Testing the Believers
Cont’d from page 1
Abraham, the prophet, who was called God’s friend, was put
to an exacting test.
Recall that Abraham was put to the test by his Lord,
through certain commands, and he fulfilled them. [2:124]
“You (Abraham) have believed the dream.”
We thus reward the righteous. That was an exacting test indeed.
Adam and Eve, were put to the test several times including expulsion
from Heaven, and may have lived through the loss of their righteous
son. Noah lost his son twice, first he lost him as a disbeliever
but still loved him, then lost him to the flood while calling on
God to save him. The prophet Muhammad lost his only born son (Ibrahim)
as all historical accounts mention and was very saddened by it.
Muhammad spent a great deal of his life struggling with the disbelievers
going from one war to another. He was exposed to killings, wounding,
and loss of friends and loved ones. He was truly tested. God could
have won him the wars while Muhammad stayed home enjoying a peaceful
life of a prophet. Noah, Abraham, Lot, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Solomon,
Jesus, John, Job, Jonah, and Muhammad were all given different and
difficult tests. The believers before us were tested to the maximum
until they were shaken up.
Do you expect to enter Paradise without being tested
like those before you? They were tested with hardship and adversity,
and were shaken up, until the messenger and those who believed with
him said, “Where is
God’s victory is near. [2:214]
Since this is a test, we would not know when, where or what kind
of test we might be given. We do not make the choice, God does.
He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows what is best
for us, and under what circumstances. He is the Almighty, Most Gracious,
Exposing the Hypocrites
While God is testing the believers, He uses the test to expose
the hypocrites and confuse the disbelievers. Thus He leads them
on in their transgression, blundering. These people do not understand
God’s system and think they are right when they are dead wrong.
God gave us their example in the Quran when He talked about the
Battle of the Parties in 33:9-12, and about the hypocrites in 9:50-51.
(See also 3:118-120, and 22:11)
O you who believe, remember God’s blessing
upon you; when soldiers attacked you, we sent upon them violent
wind and invisible soldiers. God is Seer of everything you do. When
they came from above you, and from beneath you, your eyes were terrified,
your hearts ran out of patience, and you harbored unbefitting thoughts
about God. That is when the believers were truly tested;
they were severely shaken up. The hypocrites and those
with doubts in their hearts said, “What God and His messenger
promised us was no more than an illusion!” [33:9-12]
Reaction of True believers
When the true believers saw the parties (ready to attack), they
said, “This is what God and His messenger have promised us,
and God and His messenger are truthful.” This (dangerous situation)
only strengthened their faith and augmented their submission.
What should the Believers Do?
Say, “Nothing happens to us, except what God
has decreed for us. He is our Lord and Master. In God the believers
shall trust.” [9:51]
In the face of adversity or hardship, the believers are expected
to submit. We are to be tested to see if we are truly submitters
or not. And whether we submit to God during the bad times and the
good times. God gave us the solution of passing the tests in His
book, the Quran. He asked us to submit to Him wholeheartedly. Submission
to God means to accept whatever God has given us or taken away from
us, to steadfastly persevere and to wait for God’s victory.
In practical terms, let us put it in steps. Whenever an adversity
or hardship afflicts us, we should:
(1) Not panic. God does test the believers.
(2) Check to see if we have gotten off the right
path. Are we still worshipping God alone and following His book?
Correct our path and stay with God alone, if we were not.
(3) Submit to God, by accepting what happened
to us without objecting. (See 2:155-157)
Continued on page 3