Moments When Your Faith is Tested


Moments When Your Faith is Tested

Have you ever put yourself in the shoes of Mary (r.a), who gave birth to a fatherless child? Or Moses (r.a.), as he was standing right by the Red Sea? Or the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w), when he was in the cave?

What binds their stories together is that they submitted to what was coming from God during the most difficult moments that a person could live through. They devoted themselves to Him with an absolute trust and submission, never falling into rebellion because of what happened to them.

Mary (r.a.), who was regarded as a saint by her community, becomes pregnant by the will of God and subsequently faces humiliation and derision from her people. She experiences so much labor pain as she gives birth by herself next to a river that she wishes she had been long dead. Yet she does not, not even once, rebel against or reproach God because of what He has decreed for her. As she struggles to survive, God tells her to shake a date palm nearby and eat from the fresh dates that would fall to the ground. I have often thought about how I would have felt in such a situation. I see it as an incredible example of submission that Mary did not reproach God with such thoughts as: “You have caused all this to happen to me; at least spare me the labor pain and give me the dates without the ordeal of having to shake an entire tree.” Her return to Jerusalem after the childbirth with her baby in her arms and her vow of silence in the face of humiliating interrogations from her people is a scene of magnificence that my imagination cannot properly register.

Do you think Moses (r.a.), as he was standing by the Red Sea with the water in front of him and the armies of the Pharaoh behind, said “But why?” as he was ordered to strike the water with his staff? Do you think he questioned the logic of the command? Or, as one might ask, does God really need Moses to strike the water with his staff to crack open the sea for him?

Why has the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w), who traveled all the way to Jerusalem on a vehicle called Al-Buraq about a year before the Hijra, rose up to the Heavens, and came back to Mecca before his bed went cold, take the long and dangerous path to Medina a year later under perfectly human conditions and never said “O God, I need the Buraq now”?

All this is to say: Don’t wait to learn the wisdom behind religion in order to start practicing it. Uncovering the wisdom behind things is a continuous and life-long process. If you set up understanding the wisdom behind God’s commands as a condition to obey them, then your life will be over before you can get down to performing a single good deed.       

عَنْ أَبِي مَسْعُودٍ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏"‏ إِذَا أَنْفَقَ الرَّجُلُ عَلَى أَهْلِهِ يَحْتَسِبُهَا فَهُوَ لَهُ صَدَقَةٌ ‏"
Narrated Abu Mas'ud: The Prophet said, "If a man spends on his family (with the intention of having a reward from Allah) sincerely for Allah's sake then it is a (kind of) alms-giving in reward for him.” (Bukhari, Belief, 41)

Title: Tracks from Neyzen Sadreddin Özçimi's album, Sufi Rhythms - Sultan-i Ask Artist: Sadreddin Özçimi