February 1998: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 3

This Life is a Test

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)

After committing our original sin, that is, not making a firm stand for God’s absolute authority, God has given us a chance to redeem ourselves. We are in this world to denounce our sin and rejoin God’s kingdom by accepting His absolute authority. But this is not to be without us being tested in good times and in bad times. We will be tested with adversity and hardship as well as with prosperity and happiness. Many people protest when God puts them through difficult conditions as a test. Obviously, these people do not know that we (the human beings) are the ones who chose to go through these tests. In addition, God alone knows which people are good and which ones are bad. We understand from the Quran that the people have to be tested in order to see if they are as good as they claim:

God is not to leave the believers as you are, without distinguishing the bad from the good.... (3:179)

It is a human tendency that when we are rich, prosperous and healthy, we go through a state of forgetfulness and negligence regarding our responsibility towards God. We become proud of ourselves. We think we are in control, invincible and nothing can touch us. We forget who has bestowed His mercy upon us. God gives us an example in the Quran:

We have tested them like we tested the owners of the garden who swore that they will harvest it in the morning.

They were so absolutely sure. A passing (storm) from your Lord passed by it while they were asleep. By morning, it was barren. They called on each other in the morning. “Let us harvest the crop.”

On their way, they confided to each other. That from then on, none of them would be poor. They were so absolutely sure of their harvest. But when they saw it, they said, “We were so wrong!” (68:17-26)

When adversity touches us, we implore God sincerely. We devote our prayer to Him alone, and implore Him at all times. But as soon as He relieves our condition, we go on as if nothing happened and as if we never asked for His help. Sometimes, we worship God conditionally. If things go our way, we are content, but if we face a rough road, adversity or hardship, we make an about-face (22:11).

We should remember God at all times, good or bad, during prosperous times or during adversity. Everything is from God. Nothing will happen to us without His knowledge and awareness. Therefore, we should not say we will do this or that without remembering Him and asking for His help (18:23-24).

Through the Quran, we learn that even prophets and messengers were put to the test. Abraham was put to the test through certain commands (2:124).

Joseph was put to the test by means of the Egyptian governor’s wife (12:24). Jacob had to wait for many years to rejoin his beloved son Joseph (Sura 12). Solomon was tested with the vast
riches of this mundane life (38:34). In fact, we learn from the Quran that every prophet or messenger was put to the test one way or another. But, every one of them passed their test through steadfastness and perseverance.

The believers and submitters will be tested for their belief and steadfastness (2:124). The non-believers will be tested with adversity or prosperity so they may take heed and return (7:168).

God alternates the days of victory and defeat among the people. God thus distinguishes those who truly believe (3:140).

We should take refuge in God from Satan’s whispers and revere Him alone. Our Lord is full of grace towards us. We should remember Him at all times and ask for His forgiveness and mercy. In conclusion, we should also remember that:

If anyone thinks that God cannot support him in this life and in the Hereafter, let him turn completely to (his creator in) heaven, and sever (his dependence on anyone else). He will then see that this plan eliminates anything that bothers him. (22:15)

Dr. Massoud Hojjatie

1998 Conference

United International Submitters

We are still trying to finalize the dates and the location of the conference. If you have any comments
or suggestions, please let us know as soon as possible. God bless you.