Necessity of approaching Allah with Tawbah and supplication in adversity
From ‘Abdul‘Aziz ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Baz to every Muslim who reads this:
May Allah help us remember Him and take warnings and lessons from the destinies unfolding before our eyes and lead us to sincere Tawbah (repentance to Allah) from all sins and misdeeds. Amen.
Assalamu ‘alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh (May Allah’s Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you!)
Indeed, Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) wills with His Deep Wisdom, absolute Proof, and all Encompassing Knowledge to test His Servants with prosperity and adversity, poverty and affluence, blessings and calamities, to try their patience and thankfulness.
Anyone who is patient at the time of adversity, thankful at the time of prosperity, humbles themselves and supplicates to Allah upon facing hardships, acknowledges their sins and shortcomings, and asks Allah for His Mercy and Forgiveness, has succeeded and will be granted the blessed end.
Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) revealed in His Book:
Alif Lâm Mîm. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur’ân, and none but Allâh (Alone) knows their meanings.] Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allâh will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allâh knows all that before putting them to test).
The Fitnah (trial) mentioned in this Ayah (Qur’anic verse) means the test of faith that makes evident the truthful from the liar, the patient and the thankful, as Allah (Exalted be He) says: “And We have made some of you as a trial for others: will you have patience? And your Lord is Ever All Seer (of everything)“. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) further says: “and We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good. And to Us you will be returned.”
And He (may He be Praised) says: “And We tried them with good (blessings) and evil (calamities) in order that they might turn (to Allâh’s Obedience)“. The good refers here to the blessings of fertility, prosperity, good health, honor, victory over enemies, and the like, while the evil here are adversities, such as diseases, domination of the enemy, earthquakes, hurricanes, storms, torrential destructive floods, and the like. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: “Evil (sins and disobedience to Allâh) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and evil deeds), that He (Allâh) may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allâh, and begging His Pardon)“. This means that Allah (may He be Praised) predestined the good and the evil and the occurrence of corruption for people to return to Al-Haqq (the Truth), to hurry and make Tawbah from what Allah has forbidden them, and hasten to the obedience of Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him).
Kufr (disbelief) and sins are the cause of all afflictions and evil in this world and the Hereafter, while tawhid (belief in the Oneness of Allah) and Iman (belief) in Him and His Messengers, obedience to Him and His Messengers, holding fast to His Shari‘ah (Islamic law), Da‘wah (calling) people to it, and refuting those who oppose it, are the causes of all good in this world and in the Hereafter. Perseverance on these principles and enjoining and cooperating in them bring honor in this world and the Hereafter, and salvation from every evil and protection from every Fitnah (trial). Allah (may He be Praised) says: “O you who believe! If you help (in the cause of) Allâh, He will help you, and make your foothold firm. And He (may He be Praised) says: Verily, Allâh will help those who help His (Cause). Truly, Allâh is All Strong, All Mighty“. Those (Muslim rulers) who, if We give them power in the land, (they) enjoin Iqamat asSalât [i.e. to perform the five compulsory congregational Salât (prayers) (the males in mosques)], to pay the Zakât and they enjoin AlMa‘rûf (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism and all that Islâm orders one to do), and forbid Al Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism and all that Islâm has forbidden) [i.e. they make the Qur’ân as the law of their country in all the spheres of life]. And with Allâh rests the end of (all) matters (of creatures). He (Exalted be He) also says:
Allâh has promised those among you who believe and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the land, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practise their religion which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islâm). And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they (believers) worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me. But whoever disbelieves after this, they are the Fâsiqûn (rebellious, disobedient to Allâh).
And: And if the people of the towns had believed and had the Taqwâ (piety), certainly, We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth, but they belied (the Messengers). So We took them (with punishment) for what they used to earn (polytheism and crimes).
Allah (may He be Praised) explains in many Ayahs that the afflictions and exemplary punishments that befell the preceding nations, such as floods, devastating winds, the mighty shriek, and being swallowed up by the earth, and the like, were nothing more than the result of their Kufr and sins.
Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: “So We punished each (of them) for his sins; of them were some on whom We sent Hâsib (a violent wind with shower of stones) [as on the people of Lût (Lot)], and of them were some who were overtaken by As-Saihah [torment awful cry. (as Thamûd or Shu‘aib’s people)], and of them were some whom We caused the earth to swallow [as Qârûn (Korah)], and of them were some whom We drowned [as the people of Nûh (Noah), or Fir‘aun (Pharaoh) and his people]. It was not Allâh Who wronged them, but they wronged themselves.”
And He (may He be Praised and Exalted) says: “And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much.” (See the Qur’ân Verse 35:45).
Allah orders His Servants to turn to Him in sincere Tawbah (repentance to Allah) and supplicate to Him at the time of adversity, as He (may He be Praised) says:
“O you who believe! Turn to Allâh with sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will expiate from you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise)”.
And He (may He be Praised) says:
“And all of you beg Allâh to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful He (may He be Praised) “ also says:
“Verily, We sent (Messengers) to many nations before you (O Muhammad ىلص ملـسو هـيلع اللها). And We seized them with extreme poverty (or loss in wealth) and loss in health (with calamities) so that they might humble themselves (believe with humility). When Our Torment reached them, why then did they not humble themselves (believe with humility)? But their hearts became hardened, and Shaitân (Satan) made fair seeming to them that which they used to do.”
In this glorious Ayah, Allah urges His Slaves and awakens in them the desire that, when they face adversities, such as illness, wounds, fighting, earthquakes, winds, storms, and other tribulations, they should humble themselves to Him in need of Him and ask for His Help. This is the meaning of Allah’s Saying: “When Our Torment reached them, why then did they not humble themselves (believe with humility)?” It asks why they (the preceding nations) did not turn to Allah humbly when they were inflicted with torment. Allah then tells that their hard heartedness and the handiwork of Satan, making evil deeds pleasing to them, prevented them from Tawbah, supplication, and beseeching forgiveness. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: “But their hearts became hardened, and Shaitân (Satan) made fair seeming to them that which they used to do.”
It is authentically reported that the Rightly Guided Caliph, Amir Al Mu’minin (Commander of the Believers), ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul‘Aziz (may Allah be merciful to him), when there was an earthquake during his era, wrote to his agents in the different countries and ordered them to tell the Muslims to make Tawbah to Allah, humble themselves to Him, and seek His Forgiveness from their sins.
All you Muslims know the different types of Fitan (trials) and calamities that prevail in our time, among which is the that the Kafirs have power over the Muslims in Afghanistan, the Philippines, India, Palestine, Lebanon, Ethiopia, and other countries. There have also been earthquakes in Yemen and many countries; devastating floods, and violent hurricanes that have destroyed homes, trees, ships, and other properties; avalanches that have brought about incalculable harm; and famines and droughts in a multitude of countries. All this and much more are the different types of punishment that Allah afflicts upon His Servants due to their Kufr and misdeeds, deviation from His Obedience, zeal for this world and its transient pleasures, and turning away from the Hereafter and failing to prepare for it; except those to whom Allah has shown His Mercy.
There is no doubt that all such adversities obligate Allah’s Servants to hasten to make sincere Tawbah to Him (may He be Praised) from all that He prohibited them from, to return to His Obedience, to rule according to the Shari‘ah (Islamic law), to cooperate in righteousness and piety, and advise one another to adhere to the truth and have patience. The moment the Servants repent to their Lord, humble themselves to Him, and hasten to do what pleases Him: Help you one another in AlBirr and AtTaqwâ (virtue, righteousness and piety) and enjoin one another to do good and forbid one another from evil, Allah will set their affairs aright and ward off the evil of their enemies, grant them authority in the land, give them victory over their enemies, bestow upon them His Blessings, and protect them from His Punishment. Allah, the Truest Speaker, says: “and (as for) the believers, it was incumbent upon Us to help (them)”.
