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Tests – A Ticket to Jannah

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On one occasion, Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) said to his student, ‘Ataa bin Abi Rabaah (rahimahullah), “Shall I not show you a woman from the inhabitants of Jannah?” ‘Ataa (rahimahullah) replied, “Certainly do so!”

Sayyiduna Ibnu ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) then gestured towards a tall African woman, Ummu Zufar (radhiyallahu ‘anha), and said, “It is this African woman. She once came to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and said, ‘I am suffering from fits, and my body becomes exposed (when collapsing in a fit), so please make du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala for me (to be cured).’

“Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said to her, ‘If you wish, you can remain patient (and endure this sickness), and (in lieu of this,) you will be rewarded with Jannah. (Alternatively,) if you wish, I can make du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala to cure you.’

“The woman responded, ‘I will remain patient (with the sickness). However, my body becomes exposed, so please make du‘aa for me to Allah Ta‘ala that my body does not become exposed.’ Accordingly, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) made this du‘aa for her.”

(Saheeh Bukhaari #5652 and Fathul Baari)

Lessons:

1. We should never ask for tests. However, Allah Ta‘ala sometimes decrees a certain test for a person. It may be a chronic illness, a disability, a problem with sihr and jinn, poverty, unattractive physical appearance, or something similar. If we are afflicted with such a difficulty, then we should never complain AGAINST Allah Ta‘ala, rather we may present our difficulties TO Him in du‘aa. Nevertheless, it may be that the affliction is not alleviated, as it is meant to be a means of the person continuously progressing (see here and here). Thus, we should remain patient and hope for the immense rewards that we will receive for our patience.

2. Even in the condition of her illness, the woman was concerned that her body should not be exposed. Hence, she could tolerate collapsing in a fit before people, but could not tolerate that her body be exposed. This was on account of the qualities of imaan and hayaa that her heart possessed. Thus, she requested Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to make du‘aa for her body to remain concealed.