Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 marks the death anniversary of Prophet Muhammad al-Mustafa (pbuh), 1440 A.H.
God Almighty is the most merciful and the most kind and wants the best for all His creation. Sometimes He puts us through trials to make us stronger and to test our trust in Him. He does not put us through difficulties because He is upset with us. God states in His book, “When the faithful come to you, say to them, “Peace be upon you. Your Lord has decreed for Himself to be All-merciful. Anyone of you who commits a sin out of ignorance, then repents, and reforms himself will find that God is All-forgiving and All-merciful.”1 Although we forget, it is important to remind ourselves that God, out of His Grace, cares about our success and spiritual growth. When we encounter difficulties, it is not because God dislikes us or wants to put us through hardship arbitrarily, but rather, He seeks to cultivate our hearts and souls in a way that draws us closer to Him in this world and the next. We see this as a consistent theme in the life and legacy of the prophets of God and the infallible Imams from the progeny of the final Messenger (pbuh&hp).
The Trust of Lady Maryam (p)
Among the best Quranic examples of conviction in God’s decree is the one portrayed to us by Lady Maryam (p), the mother of Prophet Isa (p). Coming from an honorable family, one of the worst possible sins a person can commit is having a child out of wedlock. Their status and reputation would be ruined in the eyes of the people. Nonetheless, God blessed Lady Maryam (p) with a child without having a husband, out of His power and might. When the people in her community found out, they thought she had committed a major transgression of God’s boundaries. They thought she was a hypocrite and desired to punish her for what they thought she had done. Can we imagine all the emotional distress she had to endure due to the scrutiny of the people around her? She too was confused about everything she was experiencing. “She states, “How can I have a son when no mortal has touched me nor am I an unchaste woman.”2 Sometimes God has other plans for us even though they are extremely challenging at the given moment. There is always a hidden blessing waiting on the other side. Lady Maryam (p) chose to trust God and His plan even though she was overwhelmed by the situation in which she found herself. She still chose to keep her faith strong and trust the Almighty.
Furthermore, in order to give birth to her child, she had to go far away from home due to the fear that people might hurt her or her child. She had to give birth in a place far from a doctor’s care and without family or friends to support her. The fear and pain she must have experienced is nearly unimaginable. God states, “When she started to experience (the pain of) of childbirth labor, by the trunk of a palm tree in sadness she said, ‘Would that I had died long before and passed into oblivion.’”3 Going through the pain of labor with no support can take an immense physical and emotional toll on a woman. God states, “Your Lord has caused a stream to run at your feet. If you shake the trunk of the palm tree, it will provide you with fresh ripe dates. Eat, drink, and rejoice.”4 After the painful birth of her child, God, through His love and compassion, provided her with everything that she needed to sustain her and her child. This is a good reminder that no matter what trials we are experiencing, God will always help us through it.
After some time, God instructed Lady Maryam (p) to return to her hometown and commanded her not to speak to anyone on the way. God tells her, “Should you see a person going by, tell him that on this day you have promised the Beneficent God to fast and not speak to any human being.” This was another difficult task for her. How could she go back now with a child in her arms after running away from home? What would they do to her? God told her to do as He said, and He will take care of the rest. When she reached her hometown, the people were still questioning her character and accused her of being a hypocrite. She did not speak to anyone and instead, pointed toward her child whenever someone asked her a question. Soon, Prophet Isa (p) began to speak to the people. God states, “She pointed to the baby (and referred them to him for their answer). They said, “How can we talk to a baby in the cradle?” He said, “I am the servant of God. He has given me the Book and has appointed me to be a Prophet. He has blessed me no matter where I dwell, commanded me to worship Him and pay the religious tax for as long as I live. He has commanded me to be good to my parents and has not made me an arrogant rebellious person. I was born with peace, and I shall die and be brought to life again with peace.”5 The people were in total shock after witnessing this miracle. This is another excellent reminder for us that God will always be there to help us. Lady Maryam (p) did not know that God would make her child speak. She just trusted the Almighty and knew he was not going to abandon her during her most trying times.
