In this book, we have dealt with the superior morality of believers who lived for Allah’s good pleasure, mercy and Paradise, and suffered much cruelty and hardship in this cause. When we consider the lives of the prophets and sincere believers mentioned in the Qur’an, we find them confronted with intense struggles, continued threats of death, imprisonment, or forced exile from their homes and nations, slanderous attacks, and mockery. It is all because they obeyed Allah’s commandments. And, they not only lived by the morality of the religion, but also taught, as best as it was possible, this same truth to others. As a consequence of their sincere and concerted efforts, many people entered faith, but still others became hostile, and thus they were often forced to live a life marked by much hardship.
Those who could not bear this hardship, who could not abide by the good morality taught by the prophets, and who hadn’t the patience required by Islam, became those who went astray, exchanging the Hereafter for this world.
There is a reality that must not be disregarded: Allah ordains all hardship in order to distinguish the good from the evil, the pure from the impure, the genuine from the insincere, and the faithful from the irreligious. Those who maintain good conduct pleasing to Allah through hardship are Allah’s friends, whom He rewards with His help and support, on Earth as well as in the Hereafter. As Allah says in one of His verses, “with hardship comes ease.”
Also, the Prophet Muhammad (saas) informed believers that patience is a great blessing: … And whoever remains patient, Allah will make him patient. Nobody can be given a blessing better and greater than patience. (Sahih Bukhari) In addition, Allah revealed that he will foil the plots against the believers, that those who scheme against them will be defeated, and that ultimately the unbelievers cannot harm the believers. The following are some examples of the verses in this regard:
… Allah will not give the disbelievers any way against the believers. (Surat an-Nisa, 141)
When those who disbelieve were plotting against you to imprison you or kill you or expel you: they were plotting and Allah was plotting, but Allah is the Best of Plotters.(Surat al-Anfal, 30)
The hardship suffered by believers has always been followed by good and prosperity. For instance, when Yusuf (as) was released from prison, he was appointed to administer the treasury of Egypt. After destroying the nations that tyrannized Nuh (as) and the other believers, Allah settled them on fertile ground. Pharaoh, who sought to annihilate Musa (as) and his people through torture and cruelty, perished himself in the sea. The Prophet Muhammad (saas) and the believers were forced to migrate when the threats to their lives and conspiracies against them reached intolerable levels, but then Allah covered them with His mercy, the Muslims gained strength and defeated the alliance of evil.
Allah will reward everyone in return for their deeds, and will certainly give victory to the believers. However, the true reward is the eternal life of the Hereafter. Every human being will eventually die. Everyone will meet the angel of death before he expects him, and at that moment, will see the true reality that had been clearly revealed. Everyone must know that those who settle for this world, who seek to evade hardship, seek indulgence, prefer their selfish desires over Allah’s good pleasure, and desert their religion for fear of jeopardizing their well-being, will ultimately fail to enjoy the pleasure that they had been seeking. None will be able to say, “thankfully, I have pursued pleasure and personal gain, and have succeeded.” Worse, what they have done will cause them indescribable torment. Allah reveals the unbelievers’ remorse in the Hereafter:
If only you could see when they are standing before the Fire and saying, “Oh! If only we could be sent back again, we would not deny the Signs of our Lord and we would be among the believers.” (Surat al-An‘am, 27)
But as for him who is given his Book in his left hand, he will say, “If only I had not been given my Book. And had not known about my Reckoning! If only death had really been the end! My wealth has been of no use to me. My power has vanished.” (Surat al-Haqqa, 25-29)
A believer, on the other hand, who lived his life for Allah, who suffered cruelty most of his life, for not forsaking the good pleasure of Allah, who lived under the constant threat of death, who heard hurtful and mocking words, was slandered or even imprisoned, will feel great joy for all the hardship he endured throughout his life when he meets the angel of death. Better still, as we have been relating throughout this book, a believer experiences contentment and hope when he meets hardship, because he knows that all hardship leads to good, and that Allah will create ease and ultimate victory. He can also hope for great reward and manifold increase in return in the Hereafter, for all the hardship he had to suffer here on Earth. For this reason, unbelievers are surprised to see the believers’ response to hardship, their good spirits, fortitude, because they do not know that believers hope for from their Lord what they cannot.
The School of Yusuf is, in this respect, an “institution” for their spiritual education, as well as the means to the good and beauty of the Hereafter. A believer, who enters the School of Yusuf, is glad because he can have greater hope for the good of Paradise if he successfully endures this trial.
As this book related, Muslims consider situations from a viewpoint that unbelievers cannot understand, discovering an inner-truth unbelievers can’t. They are individuals who know the true meaning of hardship, cruelty and oppression, and live their lives accordingly. Therefore, it is not possible for one committed to evil to stop or prevent they who believe in Allah with a pure heart, fear only Him and love and befriend Him, who sincerely strive for true friendship, love, tolerance, hope, optimism, solidarity and morality. The unbelievers must know that, irrespective of what they do, even if they were to concentrate all their power, supporting one another, and devise schemes that could rock mountains, ultimately they cannot harm the believers. Every snare they set, or slander they devise, and every mocking word cast against the believers, serve only to bring ever greater reward to them on Earth, as well as the Hereafter (unless Allah wills otherwise). Allah offers the believers who are aware of this the following good news:
Allah has bought from the believers their selves and their wealth in return for the Garden. They fight in the Way of Allah and they kill and are killed. It is a promise binding on Him in the Torah, the Gospel and the Qur’an and who is truer to his contract than Allah? Rejoice then in the bargain you have made. That is the great victory. Those who repent, those who worship, those who praise, those who fast, those who bow, those who prostrate, those who command the right, those who forbid the wrong, those who preserve the limits of Allah: give good news to the believers. . (Surat at-Tawba , 111-112)
They said, ‘Glory be to You! We have no knowledge except what You have taught us. You are the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.’ (Surat al-Baqara, 32)