Tests and trials in life bring out the best and worst in people. Some tests come in the form of blessings, and some come in the form of hardships and difficulties. Despite the type of test we are facing, each and every test is a means to guide us to what is best for us. Tests are for believers and non-believers alike. Tests are for Muslims, Christians, Jews, Atheists, Agnostics, and people of every imaginable worldview in existence. I think every human every created would agree that life is a test.
Recently I made a post via social media which said, "Even with the Corona Virus changing their lives, Islamophobic Atheists are still spewing their disease-ridden words into the air!". I made the post as an afterthought, following an interaction between myself and two Atheists who couldn't seem to wrap their minds around the concept of a "Sky Daddy", as they call Him, testing mankind. They simply couldn't comprehend why a Merciful Creator would test the world with a Pandemic such as the Coronavirus.
Even in the midst of an event that has literally changed how the world functions overnight, the mockery and denial of the existence of a Creator continues. Those who dent the existence of our Creator, continue to fail test after test while unaware that they are being tested at all. They are similar to those who are unaware that they are being recorded by hidden video. They function like criminals caught in the act. They do not fear getting caught committing a crime because they don't realize they are being watched. They are those who are unaware that every action and word is being recorded.
I am currently in the process of writing my second book, Everything Is A Test: Truth has been made clear from Falsehood. The driving theme of the book is to persuade people to accept the concept of being tested all day every day, through everything that we encounter. The message warning us about being tested is mentioned repeatedly in the Qur'an. Those reminders are great blessings from Allah. But humanity must be willing to recognize our Creator, before being able to accept being tested by Him. The acceptance or rejection of our Creator is the most important test of them all. Fail at that, and the possibility of passing the test of life itself, is impossible to achieve.
As a Mercy from Allah, He has revealed the Qur'an, and has repeatedly called us to ponder and reflect on the lives of past peoples. By reflecting on people of the past, we begin to realize how vulnerable we are as humans. We should then begin to realize how we weak we actually are. Yet many see themselves as arrogantly self-sufficient. But no one is truly self-sufficient, and no one is self-reliant other than Allah. Convincing prideful and arrogant Atheists of that is a difficult task. But if they are willing to be honest with themselves, they will realize their vulnerabilities and recognize how quickly the lives of believers and non-believers alike can be changed in an instant. Even by a microscopic organism that is hidden from the human eye. Now consider, what or who is more hidden from our site than our Creator, Allah?
Allah has warned mankind repeatedly, telling us the tests and trials are coming. Most hardships that people face come suddenly. The objective is to be prepared for them ahead of time, and as a Mercy from Allah, He has warned us repeatedly in great and comprehensive ways through the Qur'an. The Qur'an reads as, and indeed is, representation of the literal speech of Allah. Unlike any other religious texts ever written by the hands of men, the Qur'an speaks directly to mankind. That is because the Qur'an is not written by man. In fact, the Qur'an isn't the written word at all. The Qur'an is a means for Allah to communicate with humanity through the recitation and meanings of the words being spoken.
Unlike the other religious texts in existence, the Qur'an is the literal speech of our Creator who knows us better than we know ourselves . Allah knows what it will take to get our attention. Allah knows every person, even more intimately than we know ourselves. Some people require less persuading, and for others it takes life changing events. The following verses of the Qur'an alone addresses every possible situation that mankind may face, in relation to the various ways people are being tested through the Coronavirus.
"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."
Surah Al-Baqarah 2:155
“And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way.”
Surah Al-Baqarah 2:186
“We verily created a man and We know what his soul whispers to him, and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein. When the two Receivers (Angels) receive (him), seated on the right hand and on the left. He (man) does not utter a word without an observer there with him ready to record it"
Surah Qaf 50:16-18
People are being tested through worry and anxiety as fears are manifested in a variety of ways. Some people fear contracting the disease, and for the well-being of their loved ones. Some people are in fear due to not knowing when they will get back to work in order to pay their bills, feed their families, etc... Some fear for the loss of their possessions or their way of life. Despite the type of fear one is experiencing, fear has most certainly been manifested. People are losing money, and some are at risk of losing their material possessions and/or their homes. The fruits of people's hard work are in jeopardy, and it has come with the sudden impact of an unseen organism, that has literally affected everyone in the world in some way.
