Man’s Trial

Man is being tested in this world to see what response he offers in certain given situations. It is man and man alone who is being tested in this way. An inanimate object, such as a stone or a piece of wood, would not find itself re¬quired to give responses to varying sets of circumstances. Man, on the other hand, is an aware, sensate being, who is stirred by the situations he faces in life, and who reacts to them mentally and physically, in word and in deed. God has given man freedom of thought and action in this world, and herein lies man's real test, for God has given man this freedom to see how he uses it.

Man's response to the situations he faces in life can take one of two forms: the infernal or the heavenly. An in¬fernal response is one which is categorically opposed to the will of God, while a heavenly response is one which humbly conforms to His will. Those who make the former response are Satanic in character and fit only for Hell. The latter evince divine characteristics and will be admitted to the Garden of Bliss.

How do we define 'Satanic' characteristics? They are those personality traits which cause an individual to em¬bark on a retaliatory course, quite unmindful of the conse¬quences, whenever he is confronted with circumstances which are not to his liking. Whether it be pain, sorrow or mere embarrassment which is inflicted upon him, he feels he must hit back, returning hate for hate, anger for anger. Divine characteristics, on the other hand, being deep ¬rooted in the fear of God, cause a man to rise above fleeting emotions and prevent him from 'being swayed by passionate love or hate in his dealings. To acquire these divine charac¬teristics, we need only put into practice the commandments the Prophet was given by his Maker: "To join up with those who severe ties with me; to give to those who deprive me; to forgive those who wrong me."

In this world there is no escaping adverse sets of cir¬cumstances in which unpleasantness occurs over and over again, thus arousing strong antipathies. But believers are exhorted, by divine commandments, to rise above the treat¬ment meted out to them and to confront negative treat¬ment with positive behaviour. This means suppressing angry and vengeful feelings, and permitting absolutely no outburst of bitterness and loathing. All of these emotions have to be thoroughly stifled, and, in spite of having ex¬perienced them, the true believer must deal with others in the purest spirit of goodwill.

The Garden of Paradise is an exquisite and un¬blemished haven, which God has specifically created for the truly, righteous among His servants. A glimpse – of this world is to be had from the words of the Prophet:

Every situation which confronts a man in this world in¬vites one of two kinds of responses. It is on the basis of this response that one will be pronounced fit for Heaven or for Hell.

A true word is spoken. One acknowledges it, another denies it. An issue arises, eliciting justice and mercy on the one hand, and cruelty and oppression on the other. Adverse circumstances came into being, arousing feelings of humi¬lity in one and contumacy in another. Attitudes of good will and regard for others are faced off by the urge to hate and avenge. These opposing reactions are what determine our fate in the Hereafter. We should never lose sight of the fact that it is by them that we stand, or fall.