A person once wrote a letter to Hazrat Shaikh Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) and mentioned the following, “I have not usurped the right of any person, nor have I oppressed or wronged any person. Hence, I cannot understand why I am suffering one calamity and misfortune after the next.”
Hazrat Shaikh Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) wrote the following reply:
In this regards, there are two things that one must bear in mind. The first is that people are sometimes unaware of the wrongs and sins that they have committed. Hence, when a person makes claims such as, “I have never oppressed any person, or usurped the wealth of any person,” then may Allah Ta‘ala make it such that his statement is true. Nevertheless, at no time should a person ever regard himself to be free of faults and sins. Rather, at all times, one should acknowledge and confess his sins and weaknesses before Allah Ta‘ala, and from the depths of his heart, with complete sincerity, he should beg Allah Ta‘ala to forgive him and pardon him.
It is reported in the hadeeth that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would himself make the following du‘aa, “O Allah! Whoever I may have inconvenienced (unintentionally), or I may have (unknowingly) spoken to him in a hurtful manner or I may have struck him accidentally, then forgive me and make it a means of his forgiveness and being blessed with Your special mercy.”
When Rasulullah (sallallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would personally make this du‘aa, asking forgiveness for any unintentional mistake that could have occurred, then how can you and I conduct as though we have not harmed or wronged any person?
Furthermore, the general principle is that the calamities and problems in a person’s life are on account of his sins and evil deeds. Allah Ta‘ala says in the Quraan Majeed:
وَ مَاۤ اَصَابَکُمۡ مِّنۡ مُّصِیۡبَةٍ فَبِمَا کَسَبَتۡ اَیۡدِیۡکُمۡ
And whatever calamity befalls you, then it is on account of what (evil actions) your hands have earned (Surah Shura v. 30)
However, it should be borne in mind that what is mentioned in this aayah is not a general principle that applies to every difficulty. If that was the case, then the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam) and the pious saints would never suffer from hunger or undergo any hardships and difficulties. On the contrary, we find the hadeeth mentioning that the people who will be tested the most will be the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam), and then those who follow them most closely. Hence, it is reported that a Sahaabi once said to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), “O Rasul of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! Indeed I have great love for you!” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) responded, “Love for me attracts poverty to the one with the love in his heart even swifter than water flows down an incline.”
Thus, it is important to understand that difficulties and calamities are not always on account of sins. As far as you are concerned, then I find your father to be a pious person with abundant good deeds. Hence, these difficulties are a temporary test through which your ranks will be elevated, and insha-Allah this test will thereafter come to an end. Therefore, there is no need for you to be overcome with worry and concern.
Nevertheless, you should never leave out making du‘aa. Go into seclusion, turn to Allah Ta‘ala and beg Him in du‘aa. Thereafter, adopt the means, but your faith and reliance should never be in the means, where you feel that the means you adopt will definitely prove effective in removing your problems. Instead, the procedures that one adopts are only the means to remove a problem, and only Allah Ta‘ala can make the procedures prove effective in achieving the outcome.
At the same time, when making du‘aa, we should never feel that our du‘aa is not being answered. Rather, we should show great importance to du‘aa and should continue to exert ourselves in du‘aa with the firm belief and conviction that our du‘aa will certainly be accepted. However, at times, instead of us receiving what we have asked for, the du‘aa is accepted in another form, as explained in many ahaadeeth.
(Qutbul Aqtaab Hazrat Shaikhul Hadeeth Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) pg. 499-501)