Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
11 January 2013 / 28 Safar 1434
A Noble Lesson from the Determination
& Perseverance of Rasulullah s.a.w.
Dear blessed Friday jemaah
As we get through the days of our lives, not everything will be easy. At times, we will be tested by hurdles and challenges that would feel as burden to us. These could come in numerous aspects; financial, family relations, in our worklife, health and so on. However, all these are actually opportunities from Allah. Through these tests, He reminds us that we are just human beings, His creations, who are dependent on Allah s.w.t., The Almighty who has blessed us with His bounty.
We have definitely met those who are wealthy, powerful or those with brilliant minds. Despite that, it does not prevent them from being tested, perhaps in the form of their health or some other matter. Therefore, challenges in our lives are meant to point us back toward Allah and to increase our taqwa toward Him. It is a reminder that we need to obey Allah’s commands and avoid what He has forbidden upon us.
My brothers, let us remember that tests and challenges are part of the cycle of life. Allah declared in surah Al-Baqarah verse 155:
Which means: “And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.”
My dear brothers,
Let us study how Rasulullah s.a.w. dealt with challenges, sadness and hurdles in life. Hopefully, we will continue to be strong and resilient despite the challenges that we face. Among the lessons that we can learn from the story of Rasulullah s.a.w. is his determination and perseverance:
Firstly, Rasulullah s.a.w. placed his hopes and depended only on Allah s.w.t. and inculcated himself with the belief that everything that happened was a result of Allah’s wisdom and knowledge.
Rasulullah’s life was not free of trials and tribulations. Many of us may have thought that because Rasulullah is beloved Allah’s messenger, everything that he wanted would be met with much ease. Every dream could become a reality. Everything was easy and smooth.
However, it was not as such. At a crucial time when Rasulullah was spreading the message and dakwah to his people, his fervent supporters and his main pillars of strength, returned to Allah s.w.t forever. It started with the death of his uncle, Abu Talib, who had always protected and supported Rasulullah’s dakwah efforts. Then, it was his beloved wife, Khadijah r.a. who followed in the footseps of Rasulullah’s uncle. And hence that year was known as the Year of Sadness.
Our beloved Prophet was also tested with the loss of his sons, Abdullah, Ibrahim and Qasim who passed away at a very young age. It was narrated in Sahih Bukhari, whereby Anas bin Malik r.a. said, which means:
“ We went with Rasulullah s.a.w to Abu Saif Al-Qain’s house, and he was the husband of the wet-nurse of Ibrahim (the son of the Prophet). Rasulullah took Ibrahim and kissed him and smelled him and later we entered Abu Saif’s house and at that time Ibrahim was in his last breaths, and the eyes of Rasulullah s.a.w started shedding tears.
‘Abdul Rahman Bin ‘Auf said, “O Rasulullah, even you are weeping!” He said, “O Ibn ‘Auf, this is mercy.” Then he wept more and said, “The eyes are shedding tears and the heart is grieved, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord. O Ibrahim, Indeed we all feel the sadness.”
My brothers, we see how in the most challenging situation and at such a sad moment, which is the passing away of his young son, Rasulullah s.a.w. turned his heart to Allah s.w.t., by saying that we will not say except what pleases Allah. When his heart was filled with sadness and grief, Rasulullah placed his heart and soul with Allah the Almighty and the All-Knowing. This is to regain hope, confidence and emotional as well as psychological strength. At the same time, indirectly, it is a signal to ourselves that we can rise from challenges with the strength given to us by Allah s.w.t.
Thus, when we are engulfed in problems, challenges and trials in this life, we should always turn to Allah first, to seek strength and resilience in dealing with the test. Allah’s test is indeed a sign of His love for us. It is a sign that Allah does not want us to neglect Him, and become arrogant with our comforts and life’s pleasures. This was explained by the Prophet s.a.w. in his hadith which means: “When Allah s.w.t. loves a people, He tests them.” Hadith reported by Imam Tirmidzi.
Secondly, Rasulullah s.a.w. was always optimistic and did not have negative thoughts.
This trait can be seen after the the people of Quraisy Makkah strongly rejected the message and dakwah efforts by Rasulullah s.a.w. Prophet hence went to Taif, to spread the message of Islam there.
In the book of sirah ‘Al-Raheeq Al-Makhtum’ it was narrated that when Rasulullah arrived in Taif, not only did the people reject his teachings. But the poor, the slaves and the children of Bani Thaqif, also hurled stones and it caused Rasulullah’s legs to bleed.
It was also reported that Allah had sent the angels who looked over the mountains to offer help to Rasulullah, by offering to crush the people of Taif between the mountains.
However, Rasulullah s.a.w declined because of his compassion. The Prophet said, “Although they have rejected Islam, I pray that by Allah’s will, their offsprings will worship Allah and obey Him.”
This event has taught us to always remain positive and not give up in everything that we embark on, especially when doing dakwah, whether to our family members or to our friends.
It is the attitude and belief that someone is able to change for the better, even if they themselves fail to think so. This attitude, together with loving and caring for others, is the key to the success of the dakwah of Rasulullah s.a.w.
My dear brothers,
The story that I have shared is just one instance of the numerous examples of the noble character and values embodied by Rasulullah s.a.w. Hopefully, by learning and eventually emulating the determination and perseverance of Rasulullah s.a.w., we can become Muslims with a positive attitude, resilient, patient and filled with taqwa, and eventually be among those who are succesful in this world and the hereafter. Amin Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.