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Trial / Affliction is a Divine Nature: 2.

This is a continuation on the previous article on “Trial / Affliction is a Divine Nature: 1.”

The secret and objective of this trial are to distinguish the truthful from the liar, and the believer from the disbeliever. Allah said in the Qur’an:

{وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ۖ فَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ الْكَاذِبِينَ}.

{But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars.} (Qur’an 29:3).

And then the Almighty made it clear that they will meet him and that their return altogether will be to Him, to reap the outcome of their attitudes towards this trial, and that He will reward them on their works, if they were good then they will get good rewards and if they were bad then they will get bad rewards. Allah says in the Qur’an:

{فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ * وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ}.

{So whoever does an atom's weight of good will see it, (8) And whoever does an atom's weight of evil will see it.}(Qur’an 99:7-8).

And Allah the almighty said confirming this fact:

{الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا ۚ }.

{He who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed} (Qur’an 67:2).

{وَهُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ وَكَانَ عَرْشُهُ عَلَى الْمَاءِ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا ۗ }.

{And it is He who created the heavens and the earth in six days - and His Throne had been upon water - that He might test you as to which of you is best in deed.} (Qur’an 11:7).

That is, He only created life and death, the heavens and the earth, and that which they comprise of such as signs and lectures, pleasing and unpleasing things, happiness and sadness, and good things and evil things, in order to try you, test your faith, and reward you according to your deeds.

As the two holy verses indicate that this world is a world of trials and tribulations, and that all that man encounters in it from good and evil, easiness and difficulties, nice and ugly, and beloved and hated, are all test for him, and purification of his faith and a to reveal the reality of his patience and appreciation or impatience and ungratefulness. That is also indicated by the verse:

{وَبَلَوْنَاهُم بِالْحَسَنَاتِ وَالسَّيِّئَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ}.

{And We tested them with good [times] and bad that perhaps they would return [to obedience].} (Qur’an 7:168). i.e, easiness and difficulties, misfortune and grace, illness and health, weakness and strength, poverty and wealth. As well as His saying:

{وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ حَتَّىٰ نَعْلَمَ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ مِنكُمْ وَالصَّابِرِينَ وَنَبْلُوَ أَخْبَارَكُمْ}.

{And We will surely test you until We make evident those who strive among you [for the cause of Allah] and the patient, and We will test your affairs.} (Qur’an 47:31).

This truth is also confirmed by many verses and hadith indicating that Allah has decorated the world for the people, He made it sweet and fresh, interesting and enjoyable, charming and deceitful, decorated with a fleeting adornment, a temptation for the people, and a test for them, to see how they will work. And to distinguish those who will befriend Him and befriend His messengers from those who will befriend the devil and his team, and those who have hope in Allah and the Hereafter from those who placed the world in his heart, so it became his greatest concern, and the highest point of his hopes !!.

Allah said:

{إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا مَا عَلَى الْأَرْضِ زِينَةً لَّهَا لِنَبْلُوَهُمْ أَيُّهُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا}.

{Indeed, We have made that which is on the earth adornment for it that We may test them [as to] which of them is best in deed.} (Qur’an 18:7).

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

[إن الدنيا حلوة خضرة وإن الله تعالى مستخلفكم فيها، فينظر كيف تعملون، فاتقوا الدنيا واتقوا النساء].

[The world is sweet and green (alluring); and verily, Allah is making you to succeed each other, generations after generations in it in order to see how you act. So beware of this world and beware of women] (Muslim hadith 2742).

Allah the almighty knows what the people do before they do it, even before they were created, even before the creation of the heavens and the earth, He only tries them with kinds of good and bad in order to justify the hidden of their situations which He already know by making it occur visually, so that He will reward them according to their deeds, and it is not just based on His previous knowledge on them. For He only punish people based on what they do in reality, not based on His previous knowledge before it occur.

This is the meaning of His saying:

{لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا ۚ }.

{To test you [as to] which of you is best in deed} (Qur’an 67:2).

{وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ حَتَّىٰ نَعْلَمَ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ مِنكُمْ وَالصَّابِرِينَ وَنَبْلُوَ أَخْبَارَكُمْ}.

{And We will surely test you until We make evident those who strive among you [for the cause of Allah] and the patient, and We will test your affairs.} (Qur’an 47:31). That is, until we let them know that they actually do it by themselves, otherwise He the Glorious Has the knowledge of all that is hidden and that which is clear, and He knows everything.

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: "He the Almighty has full knowledge of all of that before the creation of the heavens and the earth, and He destined it and recorded it. He then ordered His angels to write that from the first book before the creation of the slave. So, his situation and affair match that which was recorded in the book and that which was written by the angels, Nothing will increase or reduce from what the Almighty has written and confirmed about him, it was known to Him before he wrote it, then he wrote it as it is in his knowledge, then it was found as He wrote it. He the Almighty said:

{أَلَمْ تَعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۗ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ فِي كِتَابٍ ۚ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيرٌ}.

{Do you not know that Allah knows what is in the heaven and earth? Indeed, that is in a Record. Indeed that, for Allah, is easy.} (Qur’an 22:70). Allah Glorified be He has full knowledge of the conditions of the worshipers and their deeds before He brought them to existence, and also what they are going to become, and then He brought them to this world to show out that which He already know about them as He has known it, and He tests them through command and prohibition, good and evil based on what His knowledge about them manifested out, so they deserved praise or blame and reward or punishment due to their actions and qualities corresponding to the previous knowledge, but they did not deserve that when it was in His knowledge before they do it. So He sent his messengers, and sent down His books, and made His legislations so that they will have no excuse, and to establish proof and evidence against them, so that they will not say how can you punish us for your knowledge on us, this is not part of our doings and abilities? So when His knowledge was manifested in them by their deeds they are punished of His knowledge which was shown clearly by trials and tests.. This trial showed out his previous knowledge of them appearing openly after it has been hidden His knowledge". (Shifa’ Al-Aleel pages 35-36).

Allah knows the reality of the hearts and what the slave will do before the trial, but the trial reveals to the world what is already known to Allah, absent from the knowledge of humans, so people are accountable for what is happening of their work not on what the Almighty knows of them. It is a favor from Allah on the one hand, and justice and training for the people on the other hand, so He will not get hold of anyone except for that which is shown out from his affairs, and what his actions have justified. They are not more knowledgeable than Allah of the reality of the slave’s heart!.

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