People Are Upon 4 Levels Regarding The Circumstances of Affliction
By Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Salih Al-Uthaymeen
The First Level: Being Angry
This is in various ways:
The first type:
That the anger is by the heart as if he is angry at his Lord. So he becomes angry with what Allah has decreed for him, and this (level) is Haram. And it is possible that this could lead to Kufr (disbelief). Allah said:
"And among mankind is he who worships Allah as it were, upon the very edge (i.e. in doubt); if good befalls him, he is content therewith; but if a trial befalls him, he turns back on his face (i.e. reverts back to disbelief after embracing Islam). He loses both this world and the Hereafter."
[Noble Quran 22:11]
The second type:
That the anger is by the tongue like making Du'a for destruction or ruin and what is similar to that, and this is Haram.
The third type:
That the anger is by the limbs like slapping the cheeks, ripping the clothes, pulling out hair, and similar to that, and all of this is Haram in contradiction to patience, which is Wajib (obligatory).
The Second Level: Being Patient
Just as the poet said: "Patience is like its name - bitter in taste, yet its outcomes are sweeter than honey."
So the person sees this thing (the affliction) weighs very heavy upon him, yet he bears it although he dislikes that it happened. Rather, his Iman bears it and restrains him from being angry.
So the time of affliction and the time of no affliction is not the same to him, and this (level) is Wajib, because Allah commanded the people to be patient, saying:
"...and be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are As-Sabirin (the patient ones)."
[Noble Quran 8:46]
The Third Level: Being Pleased With The Affliction
Is when the person is pleased with the affliction and whether it happened or not, it is the same to him so he it is not difficult upon him. He does not bear it as if it is something weighing heavy on him, and this (level) is Mustahabb (preferred - between Haram and Wajib) and it is not Wajib according to the most correct opinion. The difference between this level and the one before it is apparent because the affliction happening or not happening is the same due to the pleasure of the one on this level. As for the level before it, the affliction is hard upon him, yet he remains patient over it.
The Fourth Level: Thanking - Being Grateful
This is the highest level. This is that the person thanks Allah for the affliction, which has struck him in that he knows that this affliction is an expiation for his sins and perhaps a cause for an increase in his good deeds. The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) said:
"There is no affliction which strikes the Muslim except that Allah expiates with it (sins), even with a thorn that may poke him."
[Bukhari & Muslim]
Taken from: Fatawa Arkan Al-Islam
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