Bits of Advice.
1. Keep our faith strong. With all the difficulties that we may experience in life, it is easy to neglect God’s remembrance in our hearts. Thus, we should always keep in mind that God is always with us no matter what situation we are in. God has promised us that, “He is with you wherever you may be.”6
2. Accept the things we cannot control. In life, there are things that we can control and things we cannot. In regards to what we can control, it is important to do our best in terms of managing our affairs. With circumstances that we do not have control over, such as death, illness, or financial hardships, it is important to submit to God’s will and know that He always does what is best for us.
3. Never forget to be thankful. When we look around us, we see that the world is filled with immense blessings from God. He states in the Quran, “If you give thanks, I shall give you greater (favors), but if you deny the Truth, know that My retribution is severe.”7 When we remember to always count our blessings and thank Him, He will continue to reward us with even greater blessings.
1. The Holy Quran 6:54, Muhammad Sarwar translation.
2. The Holy Quran 19:20.
3. The Holy Quran 19:23.
4. The Holy Quran 19:24-26.
5. The Holy Quran 19:29-33.
6. The Holy Quran 57:4.
7. The Holy Quran 14:7.
١. قال الله تعالى: (وَإِذَا جَاءَكَ الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِآيَاتِنَا فَقُلْ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ ۖ كَتَبَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ الرَّحْمَةَ ۖ أَنَّهُ مَنْ عَمِلَ مِنكُمْ سُوءًا بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ تَابَ مِن بَعْدِهِ وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَنَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ)
٢. قال الله تعالى: (قَالَتْ أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لِي غُلَامٌ وَلَمْ يَمْسَسْنِي بَشَرٌ وَلَمْ أَكُ بَغِيًّا)
٣. قال الله تعالى: (فَأَجَاءَهَا الْمَخَاضُ إِلَىٰ جِذْعِ النَّخْلَةِ قَالَتْ يَا لَيْتَنِي مِتُّ قَبْلَ هَٰذَا وَكُنتُ نَسْيًا مَّنسِيًّا)
٤. قال الله تعالى: (فَنَادَاهَا مِن تَحْتِهَا أَلَّا تَحْزَنِي قَدْ جَعَلَ رَبُّكِ تَحْتَكِ سَرِيًّا ﴿٢٤﴾ وَهُزِّي إِلَيْكِ بِجِذْعِ النَّخْلَةِ تُسَاقِطْ عَلَيْكِ رُطَبًا جَنِيًّا ﴿٢٥﴾فَكُلِي وَاشْرَبِي وَقَرِّي عَيْنًا ۖ فَإِمَّا تَرَيِنَّ مِنَ الْبَشَرِ أَحَدًا فَقُولِي إِنِّي نَذَرْتُ لِلرَّحْمَٰنِ صَوْمًا فَلَنْ أُكَلِّمَ الْيَوْمَ إِنسِيًّا)
٥. قال الله تعالى: (فَأَشَارَتْ إِلَيْهِ ۖ قَالُوا كَيْفَ نُكَلِّمُ مَن كَانَ فِي الْمَهْدِ صَبِيًّا ﴿٢٩﴾ قَالَ إِنِّي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ آتَانِيَ الْكِتَابَ وَجَعَلَنِي نَبِيًّا ﴿٣٠﴾ وَجَعَلَنِي مُبَارَكًا أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُ وَأَوْصَانِي بِالصَّلَاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ مَا دُمْتُ حَيًّا ﴿٣١﴾ وَبَرًّا بِوَالِدَتِي وَلَمْ يَجْعَلْنِي جَبَّارًا شَقِيًّا ﴿٣٢﴾ وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَيَّ يَوْمَ وُلِدتُّ وَيَوْمَ أَمُوتُ وَيَوْمَ أُبْعَثُ حَيًّا)
٦. قال الله تعالى: (وَهُوَ مَعَكُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ)
٧. قال الله تعالى: (وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ ۖ وَلَئِن كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ)