Allah charge a soul with more than what it can bear

Why Does Allah Test Us

While creating the Universe, Allah arranged it not according to our small brains’ engineering, but according to His infinite wisdom. Normally, our brains cannot comprehend everything. The key point to remember is that the actions and causes, without the will of Allah to back them up, are essentially nothing, yet they are still necessary for bringing about a good fate. The action is always prescribed for the believers about the decree, both before it comes to be and after it is fulfilled. Allah says:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ حَرْفٍ ۖ فَإِنْ أَصَابَهُ خَيْرٌ اطْمَأَنَّ بِهِ ۖ وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ فِتْنَةٌ انْقَلَبَ عَلَىٰ وَجْهِهِ خَسِرَ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةَ ۚ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ هُوَ الْخُسْرَانُ الْمُبِينُ

“And among mankind is he who worships Allah as if he were upon the very edge (i.e. in doubt); if good befalls him, he is content with it; But if a trial befalls him, he turns back on his face. He loses both this world and the Hereafter. That is the evident loss.” (Surah al-Haj 22:11)

Allah knows who amongst His slaves are going to make it to Paradise, and who is to go to Hell-Fire. He is indeed the All-Wise, the All-Knowing. He has sent a man on this earth for a limited time for a test, to see who amongst them believes, fears Allah and the Last Day, and does good deeds. Allah says:

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ وَنَكْتُبُ مَا قَدَّمُوا وَآثَارَهُمْ ۚ وَكُلَّ شَيْءٍ أَحْصَيْنَاهُ فِي إِمَامٍ مُّبِينٍ

“Verily, it is We who bring the dead to life and record what they have put forth and what they left behind, and all things We have enumerated in a clear register.” (Surah Ya-Seen 36:12)

One of the attributes of Allah is that He is the All-Knowing. He has full knowledge of everything that exists and knows even the inner secrets of our hearts. A leaf does not fall from a tree, but He has full knowledge of it! He knows absolutely everything there is to know, from its beginning to its end! That is Allah, the All-Knowing, and nothing is beyond his grasp and Knowledge. Allah says:

إِنَّا خَلَقْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ مِنْ نُطْفَةٍ أَمْشَاجٍ نَبْتَلِيهِ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ سَمِيعًا بَصِيرًاإِنَّا هَدَيْنَاهُ السَّبِيلَ إِمَّا شَاكِرًا وَإِمَّا كَفُورًا

“Verily, We have created man from drops of mixed semen to test him, so We made him hearer, seer. Verily, We showed him the way, so he is either grateful or ungrateful.” (Surah Al-Insan 76: 2-3)

Purpose of life; the great test culminating at the Day of Judgment would not make sense unless the judgment was just and meaningful. Hence, Allah delegated will to humankind to be used in the service of good. Our will is “free will” in the sense that we are not forced to do what we do. We are rewarded or punished in the Hereafter based upon what we did with our God-given will.

Allah tests His believing servants with various types of crises and disasters to:

  1. Allah tests us to purify us and wash away our sins
  2. A test can sometimes replace a worse misfortune
  3. Allah is indeed a protecting friend and supporter
  4. Allah lets them go and gives us many chances
  5. Allah acknowledges it in the Holy Quran
  6. Allah’s knowledge compasses all things
  7. Allah tests some people with poverty
  8. Allah knows all that is in our hearts
  9. Allah is surely the best ally to have
  10. Allah tests with emotional distress
  11. Allah is that He is the All-Knowing
  12. Allah knows the result of our test
  13. Allah is the most impartial Judge
  14. Allah is the Maintainer of life
  15. Allah tests a person He loves
  16. Allah Almighty loves His creation
  17. Tests keep us dependent on God 
  18. Tests mean a powerful God exists
  19. Tests give a picture to near to God
  20. We tested for earnt our place in paradise
  21. We tested to attain perfections of the soul
  22. We ask Allah’s help against this ultimate disaster
  23. We tested for the opportunity to improve ourselves 
  24. The tests of Allah are different for different individuals
  25. If we were not tested, we would argue that it was not fair

