After committing our original sin, that is, not making a firm stand
for God’s absolute authority, God has given us a chance to
redeem ourselves. We are in this world to denounce our sin and rejoin
God’s kingdom by accepting His absolute authority. But this
is not to be without us being tested in good times and in bad times.
We will be tested with adversity and hardship as well as with prosperity
and happiness. Many people protest when God puts them through difficult
conditions as a test. Obviously, these people do not know that we
(the human beings) are the ones who chose to go through these tests.
In addition, God alone knows which people are good and which ones
are bad. We understand from the Quran that the people have to be
tested in order to see if they are as good as they claim:
God is not to leave the believers as you are, without
distinguishing the bad from the good.... (3:179)
It is a human tendency that when we are rich, prosperous and healthy,
we go through a state of forgetfulness and negligence regarding
our responsibility towards God. We become proud of ourselves. We
think we are in control, invincible and nothing can touch us. We
forget who has bestowed His mercy upon us. God gives us an example
in the Quran:
We have tested them like we tested the owners of
the garden who swore that they will harvest it in the morning.
They were so absolutely
sure. A passing (storm) from your Lord passed by it while they were
asleep. By morning, it was barren. They called on each other in
the morning. “Let us harvest the crop.”
On their way, they confided to each other. That from
then on, none of them would be poor. They were so absolutely sure
of their harvest. But when they saw it, they said, “We were
so wrong!” (68:17-26)
When adversity touches us, we implore God sincerely. We devote
our prayer to Him alone, and implore Him at all times. But as soon
as He relieves our condition, we go on as if nothing happened and
as if we never asked for His help. Sometimes, we worship God conditionally.
If things go our way, we are content, but if we face a rough road,
adversity or hardship, we make an about-face (22:11).
We should remember God at all times, good or bad, during prosperous
times or during adversity. Everything is from God. Nothing will
happen to us without His knowledge and awareness. Therefore, we
should not say we will do this or that without remembering Him and
asking for His help (18:23-24).
Through the Quran, we learn that even prophets and messengers were
put to the test. Abraham was put to the test through certain commands
Joseph was put to the test by means
of the Egyptian governor’s wife (12:24). Jacob had to wait
for many years to rejoin his beloved son Joseph (Sura 12). Solomon
was tested with the vast
riches of this mundane life (38:34). In fact, we learn from the
Quran that every prophet or messenger was put to the test one way
or another. But, every one of them passed their test through steadfastness
The believers and submitters will be tested for their belief and
steadfastness (2:124). The non-believers will be tested with adversity
or prosperity so they may take heed and return (7:168).
God alternates the days of victory and defeat among
the people. God thus distinguishes those who truly believe (3:140).
We should take refuge in God from Satan’s whispers and revere
Him alone. Our Lord is full of grace towards us. We should remember
Him at all times and ask for His forgiveness and mercy. In conclusion,
we should also remember that:
If anyone thinks that God cannot support him in this
life and in the Hereafter, let him turn completely to (his creator
in) heaven, and sever (his dependence on anyone else). He will then
see that this plan eliminates anything that bothers him. (22:15)