Bliss & Misery; How do we differentiate?
Often we wonder, if whether every misery, calamity, distress that is happening to us; “Is it a punishment Or is it that I am going through a trial and a test from The Almighty?”
Here’s a little argument before we go into the understanding and differences of the above.
This is how we work. We have this general defense mechanism called ‘the blame-game’. Just throw the blame on someone. So yes, if we don’t find anyone, lets put the blame on Allah. It’s easy that way. It’s meant to be. It’s our Qadr. Allah planned difficult trials and tribulation for some and for some everything is ‘happy and dandy’.
As if we don’t do anything to bring the anger of Allah? As if we don’t do things knowingly and bring disaster upon disaster on ourselves? As if we are not responsible for whatever happens to us. Here’s what Allah says:
“And if any one earns a sin, he earns it against His own soul” (Quran: 4:111)
In another verse Allah says:
“but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself” (al-Nisa: 4:79)
“Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom”.(4:11)
The above verses should be enough for us to judge for ourselves whether we are in Bliss or in Misery. Here is a formula designed by Ibn Qayim Al Jawzi through which you and me can check out and bring corrections to our personalities as Muslims.
‘From the signs of bliss and success is that a person, as he grows in learning, he grows in humbleness and compassion. As he grows in works of faith, he grows in fear and vigilance. As he grows in age, he diminishes in greed. As he grows in wealth, he grows in generosity and giving. And as he grows in strength and status, he grows in drawing closer to others so as to serve them and help fulfill their needs.
From the signs of misery is that a person, as he grows in learning, he grows in pride and conceit. As he grows in works of faith, he grows in boasting; belittling others; and having an inflated opinion about himself. As he grows in age, he grows in greed. As he grows in wealth, he grows in stinginess and miserliness. And as he grows in status and standing, he grows in vanity and arrogance.
All these matters are trials and tribulation from Allah by which He tries His servants. Through it, He makes some happy and blissful, while others are made wretched and miserable.’
May Allah guide you and me to a path that is right.