The Arabic word for trial/test often used in the Qur’an is fitna. What does it mean?
Fitna means to burn something, e.g. in Surah 85:10, “Those who burned the believing men and believing women…”
Fitna also means to put precious metals into the fire to separate the bad from the good, according to the great linguist Raghib Al-Asfahani.
Allah describes the difficulties in life as a fitna because they burn away our sins, just like the fire burns objects. But more importantly, the tests of life are not a mere punishment – though for some it could feel that way.
We are like gold: precious and valuable. But impurities hold us back from our true potential. Tests are a way to bring out the best in us, just like the fire purifies gold.
When a test comes in life, that is an opportunity to return back to Allah. He’s not punishing, He’s treating you like gold.
The translations for the Ayaat are taken primarily from M. A. S. ABDEL HALEEM’s translation with some changes and noted exceptions.
Those who persevere patiently will be given their reward in full without measure.
Key to Victory/Success in Dunya
When they [the children of Israel] became steadfast and believed firmly in Our messages, We raised leaders among them, guiding them according to Our command.
We made those who had been oppressed succeed to both the east and the west of the land that We had blessed. Your Lord’s good promise to the Children of Israel was fulfilled, because of their patience, and We destroyed what Pharaoh and his people were making and what they were building.
They grieve at any good that befalls you [believers] and rejoice at your misfortunes. But if you are steadfast and conscious of God, their scheming will not harm you in the least: God encircles everything they do.
Key Reason for the Jazaa and Rewards of Jannah
Surely whoever is pious and (endures) patiently, then surely Allah does not waste the reward of the fair-doers [Dr.Ghali]
Today I have rewarded them for their patience: it is they who will succeed.
These servants will be rewarded with the highest place in Paradise for their steadfastness.
They will be given their rewards twice over because they are steadfast, repel evil with good, and give to others out of what We have provided for them.
and we reward them, for their steadfastness, with a Garden and silken robes.
The Reason for Peace/Safety and Congratulations from the Malaaikah
Can someone who knows that the revelation from your Lord is the Truth be equal to someone who is blind? Only those with understanding will take it to heart; those who fulfill the agreements they make in God’s name and do not break their pledges; who join together what God commands to be joined; who are in awe of their Lord and fear the harshness of the Reckoning; who remain steadfast through their desire for the face of their Lord; who keep up the prayer; who give secretly and openly from what We have provided for them; who repel evil with good. These will have the reward of the [true] home: they will enter perpetual Gardens, along with their righteous ancestors, spouses, and descendants; the angels will go in to them from every gate, ‘Peace be with you, because you have remained steadfast. What an excellent reward is this home of yours!’
A Small Price to Pay
From Ibn Rajab (Fadl ‘Ilm al-Salaf ‘Alaa al-Khalaf):
It is necessary that the believer have patience for a short while such that through it he will attain everlasting bliss. If he despairs and becomes impatient, he is as ibn al-Mubaarak said,
“Whoever is patient,then how little is he patient for. And whoever is impatient,then how little does he enjoy himself.”
Al-Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee used to recite the following lines of poetry,
O my soul! It is nothing but a few days of patience; It’s duration is like muddled/jumbled dreams. O my soul! Pass through the world quickly; And leave it alone, for the (true) life is certainly ahead of me.
Allah’s Common Surah Ending Command
so be patient, for God’s promise is true: do not let those with no firm beliefs discourage you.
Be steadfast [Muhammad], like those messengers of firm resolve. Do not seek to hasten the punishment for the disbelievers: on the Day they see what they had been warned about, it will seem to them that they lingered no more than a single hour of a single day [in this life]. This is a warning. Shall any be destroyed except the defiant?
You who believe, be steadfast, more steadfast than others; be ready; always be mindful of God, so that you may prosper.
And if whatever trees upon the earth were pens and the sea [was ink], replenished thereafter by seven [more] seas, the words of Allah would not be exhausted. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.
Your creation and your resurrection will not be but as that of a single soul. Indeed, Allah is Hearing and Seeing.
Do you not see that Allah causes the night to enter the day and causes the day to enter the night and has subjected the sun and the moon, each running [its course] for a specified term, and that Allah, with whatever you do, is Acquainted?
There is some incredible things to learn from this set of ayaat. Watch the videos for more details: