In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

On the path to Paradise - testing and temptations

The straight path to Paradise isn't a smooth one. In fact, God clearly describes it as the difficult path (90:10-17). Rearranging our priorities, and making our daily choices in a way that is conforming with God's laws constitute a tough challenge all the time. God also cites the examples for us in Quran to teach us that those who claim to be believers will certainly face a lot of obstacles and tests while trying to strive in His cause. Either through tests or Satanic temptations, the ups and downs of our belief is being tracked throughout this journey on earth. We are to face it all and the slope of our faith is sometimes upward or downward, positive or negative.

[3:142] Do you expect to enter Paradise without GOD distinguishing those among you who strive, and without distinguishing those who are steadfast?

[47:31] We will certainly put you to the test, in order to distinguish those among you who strive, and steadfastly persevere. We must expose your true qualities.

[29:3] We have tested those before them, for GOD must distinguish those who are truthful, and He must expose the liars.

[3:154] ......GOD thus puts you to the test to bring out your true convictions, and to test what is in your hearts. GOD is fully aware of the innermost thoughts.

[2:155] We will surely test you through some fear, hunger, and loss of money, lives, and crops. Give good news to the steadfast.

[9:16] Did you think that you will be left alone without GOD distinguishing those among you who strive, and never ally themselves with GOD's enemies, or the enemies of His messenger, or the enemies of the believers? GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.

[3:186] You will certainly be tested, through your money and your lives, and you will hear from those who received the scripture, and from the idol worshipers, a lot of insult. If you steadfastly persevere and lead a righteous life, this will prove the strength of your faith.

God doesn't test the disbelievers. The believers are the only candidates for this privilege.

[6:110] We control their minds and their hearts. Thus, since their decision is to disbelieve, we leave them in their transgressions, blundering.

[7:186] Whomever GOD commits to straying, there is no way for anyone to guide him. He leaves them in their sins, blundering.

Knowledgeable believers understand God's system and never question His wisdom. In fact they go through tests, dwelling on the positive side and rejoicing in the fact that the Almighty has chosen them to toughen their faith, strengthen their foothold and augment their guidance.

[4:66] Had we decreed for them: "You must offer your lives," or "Give up your homes," they would not have done it, except for a few of them. (Even if such a command was issued,) had they done what they were commanded to do, it would have been better for them, and would prove the strength of their faith.

[3:140] If you suffer hardship, the enemy also suffers the same hardship. We alternate the days of victory and defeat among the people. GOD thus distinguishes the true believers, and blesses some of you with martyrdom. GOD dislikes injustice.
[3:141] GOD thus toughens those who believe and humiliates the disbelievers.

[47:17] As for those who are guided, He augments their guidance, and grants them their righteousness.

The Satanic views are sometimes very tempting and deceiving. Satan doesn't give up on us. He changes his colors, uniquely, in different situations to appeal to us. He alters his language and logic thinking he could add "validity" to his whispers.

[7:16] He said, "Since You have willed that I go astray, I will skulk for them on Your straight path.
[7:17] "I will come to them from before them, and from behind them, and from their right, and from their left, and You will find that most of them are unappreciative."

When God, the Most Merciful, gives us a flawless (18:1) and easy to read road map to paradise (54:17), Satan has to shout that this map is impossible to follow and hard to understand. When God says it's fully detailed and good enough for our salvation (6:114, 6:51), Satan will desperately swear that it's incomplete and we must not ignore other teachings! When the proofs of the divine authorship of Quran are overwhelming (6:157), Satan tries hard to muddy them or even claim they are inadequate. The more we focus and learn about Quran, the more Satan gets furious and adorns other sources in our eyes trying to instil fear and doubt!

Another unchangeable law, however, is that Satan has absolutely no power over God's servants and that the door is always wide open for us to repent and ask for forgiveness. True and knowledgeable believers are able to recognize their mistakes (3:135), and they constantly repent and clean their records.

[16:99] He has no power over those who believe and trust in their Lord.
[16:100] His power is limited to those who choose him as their master, those who choose him as their god.

[11:52] "O my people, seek forgiveness from your Lord, then repent to Him. He will then shower you with provisions from the sky, and augment your strength. Do not turn back into transgressors."

[20:82] I am surely Forgiving for those who repent, believe, lead a righteous life, and steadfastly remain guided.

[25:70] Exempted are those who repent, believe, and lead a righteous life. God transforms their sins into credits. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

In conclusion, whether through God's testing or through the exposure to Satan and his allies, true and knowledgeable believers understand God's systems and they are fully aware that sometimes the ride gets rough and painful. Their utmost goal is to never slide back with the disbelievers (3:149) nor to get intimidated by the ones who have not attained certainty (30:60). They steadfastly persevere and strive to grow their souls while repenting for all of their transgressions. The only time they manage to march on the straight path with ease is when their souls are tougher and well nourished, and their records are progressively updated through their repentance to God. This is the only mean of paving and smoothing the straight path to Paradise.

[50:31] Paradise will be offered to the righteous, readily.
[50:32] This is what was promised to every repenter, steadfast.
[50:33] They reverenced the Most Gracious, in their privacy, and came wholeheartedly.

[94:1] Did we not cool your temper?
[94:2] And we unloaded your load (of sins).
[94:3] One that burdened your back.
[94:4] We exalted you to an honorable position.
[94:5] With pain there is gain.
[94:6] Indeed, with pain there is gain.

[13:22] They steadfastly persevere in seeking their Lord, observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), spend from our provisions to them secretly and publicly, and counter evil with good. These have deserved the best abode.
[13:23] They enter the gardens of Eden, together with the righteous among their parents, their spouses, and their children. The angels will enter in to them from every door.
[13:24] "Peace be upon you, because you steadfastly persevered. What a joyous destiny."

Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.