Affliction is an adornment for the believer and a mark of honour for the man of intellect, because facing it directly needs stead fastness and firm-footedness, both of which confirm belief. The Prophet said, 'We, the company of the prophets, are the people who have the hardest trials, then after us come the believers, then the others like them.'
Whoever tastes the food of affliction while under God's protection enjoys it more than he enjoys God's blessing. He yearns for it when it is not there, because the lights of blessing lie under the balance of affliction and trial, and the balance of affliction and trial lies under the lights of blessing. Many are delivered from affliction and then destroyed in blessing. God praised none of His bondsmen, from Adam up to Muhammad, until He had tested him and seen how he fulfilled the duty of worship while in affliction. God's marks of honour come, in fact, at the last stage, but the aSictions themselves come in the beginning.
Whoever leaves the path of affliction is ignoring the lamp of the believers, the beacon of those near to God, and the guide for those on the right path. There is no good in a slave who complains of a single trial preceded by thousands of blessings and followed by thousands of comforts. Whoever does not show the patience required in affliction is deprived of thankfulness in the blessings he reccives. Similarly, whoever does not give the thankfulness owed for blessings is denied the patience owed in affliction. Whoever is denied both of them is an outcast.
said in his supplication, 'O God, verily seventy comforts and ease did not come
to me until You sent me seventy afflictions.' And Wahb ibn Munabbih said, 'Affliction
to a believer is like a bit to a horse and a halter to a camel.' 'Ali said,
'Steadfastness in relation to belief is like the head to the body. The head
of steadfastness is affliction, but only those who act righteously understand