Posted by: Dawud Israel | August 21, 2012

Blessed Days come with Trials

The righteous have found various ways to determine when special blessed days in the Islamic calendar occur.* Often these methods are mathematical in nature probably owing to the numerological significance of the Arabic alphabet or astronomical in nature owing to astronomy’s importance in the Qur’an. I too have come across a method of my own which is that on these blessed days one will encounter new trials or difficulties that are more difficult than what you are used to.

The basis for my conclusion is a story of one of the awliya, where he was shown how in one year Allah rejected the Hajj of every pilgrim. But Allah accepted them by virtue of a man that gave up his life savings for making Hajj to a poor lady to care for her children. Though the man didn’t make Hajj, his Hajj was accepted and the wali was told to inform the man that Allah had accepted from him. Hajj is about sacrifice especially the sacrifice of Ibrahim alayhi salam, and so the man’s actions were perhaps closer to the spirit of Hajj than those of other pilgrims. From this I understood, the plain worship may not be what Allah wants from you, but He may send something different to try you upon special occasions, so be prepared.

This may or may not be completely true for everybody but in my experience it certainly was. The 15th of Shaban is a day one should fast upon, but I decided not to fast this day but ended up going hungry at a dinner party (only snacks were served) which tried my patience since I hadn’t eaten since breakfast. On Laylatul Bara of Rajab, my grandfather passed away, may Allah show him mercy. On Laylatul Qadr last week (23rd of Ramadan for those who noticed how the sun rose the following morning without rays as indicated in hadith) I prayed only part of the night and fell asleep early due to the trial of praying near an exceptionally comfortable mattress (sleep on an uncomfortable bed as often as you can). On the night of Eid, a night wherein duas are answered and in which prayer is important, I again found myself too tired and exhausted though I usually have little trouble praying a portion of the night.

These may seem like small problems, but they are big in relation to how they distract one away from the meritorious rewards of these occasions. I can’t necessarily blame it on shaytan, but perhaps its my nafs pushing me away, that if I were to achieve the full success of these occasions, I would then as a result become harder on my nafs, or perhaps its simply a secret of Divine decree, that the reward is great because it is more difficult to worship at that time.

Allah knows best.

See also:

Midmonth Ajeebness

*As-Sufuri said (may Allah have mercy on him):

“I saw it written with my father’s hand from Shaykh Abul-Hasan Ash-Shadhili: “Since I reached puberty I never missed seeing Laylatul-Qadr. If the first day of Ramadan is a Sunday, it falls on the 29th; if it is a Monday, it falls on the 21st; if it is a Tuesday, it falls on the 27th; if it is a Wednesday, it falls on the 29th like Sunday; if it is a Thursday, it falls on the 25th; if it is a Friday, it falls on the 27th like Tuesday; if it is a Saturday, it falls on the 23rd, and Allah knows best.”

(Nuzhat Al-Majalis Wa Munkhatab An-Nafa’is” by Al-‘Allama Ash-Shaykh ‘Abdur Rahman As-Sufuri Ash-Shafi’i)


Responses

  1. I had a very similar experience this year on the 29th of Ramadan, the night was neither hot nor cold and there was no wind, a sign that it may have been Laylat al-Qadr, I was at a friend’s house for iftar, on the car journey back I got stuck in a major traffic jam, a 20 minute journey in the middle of the night ended up taking nearly 2 hours, when I got back I decided not to sleep and pray instead as it was already late. I made the mistake of lying down after suhoor as I was exhausted and ended up waking four hours later at 9am.

    So I know exactly how you feel, I’ve experienced the exact same thing.

  2. I totally understand your inquietude and I thank you for sharing your sincere reflections with others. Since the last Ramadan, I have reflected on this issue. We know that Allah has chained all the shaytans during Ramadan, so the only enemy we have to struggle in this period is our nafs, which in some cases can result even worse than the impetus of shaytan, in losing all the rewards of God. (For that reason, one of my frequent duas it is ‘O Allah, guard me from the evil of my nafs and the evil that comes out of me.’)

    Beside that, during this Ramadan I have experienced a peculiar thing. It was the 23rd night (me too, I think it was that Laylatul Qadr. As the very peaceful night, it was followed by a very peaceful day, with a gentle coolness. In the afternoon, in my region at least, it even passed a soft, refreshing rain. And moreover, I felt this peaceful atmosphere even in the relations with my family and relatives, and Allah knows best), after I finished the taraweeh prayer, I started reading the Quran and making duas, at around 2 a.m. I was feeling somehow sleepy, but as I had decided to pass the last ten nights awake in worship, I went to refresh my ablution, when I turned back for being ready to start praying Qiyam-ul-Layl, I was so tired and I thought to lie down relaxing on the couch for a few minutes. During that time I remember I was making dhikr and unexpectedly I had fallen asleep, I become conscious only a few minutes before the suhoor. Actually, I regret of not praying other Qiyam-ul-Layl, despite that I feel it was not my nafs preventing me from staying awake. l hope, it was the Mercy of God for His creature. May Allah be pleased with us and make us His beloved persons. Amin!

  3. Amin… may Allah accept our prayers and all ibadah… And forgives our seens whether we know it or not, amin….


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