He (Glorified and Exalted be He) also says:
“Invoke your Lord with humility and in secret. He likes not the aggressors. And do not do mischief on the earth, after it has been set in order, and invoke Him with fear and hope. Surely, Allâh’s Mercy is (ever) near unto the good doers”.
And He (Glorified and Exalted be He) also says:
“And (commanding you): “Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace (i.e. the one who helps and serves the needy and deserving, physically and with his wealth, and even with good words). But if you turn away, then I fear for you the torment of a Great Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)“.
“Allâh has promised those among you who believe and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the land, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practice their religion which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islâm). And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided)”
Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) further says:
“The believers, men and women, are Auliyâ’ (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another; they enjoin (on the people) AlMa‘rûf (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism and all that Islâm orders one to do), and forbid (people) from AlMunkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islâm has forbidden); they perform AsSalât (IqâmatasSalât), and give the Zakât, and obey Allâh and His Messenger. Allâh will have His Mercy on them. Surely Allâh is All Mighty, All Wise”.
Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) clarifies in these Ayahs that His Mercy, Benevolence, Protection, and all His other Blessings are granted in full and shall continue to be given in the Hereafter to those who fear Him, believe in Him, obey His Messengers, hold fast to His Shar‘iah (Islamic Law), and make Tawbah to Him from their sins.
But for those who shun His Obedience, are too proud to fulfill the Rights owed to Him, and persist in their Kufr and disobedience, Allah (may He be Praised) threatens them with different punishments in this life and the Hereafter, and shall expedite the share of punishment which He has allotted for them (in this world. ed.), as His wisdom dictates, for them to be an example and warning to others. Allah (may He be Praised) says:
“So, when they forgot (the warning) with which they had been reminded, We opened for them the gates of every (pleasant) thing, until in the midst of their enjoyment in that which they were given, all of a sudden, We took them (in punishment), and lo! They were plunged into destruction with deep regrets and sorrows. So the root of the people who did wrong was cut off. And all the praises and thanks are to Allâh, the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn, and all that exists).”
O Muslims! Call yourselves to account for your deeds, make Tawbah to your Lord, and seek His Forgiveness. Hasten to obedience and be on your guard against disobedience, and cooperate in righteousness and piety. Do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good. Be just; indeed, Allah loves those who act justly. Make provision of righteous acts before death befalls you. Show mercy to the weak, help the poor, increase your Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah), ask for His Forgiveness, enjoin that which is good and forbid that which is evil that you may receive mercy. Take admonition from what happened to the preceding nations due to their sins and misdeeds. Indeed, Allah accepts the Tawbah of the penitent, shows mercy to the doers of good, and grants a blessed end to the pious.
Allah (may He be Praised) says: So be patient. Surely, the (good) end is for Al-Muttaqûn (the pious) And He (Exalted be He) says: Truly, Allâh is with those who fear Him (keep their duty unto Him), and those who are Muhsinûn (gooddoers). (See the footenote of V.9:120).
We ask Allah with His Most Beautiful Names and Most High Attributes to show mercy to the Muslims, grant them understanding of the Din (religion), give them victory over His and their enemies among the Kafirs and hypocrites, afflicting them with His Wrath that never will be turned back from the wrongdoers. He is the Guardian and the One Who is Capable of doing so.
May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, and his family and Companions, and those who follow them in righteousness until the Day of Resurrection.
Assalamu ‘alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh (May Allah’s Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you!)
( Part No : 2, Page No: 127 – 133)
Source: English Translations of Collection of “Majmoo al Fatawa of Ibn Baz”, Volume 2. By: Sheikh `Abdul `Aziz Bin `Abdullah ibn `AbdulRahman ibn Bazz (May Allah forgive and reward al-Firdouse to him and his parents). He was The Mufti of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Chairman of the Council of Senior Scholars, and Chairman of Department of Scholarly Research and Ifta’.
This English Translation is collected from alifta.net, Portal of the general Presidency of Scholarly Research and Ifta’