17 Benefits of Tribulation

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Event Name: 17 Benefits of Tribulation
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 3/29/2019 8:40:55 PM
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The Seventeen Benefits of Tribulation, Hamza Yusuf



The Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace, was someone who went through unparalleled hardship, and yet he never allowed any difficulties to perturb him. In one very powerful and condensed session, Hamza Yusuf explains why. Commenting on the treatise of the seventh century scholar Izz ibn Abdus-Salam, he reveals 17 benefits of tribulations for those who would see them. Not only will this lecture completely transform your outlook on calamities, but it will also leave you in total awe of Allah's magnanimity and infinite mercy.

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem


I wanted to go over a booklet that was written by a man known as sultan al ulema, the sultan of the scholars, Izzideen Abdul Aziz Abdus Salaam Sulami. He died in 660. He lived in Egypt and he was known also to have mastered the two madhabs which is rare, in the history of Islam, in fact I think he is the only person who really has that maqam. He wrote this book and called it “The Book of Calamities, Tribulations, Hardships and Disasters or the Benefits of Tribulations and Tests”. He wrote it actually to point out all the tests, the benefits that come from having tribulation in your life and one of the aspects of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam), one of the most extraordinary aspects of the Prophet’s (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) life is that he never allowed tribulations to disquiet him, in other words he never allowed any difficulties that he faced or hardships to perturb him oo put him in a state of turbulence.


The word in Arabic for somebody who has forbearance is called halim. The word halim is a word that the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) was described as “he had more forebearance than anybody else” that is a description. Now the word for intellect is hilm. That is one of the words for intellect, hilm.


One of the things they accused the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) of was “he causes us to lose our intellects or to make us look like fools” because safia is the opposite of halim”. So the man of intellect is somebody who has hilm. The man without intellect is somebody who has safaha. Safaha is a lightness, there is no stability because what intellect should do is it should stabilise you and that is why the halim is somebody who does not get disquieted, he does not get perturbed in life.


Now what is interesting about disquietude is that the word for dreamer is halim. The word for a person who is dreaming is ha’lum. Now why do you think that the word for somebody who does not get perturbed is halim and the word for a dreamer is  ha’lum? Ahlam is intellect but it is also dreams. In Surah Yusuf, the dreams were called empty dreams. Why do you think there is a connection between hilm and dream and intellect? It is hard to dream when someone is agitating you. Dreams need a state of quietude in order for you to sleep.


Now the word for nipple is halama and a child when they are at the nipple what happens to their state? What does the mother do when the child is in a perturbed state? The infant. She gives it the breast which is called halama. What happens to the child? It goes into a state of complete quietude and relaxation.


Now it is not interesting that milk and knowledge are from the same source and that is why when Sayyidina Umar in the sound hadith saw a dream which the Prophet’s (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) milk was coming out of his fingers and Sayyidina Umar was drinking it. The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said al ilm it is knowledge, knowledge.


So isn’t it interesting that ghawiyah which means to go astray means the inability to digest milk. In Arabic, you can look these up in Arabic dictionary. Ghawiyah which is to go astray the root of it means the inability to digest milk.


Because our first stage is to get through the two years and in the Western developmental and that call it that first crisis is trust vs mistrust. That is what the child needs to realise that they are in a safe environment and if they are not given milk, they are neglected by their mother, if they are mistreated, they do not get through that first developmental stage and then every stage after that is a disaster. According to Erikkson, that is a theory in developmental psychology but my point of bringing that up is that trust vs mistrust is related to whether or not the mother removes the disquietude of the child or not because that is the key thing that the mother has to do. The cry of the baby there is a reason that babies cry and if you grew up in this country in the sixties, there was a character called Dr Spock and they are always giving new theories about how to raise children but one of the theories in the fifties was mothers should ignore the cry of the child and regulate the milk according to fixed times which is complete insanity but that is what they did now look at the society out there.


So the halim the person who is the halim is a person who in the face of tribulation whether it is a person or whether it is a circumstance they do not lose their cool. They do not become perturbed and this is the hallmark of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) in terms of his behaviour with people and with circumstances is that for instance he is described  as whenever people would speak ill to him he would return with, the Quran says give a had turn, repay it with a good turn. The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) when he was migrating from Makkah to Madinah he according to the narration Abu Bakr was perturbed, he was troubled and he would look at the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) would even though Suraqah ibn Malik was right behind them. Abu Bakr was worried not about himself. He was worried about the messenger of Allah. He was in an act of ibadah but the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) was in a state of tranquillity. He was reciting the Quran, unperturbed.


When they were in the cave and Abu Bakr was very nervous because right outside were the Quraysh literally right outside the cave and the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) was in a complete unperturbed state. In battles they said the Prophet (