Monday, November 15, 2010


In the Qur’an, God has described Himself as:

"The one who created death and life to test you as to which of you is best in deed." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 67, Verse 2

He draws attention to the fact that the life of this world is a time for testing. Indeed, events which appear to be favorable or unfavorable in the course of this life are critical in terms of revealing a person's actual character. Calamities, in particular, serve to reveal the degree of a person's sincerity.

One of the most noticeable qualities of believers is their stable character. In times of prosperity and hardship alike, they display the same sincerity and enthusiasm.Their unique perception of the concept of "difficulty" accounts for this, for they consider times of difficulty as opportunities by which they can prove their devotion to God and the strength of their faith. They acknowledge that they are special situations created by God to discriminate between "those in whose hearts is a disease" and "those who are sincere in faith to Him." In the face of all they encounter, they show forbearance and put their trust in God in compliance with His words:

"So be patient with gracious patience." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 70, Verse 5

The Qur’an also states:

"God does not charge a soul except [within] its capacity. It will have whatever [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] whatever [evil] it has earned." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 2, Verse 286

Believers feel the security and comfort of knowing that God does not impose on them more than they can bear. In the face of an ordeal they remember that this is an incident they will manage to overcome, and therefore they meet it with patience.

Thus, no matter how trying an ordeal may be, they earnestly strive while displaying a submissive attitude to God.

In addition, they know that ordeals befell believers in the past and that the trials people of the past encountered will come to them as well. A believer aware of this fact is prepared long before he actually encounters difficulties; he has determined that he will remain loyal to his Lord and is thus committed to display patience and submission and put his trust in God under all circumstances.

"And they had already promised God before not to turn their backs. And ever is the promise to God [that about which one will be] questioned." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 33, Verse 15

A believer fulfills his commitment to God. He faces hunger, poverty, fear, injury or death with steadiness, accepts them and shows a thankful attitude towards his Lord. Even if innumerable difficulties should come upon him one after another and his entire life is spent in hardship, he knows that when he accepts difficulties in this life (lasting but a few decades) with good patience for God, he will experience no difficulty throughout eternity – not for a single moment. His earnest behavior will, by God’s will, earn him the most beautiful blessings: the pleasure and mercy of God and His Paradise.

This good news is given in the Qur’an:

"And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to the patient." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 2, Verse 155

There is a final point to be kept in mind. The way believers face difficulties with patience is different from the ignorant person's understanding of patience, which is simply to endure. Believers' understanding, however, is not only "endurance" but facing the problems that one must solve and overcome. Therefore, believers do their best to provide solutions by exercising their reason and resorting to all material and physical means. While doing so, they pray to God to give them strength and relief:

"Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 2, Verse 286

It is indeed this attitude in the face of hardship – sincere efforts coupled with acceptance – which reveals genuine zeal. The strength of their faith in God and the Hereafter enables believers to struggle hard against difficulties without ever feeling weak-hearted.

Excerpted from Zeal and Enthusiasm by Harun Yahya

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