The Test of Sincerity
There is no reason to worry
The One who created you has already identified your abilities and limits. When He tests you, He already knows your individual circumstances and your breaking point. He will never burden you with something that is beyond your capability.
We will be tested again and again throughout our lives – this is an inevitable fact of life. In Surah Al Baqarah, we are reminded:
“Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you? They were touched by poverty and hardship and were shaken until [even their] messenger and those who believed with him said, "When is the help of Allah ?" Unquestionably, the help of Allah is near.” [2:214]
However, there is no reason to worry. There is no reason to fear. The believer is safe in Allah’s care. The help of Allah is coming.
Hence, control your inclination to break down and give up. The path to Paradise is paved with adversity and trials, but the believer must stay focused. Do not give in to your irrational emotions, for if you are with Allah, the solution is close at hand.
Often these events are a catalyst for some inner reflection. Could it be that Allah has taken away your means in order for you to turn towards Him? Could it be to purify your heart of your love for the material world? Could it be to keep your arrogance in check? Could it be to absolve your sins? Could it be to strengthen you in preparation of your own future?
Whatever the reason, you have to keep holding on to your trust in Allah. To do that, you have to quell your personal desires, anger, disappointments, frustrations, and all other futile and negative emotions.
Instead, change your attitude and your mindset to a positive and humble one. Trust in Him, be patient, and things will be fine.
What is the alternative?
The first two verses of Surah Ankabut pose the following statements to us:
“Do the people think that they will be left to say, "We believe" and they will not be tried? 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.” [29:2- 29:3]
Do we want to be classified as those who fail the trials that Allah has given to us? Do we want to be labelled as liars and disbelievers in Allah’s Kingdom?
A disobedient person will become angry, argue with Allah, doubt in Allah, think that Allah is punishing him, resist the changes even though they are beyond his control. A disobedient person will think he knows what is best for him better than his Creator does, and refuse submit to Allah's will.
Instead of trying to comprehend the wisdom behind the events, the disobedient will get caught and sucked into a self made cyclone of self pity, denial, anger and despair. This escalates his inner turmoil, confusion, sadness and impaired judgment. Worse, he runs the risk of Allah prolonging his suffering due to his lack of gratitude and trust to Allah. All inner peace is shattered; he is in a whirl of internal and external chaos and everything becomes complicated.
If one adopts this attitude, where is the sincerity to Allah?
It is not a happy ending ... he will end up in an emotional and psychological mess and will slowly and surely destroy his happiness for this life and the next.
The above may sound simplistic, but life is really that simple. Allah has a certain sunnah, a sequence or manner in which events unfold according to His rules, based on a simple cause and effect formula. How Allah deals with you depends on how you deal with Him. If you believe in Allah, you simply need to eliminate all your pre-conceived notions about handling your life affairs and problems, and follow the sequence commanded by Allah in the Qur’an.
You have a choice of which state you want to be in. Whatever the tragedy, it is not the end of the world. Others have suffered worse and have triumphed.
By empowering yourself with trust in Allah, you will realize that even though the circumstances may be tough, your attitude and ability to rise above all these events have given you the means to stay balanced even if the world is shaking. With the passing of time, you will also understand that whatever Allah chose for you, even if in the form of a calamity, was actually the best for you, even if you did not understand it when the events occurred.
So be patient and seek the help of Allah in times of distress. Allah is waiting for you to turn to him, so turn towards Him and let him navigate the way through your turmoil.