Muslim will face a lot of hardships if he adheres to Quran and Sunnah in worldly life, other than the hadith of Jibril where he visits paradise twice.

Is there any hadith which says a Muslim will face a lot of hardships?


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There are numerous hadiths that talk about hardships, their causes, and their outcome. Facing hardships is part of life, and it is wise to assume that we will always face hardships, to varying degrees, as we continue to be alive:

سَمِعْتُ مُعَاوِيَةَ يَقُولُ سَمِعْتُ النَّبِيَّ ﷺ يَقُولُ:‏ لَمْ يَبْقَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا إِلاَّ بَلاَءٌ وَفِتْنَةٌ

Mu'awiyah said: "I heard the Prophet ﷺ say: 'There is nothing left of this world except trials and tribulations.'"

Sunan Ibn Majah 36/110

The cause of hardship can be (i) a punishment for sins, (ii) a purification from sins, or (iii) a test to either raise or lower the stance of a person.

Allah ﷻ tells us that hardships that befall may potentially be a form of punishment earned based on our deeds:

وَمَا أَصَابَكُم مِّن مُّصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُو عَن كَثِيرٍ

And whatever strikes you of disaster — it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much.

Qur'an 42:30

Hardships may potentially be to purify us from our previous sins, and a form of test of our level of faith in Allah ﷻ. The higher the level of faith, the more difficult the test or tribulation is, the tougher on one the hardship is. And, of course, so is the level of reward:

عَنْ مُصْعَبِ بْنِ سَعْدٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ سَعْدِ بْنِ أَبِي وَقَّاصٍ قَالَ: قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَىُّ النَّاسِ أَشَدُّ بَلاَءً. قَالَ

‏ الأَنْبِيَاءُ ثُمَّ الأَمْثَلُ فَالأَمْثَلُ يُبْتَلَى الْعَبْدُ عَلَى حَسَبِ دِينِهِ فَإِنْ كَانَ فِي دِينِهِ صُلْبًا اشْتَدَّ بَلاَؤُهُ وَإِنْ كَانَ فِي دِينِهِ رِقَّةٌ ابْتُلِيَ عَلَى حَسَبِ دِينِهِ فَمَا يَبْرَحُ الْبَلاَءُ بِالْعَبْدِ حَتَّى يَتْرُكَهُ يَمْشِي عَلَى الأَرْضِ وَمَا عَلَيْهِ مِنْ خَطِيئَةٍ

It was narrated from Mus'ab bin Sa'd that his father, Sa'd bin Abu Waqqas, said: "I said: 'O Messenger of Allah, which people are most severely tested?' He said:

The Prophets, then the next best and the next best. A person is tested according to his religious commitment. If he is steadfast in his religious commitment, he will be tested more severely, and if he is frail in his religious commitment, his test will be according to his commitment. Trials will continue to afflict a person until they leave him walking on the earth with no sin on him.

Sunan Ibn Majah 36/98

How a hardship is handled determines the outcome, and this is one's decision. This is often a matter of confusion when discussing free will vs. destiny. One's fate and destiny (Arabic: القضاء والقدر, Al-Qadaa' wa Al-Qadar) is predetermined long before one is born; in this case, it is the hardship in question. The free will, one's power to make a decision of either accepting with the content the hardship and act in a manner that is within what Islam teaches us, or to reject with discontent; this is a matter left to one to decide. With content, one gets rewards either in this life or in Jannah. WIth discontent, one only stands to lose ... and the hardship will not necessarily disappear:

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ أَنَّهُ قَالَ: عِظَمُ الْجَزَاءِ مَعَ عِظَمِ الْبَلاَءِ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ إِذَا أَحَبَّ قَوْمًا ابْتَلاَهُمْ فَمَنْ رَضِيَ فَلَهُ الرِّضَا وَمَنْ سَخِطَ فَلَهُ السُّخْطُ

It was narrated from Anas bin Malik that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: "The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allah loves a people He tests them. Whoever accepts that wins His pleasure but whoever is discontent with that earns His wrath."

