Sunday 27 March 2022

Which two things are a trial for the Believers?

Many non believers or even believers of low faith often argue why there have been test and trials in this world? Why does God make one people happy and others unhappy? Why God could not create happiness for everyone and let everyone live in peace. Why test and trials??

Well the answer is very simple, yet people get into blaming God for every bad thins, yet are never thankful for good things that happen to them. If there were no tests and trials, how would God ascertain who is a better believer and loves Him more than others w=even when in difficult times and passing through hardships of life. 

Of the test and trials, love of man for two things stands out: His children and his wealth. One who prefers these two things to love of Allah is the one who reaches the finish line with rewards and blessings of Allah. Those who love these two worldly possessions more than Allah, remain far behind the finish line forever. Let us what are these two worldly possessions and why does Allah caution believers about these:

اِنَّمَاۤ اَمۡوَالُـكُمۡ وَاَوۡلَادُكُمۡ فِتۡنَةٌ ​ؕ وَاللّٰهُ عِنۡدَهٗۤ اَجۡرٌ عَظِيۡمٌ‏ 
(64:15) Your possessions and your offspring are nothing but a trial for you. And there awaits a great reward for you with Allah.

فَاتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ مَا اسۡتَطَعۡتُمۡ وَاسۡمَعُوۡا وَاَطِيۡعُوۡا وَاَنۡفِقُوۡا خَيۡرًا لِّاَنۡفُسِكُمۡ​ؕ وَمَنۡ يُّوۡقَ شُحَّ نَفۡسِهٖ فَاُولٰٓـئِكَ هُمُ الۡمُفۡلِحُوۡنَ‏  
(64:16) So hold Allah in awe as much as you can, and listen and obey, and be charitable. This is for your own good. And whoever remains safe from his own greediness, it is such that will prosper.

Your possessions and your offspring are nothing but a trial for you. And there awaits a great reward for you with Allah. ) For explanation, see (E.N. 23 of Surah Al-Anfaal). Here one should also keep in view the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) saying which Tabarani has related on the authority of Abu Malik al-Ashari, saying: Your real enemy is not he whom, if you kill there is success for you, and if he kills you, there is Paradise for you; but your real enemy may be your own child who is born of your own loins, or the wealth of which you are the owner. That is why here as well as in Surah (Al-Anfaal, Ayat 28), Allah says: If you save yourselves from the temptation and allurements of worldly possessions and children and succeed in keeping love of them subject to the love of Allah, there are rich rewards for you with Allah.
Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Children may be a "trial" in many senses: (1) their different ways of looking at things may cause you to reflect, and to turn to the highest things of eternal importance; (2) their relationship with you and with each other may confront you with problems far more complicated than those in separate individual lives, and thus become a test of your own strength of character and sense of responsibility; (3) their conflict with your ideals (see n. 5494 above) may vex your spirit, but may at the same time search out your fidelity to Allah; and (4) their affection for you and your affection for them, may be a source of strength for you if it is pure, just as it may be a danger if it is based on selfish or unworthy motives. So also riches and worldly goods have their advantages as well as dangers.
Muhammad Asad Explanation: : For an explanation of 8:28 , which is almost identical with the present passage - reproduced herein under:
"and know that your worldly goods and your children are but a trial and a temptation, and that with God there is a tremendous reward." - (8:28)
Inasmuch as love of worldly goods and a desire to protect one's family may lead a person to transgression (and, thus, to a betrayal of the moral values postulated in God's message), they are described as fitnah - which, in this context, is best rendered by the two words "trial and temptation". This reminder connects with verse {8:25} above, "beware of that temptation to evil which does not befall only those who are bent on denying the truth," since it is acquisitiveness and a desire to confer benefits on one's own family which often tempt an otherwise good person to offend against the rights of his fellow-men. It is to be borne in mind that, contrary to the New Testament, the Qur'an does not postulate a contempt for worldly attachments as a pre-requisite of righteousness: it only demands of man that he should not allow these attachments to deflect him from the pursuit of moral verities.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The implication is that family and wealth – all are a trial from God. If Muslims deal with them, considering them to be a trial, they will succeed; they should rest assured that the loss they suffer in this cause will be compensated in the Hereafter because great reward lies with God alone. 

So hold Allah in awe as much as you can, and listen and obey, and be charitable. This is for your own good. And whoever remains safe from his own greediness, it is such that will prosper. )

At another place in the Quran it has been said: Fear Allah as rightfully He should be feared. (Surah Aal-Imran, Ayat 102). At still another place: Allah does not burden any one with a responsibility heavier than he can bear. (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 286) And here: Fear Allah as much as you can. When these three verses are read together it appears that the first verse sets an ideal which every believer should try to attain. The second verse lays down the principle that no one has been required to exert himself beyond his power and ability, for in Allah’s religion one has been made responsible only for what is within his power and ability. This verse enjoins every believer to try to attain piety and consciousness of God as far as he can. He should carry out His commands and avoid His disobedience as best as he possibly can. For if he shows laxity in this regard, he will not be able to escape punishment. However, one will not be held accountable for what was beyond his power and Allah alone can decide best what was really beyond a person’s power and ability.

