The Beloved (pbuh) and coping with change

April 12, 2009 at 4:45 pm Leave a comment

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم 

والحمدلله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء والمرسلين

 In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful the Most Compassionate

All praise be to Allah, and may peace and blessings be upon the most noble of the Prophets and Messengers

 

 Life changes a lot. Sometimes these changes are sudden, sometimes we know they are coming, but all the same, they can be difficult to cope with. These changes can unnerve us. So how do we deal with them? Inevitably, there won’t be a one-size-fits-all approach because as we are all different, change will affect us differently and our ways of dealing with these changes will vary. However, there are some key things we can learn from the Beloved’s (pbuh) life.

When the Prophet (pbuh) and Abu Bakr (ra) had to leave Mecca to go to Medina, the Prophet (pbuh) looked back at Mecca with tears in his eyes and said “Only Allah knows that you are the most beloved of all places to my heart, and if it was not for your people driving me out I would never have left you.” (Malik’s Muwatta)

Moving from a place that is your home, and not knowing when you will return, is no easy thing. Especially as his home had the Ka’ba. While Madina was infinitely better in the sense that many people there were believers, they had peace contracts with non-believers and were not subject to persecution, it was nevertheless a strange place. The climate was different, the food was different, there were new difficulties to encounter and it was not home. Aisha (ra) relates what occurred when they first moved to Madina: She said,

“When we came to Madina, is was the most epidemic-ridden of the lands of Allah.” She said, “[The wadi of] Buthan flowed over the land with impure water.'” (Bukhari)

She also relates: “When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came to Madina, Abu Bakr and Bilal came down with a fever. When Abu Bakr’s fever got worse, he would say:

‘Every man is struck down among his people in the morning. Death is nearer than the strap of his sandal.’

When the fever left Bilal, he raised his voice and said,

‘Would that I knew whether I would spend a night in the valley of Makka

with the sweet rushes and panic grass around me!

Will I one day return to the waters of Majinna?

Will the mountains of Shama and Tafil appear to me?’

Bilal said, ‘O Allah! Curse Shayba ibn Rabi’a, ‘Utba ibn Rabi’a and Umayya ibn Khalaf as they drove us out of our land to the land of epidemic.’

Then the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘O Allah! Make us love Madina as much as we love Makka or even more so! O Allah! Bless us in our sa’ and in our mudd (measures symbolizing food) and make it healthy for us. Remove its fever and put it in al-Juhfa!'”(Bukhari)

Amir ibn Fuhayra (ra) had also said at the time of the epidemic, “I have seen death before tasting it, the coward’s destination is from above him.” (Malik’s Muwatta)

What was the first thing the Prophet (pbuh) did in such a situation? He made du’a. His first point of call was Allah- nothing could make the situation better except Allah. And so he prayed that Allah rid them of their epidemic, and not only that, but to make Madina as beloved to them as Makkah or more. And this should be our strategy as well- whenever we encounter something disliked, we should turn to Allah and ask Him to aid us in overcoming it.

What other changes did the Beloved (pbuh) encounter? Coming in as outsiders, there was a big chance there would be friction with the original inhabitants. Moreover, most of the Muhajiroon (emigrants) who came to Madina did so without their wealth as Qureish prevented them from doing so. But what the Prophet (pbuh) did was pair someone from the Muhajiroon with someone from the Ansaar (the people of Madina) to stay with them. This helped to create the bond of brotherhood. AbdulRahman bin Awf (ra) quickly began his business and made a lot of money. Abu Bakr and Umar (ra) were both traders, and began to trade in the marketplace to make a living. The Prophet’s (pbuh) Mosque was built by both the Ansaar and the Muhajiroon working together. What does this teach us? The Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions (ra) took what practical steps they could to make the best of the situation.

Sometimes what we tend to do is dwell. Things change for us and so we dwell on what was, or find it hard to motivate ourselves to move forward. Yet the above shows us that if we truly want to cope and excel, we need to push ourselves. Look at their example: No doubt they encountered difficulties, but through du’a and their effort, they prospered there, Madina did become as beloved to them as Makkah if not more, and the Prophet (pbuh) passed away and was buried there, as were the first three of the rightly guided caliphs.

Please note that this is what I could extract from the example of the Prophet (pbuh) and the Companions (ra). If anyone has any more lessons to learn from their example, please share them!

 رب أوزعني أن أشكر نعمتك التي أنعمت عليّ وعلى والدي وأن أعمل صالحاً ترضاه وأدخلني برحمتك في عبادك الصالحين

O my Lord! so order me that I may be grateful for Thy favours, which thou hast bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may work the righteousness that will please Thee: And admit me, by Thy Grace, to the ranks of Thy righteous Servants

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