In a story which Sheikh Ali At-Tantawi narrates, he says: ‘I was a judge in Syria, and it so happened that a group of us were spending the night with one of our friends when I suddenly found it difficult to breathe and felt severely suffocated. I sought permission from my companions to leave but they insisted that I stay the night with them. But I couldn’t, and I told them I want to take a walk and inhale some fresh air. I left them, walking by myself in the dark, whereupon I heard the sound of someone weeping and praying coming from behind a small hill. I looked and found a woman who appeared to be in distress and misery. She was crying effusively and praying sincerely to Allah. I approached her and asked, “What is it that is making you cry, my sister?” She replied, “My husband is a harsh and unjust man. He threw me out of the house, took my children and swore I will never see them again, and I have nobody and no place to go to.” “Why don’t you take this to a judge?” I asked. She continued to cry profusely, “How can a woman like me approach a judge?”’
The sheikh completed the story, crying, ‘The woman says all of this but does not realise that Allah had dragged a judge (meaning himself) by the neck to take him directly to her!’Glory be to Allah! Who ordered him to leave in the darkness of the night? To stop directly in front of her with his two feet and ask her, he himself (as a judge), about her needs? What supplication did this simple, poor woman make to have it answered with this speed and in this manner?
Oh you who feels distress and misery, who thinks that the world has become dark around him, just raise your hands to the sky, and do not say “How can my problems be solved?” Rather, humble yourself in front of He who hears the footsteps of the smallest ant. Be certain, be certain that there is something awaiting you after your patience. Indeed, Allah does not trial you with anything except that there is good in it for you, even if you were certain of the opposite. Soften your heart and be glad. Were it not for trials and tribulations, Yusuf A.S would have been spoiled on his father’s lap, but with trials and tribulations he became the Azeez of Egypt.
Do you still feel distress and misery after knowing this? Be upon certainty that there is something awaiting you after your patience, something which will delight you and make you forget completely the bitterness of all pain.
‘The Messenger ﷺ visited a man from among the Muslims who had fallen severely ill and he asked him, “Did you used to ask Allah for anything specific?” He replied, “I used to say: ‘Oh Allah, whatever you were going to punish me with in the hereafter, punish me with it in this world instead.’”
He ﷺ said, “Glory be to Allah, you can’t bear that, would you not say: ‘Oh Allah, bring us good in this world, and good in the hereafter, and save us from the torment of the fire’?”
It is said that Yusuf A.S, after being in prison for a long while, said, “Oh my Lord, you have placed in prison for a long period of time.”
Allah responded, “You asked for prison so we gave you (prison), and had you asked for well-being we would have granted you well-being.”
It is mentioned in the Qur’an as the speech of Yusuf AS: “Oh my Lord, prison is more beloved to me than that which they (the wife of the Azeez and the women of the city) call me to.”
Recall, how many times you have uttered something similar? Imam Al-Mawirdi said,
“Your trials are a consequence of that which you utter.”
Be careful with your words, be careful with what your tongues utter, because you will be confronted with what you say. Therefore, choose the best in what you seek from Allah and ask Him to give it to you in this world and the next.
Oh Lord, whoever opens this message or hears it, open for him the blessings of the provision of the heavens, of the heavens and the earth, and whoever spreads it among His servants, admit him into paradise without reckoning and punishment, and dispel, oh Lord, his worries and anxiety.’