A High Status Can Only Be Gained Through Hardship

A High Status Can Only Be Gained Through Hardship

I have noticed everything that is valuable will take a lot of time and effort to achieve. And since knowledge is the most noble of things, it can only be acquired through hard work; this means staying up at night and abandoning lusts and comforts.

A scholar once said, ‘I spent years yearning for a type of food (harisah). I could not buy it because it was sold at the same time as my lesson took place.’

Similar to this is gaining wealth. It requires travelling, taking risks and lots of hardship. Also similar to this is gaining a good reputation through being generous as well as bravery. All this is only attained through risking one’s self.

A poet once said:

“Had it not been for hardship, then all people would have become masters,
Being generous makes one poor, and being brave causes one to get killed.”

Earning reward in the Hereafter is similar to this as well. It increases proportionally to the amount of effort, money and self that is exerted. It is also proportional to the amount of patience (sabr) one has for losing a loved one and preventing one from expressing extreme grief.

Asceticism (zuhd) also requires putting effort into avoiding lusts. And chastity is attained through repelling gluttony.

Yusuf (‘alayhi as-salam) was only named:

“The truthful one.” [Qur’an 12:46]

because of all that he suffered.

Some people strive to acquire all virtues. They seek all sciences and are active in all fields. If their bodies become weak, then their intentions (niyya) make up for them. They are first to perform these actions, yet they belittle the perfection of their actions and seek excuses for their deficiencies. Others thank Allah for enabling them to do such good deeds, while others do not even notice what they have done, because they believe that they belong to their Lord, and so decrees everything they do.

On the other hand, there are lazy followers of lusts. Their immediate enjoyment of their lusts causes them grief and sorrow in the long run. He who studies the stories of both Yusuf (‘alayhi as-salam) and Mā’iz will see the difference between the two and will understand loss and gain.

I thought about how difficult it is to extract pearls from the sea. And he who contemplates what I have mentioned above will understand many such examples.

A wise person keeps in mind how brief the “working season” is, and how long the “accountability season” is, so he will take advantage of every moment and will try to gain every virtue. Once such opportunities pass, there will be no way for them to return back.

If a person was to ponder the hadith: “It will be said to the companion of the Qur’an, ‘Recite and elevate (through the levels of the Paradise)! For verily your position in Paradise will be at the last verse you recite.”[1]

Then he would quickly memorise the entire Qur’an.

[Captured Thoughts by Ibn Al-Jawzi, p. 596-598]

[1] Abu Dawud, #1464 and Tirmidhi, #2914 -see Sahih Abu Dawud on the authority of ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr (radiyAllahu ‘anhuma). The hadith is hasan sahih.

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