General / Motivational

The Believer will be Tested

THE BELIEVER WILL BE TESTED

Basic points:

  1. Belief in Allah must mean we are tested with that belief.
  2. Allah will give us hardship and trials.
  3. That we will be tested by Allah is mentioned in the Qur’an.
  4. Tests are a sin of Allah’s love, mercy and forgiveness.
  5. There are different types of tests, e.g. money, wealth, women, children, family, ease, comfort, etc.

 Implications:

  1. Allah wants to see if our belief is a committed one and serious one, hence He tests us.
  2. Testing us will build us as people – a kind of purifying process (“soul-building”).
  3. Sometimes, sacrifice is required in order to achieve something great and important.
  4. Testing us builds in us patience, perseverance and steadfastness – all required to fulfil Allah’s duty of spreading Islam and defending the faith.
  5. We know that tests bring rewards, e.g. forgiveness and Allah’s love and mercy. We need these constantly.

Hadith

  • The Prophet (saw) said: “When Allah desires good for someone, He tries him with hardships.”[1] 

من يرد الله به خيرا يصب منه

 

  • Thus, from this hadith we understand that trials and tribulations are a source of khayr (‘good’) from Allah.
  • Tests are a reality.
  • Allah will test us as believers.
  • We have no choice over the tests and neither can we avoid it.
  • Allah says in numerous places:
  1. (Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods, lives and the fruits (of your toil) but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Those who, when misfortune strikes them, say: ‘Indeed we belong to Allah and to Him is our return. Those are the ones upon whom are blessings and mercy from their Lord and it is those who are rightly guided.)[2]
  2. (Every soul shall taste of death. And We will test you with evil and with good by way of trial. And to Us is your return).[3]
  3. (Know that your wealth and your children are but a trial and that Allah has with Him a mighty reward).[4]
  4. (And as for man, whenever his Lord tries him by honouring him and makes him lead an easy life, he says: ‘My Lord honours me’. But when He tries him by straitening his means of subsistence, he says: ‘My Lord has disgraced me’).[5]
  5. (It is He who created death and life that He may try you as to which of you is best in deeds).[6] 
  • Imam al-Muhasibi states in his famous book Risalat al-Mustarshidin:
“Do not rejoice in the easy times. Indeed, Gold is tested for its purity by fire. Likewise, a righteous servant is tested by hard times…”[7]

و لا تفرح بالرخاء فأن الذهب يجرب بالنار و إن العبد الصالح يجرب بالبلاء…

 

  • The Qur’anic verse behind this inspired statement relating the fact of testing in the imagery of purifying fire (al-tamhis) is:
(And that He may purge those who believe and deprive the unbelievers of blessings). – here tamhis can mean ‘trials’ or ‘tribulations’ (al-ibtila’ wa ’l-ikhtibar).

{ وَلِيُمَحِّصَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَيَمْحَقَ ٱلْكَافِرِينَ }

 

  • So, why would Allah want to purify the believers through tests like Gold is purified through fire?
  • One reason is that by separating those who are committed to those who are not, Allah can select who will be best to carry the religion forward and work for its progress and establishment.
  • Thus, if we are able to endure and pass the tests, Allah will reward us and through them may honour us with carrying the call.
  • Allah gives this reason clearly in the Qur’an: 
(Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, ‘We believe,’ and that they will not be tested? We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false).[8]

الۤـمۤ } * { أَحَسِبَ ٱلنَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوۤاْ أَن يَقُولُوۤاْ آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لاَ يُفْتَنُونَ } * { وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ فَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ صَدَقُواْ وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ ٱلْكَاذِبِينَ }

 

  • Thus, trials and hardships given to Muslims have their purpose and Allah alone knows in His wisdom why He allows them and permits them.
  1. But they are a reality and do have their possible wisdoms such as:
  2. They are a test of the level of our faith and hence good for our religious progress.
  3. They allow us to actually experience different Allah’s names and attributes and hence builds knowledge in us of who our Creator is.
  4. It brings us closer to Allah because tests bring out Allah’s love and Mercy more so than at other times..
  •  A believer does not attempt to avoid these tests/trails/hardships (he cannot) but to try and pass them and rise as a new individual.

Additional points

  • The da`wa carrier will face tests and pressures while engaged in Allah’s way. This is certain.
  • This can take the form of:
  1. Losing h/her job.
  2. Abuse.
  3. Slander.
  4. Attacks (verbal and physical).
  5. Unresponsiveness of the umma.
  6. Family.
  7. Difficult opposition.
  8. Death, etc.
  • Allah tests a person with small and big things.
  • Because the da`wa carrier knows she is going to be tested, she has an opportunity to build her relationship with Allah and make preparations for it.
  • This way she will receive the highest reward and be trained ready for Allah’s service.

 

Peace and Blessings be upon our Master Muhammad, his family and all His Companions. Amin.


[1] al-Bukhari, Sahih, no.5645 and Ibn cAbd al-Barr, Kitab al-Tamhid, 24:180.

[2] Q. 2:155.

[3] Q. 21:35.

[4] Q. 8:28.

[5] Q. 89:15-16.

[6] Q. 67:2.

[7] al-Muhasibi, Risalat al-Mustarshidin, p.52. The Prophet is reported in a hadith by al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak, 4:314 which is sahih (authenticated) and confirmed by al-Dhahabi in his Talkhis:

إن الله ليجرب أحدكم بالبلاء كما يجرب أحدكم ذهبه بالنار، فمنه ما يخرج كالذهب الإبريز، فذاك الذي حماه الله من الشبهات، ومنه ما يخرج دون ذلك فذلك الذي يشك بعض الشك، ومنه ما يخرج كالذهب الأسود فذاك الذي افتتن.

 

“In deed Allah will surely test [and purify] each of you like how gold is purified in fire…”

[8] Q. 29:2-3.

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