Before the decree takes place, we should seek refuge in Allah, pray and supplicate to Him, rely upon Him, and put in the work necessary to achieve a good outcome. After the decree is fulfilled, we have to accept it and move on. If it was a calamity unrelated to our actions, such as a natural disaster, then we accept it as part of the trials of life and continue to persevere in our faith. Allah says:

إِنَّا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقْنَاهُ بِقَدَرٍ

“Verily, We have created all things with Providence.” (Surah Al-Qamar 54:49)

If it was a blessing, we praise Allah and continue to be grateful. If it was the result of our good deeds, we praise Allah for facilitating our good deeds. If it was the result of our sins, we seek forgiveness from Allah and do what needs to be done to make amends. At every point in time, the believers respond to the decree with action. Allah says:

إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا مَا عَلَى الْأَرْضِ زِينَةً لَهَا لِنَبْلُوَهُمْ أَيُّهُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا

“Verily, We have made that which is on earth as an adornment for it so that We may test them as to which of them are best in deeds.” (Surah al-Kahf 18:7)

Among the most important deeds that make a difference are a prayer and supplication. Nothing repels the evil of divine providence like supplication. The Prophet ﷺ himself supplicated to Allah for protection from an evil fate, recognizing that it is Allah alone who holds the power to the decree.

God has created humans in the finest state. God mentions in the Quran: 

  • “There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him.” (Quran, 42:11)
  • “We have certainly created man in the best of stature.” (Quran, 95:4)
  •  “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.”  (Quran, 51:56)
  • God does not burden any soul with more than it can bear: each gains whatever good it has done, and suffers its bad.” (Quran, 2:286)
  • Who has created death and life that He may test which of you is best indeed? And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.” (Quran,67: 2)
  • “Say, ‘Only what God has decreed will happen to us. He is our Master: let the believers put their trust in God.” (Quran, 9:51)
  • “Wherever you may be, death will overtake you, even if you should be within towers of lofty construction…” (Quran, 4:78)
  • “You shall certainly be tried and tested in your wealth and properties and your selves.” (Quran,3: 186)
  • “We believe,’ and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before them…” (Surat al Ankabut,2-4)
  • “Praise belongs to God, Lord of the Worlds, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy…” (Quran,1:1-2)

Islam teaches us to follow a middle way between these two extremes. The exact nature of divine providence is a secret of the creation about which only Allah truly knows, so we have been commanded not to argue about it or to seek out its unseen secrets. Allah says:

مَّا كَانَ ٱللَّهُ لِيَذَرَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ عَلَىٰ مَآ أَنْتُمْ عَلَيْهِ حَتَّىٰ يَمِيزَ ٱلْخَبِيثَ مِنَ ٱلطَّيِّبِ

“Allah will not leave the believers in the state in which you are now until He separates what is evil from what is good.” (Surah Al-Imran:179)

The Quran and Sunnah follow a middle path between the two extremes. Allah is sovereign over the universe, knows all things before they happen, and decrees them into existence with limitless power. Tests occur to teach us that we must adhere to Allah’s natural and moral laws. Allah says:

يَمْحُو اللَّهُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ ۖ وَعِندَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ

“Allah eliminates or confirms what He wills, and with Him is the foundation of the Book.” (Surah Ar-Ra’d 13:39)

However, Allah reserves the right to erase whatever He wills from an individual’s specific destiny due to their choices, actions, and supplications. Allah does so due to His perfect knowledge and wisdom, not out of forgetfulness or ignorance, for He knew how people would act before he created them. We should understand that our destiny is determined by how we use the free will Allah has given us. Allah says:

وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ ۚ

“Whoever relied upon Allah, then He will suffice him.” (Surat al-Talaq 65:3)

Thus, what we decide to do with our God-given will determine the fate that Allah assigns to us. The essence of the matter is that good deeds lead to a good ending, and evil deeds lead to an evil ending. May Allah guide us to read and understand the Holy Quran, which is the syllabus for our test. May Allah guide you and us all to the Straight Path of Islam. Ameen.