God test us in a trial of life

Why Does God Test Us?

God has created this world for a specific test of human beings. The test is composed of ‘purification of their souls’ which is another name of ‘personality development. The person who purifies his/her personality from moral filth will be successful in both this test world and the real world, which is the hereafter. The person who fails to do this, will not prosper in any of these worlds. Allah has commanded us three kinds of rights: the rights of Allah and his Prophet, the rights of self or our own life and the rights of people. So, for a good Islamic life, Allah says:

اۨلَّذِىۡ خَلَقَ الۡمَوۡتَ وَالۡحَيٰوةَ لِيَبۡلُوَكُمۡ اَيُّكُمۡ اَحۡسَنُ عَمَلًا ؕ وَهُوَ الۡعَزِيۡزُ الۡغَفُوۡرُۙ‏ 

“[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving.” (Surat Al-Mulk 67:2)

Our lives are tested in a variety of ways through the Holy Spirit. When we ask why God tests us or allows us to be tested, we are admitting that testing does indeed come from Him. When God tests us, His purpose is to prove that our faith is real. Testing of our faith develops perseverance, which leads to maturity in our walk with God. Allah says:

قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ

“Say: He is Allah, The One and Only.”Allah, the Eternal, Absolute.” He begets not, nor is He begotten. And there is none like unto Him.” (Surah Al-Ikhlas 112:1-4)

God wants us to welcome testing. Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him. Our faith is the spiritual pathway to a relationship with God. When our faith is tested, our relationship with God is tested. Practically, when our faith is tested, our life is tested. Our lives are tested in a variety of ways through the Holy Spirit. Allah says:

  ‏ٱلْمُلْكُ يَوْمَئِذٍ ٱلْحَقُّ لِلرَّحْمَنِ ۚ وَكَانَ يَوْمًا عَلَى ٱلْكَفِرِينَ عَسِيرًۭا 

“True sovereignty, that Day, is for the Most Merciful. And it will be upon the disbelievers a difficult Day..” (Surat Al-Furqan 25:26)

God wants to know our hearts. He doesn’t test us to punish us. His tests are not unlike those we use with each other in human relationships. Most comforting of all, we know that God will never allow us to be tested beyond what we are able to handle by His power. His grace is sufficient for us, and His power is made perfect in our weakness. Through a test God opens our eyes to areas of our lives that God wants us to improve upon with him. Allah says:

اللَّهُ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ قَرَارًا وَالسَّمَاءَ بِنَاءً وَصَوَّرَكُمْ فَأَحْسَنَ صُوَرَكُمْ وَرَزَقَكُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ ذَٰلِكُمُ اللَّهُ رَبُّكُمْ فَتَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ 

“It is Allah Who has made for you the earth as a resting place, and the sky as a canopy, and has given you shape – and made your shapes beautiful -, and has provided for you Sustenance…” (Surah Gafir 40:64)

God knows your level and He need not test you for His sake. He put tests to show your spiritual level so that you can put the effort in improving your love to God by practising divine knowledge in real life. God is truth and hence all the activities of God are based on truth only. Not that God needs to prove it to Himself since He knows all things, but He is proving to us that our faith is real and that no trial will overcome our faith.

God tests us by asking us to trust Him and do what He says:

  1. God informs us repeatedly that our life is temporary on this earth
  2. God tests us so we can get a clearer understanding of Faith
  3. God tests us for clearer of our own level of Faith
  4. God states that He made this life in order to test
  5. God often puts tests in our lives to aware of all
  6. God have a test to provide the way of escape
  7. God loves those, who face the hard things
  8. God opens our eyes to areas of our lives
  9. God test us to improve the reality of life
  10. God never causes temptations
  11. God test us in a trial of life
  12. God test us in solid and mature Faith
  13. God test us genuineness of your Faith
  14. God love us and support us in all matters
  15. God allowing this test for our good future
  16. God test us to reap eternal rewards in heaven
  17. God test us to help the areas He wants to work 
  18. God had the power to do what He had promised
  19. God test in increasing our joy by exposing our deficiencies
  20. God puts tests in our lives for the level of maturity and Faith

Obedience seems to always be a key part of God’s testing. He gives us things to do that make no sense to us and are not particularly appealing, although they are good for us. Then He watches our response to learn exactly how we feel about our relationship with Him. When you have a solid and mature faith, the trials of life only heighten your hope in Him. Allah says:

‏لَا يَسْتَـْٔذِنُكَ ٱلَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلْيَوْمِ ٱلْءَاخِرِ أَن يُجَهِدُوا۟ بِأَمْوَلِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌۢ بِٱلْمُتَّقِينَ ‎

Those who believe in Allah and the Last Day do not ask for an exemption from striving with their wealth and their lives. And Allah has perfect knowledge of those who are mindful ˹of Him˺.” (Surat At-Tawbah 9:44)

