بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Coping with Afflictions

Allāh the Most High said:
"And certainly We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to lthose who are patient (as-sābiroon).  Who, when afflicted with calamity, say, "inna lillāhi wa inna ilayhi rāji’oon (Truly, to Allāh we belong and truly, to Him we shall return)."  They are those on whom are the salawāt (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones."  (Surah al-Baqarah 2:155-157)
 
The expression "inna lillāhi wa inna ilayhi rāji’oon" is one of the most effective and beneficial treatments for affliction by calamities.  It contains two aspects, which if they are realized, one will be consoled thereby from their affliction:

  1. That mankind and their wealth belong to Allāh and He has given it to them as a loan.
  2. That the return is to Allāh and it is inevitable that they will leave the life of this world behind.  Part of their treatment is that they know that what was ordained to afflict them cannot miss them and what was ordained to miss them cannot afflict them.  Their Lord has set aside for them the like of that which they missed or better and He has stored up for them that which is many times better than the calamity and that if He had willed, He could have made the calamity greater than it was.

A person should consider the world around them and know that the pleasures of this life are an illusion, though they may cause a little joy, they will cause them to weep much.  The afflicted person should know that:

    • Discontent does not alleviate the misfortune; indeed, it increases it.
    • Losing the reward which Allāh has guaranteed for patience is greater than the affliction.
    • The pleasure which follows patient perseverance and the expectation of Allāh’s reward is many times greater than that which they would have experienced from what they lost, if that had remained with them.
    • They can sooth their heart by seeking recompense for this affliction from Allāh.
    • Their reaction to the calamity will determine what happens to them, for whoever accepts Allāh’s Qadr, Allāh will be pleased with them and whoever is angry at it, Allāh will be angry with them.
    • Even if they were patient sometime after the calamity struck, that being the patience of the one who is resigned, that is not praiseworthy and it is not rewarded.
    • One of the most effective medicines is the success granted by Allāh in attaining that which He loves and which is pleasing to Him and that it is the essence of love.
    • The One who put them to trial is the Best of Judges and the Most Merciful of those who show mercy and that He has not subjected them to misfortune in order to destroy them, but in order to test them and to hear entreaties and see them prostrating at His door.
    • Misfortunes are a means of preventing sickness which will cause destruction, such as pride, arrogance, and hardness of the heart.
    • The bitterness of this life is the sweetness of the afterlife and vice versa.  "Paradise is surrounded by hardships and the Hell-Fire is surrounded by temptations." (Narrated Muslim, At-Tirmidihi, Ahmad and Ad-Darimi, on the authority of Anas Ibn Malik radi Allāhu anha).
      • [For further details, see: Provisions for the Hereafter (Mukhtasar Zad Al-Ma’ad) - Ibn Qayyim]