Many incidences hard to bear will happen to you.

To understand and succeed against the difficulties, you must know your religion. Here are three ayah (verses) from the Qur’aan. Their explanation comes from ibn Katheer.

This last part of this explanation focuses on what we are to do when tested.


Quran Ch 2:155-157 ♦ Surah alBaqarah Ayaat 155-157

And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient). [155]

Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” [156]

They are those on whom are the Salawat (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. [157]

Explanation of ayah 155-157 Part 4: The Virtue of asserting that We all belong to Allah, during Afflictions

There are several Ahadith that mention the rewards of admitting that the return is to Allah by saying:

{“Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.”}

when afflictions strike.

For instance, Imam Ahmad reported that Umm Salamah narrated:

Once, Abu Salamah came back after he was with Allah’s Messenger and said: I heard Allah’s Messenger recite a statement that made me delighted. He said:

No Muslim is struck with an affliction and then says *Istirja` when the affliction strikes, and then says: `O Allah! Reward me for my loss and give me what is better than it,’ but Allah will do just that.

[*Istirja` is to say “Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilahi Raaji’oon” which in English is “Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return”.]

Umm Salamah said:

So I memorized these words.

When Abu Salamah died I said Istirja` and said: “O Allah! Compensate me for my loss and give me what is better than it.” I then thought about it and said, “Who is better than Abu Salamah”

When my `Iddah (the period of time before the widow or divorced woman can remarry) finished, Allah’s Messenger asked for permission to see me while I was dyeing a skin that I had. I washed my hands, gave him permission to enter and handed him a pillow, and he sat on it. He then asked me for marriage and when he finished his speech, I said, “O Messenger of Allah! It is not because I do not want you, but I am very jealous and I fear that you might experience some wrong mannerism from me for which Allah would punish me. I am old and have children.”

He [Allah’s Messenger] said:

As for the jealousy that you mentioned, Allah the Exalted will remove it from you. As for your being old as you mentioned, I have suffered what you have suffered. And for your having children, they are my children too.

She said, “I have surrendered to Allah’s Messenger.”

Allah’s Messenger married her and Umm Salamah said later, “Allah compensated me with who is better than Abu Salamah: Allah’s Messenger .”

Muslim reported a shorter version of this Hadith.

Journal Assignment

Write one benefit you gained from this week’s reading. And here are several questions to further explore in your journal.

  1. What did Abu Salamah teach his wife to say?
  2. What is Istirja`?
  3. Name a reward when we admit that our return is to Allah.
  4. When do we say Istirja`?
  5. What is the best thing to say after saying Istirja`?
  6. Who taught Abu Salamah the Istirja`?
  7. What does Abu Salamah’s actions teach us about family relationships?
  8. What happened to Umm Salamah after her husband died and why did it happen?
  9. Why is Umm Salamah telling the story mentioned in the hadith?

Afflictions & Rewards, Part 3
Afflictions & Rewards, Part 2
Afflictions & Rewards, Part 1