Principles Concerning Afflictions and Trials
Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah
"The Delight of Faith"
Abdullah bin Jarullah al-Jarullah, transl. J. Zarabozo; Dar as-Salaam, 1996


"The affair of the believer is amazing! The whole of his life is beneficial, and that is only in the case of the believer. When good times come to him, he is thankful and it is good for him, and when bad times befall him,, he is patient and it is also good for him." [Saheeh Muslim #7138]


1. The evil that the believers are inflicted with is less than that which occurs to the disbelievers.

2. When the believers are inflicted with anything it should be accompanied with pleasure with Allah's decree and hoping for His reward. Hence, if they miss anything that they want, this should lead them to patience and hoping for reward and this will, without doubt, lessen the catastrophe.

3. The believer will be relieved of such hardship according to the amount of his obedience, purity and the existence of the realities of Faith in his heart to the point that if this hardship had occurred to another [who has not that amount of Faith], he would not be able to bear it. This is how Allah repels hardship from His believing slave.

4. If the love of Allah is firmly planted in the heart, then bearing the pain from the Beloved will be pleasureful for those who love Him and will not be something hated.

5. What the disbeliever and evildoer attain of power and strength is also accompanied with its opposite.

6. Allah afflicting His believing slave is like a kand of medicine that removes a disease. If that disease were to remain, it would destroy the person or lessen his reward.

7. Such occurrences are part of the necessary aspects of being a human.

8. In such ocurrences, Allah has a great and recognized wisdom.

9. Those afflictions and trials make it apparent who is the truthful person and who is the liar.

10. Humans by their nature are social creatures. They must mix with others. However, they have different natures and desires that may cause difficulties. The believer is obliged to fulfill his responsibilities concernig them and this makes the trial much easier.

11. The affliction that occurs to a person cannot but be from one of four types: Either it is with respect to his life, or with respect to his wealth, or with respect to his honor, or with respect to his family and those whom he loves from among mankind. These things affect all different peoples. Those who are not believing pious people are afflicted by much more than the believing pious person, as is witnessed.