RNA - According to the teachings of Sahifa Sajjadia, if people don’t exercise patience and appreciation over the disasters, it will lead to their ruin, and if they use such occurrences for promotion towards God, it will bring them growth and development.
A calamity may happen to people apparently as a natural disaster, but in fact, they are to examine the people and assess their patience and piety.
Those who don’t exercise patience until the resolution of the problems and act improperly, they are inferior and poor. Salvation, victory, virtue and happiness belong to those people who are satisfied with what God determines for them and exercise patience over the hardships.
Praying is what distinguishes the faithful from the impious. The impious man, when surrounded by hardships and maladies, will have no one to help him/her, and thus will surrender to the maladies; nonetheless the pious man, due to his belief in Heavenly power, will never get disappointed, and will hope in God’s helps as he knows Him well.
Amir al-Munenin (AS) says: “و لوان السموات و الارضین کانتا علی عبد رتقا ثم اتقی الله لجعل له منهما مخرجا”; If the man, the pious one, is crushed under problems and hardships, God will provide him an exit way through the maladies.
Sahifa Sajjadia doesn’t regard the Heavenly examination as a cause of retrogression and doesn't seek refuge in God against it, but it asks God to not assess people through the examinations that are intolerable to them. “وَ عَافِنِی مِمَّا ابْتَلَیتَ بِهِ طَبَقَاتِ عَبِیدِک وَ إِمَائِک”; and help your servants in what is inflicted upon them.
The fourth Imam asks God for help and rescue in the examinations that may lead to aberration. Certainly, if people can’t pass such examinations successfully, it will bring the wrath of God upon them and they will stray from the straight path.
“وَ إِذَا أَرَدْتَ بِقَوْمٍ فِتْنَةً أَوْ سُوءاً فَنَجِّنِی مِنْهَا لِوَاذاً بِک، وَ إِذْ لَمْ تُقِمْنِی مَقَامَ فَضِیحَةٍ فِی دُنْیاک فَلَا تُقِمْنِی مِثْلَهُ فِی آخِرَتِک”: and if you are to inflict a calamities or maladies on a group of people, please kindly save me as I am exercising piety, and if I am not experiencing infamy and scandals in the present world because of your mercy, don’t let these happen to me in the Other World.
He begs God to not examine him through the means that may lead to his failure and shame before His majesty.
“وَ لَا تَقْرَعْنِی قَارِعَةً یذْهَبُ لَهَا بَهَائِی، وَ لَا تَسُمْنِی خَسِیسَةً یصْغُرُ لَهَا قَدْرِی وَ لَا نَقِیصَةً یجْهَلُ مِنْ أَجْلِهَا مَکانِی” and please kindly don’t inflict a malady upon me that may damage my reputation and value, and please don’t descend a deficit on me that may lead to my anonymity.
The Holy Quran points to Heavenly examination in different verses, and mentions that some events are to examine and assess people. This holy book provides those people, who exercise patience over such problems, with glad tidings.
“ولنبلونّکم بشیء مّن الخوف والجوع ونقص مّن الأمول والأنفس والثّمرت وبشّر الصّبرین”: And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.
The heavenly examination can be a hard life, a bitter event, the death of the relatives and fear. Quran reiterates that some people get disappointed and experience heresy due to their failure in this examination. Such people may object and complain to God and call God the humiliating!
It should be considered that God, the Almighty, will examine people through a test proper to them, and if someone fails the test, it is due to his own fault. The Quranic verses mention that God tests people on the basis of their capacities and capabilities. "لایکلّف اللّه نفساً إلاّ وسعها"’; Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.
Any hardship above the level of capacity is an obstacle to development, and the purpose of God is the promotion of the man, therefore such a problem, if happens to an individual or a society, it is not examination, but a punishment.
Imam Sajad (AS) also pointing to this case, mentions that God only tests them man only within his capacity. “لَقَدْ وَضَعَ عَنَّا مَا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ، وَ لَمْ یکلِّفْنَا إِلَّا وُسْعاً، وَ لَمْ یجَشِّمْنَا إِلَّا یسْراً، وَ لَمْ یدَعْ لِأَحَدٍ مِنَّا حُجَّةً وَ لَا عُذْراً”, certainly he tests us within our own capacity, and we are charged with what is within our capacity, and we are not shouldered with tasks broader than our potentials, and thus there will remain no excuse in this regard.
Some afflictions happen in the form of a natural event in order to assess individuals. According to the instructions of Sahifa Sajjadia, the man should beg God to help him pass the Heavenly tests successfully. Imam Sajjad (AS), in no point or part of Sahifa Sajjadia, seeks refuge in God against the Heavenly examinations. He asks God to not test the man through heavy and crushing examinations.
Imam Zain al-Abedin describes success in examination as the source of growth and development. The heavenly examination can be a hard life, a bitter event, the death of the relatives and fear. The Holy Quran points to patience as the characteristics owned by those who succeed in the tests, and objection, complaint and heresy as the characteristics of those who fail in the examination of the events.
By: Ali Anjom Shoa
To be continued...