I opened the quran, pointed to surat alankaaboot, and said to myself “I’m going to learn these ayahs today”. Here i go (first 5)
الٓمٓ (١) أَحَسِبَ ٱلنَّاسُ أَن يُترَكُوٓاْ أَن يَقُولُوٓاْ ءَامَنَّا وَهُم لَا يُفتَنُونَ (٢) وَلَقَد فَتَنَّا ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبلِهِم فَلَيَعلَمَنَّ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ صَدَقُواْ وَلَيَعلَمَنَّ ٱلكَـذِبِينَ (٣) أَم حَسِبَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَعمَلُونَ ٱلسَّيِّـَٔاتِ أَن يَسبِقُونَا سَآءَ مَا يَحكُمُونَ (٤) مَن كَانَ يَرجُواْ لِقَآءَ ٱللَّهِ فَإِنَّ أَجَلَ ٱللَّهِ لَأَتٍ وَهُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلعَلِيمُ (٥)
Alif. Lam. Mim. (1) Do men imagine that they will be left (at ease) because they say, We believe, and will not be tested with affliction? (2) Lo! We tested those who were before them. Thus Allah knoweth those who are sincere, and knoweth those who feign. (3) Or do those who do ill-deeds imagine that they can outstrip Us? Evil (for them) is that which they decide. (4) Whoso looketh forward to the meeting with Allah (let him know that) Allah’s reckoning is surely nigh, and He is the Hearer, the Knower. (5)
To start off, the central theme of this beautiful surah is faith. As the surah starts off, it immediately tells you that you will be tested on you oath of faith, and shows you reality. Note; the beginning ayahs were a rhetorical question.
The thing about faith and believe is not how people make it seem, all fluffy dovey. Faith is measured upon actions and intentions, responsibilities and duties a person takes to prove his faith. One example that always comes in mind here is hijab.
The greatest argument you hear is: “Well, i have belief in hijab in my heart.”
Really? May Allah guide us all, but really? If you had true belief you act upon it, to sum it all up. Obviously the courage to put on hijab is amazing, and the ones who struggle with it, may Allah make it easy on you. But remember this ayah – its just a cycle of life … you believe = you will be tested accordingly.
In reality, in school you can tell your chem teacher you know all the alkines and have the periodic table off by heart – to make sure of your ability, you have quizzes along the way, some you excel, some you do really bad. Its life :). I read in Sayyid Qutubs book that the Arabic word used here for test derives from the root fitnah, which imparts exactly this sense of being subjected to a test with all that this implies.
The thing about tests is that they bring out what God already knows is in you, to human knowledge. Yes you may believe, but this cannot be certain until it is brought out in front of you, to show your worth and capability in doing so.
The thing about these life tests is that they put you in the spotlight. How many times are you faced with hardship that you think to yourself ‘how is everyone else living their day to day lives!’ This is the reality of the world, and this in itself is a test. Tests come in so many different types and forms that i will leave it up to you the reader to think about yourself now and what you may be going through.
The beauty of tests though – is that they teach you your ability in strength and steadfast. If you succeed, you are proud of your faith and what you did! When you are teasted, just think about this – Allah chose you to test, He chose you for a reason …
“The most severely tested are prophets, then the most pious people, then the ones closest to these, one degree after another. A man will be tested in accordance with his strength of faith. If he proves himself strong, the severity of his test is increased.”
Doesn’t that make you feel all fuzzy and warm inside?
In verse 4 we see the result of not enduring hardships. Tests are made to show between true believes (who endure) and others whom try to escape. Just a reminder – Allah made these tests, He made the fire as well. Just a reminder to us when we feel in the weakest stages if confronted with a test.
Instead of thinking why did you put me to this, why can’t we ask Allah to give us strength to get through it.
Don’t worry though, for those who strive to strengthen those bonds. This is such a tearful heart warming ayah for me personally. Its kinda like you are so eager to meet Him subhanahu wa ta’ala and He chose these ayahs to reassure you, that YES if you endure the pain and keep strong faith, then He will fulfill His promise. He ends off this promise with 2 beautiful names:
Alsamee’: s m ‘
To hear or listen. The One whose hearing and comprehension overrides all, pays attention to all supplication and invocation.
Albaseer’: b s r. means to see, behold
Allah subhanahu wa tala, insights all things clearly, both apparent and hidden. He sees and understands and perceives every detail. Through the first 5 ayah’s He talks about knowing what is in you before even being tested, He also knows those who want to escape and those who are eager to meet Him insha’Allah.
As we saw above, first it is inner thoughts and actions, then it goes out to the doing. Look at the attributes put at the end of these ayahs. He is the All Hearing and All Seeing.
It begins within, a struggle to get to the truth and to let it out. We have the right mind set but yet we don’t know how to act upon it. AlBaseer reassures us that faith = action. Yes He hears and He see’s. We must do both to equal this ayah and to reach the rank of seeing Allah insha’Allah!
Sorry for the lengthy probably not making sense post 🙂 Reflections? Add on please.