[2:155] We will surely test you through some fear, hunger, and loss of money, lives, and crops. Give good news to the steadfast.*
*Footnote: 2:155 The test is designed to prove that we worship God alone under all circumstances (29:2).
[2:156] When an affliction befalls them, they say, “We belong to GOD, and to Him we are returning.”
[2:157] These have deserved blessings from their Lord and mercy. These are the guided ones.
How do we know we are experiencing a test or retribution?
How we react is a testament to our belief. The proper response is 2:156 “We belong to God, and to Him we are returning.”
The Test is Mandatory
[29:2] Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe,” without being put to the test?
[29:3] We have tested those before them, for GOD must distinguish those who are truthful, and He must expose the liars.
What does it mean when it says we will be tested by loss of lives?
Could be how we deal with loss when those close to us die.
Or could be the individuals who had to go to battle and were willing to give their life to worship God alone at the time of the prophet.
Where Do We Go From Here?
[2:154] Do not say of those who are killed in the cause of GOD, “They are dead.” They are alive at their Lord, but you do not perceive.*
Footnote: *2:154 The righteous do not really die; they simply leave their bodies here and go to the same Paradise where Adam and Eve once lived. See Appendix 17 for the proof and the details.
[2:49] Recall that we saved you from Pharaoh’s people who inflicted upon you the worst persecution, slaying your sons and sparing your daughters. That was an exacting test from your Lord.
Every day we commit sins – some God may forgive some He may want to teach us a lesson.
The admission test will be severe enough to shake the core of our belief and not something trivial. Irrespective if it is a retribution, test, blessing in disguise our response should be the same. If it brings us closer to God then it was ultimately good, and if it brings us farther away from God then it was bad.
[2:214] Do you expect to enter Paradise without being tested like those before you? They were tested with hardship and adversity, and were shaken up, until the messenger and those who believed with him said, “Where is GOD’s victory?” GOD’s victory is near.
King of Chaos 43:30 min
There are four kinds of disasters
- Admission Test (When we claim that God is Lord of the Universe, we need to prove our firm conviction of this belief under all circumstances.)
- Educational Disaster (when we do something wrong and to get us back on the right path we get a pinch)
- Blessing in Disguise (think something is bad for us, but is actually good for us)
- Retributive Disaster (When a society or individual reaches a point of no reform i.e. Sodom and Gomorrah)
In 18:78 – 82 God shows us that “there is a good reason for everything”
[11:9] Whenever we bless the human being with mercy from us, then remove it, he turns despondent, unappreciative.
[11:10] Whenever we bless him, after adversity had afflicted him, he says, “All adversity has gone away from me;” he becomes excited, proud.
[11:11] As for those who steadfastly persevere, and lead a righteous life, they deserve forgiveness and a generous recompense.
How long will a test be for?
The test could be short or long pending on the person and the circumstance.
What is the understanding of Jacob when he lost Joseph?
Could be similar to Joseph’s slip that caused him to be in jail for a couple more years (12:42)
This could have been part of Jacob’s purification.
If we love anything more than God we will lose it
What is the difference between purification and retribution?
Purification is for the believers while retribution is for the disbelievers
[2:151] (Blessings) such as the sending of a messenger from among you to recite our revelations to you, purify you, teach you the scripture and wisdom, and to teach you what you never knew.
Is there a verse that says the believers can suffer retribution?
Take A Hint
[32:21] We let them taste the smaller retribution (of this world), before they incur the greater retribution (of the Hereafter), that they may (take a hint and) reform.
[32:22] Who is more evil than one who is reminded of these revelations of his Lord, then insists upon disregarding them? We will certainly punish the guilty.
[20:76] The gardens of Eden, beneath which rivers flow, will be their abode forever. Such is the reward for those who purify themselves.
[33:33] You shall settle down in your homes, and do not mingle with the people excessively, like you used to do in the old days of ignorance. You shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and obey GOD and His messenger. GOD wishes to remove all unholiness from you, O you who live around the Sacred Shrine, and to purify you completely.
[4:147] What will GOD gain from punishing you, if you became appreciative and believed? GOD is Appreciative, Omniscient.
When it happens to a believer it is an affliction when it happens to a disbeliever it is an retribution.
Satan is the afflicter of disasters. While Satan sets out to plot against the believers God can use this to the believers good by making the disaster an educational disaster.
God Protects His Messenger*
[8:30] The disbelievers plot and scheme to neutralize you, or kill you, or banish you. However, they plot and scheme, but so does GOD. GOD is the best schemer.
It is retribution if it makes someone go off the right path.
[8:25] Beware of a retribution that may not be limited to the evildoers among you.* You should know that GOD’s retribution is severe.
Footnote 8:25: A community that tolerates homosexuality, for example, may be hit by an earthquake.
How do we know we are being purified and making improvement?
One of the biggest steps for purification is repentance. And along with repentance we reform. If it brings us closer to God then it is a blessing from God.
We get tested with things that we are weak in.
Fasting is a form of purification
What is annihilation? Does annihilation apply to believers or just disbelievers?
Were the people of Sodom and Gomorrah who were under 40 annihilated?
~84 verses in the Quran use the term annihilated, and through a quick glance appears to only appear to disbelievers
[6:6] Have they not seen how many generations before them we have annihilated? We established them on earth more than we did for you, and we showered them with blessings, generously, and we provided them with flowing streams. We then annihilated them because of their sins, and we substituted another generation in their place.
Does it matter if we know which category of disaster something is? Or is it better to focus on our response to the events in our life?
It comes down to trust in God in God. If we trust in God and strive to do better and come closer to God it will be good for us.
[13:11] Shifts (of angels) take turns, staying with each one of you – they are in front of you and behind you. They stay with you, and guard you in accordance with GOD’s commands. Thus, GOD does not change the condition of any people unless they themselves make the decision to change. If GOD wills any hardship for any people, no force can stop it. For they have none beside Him as Lord and Master.
[2:152] You shall remember Me, that I may remember you, and be thankful to Me; do not be unappreciative.