Allah tells us that believers will undergo many tests in this world. For example, they will be tested in their personal lives and with their possessions, or will be confronted with traps set by unbelievers and be falsely accused. In other words, they may encounter difficulties at every stage in their lives. But the important thing is that they continue to practice the Qur’an’s morality in difficult times, remember Allah without ceasing, give thanks, and realize that everything will turn out well.
Of course, it is easier to do these things when one is enjoying His blessings than when one is undergoing difficult times. But one of the main things that prove the strength of the Muslims’ faith is their refusal to compromise their moral character. Muslims who patiently endure poverty, hunger, fear, personal and material loss, illness, threats from unbelievers, slander, and entrapment will receive a better reward for their moral excellence.
The Qur’an gives many examples of the entrapments and tyranny suffered by the Prophets and other devout Muslims. One example of this is the tyranny that Pharaoh exercised over his people. In the Qur’an, Allah says that this was a testing from Himself:
Remember when We rescued you from the people of Pharaoh. They were inflicting an evil punishment on you—slaughtering your sons and letting your women live. In that there was a terrible trial for you from your Lord. (Surat al-Baqara, 49)
As this verse says, everything that unbelievers do to prevent good is a test for believers. Their unwavering moral character, courage, and fortitude they display while enduring these trials will increase their reward and status in Paradise. The Qur’an tells us what kind of tests believers will undergo and the fine moral character they will display, as follows:
We will test you with a certain amount of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth, life, and fruits. But give good news to the steadfast. Those who, when disaster strikes them, say: “We belong to Allah, and to Him we will return.” Those are the people who will have blessings and mercy from their Lord; they are the ones who are guided. (Surat al-Baqara, 155-57)
The trust and submission described in these verses is a good example for all Muslims. But unbelievers cannot understand this patient trust, for they think that believers are just like themselves and behave according to their own misguided criteria. Thus, they think that believers will respond to abundant wealth by getting caught up in it, and will allow difficulties and frustration to make them so afraid that they will abandon their belief.
But this is a grave error on their part, for Muslims who understand the secret of this world’s trials know that one of the finest things to do in such circumstances is to be patient. For those Muslims who practice the Qur’an’s morality and do their best to inculcate this fine morality in others, all such troubles are a sign that they are on the right path. As a result, they increase their eagerness, joy, and determination to continue following His path.
In the Qur’an, Allah speaks of laws that have remained unchanged throughout history. One of them is that believers will encounter difficulty and frustration and be subjected to oppression by unbelievers. However, the unbelievers will never succeed in their aims:
They were very near to scaring you from the land with the object of expelling you from it. But had they done so, they would only have remained there a short time after you. That was the pattern with those We sent before you as Our Messengers. You will not find any changing of Our pattern. (Surat al-Isra’, 76-77)
This is one of the secrets of this world’s trials. Allah has warned Muslims of the many things that they will face, and has revealed that they will be able to enter Paradise only if they face the same difficulties as the preceding believers did:
Or did you suppose that you would enter the Garden without facing the same as those who came before you? Poverty and illness afflicted them, and they were shaken to the point that the Messenger and those who believed with him asked: “When is Allah’s help coming?” Be assured that Allah’s help is very near. (Surat al-Baqara, 214)
Excerpt from the book of Harun Yahya