living hand-to-mouth, just making ends meet, living on meagre sustenance on a day to day basis. So we see at one level an individual who is beyond wealthy and at the other side, somebody who is at the level of pure poverty.

One way that we understand a lot of these things that we see within our lives, the richness and the poverty. We see people who are healthy, people who are sick. We see people, couples, some who have multiple children, others who are struggling to conceive one child. One of the ways that we understand all of these things that we see within our world around us, is that all of these are examinations. These are tests given to us by the Supreme Creator.

One thing that we have to appreciate on this day of the month of Ramadhan and in understanding this topic, is that we are not to judge an individual based upon the state that they are in. So if I see a person who is very rich, they have everything at their disposal, whatever they want, they can just go and purchase whatever they need, they can procure, they can travel around the world. This should not be an indicator to us as believers that that person is blessed by Allah.

In fact, the Qur'an tells us that there are many times when Allah punishes people through wealth and through offspring. So don't be quick to judge a person who is well-off to be in Allah's good books or Allah's favour. And conversely, we see so many times people who are suffering, who don't have food, who don't have clothing, who don't have proper shelter. And we tend to think that that person has been deprived of the mercy of Allah.

Again, we have to get out of that mindset to think that that person is deprived of Allah's mercy and rather understanding that this could also be a test for that individual.

One of the final things we want to mention is this, that how are we able to tell are we within the divine retribution of Allah or are we being blessed by Allah because of our good actions? And one of the things perhaps we can use as a measuring stick, although this is not the only criterion that we want to make sure is in our minds, is that if we see that we're performing good actions, we are fulfilling our obligations to our Creator, to humanity, to the world, and we are being blessed through blessings by Allah, then we can perhaps be rest assured that we are doing something good.

And if we see that we're being even given blessings, despite the fact that we are breaking Allah's rules, we are disregarding his commandments, then we should be careful that perhaps we are being tested by Allah to see how we will react, that even though we break his laws but he will continue to give us.

So as we conclude this discussion on this blessed day of the month of Ramadhan, let us keep in mind that the tests of Allah come in many different shapes, forms and sizes, and that we are not as believers, we are not to judge other human beings based upon the situation that they are in.

Let us look at ourselves. Let us do some self introspection to see where we stand on the platform with Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala. Wa assalamu alaykum, wa rahmatullahi, wa barakatuh.

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