The world is the test centre where we are being examined but the result we will know later. Testing is how we determine where we are at with whomever we are attempting to build a relationship with. It’s how we know what “trusting God” really means. If we trust him, we typically obey. If we don’t trust him, we disobey. Either way, God knows exactly how we feel about him. Allah says:

لَّقَدْ أَنزَلْنَا آيَاتٍ مُّبَيِّنَاتٍ وَاللَّهُ يَهْدِي مَن يَشَاءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ

“Verily, We have sent down Verses clear. And Allah guides whom He wills to a path straight.” (Surah An-Nur 24:46)

Testing is a blessing, because, when the testing is over and we have “stood the test,” we will “receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him”. Sometimes we ourselves don’t realize our potential and capabilities unless we are exposed to situations that are not anticipated. Struggles transform us into something bigger and better. Allah says:

قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

“If you love Allah, then follow Allah will love you and He will forgive you your sins. And Allah (is) Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah Ali ‘Imran 3:31)

God wants to check which souls manage to pass and which fail. Heaven and hell are for that. And it’s our moral duty not to commit sin and unfortunately, even if we commit sin we should ask for forgiveness and that sin should again be avoided. There are many examples of the positive results of being tested. In testing our faith, God causes us to grow into strong disciples who truly live by faith and not by what we see. Allah says:

اللَّهُ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَكِيلٌ

“Allah (is the) Creator (of) all things, and He (is) over all things a Guardian.” (Surah Az-Zumar 39:62)

When we invite God to test us, it is in recognition of the fact that we understand he does it to know us, make us better, and ultimately save us. When we experience the storms of life, we should be like the tree that digs its roots ever more deeply for a greater grip on the earth. We must “dig our roots” more deeply into God’s Word and cling to His promises so we can weather whatever storms come against us. Allah says:

لَخَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَكْبَرُ مِنْ خَلْقِ النَّاسِ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ 

 “Indeed, the creation of the heavens and the earth is greater than the creation of mankind, but most of mankind do not realize it.” (Surah Ghafir 40:57)

God has a goal with all of his tests. Almost anyone who has taken a test can tell you the secret to enduring the experience is keeping your focus on the goal. He may place the tests in our path which get us ready to make those dreams come true, but remember, taking the tests is not enough. We have to pass them to be made ready to receive our destiny.

Allah Almighty  says in The Holy Quran:

  • “ God created you in stages.“ (Quran 71:4)
  • “Surely God’s religion is Islam…” (Quran 3:19)
  • “Verily, We created man of the best stature.” (Quran 95:4)
  • “Indeed, God is free from the need of the worlds.” (Quran 29:6)
  • “Do you worship what you have carved yourself?” (Quran 37:95)
  • “No calamity strikes except by God’s permission…” (Quran 64:11)
  • I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Quran 51:56)
  • “…There is nothing like Him and He is hearer and seer of all.” (Quran 42:11)
  • ”Say, “He is God, [who is] One, God, the Eternal Refuge.” (Surah Ikhlaas, 1-2)

God knows everything but still tests us because we need to be tested and need to see what kind of person we are. God has sent mankind to the world, so everyone could see what kind of a person is exactly. We have to do our duty to the best of our ability and leave the rest to Him. The case of failure is tested for the sake of the tested soul and such test is not for the public. If you are able to sacrifice anything and anybody for the sake of God, you need not fear for tests.  Allah says:

فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِي وَلَا تَكْفُرُونِ

“Remember Me and I will remember you, be grateful to Me and do not be ungrateful.” (Surat Al-Baqarah 2:152)

We convince ourselves that God is trying to do that. It makes us feel better. Life is tough. There is so much that is not in your control, and you do very rarely get what you want. Thinking God is testing us gives us the motivation to keep trying to fulfil our goals. It also gives us hope. That at the end of the day, if things do not work out, God is there, and he is happy with the effort you have made, or he will intervene in things and make it all better. Allah says:

هُوَ اللَّهُ الْخَالِقُ الْبَارِئُ الْمُصَوِّرُ ۖ لَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ

“He is Allah, the Creator, the Originator, the Maker of images. To Him belong the best names.” (Surat Al-Hashr 59:24)

God has taken an interest in our lives also gives a sense of purpose. That we are important somehow, so we feel that we have to do something in our lives to make a difference for ourselves, and for other people in the world. Only these tests can reveal the heart behind our words and give honest expression to God of where he stands with us. Allah says:

نَزَّلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَأَنزَلَ التَّوْرَاةَ وَالْإِنجِيلَ

“He revealed to you the Book in [the] truth confirming that which (was/among) before it, and He revealed the Taurat and the Injeel.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:3)

Hence, to make you realize the truth of your false assumption, God conducts the test and proves your failure. In such a test, He will not publicize because His aim is not to insult you in the public. His aim is only to make you realize your incompleteness in your achievement so that you will try to reach perfection after knowing the truth.