Success in Passing Tests from the Divine - Ramadan Reflections 23/30 - 1436/2015

Translated by Shaykh Saleem Bhimji and edited by Arifa Hudda, this work looks at 30 topics through the supplications taught by Prophet Muhammad, prayers of God be upon him and his family, to be recited in the Blessed Month of Ramadan. In this installment, the topic of "Success in Passing Tests from the Divine" is elucidated upon.

Oh Allah, on this day, wash away my sins and purify me from flaws and examine my heart with the piety of the hearts. Oh, one who overlooks the shortcomings of the sinners.

'A'udhu billahi min al-Shaytan al-rajim, Bismillah, al-Rahman, al-Rahim. Assalamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. We continue in this blessed month of Ramadan and today we are on the twenty third day of the blessed month of Ramadan. And today, our topic from Ramadan Reflections is on success in passing the tests from the Divine.

Now, obviously, we know as human beings that all of us will be going through a test in this life. Our Creator will put every single human being through a test in one way or the other. And obviously, the true, the true goal of these tests is to see which of us is going to remain unwavering and committed to the belief system that they particularly follow. The Qur'an speaks about the examinations of Allah in many ways.

Let us just look at one particular verse at the current moment, from Chapter number two, Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 155. In this portion of the verse, again, which is a part of a larger verse, we read the following: "We will surely test you with a measure of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth, lives and family"(2:155).

This verse tells us that tests will be a part of our life, would be an integral part of our life on this earth, and they will take many different forms. The fear, the wars that are going on around the world that many people are suffering through is a test. The hunger that many people are facing in so many parts of this world, including within our own countries, is a test. The loss of our wealth. We see the stock market collapsing. We see people's retirements and pensions and savings being wiped out in the blink of the blink of an eye. This is a test and losing our family, losing our lives, losing ourselves, losing everything that means so much and is so dear to us. All of these are tests that come from Allah.

Why does Allah put us through all these examinations? That is a very deep, large philosophical topic that I don't want to go into today. But looking at one verse of the Qur'an from chapter three, Surah Aali-Imran, verse one hundred and fifty four, we are told the following by Allah:"and so that Allah may test what is in your chests and that he may purge what is in your hearts"(3:154). So one of the things that we see is that this test that is given to us by Allah is not because Allah doesn't know us, no He knows you and I more, better than we know ourselves. But this test from Allah is to show us what we are truly made of.

It is just like when we go to school and we have gone through three months of, let's say, math class, and then the teacher says, we are going to have an exam tomorrow. The teacher has seen your homework. He knows or she knows how you are doing in class. They know where your weak points are, where your strong points are. They know where you need help. But yet still they'll test you. Why? If they know they've seen your homework, they've seen how you answer in class, but yet they still test. Well, one of the reasons is to show you the student how well you know, your mathematics or whatever subject you are involved in. The teacher knows, the teacher can gage each and every student by being their teacher, but he wants or she wants to see does the student know themselves? And they then can work on where they need to improve in that particular subject in school.

Another verse of the Qur'an, speaking about the divine examination, tells us the following: "Allah will not leave the faithful in their present state until he has separated the bad ones from the good" (3:179). Again, this verse shows us that Allah is putting all of us to an examination and that we will be sifted out the good from the bad. Billions of people today claim to be believers of whatever tradition they follow. But when the going gets tough, we know that the tough get going. And so tests are there to sort the good from the bad, to sift out the people who are truly believers and those who are just in it for monetary gain or for some fame or popularity while in this world.

We close with one more verse of the Qur'an, which shows us again the importance of the examination of the divine within our lives. Allah tells us in chapter 67 Surah al-Mulk, verse number two, the following: "He it is who created death and life that He may test you to see which of you is best in conduct" (67:2). So one understanding we have of the examinations of the Divine is that it is to show which of us is the best in conduct, not to show which of us can perform the most acts of worship. No. Which of us does the best of actions when in this life, even if very meager and of a small number.

Let us ask Allah as we close off these last days and nights of the month of Ramadan that we can truly be of those who can be tested by Allah and that we can come out with flying colors with one hundred percent with the satisfaction of being those who have been tested and who have passed the test of Allah. Wa assalamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

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