Some have lost their lives. As a consequence, their loved ones are faced with dealing with those sudden losses. This includes my own family after the death of one of my younger cousins, who was suspected of being exposed to Covid-19 and its effect on his underlying health issues. The world has been tested. Both believers and non-believers alike. The test is a means to cause mankind to feel a sense of desperation when no amount of money, title, position, or stature in this world can help, and when the world’s greatest minds and doctors have no answers. It is in times of facing dire circumstances, that some people will be humbled enough to cry out in desperation saying, "God help me"! But unfortunately, some never will.
Being humbled to the point that one is forced to cry out in desperation is a Mercy from Allah. Especially in times when no other human being can help, and when nothing that the world provides can aid in the situation. The natural desire to cry out is an instinct that every human being was born with. Yes, including Atheists. For believers, it is a time when we have the opportunity to uplift our status by remaining patient in the midst of the difficulties that we face, instead of becoming paralyzed by fear. Allah tells us to seek Him through patience and prayer in multiple verses of the Qur'an, as a means to cope with hardships.
Note the following verses of the Qur'an:
"Seek Allah's help with patient perseverance and prayer. It is indeed hard except for those who are humble." (2:45)
Oh you who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer, for Allah is with those who patiently persevere." (2:153)
"Oh you who believe! Persevere in patience and constancy. Vie in such perseverance, strengthen each other, and be pious, that you may prosper." (3:200)
"Be patient, for your patience is with the help of Allah." (16:127)
"Patiently, then, persevere - for the Promise of Allah is true, and ask forgiveness for your faults, and celebrate the praises of your Lord in the evening and in the morning." (40:55)
"No one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint, none but persons of the greatest good fortune." (41:35)
"Verily man is in loss, except such as have faith, and do righteous deeds, and join together in the mutual enjoining of truth, and of patience and constancy." (103:2-3)
Atheists are being tested along with believers. Their very existence is proof of that. Life is a test. We all know that. We are forced to accept and deal with that reality, over and over again throughout the course of our lives. Or are we to think that all of our life experiences mean nothing and have been in vain? Are we to conclude that life just happened, and that when it is all said and done, it means nothing? Are we to deduce that this life is meaningless, while deep down inside we can feel a sense of purpose? Don't we all feel something driving us? Are we not all blessed with a God-Given instinct for right and wrong? The instincts of right and wrong represent a lifetime of choices that we all have to make. Choices like the ones made while taking a test, in order to advance in some way. Make the right choice and we will have success. But make the wrong choice and we will face difficulties and failures.
In my opinion, Atheists are failing. They will never pass the final exam of life because they don't recognize the One giving them the tests. Some go to great lengths to ridicule and mock the existence of a Creator, and in return for their mockery, our Creator returns their mockery to them. Those who have mocked Muslim Sisters in Hijab and Niqab are now seeking physical coverings of various forms in order to protect themselves. Those who mock the so-called ritual acts of Muslims performing ablution numerous times each day before prayer, are now seeking hand sanitizers and a means to wash their hands in order to prevent the spread of disease. There are many other examples of their mockery being returned to them as well.
While Allah is testing the disbelievers, He also uses tests and trials to distinguish between those who truly have faith in Him, and those who claim to. Those who have faith no matter what the circumstances they are facing, and those who when tested are prone to lose faith because of their doubts and fears.
"When they meet those who believe, they say: "We believe" but when they are alone with their evil ones they say: "We are really with you we; (were) only jesting. Allah will throw back their mockery on them and give them rope in their trespasses; so, they will wander like blind ones (to and fro).”
Qur'an: Surah Al-Baqarah 2:14-15
I encourage the believer and non-believer alike to embrace the trials that we face, and to look at every situation that we face as a test. Every second, every relationship, every opportunity, every blessing, and yes, every hardship. I encourage the reader to utilize the tests as a means to cope with every crisis that we face with patience, and to ponder on how quickly life can change. When things are out of our control, the believer has an opportunity to maintain control by turning to our Creator in patience and prayer, and in complete reliance upon Him.
The disbeliever has the opportunity to ponder on how vulnerable they are in order to humble themselves before the tests they are facing humble them. Those who are capable of setting aside their pride, arrogance, and sense of self sufficiency will eventually cry out to Allah. The tests are a means to bring that about, and are therefore, blessings in disguise. Some will take heed, while others will die in their mockery. Everything is a test.
May Allah accept my efforts and may He help me pass my tests. Ameen
Author Kenny Bomer