January 2007: Page 1, 2, 3

Zul Haj 1427

Volume 23 No 1

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Submitters Perspective

Monthly Bulletin of the International Community of Submitters Published by Masjid Tucson

When the Going Gets Tough:
Our Response to Tests

Imagine you are the prophet Job (38:41). You are trying your hardest to be a good submitter. You have examined yourself, repented and tried to figure out what you are doing or have done wrong. But the horrendous test continues. What does it mean—what did it mean for Job, and what can we learn from this example?

Do you expect to enter Paradise without being tested like those before you? They were tested with hardship and adversity, and were shaken up, until the messenger and those who believed with him said, “Where is GOD’s victory?” GOD’s victory is near. (2:214)

Even the messengers are tested until they are “shaken up.” God tells us that we will be tested with “fear, hunger, and loss of money, lives, and crops.” And

then He says: “Give good news to the steadfast.” (2:155)

Tests in themselves are not bad things. If a test draws us closer to God, and proves our steadfastness it is a great blessing. Even if we do not initially pass a test, we may learn from it and benefit our souls.

Lessons from the story of Job

The story of Job shows us that the test may be exceptionally severe. In Job’s case his family was killed and he was afflicted with terrible physical suffering. Yet neither the Quran nor the Bible even mentions the mistake made by Job. The focus of the story in the Quran (21:83-84, 38:41-44) seems to be his response to the test. Not the cause. It is almost certain that he did indeed have some slip that took him out of God’s kingdom long enough for

Satan to get to him (38:41), but the details of the mistake were not the significant lesson that God wanted us to know.

Indeed , it may not be very useful for us to know what the mistake was, since each of our weaknesses is personal. What God does tell us is how he responded, imploring God, being steadfast, and upholding his pledge to God. This was the right response, and God uses the phrase “What a good servant!” when describing him. This is our lesson.

When we are facing a major difficulty, the question always exists as to whether something is a test or a punishment. When we are faced with a disaster, what is really going on?

Cont’d on page 2

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