" And whoever remains safe from his own greediness, it is such that will prosper. "  For explanation, see (explanation of verse 9 of Surah Al-Hashr - reproduced herein under).
The word used here means “is saved” and not “was safe”, for without Allah's help and succor no one can attain to the wealth of the heart (liberal-mindedness) by his own power and effort. This is a blessing of God, which one can attain only by God’s bounty and grace. The word shuhha is used for stinginess and miserliness in Arabic. But when this word is attributed to the self of man, it becomes synonymous with narrow-mindedness, niggardliness, mean spiritedness and small-heartedness, and not mere stinginess: it is rather the root cause of stinginess itself. Because of this very quality man avoids acknowledging even the good qualities of another, not to speak of recognizing his rights and discharging them. He wants that he alone should gather up everything in the world, and no one else should have anything of it. He never feels content with his own right, but usurps the rights of others, or at least wants to have for himself all that is good in the world and should not leave anything for others. On this very basis one’s being saved from this evil has been described in the Quran as a guarantee for success. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has counted it among the most evil qualities of man which are the root cause of corruption and mischief. Jabir bin Abdullah has reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Avoid shuhha for it was shuhha which ruined the people before you. It incited them to shed each other’s blood and make the sacred and forbidden things of others lawful for themselves. (Muslim, Musnad Ahmad, Baihaqi, Bukhari in Al-Adab). The tradition of Abdullah bin Umar contains the following words: It led them to commit wickedness and they committed it. It commanded them to commit sins and they committed sin. It urged them to break off all connections with the kindred and they broke off all connections with them. (Musnad Ahmad, Abu Daud, Nasai). Abu Hurairah has reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Faith and shuhha of the self cannot combine in one and the same heart. (Ibn Abi Shaibah, Nasa Baihaqi in Shuab al-Iman, Hakim). Abu Said Khudri has stated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Two of the qualities are such that they cannot combine in a Muslim: stinginess and misbehavior. (Abu Daud, Tirmidhi, Bukhari in Al-Adab). It is as a result of this very teaching of Islam that, apart from individuals, the Muslims as a nation are still the most generous and liberal minded people in the world.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: "Fear Allah" combined with "as much as you can" obviously means: "lead lives of self-restraint and righteousness": the usual meaning of Taqwa: see explanation to ii. 2.

Charity is meant to help and do good to other people who need it. But it has the highest subjective value for the person who gives it. Like mercy "it blesseth him that gives and him that takes". It purifies the giver's soul: the affection that he pours out is for his own spiritual benefit and progress. Cf. Coleridge: "He prayeth best who loveth best all things both great and small, for the Great God Who loveth us, Who made and loveth all".

Cf. lix. 9. Our worst enemy is within ourselves,-the grasping selfishness which would deprive others of their just rights or seize things which do not properly belong to it. If we can get over this covetous selfishness, we achieve real Prosperity in justice and truth. 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Cf. last sentence of 59:9 (reproduced herein under):

"... for, such as from their own covetousness are saved - it is they, they that shall attain to a happy state!"

Thus, greed, niggardliness and covetousness are pointed out here as the main obstacles to man's attaining to a happy state in this world and in the hereafter (cf. surah {102}). 

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The actual word is: شُحّ. It means “miserliness and stinginess.” In this verse, it is related to the soul. This is because miserliness is one of the inclinations found in the soul; hence like anger and lust, it too needs to be restrained. 

Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi has explained it He writes: … The only way to check it is that when a person starts to feel its domination, he should weaken it by spending for the cause of God until it becomes so weak that it is not able to impede virtuous deeds. It is evident from these words of the Qur’an that those who try to suppress this instinct succeed by the blessing of God, and only those who succeed in this effort are worthy of success in the Hereafter. For this reason, spending for the cause of God is the greatest thing which can earn His pleasure specially the spending which a person does by disregarding his own personal needs. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 424) 

So let us beware of these two worldly possessions the love of which may fail us in the test Allah is given us and be always be ready to sacrifice our best of things to please Allah. We should pray Allah does not put us in any trial, specially with regard to our children. And for this we should give out charity as much as possible to extend a good loan to Allah to save us from any test in which may not be able to do justice to ourselves.

Please listen to explanation of the ayat by eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan:
May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
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Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that the exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition the references of other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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