Khalid Zaheer
“I am convinced about the veracity of my opinions, but I do consider it likely that they may turn out to be incorrect. Likewise, I am convinced about the incorrectness of the views different from mine, but I do concede the possibility that they may turn out to be correct.” — Imam Shafa’i
MORE Q/A

Why Did God Put Man in the Difficult Test of Life ?

Question:
I never felt myself capable enough to go through the examination that Almighty Allah has designed for us. I always wished that I was not a candidate in this test. I would have preferred to be a stone, a rock, or a leaf of a tree rather than be a man undergoing an imposed test.

If given the option, I want to withdraw from this test. The paradise has no attraction for me when there is the slight chance for me to go to the Hell. I have no greed for the paradise but I have a lot of fear for the hell fire. For that reason I am not interested in this test.

I don't know whether I was asked or given the option to take this test by Allah Almighty or it was just forcibly imposed on me without my wish. Some people say that I have opted for it at the time of the "COVENANT OF ALAST" mentioned in Surah Al Aaraaf (7) Verse 172, but believe me I don't remember it. I am so ignorant that I do not even remember myself when I was in my mother's womb; how then can I remember my time in the world of spirits which preceded my stay in my mother's womb?.

1. Can I quit this test?
2. Did I (or my spirit over which I have no control) opt to take this test in greed of the paradise?
3. Was this test imposed on me by my creator who is the most powerful without my consent?

To me it seems on reading the Qur'an (38:69) that some elevated creatures in the heavens had dispute over something as a result of which I was subjected to this tough test. After all, how did man's creation for the test of this life help God?

Response:
Salam

There is no need for you to quit this test. The test has been designed to make you succeed. I don't remember having agreed to the conditions of this test either before coming to this world. So don't worry; you are not alone in that category. However, unlike you, I find this test and the consequent prospects of entering an even better life extremely thrilling.
I think about the matter of life and its purpose the same way as I think about the other issues of life that I view through common sense. I never asked my son whether he wanted to join the school where he could fail in his exams and face the possible insult of being teased by his friends. Thanks God, he didn't say no to the idea of going to school despite that fear and quit the test although I had not consulted him before I decided to send him. I did so because I was confident that it was good for him; I didn't seek his permission because he was too young and I knew that his decision could be wrong and could go against his own interests.
The question as to why God created us can be seen from two angles: What need of God's got satisfied when He created man? What plans did God have for man? While it never bothers me as to how it helped God when He created me, the question of God's plan for me always interests me. The first question is completely irrelevant while the second one is extremely important. God has no needs therefore creating man couldn't have satisfied any of His needs.

God wanted man to enter a beautiful place called paradise. He wanted him to live in it for ever. In order for that life to be genuinely worthwhile, He decided it to be given as a reward to us for successfully going through a trial of another life: the worldly life.

Man was given the worldly life in a way that he loved it. He never wants to leave it. Through showing unquestionable love for the worldly life, he confirmed that the eternal life of paradise is what he desperately wanted.

The trial of this life is not difficult. It's not like dropping someone in an ocean and expecting him not to get wet. On the contrary, it is a trial where you are expected to stay away from evil, as much as is possible for you. It's only those who will continue to insist on doing evil without showing any regrets that will enter the hell. God says: "We shall not make anyone accountable for anything beyond His potential." Only those will enter the hell who will be bent upon entering it. The rest will all go to the paradise.

Did God need to seek man's permission for it?

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