The eager and joyful strength of character that believers display when they encounter difficulties and frustration is something that those who have no faith in Allah’s supreme power cannot understand. Unbelievers are suspicious and wonder what power supports these people, for since they have no belief in Allah, they remain totally unaware of the truth that only He can send this supportive power. To them, people are strong because of their material means and friends. Thus, they always look for a kind of intention and a different material source that they believe is responsible for the believers’ strength. However, this strength comes from the believers’ belief in destiny and the Hereafter, as well as their trust and submission to Allah. The lives of the Prophets and other devout believers contain many fine examples of the power that comes from this trust.
An important example is the group of Pharaoh’s magicians, who showed strength of character when Pharaoh threatened them with death. The Qur’an tells us that Pharaoh tried to intimidate them with torture and death, and kept them from following the true path that Prophet Musa (as) had brought to them. However, their answer to him showed that they feared only Allah and turned to Him in any difficulty that happened to them. Despite all of Pharaoh’s threats, the magicians told him that they would hold firm to the way of submission and trust in Allah that their faith had given them:
Pharaoh said: “Do you believe in him before I have authorized you? He is your chief, the one who taught you magic. I will cut off your hands and feet alternately, and have you crucified on palm trunks. Then you will know for certain which of us has the harsher and longer-lasting punishment.” They said: “We will never prefer you to the Clear Signs that have come to us, nor to Him Who brought us into being. Decide on any judgment you like. Your jurisdiction only covers the life of this world. We have believed in our Lord so that He may forgive us for our mistakes and for the magic that you forced us to perform. Allah is better and longer-lasting.” (Surah Ta Ha, 71-73)
Another example concerns the young people who believed in Prophet Musa (as). Pharaoh’s threats prevented some of his people from having faith in Allah, and so they suffered a great loss. But devout believers who feared only Allah’s power believed in Him and followed the way Prophet Musa (as) showed them. The oppression and assaults of Pharaoh and his company did not deter them:
No one believed in Musa, except for a few of his people, out of fear that Pharaoh and the elders would persecute them. Pharaoh was high and mighty in the land. He was one of the profligate. (Surah Yunus, 83)
Like these devout young people who believed in Prophet Musa (as), all believers displayed the same trust and courage when faced with society’s hostility or serious difficulties, frustration, or need. The Qur’an tells us:
When the believers saw the Confederates, they said: “This is what Allah and His Messenger promised us. Allah and His Messenger told us the truth.” It only increased them in faith and in submission. (Surat al-Ahzab, 22)