There are over seven billion people in the world and at any given time someone is happy and joyful, another is suffering and in pain.

Allah (swt) created us and created this dunyā. He placed within it His laws. Part and parcel of His laws is that Janna is a place of reward and perfection, but this dunyā is not. Here on earth we find sickness, cruelty, cold, hunger, oppression, pain, natural disasters and unnatural accidents. Someone, somewhere, is crying right now. Someone else is hurting. Someone else is silently suffering in pain.

Allah knows exactly who is crying. He knows who is hurting. He knows who is lonely and afraid.

When Allah (may He be glorified) created us, the angels said to Him, {Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?”} (2:30) Angels do not go against Allah’s will, yet in all respect, they wondered at this strange new creation; a creation that would choose. Allah (z) responded, {Indeed, I know that which you do not know.} (2:30) and then proceeded to teach Adam the names of all things.

When we were created, and given knowledge and then sent to live upon this earth, it was in love. We are the representatives (khalīfa) of Allah (swt), and in our ability to choose is the other side of this dunyā.

Abdullah b. Mubārak relates, “Once while I was in Mecca, we were struck with a severe drought. It had not rained for weeks and all the people gathered at the masjid to pray for rain. I was also amongst them sitting next to the gate of Banū Sāʾiba. An Abyssinian slave wearing tatty garments came and sat in front of me. I could hear him praying, ‘O Allah, bad deeds and sinning have frayed the faces and you have stopped showering us with your Mercy to teach humanity a lesson. I ask you Ya Ḥalīm, Ya Raḥīm, Ya the One whose people know nothing except good. Send rain unto us this moment.’ He prayed until the clouds appeared and it rained.”

The story goes on to tell how Abdullah b. Mubārak ran after him to learn more about him, and finally purchased him in order to free him and serve him. The slave died before that could happen, and of his last words were, “Life was good when the secret was between my Lord and I. Now you know and then someone else will come to know. Now I am no longer in need of this life.”

Here on earth we find those who choose to reach out to the ill and make them comfortable; we find kind people who soothe broken hearts; we find people who feed the hungry – those hungry of body and those hungry of soul. We also find people who bravely fight against oppression, bring salve to wounds, and rush to assist at any natural disaster. We have heard miracles about human courage to rescue people from accidents. Allah (swt) who created us and gave us the choice, created the breeding ground for these great works.

Allah knows exactly who is helping. He knows who is giving. He knows who is bravely reaching out to support and carry.

Do not despair at the pain; rather rejoice at the beauty and blessings.

As the Abyssinian slave threw up his hands in confidence, let us also throw up our hands in confident duʿāʾ, calling on Allah (swt) to send us rain. Let the rain fall upon our parched hearts and heal us all – all seven billion of us. Ameen.

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