A test that calibrates the heart with truth
Allah tests us according to the emaan He gives us such that if He has blessed with a lot of emaan then He will test us according to that level and if we possess less emaan then He will test us according to that level. Of course emaan does also fluctuate so what this means is that Allah will test us according to the level of emaan we have the potential to attain. If Allah has given us the potential to attain a high level of emaan then He will continue to test us so that we attain that level just so that He can reward us according to that level. But there is also another consideration to bear in mind here which is that if Allah has blessed us with considerable knowledge, understanding, ability and emaan and if we then overcome what He tests us with, such that we look back at our considerable achievement, we might be led into thinking that it was because of our abilities and hard work and emaan that we were able to achieve what we did. We may even possess the knowledge that in reality it wasnt really us, despite our efforts, that led to our success but it was Allah. But knowing this is not the same as understanding it with certainty such that even though we consciously know it we still consider that our ability to overcome our tests was because of our efforts.
To believe this is more detrimental to our success and is the potential undoing of all of our hard work than to not have overcome the test at all. What this means is that the definition of overcoming tests is not just to have physically overcome a particular challenge but to have arrived at a point of realisation that in reality it was only by the mercy of Allah that we were able to achieve anything. Overcoming any test is a station much easier to attain than arriving at the realisation that it was only by the mercy of Allah that we overcame it. Hence what we learn from this is that in order to attain this understanding, this point of humility and this level of realisation of the Lordship of Allah and our true level as His humble slaves, requires that we are tested just beyond the level we have the ability to achieve by ourselves, by the abilities and strengths Allah has given us. In other words if Allah blessed us with considerable knowledge, ability and emaan and then tested us with something considerable but something either at the level of our ability to achieve by ourselves or just below that level then it would cause us to think we had attained success by our efforts which would take us away from the reality of the power of Allah and that it was His power that had led to our success. It would also cause us to be increased in the delusion of our own abilities, and lead us to think that we could achieve something even greater if we applied our efforts and abilities.
Now, such a person whilst applying his efforts and abilities may also at the same time be intensely seeking the guidance and mercy of Allah but may not have attained the level whereby he failed in his efforts. Thus by not failing in his efforts he was caused to think that his own efforts were the true cause of his success even though he may be consciously aware that all success in reality came from Allah. But there is a distinct difference between the two states of understanding, which is certainty. As we said, one can know something but without certainty, or one could know something with certainty which translates itself into an understanding which is a station, a realisation, a marker in the sand, a point of understanding whereby one is absolutely certain that something is true. In the case we are describing, this point of certainty is the point of realisation that one cannot achieve anything except by the power of Allah which means that one is entirely in His mercy which then inculcates humility before Allah through the realisation of the Rububiyya of Allah the realisation of His Lordship.
Now, it is true to say that we will be tested during our time on earth because this is the arena of tests, it is the purpose of our creation, such that we realise who our Lord is, become subservient to Him, possess certainty of His power, and possess certainty of our complete and continuous need of Him at all times, morning, evening and night. Hence, it is for this reason that the realisation of truth, the realisation of Al-Haqq, necessitates that what we are tested with is always just beyond our ability to achieve by our own efforts. This generates failure which is the means by which we come to the realisation that in reality all power is with Allah. It is only then that we are truly humbled before Allah, where we break through the material realm and enter into the spiritual realm where we begin to witness the true reality of the majesty and generosity of Allah contained in His Name, Dhul Jalali Wal Ikram.
That is to say, that by being tested beyond our ability to accomplish something, or beyond our ability to withstand a test, we are brought to the doorstep of seeking from the guidance, power, mercy, and blessings of Allah, in the true realisation that irrespective of our abilities, knowledge and emaan, all success in all matters was a mercy from Allah. This the realisation of Al-Haqq, the degree to which we gain this realisation depends entirely on our desire to submit to Allah, our desire to speak the truth, and our desire to see reality as it truly is, just as the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) prayed:
| O Allah, show me the truth as the truth, and enable me to follow it. O Allah, show me show me falsehood as falsehood and enable me to stay away from it and do not let it confuse me, so that I become misguided (Allahumma aranee al-haqqu haqqan wa arzuqnee itibaahu, wa aranee al-baatilu baatilan wa arzuqnee ijtinaabahu)|
Hence, the tests that calibrate our heart with truth are failures achieved through tests and tribulations. In this case failure becomes something beautiful and beneficial because through it we are brought closer to reality as it truly is which is that all power is with Allah. This truth is exemplified by the words of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) when he said Allah had given the believers something that He had not given to any other people before, a treasure from beneath the Throne of Allah, contained in the words of Allah:
| La Hawla Wala Quwatta Illah Billah|
(There is no power or majesty except with Allah)