The Test of Gratitude

PrintE-mail

Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) narrates that he heard Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) saying:

There were three people from the Banu Israaeel whom Allah Ta‘ala decided to test; a leper, a bald man and a blind man. Allah Ta‘ala therefore sent an angel to them.

The angel came to the leper first and asked him, “What is most beloved to you?” The leper replied, “A good complexion and good skin, as the people detest me due to this illness.” The angel thus passed his hand over the leper, causing his leprosy to be removed and resulting in him being blessed with a good complexion and good skin. The angel thereafter asked him, “Which wealth is most beloved to you?” He replied, “Camels” The angel therefore granted him ten-month pregnant she-camels and said, “May you be blessed in this wealth.”

The angel thereafter went to the bald man and asked him, “What is most beloved to you?” He replied, “Beautiful hair and for my baldness to leave me, as people dislike me due to it.” The angel therefore passed his hand over the bald man, causing his baldness to leave and resulting in him being blessed with beautiful hair. The angel thereafter asked him, “Which wealth is most beloved to you?” He replied, “Cows.” The angel therefore granted him pregnant cows and said, “May you be blessed in this wealth.”

The angel finally went to the blind man and asked him, “What is most beloved to you?” The blind man replied, “That Allah Ta‘ala restore my sight whereby I will be able to see the people.” The angel therefore passed his hand over the blind man, causing his sight to be restored. The angel then asked him, “Which wealth is most beloved to you?” He replied, “Goats.” The angel therefore granted him pregnant goats.

Sometime later, all the animals had given birth. Hence one of them had a valley of camels, another had a valley of cows and the last had a valley of goats (thus all were enjoying abundant wealth).

The angel thereafter assumed the form of a leper and went back to the man who was once a leper. The angel said to him, “I am a poor man. All my means and provisions have been exhausted on my journey. There is no way (for me) to reach (my destination) today except with the help of Allah Ta‘ala and then with your help. I ask you by that Being who blessed you with a good complexion, good skin and wealth, for a camel which I will use to complete my journey.” Hearing his plea, the man tried to turn him away saying, “I have many rights to fulfil (and hence I cannot give you anything).” Hearing this refusal, the angel said, “I seem to recognize you. Are you not that poor leper whom people detested, and Allah Ta‘ala thereafter blessed you?” The man replied, “I inherited this wealth, as a man of honour, from my forefathers of honour.” The angel replied, “If you are lying, may Allah Ta‘ala return you to your former condition.”

The angel next assumed the form of a bald man and went to the man who was previously bald. He made a similar request to him and received a similar answer. The angel therefore said to him, “If you are lying, may Allah Ta‘ala return you to your former condition.”

The angel finally assumed the form of a blind man and went to the man who was previously blind. He said to the man, “I am a poor traveller whose means and provisions are exhausted on my journey. There is no way (for me) to reach (my destination) today except with the help of Allah Ta‘ala and then with your help. I ask you by that Being who restored your vision to you for a goat which I will use to complete my journey.” Hearing this plea, the man responded saying, “I used to be blind, after which Allah Ta‘ala restored my vision. I was a pauper, after which Allah Ta‘ala made me wealthy. Take what you wish, for by the oath of Allah, I will not begrudge you today for anything you take for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala!” The angel responded, “Keep your wealth as this was merely a test for you. Allah Ta‘ala is happy with you (as you have passed the test) and Allah Ta‘ala is displeased with your two companions (as they failed the test).” (Saheeh Bukhaari #3464)

Lessons:

1. Every bounty which a person enjoys is a gift and blessing from Allah Ta‘ala. If the servant of Allah Ta‘ala shows gratitude, Allah Ta‘ala will increase His favours on this person. However, if he is ungrateful, Allah Ta‘ala will snatch the favours away. Showing gratitude is more than mere lip service. To show gratitude, we should ensure that we only utilize the blessing in those avenues that are pleasing to Allah Ta‘ala.

2. When Allah Ta‘ala gives favours and bounties to His servants, He does so entirely out of His generosity. We should thus never feel that we are enjoying the favours of Allah Ta‘ala because we are deserving, as none of us in reality are deserving of any favours of Allah Ta‘ala. Hence when we see a person less privileged than ourselves, we should remember that it is only out of the mercy of Allah Ta‘ala that we are in comfort and are not in the position of that person. If we treat the person with arrogance, harshness and rudeness, it could happen that Allah Ta‘ala showers His favours on that person and deprives us of His blessings.

3. We do not know at which moment Allah Ta‘ala may test us. It may be that we consider a certain action of ours to be insignificant and unimportant, whereas this same action was a test from Allah Ta‘ala and is thus the criteria by which our salvation or destruction is decided. Attaining piety and acquiring the awareness and fear of Allah Ta‘ala is thus an effort which a person has to be engaged in at every moment of his life, as he does not know when the fateful test will transpire.   

>>>Download Musjid Poster Page 1 and Page 2<<<

Al-Haadi - Site Map