By Babatunde Jose

Who say, when afflicted with calamity:

 “To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return”- Quran 2:156

The New Year started on a sweet and sour note. While millions welcomed the New Year with fun and jollification, the anticipation of many in welcoming the New Year with hope and joy at the prospects of a fresh beginning has taken a nosedive: Calamity upon calamity, woe upon woe. Deaths unforetold, disaster after disaster, sorrow, tears and blood. It is only the bereaveds that know the harrowing pain of losing loved ones. Some have lost parents, others children and some brothers, sisters and others good friends; including Aisha Lemu, 79, British-born Nigerian Islamic scholar. May Allah have mercy on us; Amin.

However, it must be said to those who are bereaved, whatever has befallen you was not meant to escape you, and whatever has escaped you was not meant to befall you: If this belief were to be firmly ingrained in our heart, then all hardship and difficulty would become ease and comfort. No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees — before We bring it into existence. (Qur’an 57: 22)

For this reason, do not feel overly troubled if you are afflicted with sickness, the death of a son, or a loss in wealth. Allah has decreed these matters to occur and the decisions are His, and His alone. When we truly to have this faith, we shall be rewarded well and our sins shall be atoned for.  For those that are afflicted with disaster, glad tidings await them: So remain patient and hold on to your Lord, be steadfast in faith and know that: He cannot be questioned for His acts, but they will be questioned (for theirs). (Qur’an 21: 23)

There is no doubt Allah has pre-ordained all matters. The pen has dried and with it has been written everything that will happen to you. Therefore do not feel remorse over that which is not in your hands. We could not have prevented the fence from falling, nor the water from flowing, neither the wind from blowing, or the glass from breaking. We could not have prevented these things, whether we wanted to or not. All that has been preordained shall come to pass. (Qur’an 18: 29)

Having done our best to bring certain events about and they do not turn out the way we wished, and whatever we have been trying to prevent still take place we should have faith that it was meant to be. Like they say; whatever happens is not by our power or might, it’s by His Grace. ‘This is the decree of Allah, and what He wishes, He does.’ Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.  (Qur’an 94: 6)

Therefore, just as eating must follow hunger, drinking follows thirst, sleep comes after restlessness, and health takes the place of sickness: The lost will eventually find their way; the one in difficulty will find relief, just as the day will follow the night. After storm comes calm and after darkness comes a glorious dawn: Storm of fate occurs suddenly and disturbs the man’s life for a while and then disappears. After the storm of fate disappears one feels a sigh of relief from the disturbances one has experienced. That’s why it is said that human life is a combination of joys, sorrows, happiness and tears. No same situation remains for a longer period or forever. Therefore, give to the afflicted tidings of a relief that will reach them and that will gladden their heart.

When a desert extends for miles and miles, definitely beyond that distance are green meadows with plentiful shade. When you see the rope tighten and tighten, know that it will eventually snap. Tears are followed by a smile, fear will be replaced by comfort, and anxiety is overthrown by serenity. When the fire was set for Prophet Abraham he did not feel its heat because of the help he received from his Lord.(Quran 21; 69) The sea would not drown Moses and the Israelites, because Moses had a strong faith:‘Nay, verily! With me is my Lord, He will guide me. (Quran 26: 62)  The Prophet Muhammad (bpuh) told Abu Bakr in the cave that Allah was with them — then peace and tranquillity descended upon them.

Unfortunately, those that are slaves of the moment see only misery and wretchedness. This is because they look only at the wall and door of the room, whereas they should look beyond such barriers as are set before them.

Therefore do not be in despair; it is impossible for things to remain the same. The days and years rotate, the future is unseen, and every day Allah has matters to bring forth. You know it not, but it may be that Allah will afterwards bring some new thing to pass.

It is therefore with heavy heart but with complete submission to God that we offer condolences to our bereaved friends; Leke Oshunniyi who lost his 29 year old son in the United Kingdom and Abiodun Omole who lost his beloved son in California during the first week of January. It had been a tragic blow as it was never on the cards. May Allah wipe away their tears and give them the fortitude to bear the loss: “Therefore, do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day; for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)

And ‘Illegal’ too slept and did not wake. On Monday evening he felt like taking a short nap and it was his last nap. Illegal, our famed electrician on Olonode Street, Alagomeji, born Musibau earned his sobriquet from his famed illegal connections. An ever-busy electrician, he was buried on Tuesday morning. Who will now enter the roofs to join wires in our homes? A man of the people has gone. That is what this life is all about. We live today and tomorrow we are no more. Who knows for whom the bell tolls?

We are like chicken in the Lord’s vineyard and our lives and death are at his mercy. He is God the omnipotent; He turns night into day and day into night; He brings forth the living out of the dead, and brings the dead out of the living. His power is awesome and he only needs to say ‘Be’ and it becomes. No man can countermand His order. As soon as man is conceived his life is charted in the Book; and the day, time and manner of death is ordained. We have no power over it.  

Therefore, who are we to predict what God will do or will not do? We take solace in Sura Baqara 155-157:Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere; who say, when afflicted with calamity: Inna Lillahi Wa Ina Ilehi Raji’un: “To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return”: (Quran 2:155-156)

Barka Juma’at and a Happy weekend

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