Third Matter: In this age, misfortune is a divine favor

T h i r d M a t t e r : Each age has particular characteristics. In this age of neglect misfortune has changed its form. In certain ages and for certain persons, misfortune is not in reality misfortune, but rather a Divine favour. Since I consider those afflicted with illness in the present age to be fortunate-on condition that their illness does not affect their religion-it does not occur to me to oppose illness and misfortune, nor to take pity on the afflicted. Whenever I encounter some afflicted youth, I find that he is more concerned with his religious duties and the Hereafter than are his peers. From this I deduce that illness does not constitute a misfortune for such people, but rather a bounty from Allah. It is true that illness causes him distress in his brief, transient and worldly life, but it is beneficial for his eternal life. It is to be regarded as a kind of worship. If he were healthy he would be unable to maintain the state he enjoyed while sick and would fall into dissipation, as a result of the impetuousness of youth and the dissipated nature of the age.

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