155. "And We will surely test you (all) with something of fear and hunger and loss of property, lives and fruits; but give glad tidings to the (steadfast) patient."
156. "Who, when a calamity befalls them, (by showing perseverance), say: 'Verily we belong to Allah, and certainly unto Him shall we return'."
157. "Those are they on whom are blessings and Mercy from their Lord, and they are the ones that are guided (aright)."
Calamities inflicted on man:
1 - Fear: covering the general fear and the specific fear.
2 - Hunger: state when one's stomach is empty of food while being eager to have it.
- Having little food
- Having little means of acquiring it
- Afflicted with an illness which prevents the person from eating due to loss of appetite, a blockage in the throat, ulcers in the stomach or a disease preventing absorption of nutrients.
3 - Loss of wealth: This covers money, belongings, cattle etc.
4 - Loss of Lives
5 - Loss of fruits, either less produce or destruction of the produce
The saying of Allah s.w.t (what means): “but give glad tidings to the (steadfast) patient” tells us of the merits of the patient ones.
The people of knowledge said that patience is of three types:
1. Patience on the obedience to Allah
2. Patience on avoiding disobedience and keeping away from sins
3. Patience on the pre-decrees of Allah.
The most difficult and the most superior of them all in merits is the first type because it involves acting, which covers doing acts of obedience and restraining the self from laxness towards that so that the self does not abandon obedience. As to the patience on avoiding the sin there is only restrainment. This type of patience has more merits than the patience concerning the pre-decree of Allah.
Patience on the pre-decrees of Allah s.w.t, is inevitable: whether we are patient or not the decree is certain to pass, and one's sorrow would not lift the pre-decree.
Having patience on calamities is obligatory and people afflicted with calamities react in different ways:
i) Displeasure and complaint (and this is unlawful)
iv) Gratitude (Ash-Shukr)
Concerning the first one it is unlawful. It is not permitted for the person to be displeased and discontent with the pre-decree of Allah neither in his heart, on his tongue or by his actions as this is from the major sins. The Prophet s.w.t said, "He who slaps his cheeks, tears his clothes and follows the ways and traditions of the Days of Ignorance is not one of us." [Al Bukhari].
This does not mean that the person cannot be sad and that he is the same whether afflicted by calamity or not. He is called, however, to persevere and be patient. The situation is not the same to the person before and after the calamity, he feels it but he does not say except that which pleases Allah and does not do what angers Allah. The second reaction is having patience, it is obligatory and a must for the person to observe patience.
And the third reaction is contentment, being content with the pre-decree of Allah, and content with this calamity which befalls him.
The difference between being patient and being content:
The patient person feels pain in his heart but does not express it in his sayings and actions and does not do what displeases Allah.
The content person does not go in pain, meaning that the presence or absence of the calamity, knowing it is from Allah, does not make him feel in his heart the pain and (or) sorrow.
The third level of Contentment is higher than the second level of Patience.
The fourth reaction of gratitude for the calamity (Ash-shukr):
How is a person thankful for a calamity which touches him and affects him? First, these calamities could be hastened punishments for sins which he has done so he thanks Allah that He hastened the punishment of these sins in this life. Secondly, he thanks Allah for not making his calamities more sever i.e. in his deen. Thirdly, he thanks Allah by anticipating the reward because the more severe the calamity, the more is he rewarded. Therefore, he thanks Allah s.w.t for the reward which will be much more than what he can expect.
These are the four stations that people fall in with respect to calamities that Allah mentioned:
"Who, when a calamity befalls them, (by showing perseverance), say: 'Verily we belong to Allah, and certainly unto Him shall we return'."
Edited from : http://understand-islam.net
Based Upon the Explanation by Sh. Muhammad Bin Saalih Al-'Uthaimeen (Rahimahullaah)