Sunan Ibn Majah 36/106

Muslims need to be aware that hardships in this life will continue, and that one should really start to worry if one is not tested for some time; one should start to question one's level of faith:

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال‏:‏ قال رسول الله ﷺ:‏‏ ما يزال البلاء بالمؤمن والمؤمنة في نفسه وولده وماله حتى يلقى الله تعالى وما عليه خطيئة‏

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, "A Muslim, male or female, continues to remain under trial in respect of his life, property and offspring until he faces Allah, the Exalted, with no sin record".

Riyad Al-Saliheen 1/49

The companions of the Prophet ﷺ had a good understanding of the value of trials and tribulations in the life of a Muslim. In this narration, when distributing the spoils of war during the reign of 'Umar ibn Al-Khattab, he responded to proposed distribution of the spoils of war by saying:

ذَكَرَ عُمَرُ بْنُ الْخَطَّابِ يَوْمًا الْفَىْءَ فَقَالَ مَا أَنَا بِأَحَقَّ، بِهَذَا الْفَىْءِ مِنْكُمْ وَمَا أَحَدٌ مِنَّا بِأَحَقَّ بِهِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ إِلاَّ أَنَّا عَلَى مَنَازِلِنَا مِنْ كِتَابِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَقَسْمِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَالرَّجُلُ وَقِدَمُهُ وَالرَّجُلُ وَبَلاَؤُهُ وَالرَّجُلُ وَعِيَالُهُ وَالرَّجُلُ وَحَاجَتُهُ

Malik ibn Aws ibn al-Hadthan said: One day Umar ibn al-Khattab mentioned the spoils of war and said: I am not more entitled to this spoil of war than you; and none of us is more entitled to it than another, except that we occupy our positions fixed by the Book of Allah, Who is Great and Glorious, and the division made by the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), people being arranged according to their precedence in accepting Islam, the hardship they have endured, their having children, and their need.

Sunan Abi Dawud 20/23

'Umar clearly puts in order the ones deserving a bigger share of spoils of war as (1) those who have precedence in Islam, (2) those who endured more hardships, (3) those who have more children to support, then (4) those who have more need.

Finally, a Muslim has to understand it is one's duty to always fight back the hardships, i.e., do one's homework. There is a subtle difference between accepting a hardship, and being negative. Islam is a religion of positivity. The Prophet ﷺ ordered us that if the onset of Judgment Day is upon us, and one has a palm bud in one's hand, one should still plant it (see hadith 479 in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad). This is to emphasize that we are responsible for two out of the tree components of a deed: (1) having the right intention, and (2) doing the right thing in a right manner. The (3) result is only in the hands of Allah ﷻ to reward in this life or afterwards. This explains why the Prophet ﷺ resembled Muslims to fresh green plants, bending with the wind, but always standing straight after the wind is past:

مَثَلُ الْمُؤْمِنِ كَمَثَلِ خَامَةِ الزَّرْعِ، يَفِيءُ وَرَقُهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَتَتْهَا الرِّيحُ تُكَفِّئُهَا، فَإِذَا سَكَنَتِ اعْتَدَلَتْ، وَكَذَلِكَ الْمُؤْمِنُ يُكَفَّأُ بِالْبَلاَءِ، وَمَثَلُ الْكَافِرِ كَمَثَلِ الأَرْزَةِ صَمَّاءَ مُعْتَدِلَةً حَتَّى يَقْصِمَهَا اللَّهُ إِذَا شَاءَ

The example of a believer is that of a fresh green plant the leaves of which move in whatever direction the wind forces them to move and when the wind becomes still, it stand straight. Such is the similitude of the believer: He is disturbed by calamities (but is like the fresh plant he regains his normal state soon). And the example of a disbeliever is that of a pine tree (which remains) hard and straight till Allah cuts it down when He will.

Sahih Al-Bukhari 97/92

For more information, you may refer to Islam Q&A: How can one who is afflicted with calamity know whether it is a punishment or a test to raise him in status?.

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