2020 – The year of calamities and tests. How to protect your blessings.
These days, with the return of the coronavirus and the news getting worse every day, I want to share with you a very beneficial du’a.
‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) used to supplicate thus:
إني أعوذ بك من زوال نعمتك، وتحول عافيتك، وفجاءة نقمتك، وجميع سخطك
Allahumma inni a’udhu bika min zawali ni’matika, wa tahawwuli ‘afiyatika, wa fuja’ati niqmatika, wa jami’i sakhatika
O Allah! I seek refuge in You against the disappearance of Your blessings and from the loss of good health, the suddenness of Your punishment and all that which displeases You. (Muslim)
Out of the blue your circumstances can suddenly change. We are all faced with individual challenges – big and small, private and public, but this year has been a particularly tough year not just individually, but nationally and globally. Unfortunately the numbers are going up.
We rely on Allah Almighty while doing our bit – using hand sanitizers, face masks and keeping socially distanced, sticking to the rules and regulations. And while we have to do our best, ultimately, we rely on Allah Almighty to protect us. Keep asking Him to protect us and to save us from losing our blessings.
Fall in favours
Just this time last year, people were enjoying a normal life. They could enjoy the blessing of going out and visiting whoever they wanted, whenever they wanted, without any restrictions.
Now, we have lost so many people from our midst, so many have been sick and are sick, and our movements have been curtailed. Good health has been replaced with illness. Many of our blessings have been removed and many of us are still in shock.
Ask Allah to protect us from this vanishing of nai’mah, return to Him and be grateful for your favours, as we have lost these favours already. Inshallah Allah Almighty will return them to us.
Decline in wellbeing
In this du’a, the Prophet (peace be on him) also asks Allah Almighty to protect us from tahawali afiatik, a change in our wellbeing.
As more and more people around us become ill, no one knows who will be afflicted next and how badly.
The suddenness of punishment
The third thing the Prophet (peace be on him) asks for is to protect us from the suddenness of Allah’s punishment.
Sometimes we sin and make mistakes, but Allah Almighty gives us the chance to rectify these, to delete them, to make amends and to change our pattern of behaviour.
When we do not do this, Allah Almighty sends a wake up call. It is a shock. What did you do wrong? It might not be you, it might be those around you, or the whole nation.
What have we done wrong?
Allah Almighty is adl, the All Just. He does not send punishment if it was not deserved. If people were all good and lovely, and followed His commands, there would be no punishment. Allah is not the Lord of Oppression, but the Lord of Justice. We need to think what have we done that needs to be improved and what we have not done, that we should have.
We need to figure what we need to do to improve our self, our family, the community the environment and the oppressed. Have we supported good causes? Or were we too busy – preoccupied with our own selves and apathetic about others.
Everything that displeases Allah Almighty
Finally, the Prophet (peace be on him) asked Allah Almighty to keep us away from anything that displeases Him, as this preserves blessings and wellbeing and avoids incurring His wrath.
Focus on what you can change
The hadith begins with the blessings and well-being on the one hand which we want to keep, and finishes with the punishment and anger of Allah Almighty on the other, which we want to avoid.
In order to avoid these, we need to work on what pleases Allah Almighty. We need to work on what is rewarding rather than what is punishable. We need to make a list of what we have to strive towards in our lives – being people of justice, fulfilling our obligations, being good to our parents, and supporting those who are oppressed and needy, to earn halal and to have good character. All these avoid Allah’s punishment.
If we are not concerned about oppressed people for instance, those in Rohingya and Palestine and the Uighurs, then Allah Almighty will be angry with us.
We have to spread justice. We need to also fix our backyard, if we have corruption in the system and turn a blind eye, if we cling to our comfort rather than whistle blow when there is wrong in our midst, we should not be surprised if a punishment is given.
Keep reciting this du’a.
We ask Allah Almighty to preserve and protect our favours to protect us from His anger. Ameen.
Shaykh Haytham Tamim – Thought for the Week 9th October 2020
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