The Seventeen Benefits of Tribulation, Milk, or H.L.M.

Image courtesy of iLookiListen blog

I’ve been yearning to write this post all week to you, but alas, there was no time. I still needed a little self-help after last Saturday, so I started listening to Hamza Yusuf’s The Seventeen Benefits of Tribulation audio lectureI believe I’ve actually heard this lecture before, but it all sounds new to me now, and I just had to share with you the little bit that I heard the other day on our car ride…

The lecture is actually from a booklet that “Sultan Al Ulema” ‘Izzudin AbdelAziz bin Abdus-Salaam Sulaymi (Egyptian scholar, died in 660 AH) wrote to point out the benefits of having tests and tribulations in one’s life. He was actually a kind of anomaly, mashAllah, as he was a master of both the Shafii and Maliki madhabs, (Usually scholars are masters of only one school of thought in Islam). But to get to the good part, Hamza Yusuf breaks down some Arabic terms that totally opened my eyes. I’ll let you draw the connections before I tell you…just look at these definitions, all from the same root word…

Haleem=person who has forbearance





Hamza Yusuf then questions the audience about why they think these words are connected. Somebody out there was smart enough to figure some of it out, and Hamza Yusuf gave us the rest. The man of intellect is someone who has forbearance…stability. Intellect stabilizes you as it helps you not to get easily disquieted or disturbed. A person cannot dream in a state of disquietude. Dreams need a state of quietude…of stability to occur.  And what do nipples have to do with anything? Well, they are the source of quietude for children. Babies get calm immediately at their mother’s breast. And here’s the real big one:

Ghowiya=to go astray…actually means the inability to digest milk! Subhanallah!

And being haleem is the hallmark of the Prophet (saws). He did not get perturbed with people. Getting easily perturbed and disquieted is the opposite of the character of the Prophet (saws). I must say that I did dream last Saturday night, so I must not have been that perturbed, but I do perhaps need to work on my forbearance…so that things don’t eat away at me for so long before I get over them. At least I wasn’t mad for three days like other things make me ;P…mashAllah, and my dear Sister Halima is the first one who responded to my venting post. Wow. Smiles. There are signs everywhere. And as Hamza Yusuf says in his lecture, the believer will find good in whatever state he finds himself in as he will find benefit through it and know that Allah is teaching him something through it.

I am not lactose-intolerant. I dream every night. And I will be in class on Saturday morning…inshAllah….

I will let you know how it goes…



  1. W.B., Allah knows best. Last week was the first time that I read this blog! The Sandal was the only one I followed (and love). I wiped away silent tears after reading your post and shuddered to think about the many definitions you tied together and the responsibilities that come along with them. Thank You and I can’t wait for your update, not on how many students but, how well you handled you.

    • Sr. Halima! Again, my personal reference of H.L.M. MashAllah, you stand for all those wonderful character traits that come from that root. I’m so happy you joined me on GoodAfterNoora…it’s more of a “private” space since it’s less known…to talk about those mother-woman-craft issues that I don’t think all readers on The Sandal want to hear. It’s not quite where I want it to be yet and is still in development, but I’m so happy you joined me here. Am I getting a thumbs up from you in continuing in this space? 🙂

  2. Ahhh subhanAllah!! what a beautiful sign indeed that Sr. “Haleemah”!!! posted here first.. I love that you mashaAllah seek signs and are aware of the signs that Allah soo gracefully sends us. mashaAllah!! Hope all is well w/ you and your family. xo

    • You know, I was just thinking about who Halima actually was…who Sr. Halima’s namesake was…the wet nurse of rasulAllah (saws)! Not only standing for forbearance, but giving him milk…intellect…quietude…through her nipples. MashAllah. Subhanallah.

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