A Trial For The Believer 2:214
Did you believe that you will get to become an inhabitant in the Garden of Paradise, endowed with trees, flowing rivers, and yielding fruits, while not yet having experienced any suffering and misfortune bearing any remarkable resemblance to the sacrifices of those who preceded you? The faithful believers before you were overtaken by tribulation, adversity, and affliction; namely, severe poverty, pain, sickness, and the lack of natural necessities. Their souls were resilient through reason, love, and the criteria of Allah. Therefore, you are to have patience during hardship like they were patient. The relentless and oppressive agony and the slow, undetermined arrival of help promised to them beforehand by Allah, elevated their distress and fear of increased injuries. Allah’s chosen spiritual delegate, along with those who believed with him, cried out to Allah for victory against their enemies saying, “When cometh the help of Allah?” Their supplication to Allah for victory was not a reflection of doubt that Allah’s answer would not come, but because they were shaken violently by mounting inconveniences, fatigue, and an earnest desire to receive help sooner than later. And as before, the fulfillment of Allah’s promise of relief comforted them with the words, “Surely indeed, the proximity of Allah’s help is always close at hand.” If Allah, The Most High, grants you an opening against the torment in this worldly life, then none can overcome you.
The Creator of the heavens, the earth, and all the systems of knowledge designed human life to observe and engage creation, through the sciences and religion, to construct, not destruct community life. Mankind strayed from these commands systemically creating dichotomies between coalition groups such as government and the people; capital and labor; people of color versus the white race; religion and science; and internal conflict between the spiritual self and the intellectual self. These rigid, opposing constructs, internally and externally, pose a threat to the cohesiveness and harmony among men, creating space for jealousy, greed, arrogance, and competition to enslave man for market. There is a need for a neutral judge to direct all affairs.
Factors supporting man’s forward movement are the adoption of the unifying principles of all of G-d’s Prophets: to present G-d as one, sharing no partners; be carriers of good news and warnings; bring the criteria for right and wrong; accept the co-existence of science and religion; be sincere; decline from worship of false gods; engage with creation as a devout servant; and sacrifice with patience and perseverance.
Today in American society and the global communities, lives have been shaken and disrupted by confrontation of a deadly pandemic that has claimed and is still claiming the lives of millions all over the world. The rapid spread of this deadly disease has disturbed the balance, hope, and security of the environment, and the minds of the scientist and the common man.
In addition to the plague of the pandemic, the recent recurrence of horrific police brutality and public homicide displayed in the media on African American males surged again to the forefront of the world stage. The mounting illness, poverty, pressing needs, and fatalities from the unseen infectious virus; and the visible, unsavory, fatal injuries executed publicly by police created unprecedented uproar by global citizens in all walks of life.
The painful outcries and pleas to G-d for mercy against the known enemy of systemic racism was wrapped up in the repeated slogans and chants by the protestors as they rallied in the streets of America and abroad. One’s level of faith or spirituality sparks a variety of reactions from the protestors.
Being motivated externally by, and evolving from an oppressive world environment that isn’t in harmony with the upright nature of the heart, causes many to attempt to escape accountability for their actions by blaming others for their misfortunes. Having no aspiration to free your spirit and be an independent thinker, is comparable to one who wants crops without plowing the ground. Some of the protestors appeared to be of this mindset and felt justified in expressing their anger by looting and destroying others’ property as their contribution to change. They are the ones who believe that they should gain entrance into G-d’s garden of paradise endowed with trees, flowing rivers, and edible fruits without experiencing the sacrifices like those that passed on before them. Without struggle, there is no progress.
Then, there are those who practice the unifying principles commanded by G-d and plan strategically for change, even in the midst of mounting hardship and inconvenience. Their goal is to effect change through peaceful dialogue and by revealing the need for change in the behavior of the oppressed and the oppressors. Lasting change comes from change in our hearts as we take the focus off ourselves and onto the needs and concerns of others, as well as our own. Accountability for all groups and the necessary internal work within the African American population must be communicated.
The sincere and G-d-conscious believers are those who incline their hearts away from false worship and towards the right path. They are those who seek guidance from the Creator and His revealed scripture directing their pleas to the Creator for relief from all hardship. They do not doubt that G-d’s aid will reach them, and their outcry is out of a sense of urgency to receive victory against the enemies sooner. Allah is ever present, and He is with everything He created. If He grants you an opening against the disbelievers, the enemies cannot overcome you. The G-d conscious will endure many trials throughout life such as being afflicted by calamity, suffering oppression, or even ingratitude in the face of prosperity. He must remain patient with the command and decree of Allah so as to avoid injustice, selfishness, and various evil deeds that might come about during a trial.