Why Am I Not Tested Enough?

>> Saturday, March 22, 2014

This is going to sound a little strange, but I feel that my life is not tested enough. I have heard over and over again that Allah loves those whom He tests. What if you feel like you don't have any test. Does this mean that Allah doesn't love me?

It doesn’t feel strange at all. :) Thanks for the great question.

So you ask if you’re being tested enough. Well, sister, it really depends on what your definition of “tests” are. Generally whenever we think of tests, we may think of calamities, suffering, natural disasters, etc. Agreeably, these are examples of tests.
“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-S├óbirin (the patient ones, etc.)” Surah Al-Baqarah 2:155]

So being patient in these types of tests is best for us. However, tests aren’t limited to only this type. Likewise, patience is not limited to only in times like these.

As Muslims we know that this whole life is a test for us. So every moment we are being tested, even in times of ease. Yes, even things we may consider blessings like family, children, wealth may at the same time constitute as tests for us in one way or another and require our patience.

Allah Subhanoo Wa' tala says:
O you who have believed, let not your wealth and your children divert you from remembrance of Allah . And whoever does that - then those are the losers. (Surah Al-Munafiqun 63:9)
O you who have believed, indeed, among your wives and your children are enemies to you, so beware of them. But if you pardon and overlook and forgive - then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. (Surah Al-Taghabun 64:14)
He also says:
And as for man, when his Lord tries him and [thus] is generous to him and favors him, he says, "My Lord has honored me." (Al Fajr, 89: 15) 

As you can see from these verses, Allah's favors are also a test for us: you are being tested how you will respond with these favors, how you will use them for Allah's sake.... Will you let them draw you closer to Allah or  distract you away from Allah ?

In fact, we are told of a very important story in the Qur'an. The story of Qarun who Allah tested by giving an abundance of wealth.

And We gave him (Qarun) of the treasures, that of which the keys would have been a burden to a body of strong men. Remember when his people said to him: "Do not exult (with riches, being ungrateful to Allah). Verily Allah likes not those who exult (with riches, being ungrateful to Allah). "But seek with that (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of lawful enjoyment in this world,' and do good as Allah has been good to you, and seek not mischief in the land. Verily, Allah likes not the Mufsidun (those who commit great crimes and sins, oppressors, tyrants, mischief-makers, corrupters)." He said: "This has been given to me only because of the knowledge I possess." Did he not know that Allah had destroyed before him generations, men who were stronger than him in might and greater in the amount (of riches) they had collected? [Al Qassas 76-]

  Besides the fact that times of ease are also times of tests, there is also much more to patience than times of difficulties. Yes,  moments of calamity call for our patience, BUT there is more to this, and we need to practice patience in other ways.

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim said, “There are three types of patience: Firstly, practicing patience to fulfill the obligations and to do righteous. Secondly, abstaining from evil and prohibited acts. And thirdly, practicing patience during times of hardship without complaints.”

From this we gather that patience is of three types:
1) Patience in fulfilling obligations and continuing to do good deeds.
2) Patience in staying away from wrong.
3) Patience during hardships and calamities

I think, what you were talking about was the last type: patience in times of distress. And, so naturally you’re worried that since you feel like you haven't really had to endure this type of patience, that you are not being tested enough. It is true that AllahSWT tests those whom he loves. However, it doesn't mean that AllahSWT doesn't love you because as you just read, there are other types of tests/patience.

Let’s go over the different types of patience in more detail

1) Patience in fulfilling obligations and continuing to do good deeds.
"So hasten towards all that is good". (2:148)

Examples of this type of patience include: praying salah, paying zakat, fulfilling rights of family, etc. These are all part of our obligations.
Allah says: “And seek help in patience and As-Salah and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for humbly submissive [to Allah ]” [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:45].

Additionally, continuing to do good deeds falls under this type of patience. As we know, keeping up a good deed means we have to persevere and strive to do it. Whether it be reading Qu'ran, waking up for Tahajjud, giving Sadaqah, any of these extra deeds requires our patience. The best part is, it doesn't matter how small they may be, as long as we try to be consistent. 

Rasulullah saw said: "The deeds most loved by Allah (are those) done regularly, even if they are small." (Bukhari, Muslim)
So sister, here are some examples of extra good deeds. Start a small deed and try to be regular in doing it. Then slowly you can add on to it. In times of ease, we have extra time to do more good deeds. 

Remember this Hadith:
“Take benefit of five before five: Your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you are preoccupied, and your life before your death”
(Narrated by Ibn Abbas and reported by Al Hakim)

Yes, sometimes we may have calamities to turn us back to Allah, but also in times of ease, we can display patience by being grateful. In our youth, we are also usually at the peak of our health, we have more time and, less responsibilities. On top of that, if we're living in a safe place where we don't have to worry about poverty and hunger, then we are even more blessed. Can you imagine how we have more opportunities for doing good in this state than if we were lacking these? That's why, it's important that we take advantage of this time. 

AllahSWT says:
By time, Indeed, mankind is in loss, Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience. (Surah Asr).

2) Patience in staying away from wrong.

We are all aware how staying away from wrong deeply requires our patience. We are struggling against our nafs. 
Say, "My Lord has only forbidden immoralities - what is apparent of them and what is concealed - and sin, and oppression without right, and that you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down authority, and that you say about Allah that which you do not know." (Surah A'raaf 7:33).
 And so, for staying away from evil things and going against our desires, we can get rewarded inshaallah.

3) Patience during hardships and calamities

Finally, this is the last type of patience, the one we are most familiar with. 
And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient,Who, when disaster strikes them, say, "Indeed we belong to Allah , and indeed to Him we will return."Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided. (2:155-157).
As Muslims, we may be tested with hardships and calamities. Even if someone isn't going through a calamity now, they may later on. In this situation, we are called upon to be patient by not complaining. It is also important to remember this about calamities:
“No calamity occurs, but by the permission of Allah, and whosover believes in Allah, He guides his heart. And Allah is the All-Knower of everything” [Surat at-Taghabun 64:11]
Ibn Kathir said about this Verse: Whoever suffered an affliction and he knew that it occurred by Allah’s Judgement and Decree, and he patiently abides, awaiting Allah’s reward, then Allah guides his heart, and will compensate him for his loss in this life by granting guidance to his heart and certainty in faith. Allah will replace whatever he lost for Him with the same or what is better. Ali ibn Abi Talhah reported from Ibn Abbas: ‘… and whosever believes in Allah, He guides his heart.’ Allah will guide his heart to certainty. Therefore, he will know that what reached him would not have missed him and what missed him would not have reached him” [Al Mubarakpuri, Sheikh Saifur-Rahman, tafsir ibn Kathir (Abridges) vol 10 (Riyadh, Darussalam, 2000), pp 24-25]

Also this is another great reminder for us to become hopeful even when going through calamities.
“For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” [Surah ash-Sharh 94: 5-6]


As you can see from all these examples, as Muslims, we are being tested in every moment of our lives. You can display patience not just during calamities but also day-to-day, regularly. Every time you stay away from something prohibited, every time you sacrifice your time to do something extra good, you are displaying patience.

Ok, sister, I hope this helped. May we love AllahSWT and be loved by Allah, inshallah.



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