Steadfastness in Tests
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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’s best for polishing us, and under what circumstances. He is the Almighty, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
While God controls tests for believers, the test serves 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. God gave us their example in the Quran in 4:78 and when He talks about the Battle of the Parties.
[33:9-12] 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!”
But the reaction of the true believers was the opposite. [33:22] 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.
So, what should the believers do? In the face of adversity or hardship, the believers are expected to submit. We are tested to see if we are truly submitters or not and to work on our weaknesses. And whether we submit to God during the bad times and the good times (2:155, 3:134, 21:90, 38:34-41). God gave us the solution to 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 seek God's help.
Steps to take
Don’t panic. [39:53] Proclaim: “O My
servants who exceeded the limits, never despair of GOD's mercy. For GOD forgives all sins. He is the Forgiver, Most Merciful.”
Check ourselves to see if we’ve gotten off the right path, and correct our path if we have deviated, to stay with God alone. [13:11] Shifts (of angels) take turns, staying with each one of you―they are in front of you and behind you. They stay with you, and guard you in accordance with GOD's commands. Thus, GOD does not change the condition of any people unless they themselves make the decision to change. If GOD wills any hardship for any people, no force can stop it. For they have none beside Him as Lord and Master.
Submit to God, accept what’s happening to us without objecting. [2:156] When an affliction befalls them, they say, “We belong to GOD, and to Him we are returning.”
Implore God to remove the hardship or adversity. God wants us to implore Him. Do not rush an answer; God runs everything. [40:60] Your Lord says, “Implore Me, and I will respond to you. Surely, those who are too arrogant to worship Me will enter Gehenna, forcibly.”
Steadfastly persevere. This is among the most honorable traits of believers (31:17, 2:153, 2:45, 90:17, 2:177, 103:3, and more). God promises those who steadfastly persevere a great recompense. (23:111, 22:35, 31:17, 41:35, and more).
With the help of God and the assurance in the Quran, the true believers will make the best out of their test and wait for God’s victory. They trust in God, and know that God is Just. They are absolutely sure that God’s victory is coming and that God’s victory is their reward. It is God’s promise.
[23:109-111] “A group of My servants used to say, ‘Our Lord, we have believed, so forgive us and shower us with mercy. Of all the merciful ones, You are the Most Merciful.’ But you mocked and ridiculed them, to the extent that you forgot Me. You used to laugh at them. I have rewarded them today, in return for their steadfastness, by making them the winners.”
(from a sermon given December 2006)
In Submission, we walk a fortunate and blessed path that leads to the greatest triumph, blessings and approval from God Almighty.
[9:72] GOD promises the believing men and the believing women gardens with flowing streams, wherein they abide forever, and magnificent mansions in the gardens of Eden. And GOD's blessings and approval are even greater. This is the greatest triumph.
Our lives become like a train running smoothly on its tracks, by God’s will. This is the guided path. However, once we're distracted, take our eyes off the prize (the Hereafter), and make the worldly life our priority, our lives become like a derailed train. There is no such thing as a little off-track; it’s a complete derailment, a disaster. You need cranes, police, and ambulances “to get the train back on track.” It’s a horrifying scene, and you can’t help staring at the accident.
[31:33] O people, you shall reverence your Lord, and fear a day when a father cannot help his own child, nor a child can help his father. Certainly, GOD's promise is truth. Therefore, do not be distracted by this life; do not be distracted from GOD by mere illusions.
Those Who Frequent the Masjid
[24:37] People who are not distracted by business or trade from commemorating GOD; they observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and they are conscious of the day when the minds and the eyes will be horrified.
Even if the train didn’t flip-over, but kept going on the road off-track, you would still see sparks flying everywhere, tons of noise, it would be a sight to see by God’s will. Also, what kind of “new track” is this road? You have fiery sparks, ugly noises, high stress, a bumpy path, and no destination. The train is bound to stop because the road leads nowhere!
It is a blessing from Almighty God that the train stops, otherwise, what
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