The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:
Meaning: “The greatest disaster will fall onto the prophets, then those who have the highest dignity (after the prophets), then the most dignified after that. A person is tested according to his faith. The higher is one’s faith, the greater the test one will experience. If one’s faith is low, one will be tested according to his faith.” (Narrated by At Tirmizi).
Throughout Abuya’s life, which was full of miraculous incidents, there were also extremely and unimaginably painful incidents. When Allah SWT loves a servant of His, He will severely test His servant with tribulations which are unbearable to the ordinary human being. Allah loved Prophet Abraham, so Allah allowed him to be consigned to the fire. Allah loved Prophet Jonah, so Allah allowed him to be swallowed by a whale. Allah loved Prophet Moses, so he was commanded to dive into the sea. Then when these great tests happened, Allah displayed His Utmost power to His beloved ones. He defended them by granting them the greatest triumph.
The tribulations that befell Abuya by Allah SWT, considered to be daunting and horrifying are:
Seven senior members left the congregation, distributed pamphlets around the world claiming Abuya misled people regarding the issues on tariqah. They targeted the destruction of Abuya’s congregation in a weeks’ time. This happened in 1978.
The late Ustaz Mokhtar Yaakob, Abuya’s erstwhile deputy, left the congregation, bringing along his many followers. He used the mainstream newspapers to proclaim Abuya’s alleged deviation with regard to the Imam al-Mahdi issue.
Abuya’a first wife was reluctantly divorced after evidence indicated that she tried to subvert Abuya and his struggle.
Abuya was separated from the congregation for 7 years, from 1987 to 1994, when he had to flee overseas after being secretly threatened by the authorities.
Abuya was under confinement of the ISA for 10 years, when his congregation was annihilated to all intents and purposes.
Abuya has been struck by severe illness from 2005 to 2006.
All these tests put Abuya’s congregation at crossroads between life and death. Nevertheless Allah SWT has shown His Greatness by reinvigorating Abuya’s congregation, which survives to this day.
I asked Abuya how he could sleep well when faced with these big tests. He answered, “I am like a person who goes to the paddy field. I’ll do my best working on the paddy field. But when I am tired and can no longer bear, I would surrender to God - Allah.”
I asked Abuya, confined to his room and unable to leave because of illness, how he faced these trying moments. Abuya replied, “I forget the pain by thinking about the responsibilities of the struggle, which is far bigger than his pain.” Yes, witnessing the pain-stricken Abuya executing large tasks which even 10 healthy men will not be able to do, convinces one of Abuya’s miraculous feats. When asked how we can help Abuya to ease his pain and boredom, Abuya retorted, “Pray for me and come to me to chit-chat with me. That makes me happy.” Strange, his pain is alleviated by discussing matters on the struggle. The truth is that the Messenger of Allah and Imam al-Mahdi always visit Abuya during his sickness and furnish hopes of recovery and triumph.
Each time encountering a terrifying test, Abuya gets a dream:
When Abuya was being defamed and challenged by his ex-follower, Akbar Anang, Abuya dreamt he was in a big mosque which had many pillars. Abuya was alone. Suddenly black horses came out from the pillars running and surrounding Abuya. In this great fright suddenly a white horse came out from the pillar at the center of the mosque, whipping fast and chasing away all the black horses until they ran crisscross.
When Ustaz Mokhtar Yaakob was attacking Abuya, Abuya dreamt he was in a well-shut car, passing through a hilly desert area. Suddenly tigers and lions came out from the hills and sprang on towards the car but were not able to enter.
At the time of his arrest by Mahathir, Abuya had no dream but intuitively felt that if he wanted to salvage the struggle, he needed to give cooperation to the police. Hence, after three days of interrogation, Abuya pledged to cooperate.
Facing the pain from these tribulations, Abuya said, “If I can negotiate beforehand with Allah before committing myself to this struggle, and if Allah had foretold all the tests, I will not have the courage and will refuse to face all these. But each time a test comes, Allah gives the strength.” Those involved in attacking Abuya have astonishingly been dishonoured. Remember the words from the Messenger of Allah in a Hadith Qudsi:
Meaning: “Whoever attacks My saint, I (God) declare war against them.” (Narrated by Bukhari)
Each time Abuya is humiliated, his struggle and personal image reap massive benefits. Even when he was under ISA detention, Abuya thanked Mahathir because in the aftermath of the ISA arrests, Abuya’s congregation gained more respect. Such is God’s love to His beloved ones. Such miracles elude an ordinary human being.
Here we understand that if Allah sends His emissaries to the earth, for example prophets, messengers, reformers and important saints, especially to become leaders to revive religion, then Allah surely will protect them from failure.
In other words, they will surely triumph even though many obstacles are set against them. As though, said Abuya, Allah declares to His enemies, “I will send My man and he will surely be victorious. If you don’t believe, try to obstruct him. Then you will see how feeble you are in comparison to the Might of Allah.”
Therefore every genuine leader who arrives at every age will face horrible and terrifying tests. Logically they die, or their struggle dies. But the fact is to the contrary. For example
1) Prophet Musa should have died when left adrift in the River Nile. But he did not!
2) Prophet Muhammad was confined for three years in Bani Shuib. He should have died, but did not.
3 Prophet Ibrahim was slung into fire and burnt for 40 days. He Should have died but did not.
4) Prophet Jonah was quarantined in the Nun whale. Logically should have perished but he did not!
5) Abuya, in great pain, should have died long ago, but he is still alive. With God’s will, Allah’s might will heal his illness. He will complete his struggle until Imam al-Mahdi arrives and along with Imam al-Mahdi, will Islamise the world. Abuya hopes to be buried at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
Allah is responsible to protect His man from being inclined to vices and sinful acts. Logically, with these tests, a person can go overboard and act rashly and sinfully. But for God’s man, Allah has His own way to save him. Faced with troubles in life, an ordinary person can go crazy, but for God’s man, God will surely save him from such madness.