The following verses from the Quran show that nothing happens unless ordained by Allah. That includes the good and the bad. The commentary also shows the attitudes that a Muslim needs to adopt in times of hardship and difficulties.
In Surah At-Tawba Allah gives His servants the assurance of His protection. He Says:
Say: “Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is our Mawla (protector).” And in Allah let the believers put their trust.)
Quran (Surah Tawba, Verse 51)
In Surah Hadid, Allah (SWT) Makes it more explicit that He decides what is to happen in our lives and that He has a purpose for it. He says:
No calamity occurs on earth nor in yourselves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah.
In order that you may not grieve at the things over that you fail to get, nor rejoice over that which has been given to you. And Allah likes not prideful boasters.
Quran (Surah Hadid, Verses 22,23)
Ibn ‘Abbâs narrates:
(The saying:) “Allâh (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us)” was said by Ibrâhîm (Abraham) when he was thrown into the fire; and it was said by Muhammad (s) when they (i.e. hypocrites) said (as mentioned to us in the Quran),
“Verily, the people (pagans) have gathered against you (a great army), therefore, fear them,” but it (only) increased them in Faith and they said: “Allâh (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us).” Quran (Surah Aal-e-Imran, Verse 173) (Surah Aal-e-Imran Arabic)
(Sahih Al-Bukhâri, Vol.6, Hadîth No.86).
Ibn ‘Abbas also narrates: Once I was behind the Prophet (s) and he said:
O boy, I will teach you a few words:
(a) Be loyal and obedient to Allâh [worship Him (Alone)], remember Him always, obey His Orders. He will save you from every evil and will take care of you in all the spheres of life.
(b) Be loyal and obedient to Allâh, you will find Him near (in front of you) i.e. He will respond to your requests.
(c) If you ask, ask Allâh.
(d) If you seek help, seek help from Allâh.
(e) Know that if all the people get together in order to benefit you with something, they will not be able to benefit you in anything except what Allâh has decreed for you. And if they all get together in order to harm you with something, they will not be able to harm you in anything except what Allâh has decreed for you. The pens have stopped writings [Divine (Allâh’s) Preordainments]. And (the ink over) the papers (Book of Decrees) has dried.
This Hadith is quoted in Sahih At Tirmidi.
In Tafheem ul Quran, Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi states the following:
“In contrast to the man of the world, whatever the man of God does, he does it to please Him and trusts in Him and not in his own powers nor in material resources. Therefore he is neither exultant over his success in the cause of Allah nor loses heart by failure, for he believes that it is the Will of God that is working in both the cases. Therefore he is neither disheartened by disasters nor is filled with conceit by successes. This is because he believes that both prosperity and adversity are from Allah and are nothing but a trial from Him. Therefore his only worry is to do his best to come out successful in His test. Besides, as there are no worldly ends before him, he does not measure his success or failure by the achievement or failure of his ends. On the other hand, the only object before him is to sacrifice his life and wealth in the Way of Allah, and he measures the success or failure of his efforts by the standard he achieves in the performance of this duty. Therefore if he is satisfied that he has done his best to perform this duty, he believes that he has come out successful by the grace of God, though he might not have been able to accomplish anything from the worldly point of view; for he believes that his Allah in Whose cause he has expended his life and wealth will not Iet go waste the reward of his efforts. As he does not depend on the material resources only, he is neither grieved if they are unfavorable, nor feels exultant when these are favorable. His entire trust is in God Who is the controller of all the resources; therefore he goes on doing his duty even under the most unfavorable circumstances with the same courage and perseverance that is shown by the worldly people unfavorable circumstances alone. That is why Allah asked the Holy Prophet to say to the hypocrites, “There is a basic difference between you and us in regard to the conduct of affairs. We believe that both the good and the bad are from Allah: therefore the apparent result does not make us happy or sad. Moreover, we depend on Allah in our affairs and you depend on material resources: so we are content and happy in all circumstances.”
Reflections on this verse:
- Allah decides whatever happens on earth and in our lives.
- This realization should comfort us that the administration of the whole universe is in the Hands of the Supreme Almighty, and our responsibility is only to lead life as He has directed us to.
- Trust in Allah is the most important aspect of our Faith. Obedience should follow trust.
- Supplications should be offered to Allah Alone, for all decisions are in His Hands.
- Regret about what we missed of fortune is pointless, because if it had been destined for us, we wouldn’t have missed it.
- Complaining about the situation or experience intended for us, however disagreeable, is also futile, for we couldn’t have escaped it whatever we might have done to avoid it.
- Whatever good man meets with and whatever hardship he suffers in the world, are pre-ordained by Allah.
- A true believer is he who does not lose heart in affliction and is not puffed up with pride in good times.
- Rewards promised by Allah can be attained only if we take active part in the conflict with kufr, for that is the criterion which distinguishes true Muslims from hypocrites.
- It is the character of a hypocrite and disbeliever that he is puffed up with pride when Allah favors him with His blessings, behaved boastfully and shows stinginess when called upon to spend in the cause of the same God Who blessed him, and also counsels others to be stingy like himself.
- We should not entertain the delusion that our intelligence and efforts excelling those of others, made us worthy of our good fortune.
- Pride is a vice that Allah wants us to discard.
References: (Tafsir Ibn Kathir and Tafhim al- Qur’an by Sayyid Abul Ala Moududi)