[Following is a loose translation of a small excerpt from Hadhrat Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmed db’s talk – listen to it on youtube]
Sahaba radiyallah ta’ala anhum ajma’een used to quote a saying very often among themselves. They would say,
“If problems afflict you, welcome them in the best of manners, just like you would welcome a guest…If Allah swt Sends some difficult times upon you, you should welcome them happily; and if Allah swt Bestows Blessings & Bounties upon you, welcome them with humility”
Why? Because sometimes these difficulties are beneficial for us.
How? A person becomes negligent of His Lord; forgets Him; becomes distant from His Lord; Allah swt does not Want His servants to turn away from Him and so He sends worries and hardships upon that person. When worries and harships come, a person remembers Allah swt! They go to the House of their Lord(Masajid). If there are some fluctuations in one’s business, that person who didn’t even pray the 5 daily prayers would be seen praying Tahajjud!
So, when a person encounters difficulties, they naturally turn to Allah swt. Glorified is that Being Who draws His negligent(ghaafil) bondsmen towards Him by binding them in ropes of hardships!
Always remember: Khushiyan Sulaati hain aur Gham jagatey hain..agar yeh gham na hotey patanaye hum kis haal mey hotey!
‘That is why a Punjabi poet once said something beautiful in a couplet,
‘sukh dukhan toun devaan vaar; dukhaan aan milayan yaar’
I would sacrifice this happiness for sorrow; as sorrows united me with my Friend
It could also be that we ourselves asked for these hardships. How?
– One makes the dua, ” O Allah swt, on the Day of Judgment, let me drink from the fountain of Kawthar from the blessed hands of our beloved Prophet saw” and Allah swt Accepted the dua. Now, one’s actions don’t warrant such a great request. but the supplication was accepted so how will one get to drink it? For such a person, Allah swt Sends some small problems, difficulties and tough circumstances, if he is patient and perseveres through these difficult times – Allah swt Makes that as an excuse to Give him that blessing!
We may have seen that when a child gets dirty, his mother washes and bathes him.
One can hear the child crying, and if you ask: Why is this child crying? Where is his mother? It will be replied that his mother is with him.
You’d say, then why isn’t she letting him cry? It will be said that, its actually the mother who is making him cry!
You’d say, ‘A mother doesn’t make her child cry!’ It will be said that the Child had become dirty, and due to her love for him she couldn’t bear her child being dirty that is why she is washing him and cleaning him so she can embrace him.
Just like that, Allah swt also cannot Bear to see his servants dirty and immersed in sins. And when they commit such deeds, they are told:
وَمَا أَصَابَكُم مِّن مُّصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ
So, He Sends us some difficulties and problems to Purify and Cleanse us; so that we become deserving of His Mercy.