ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ ٱلۡمَوۡتَ وَٱلۡحَيَوٰةَ لِيَبۡلُوَكُمۡ أَيُّكُمۡ أَحۡسَنُ عَمَلاً۬ۚ
وَهُوَ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡغَفُورُ
(Allah, is he) Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed.
And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving
Surah Al Mulk 67:2
In the life before this, in alam az-zhar / arwah, we made a covenant with Allah to proof our devotion and love to Him.
We knew we were created to live on earth and were taught the laws of the universe. We submitted to be the other creation besides the Jinnis to be tested. We knew the rewards or punishment to come, following our term on earth.
All created beings were created for specific duties. The Angels were created for a specific reason, and was not equipped with choice. There is no heaven or hell for them.
The mountains, trees, animals were created with a specific purpose, also submitting for a life without choice. There is no heaven and hell for them.
What’s the difference? Allah awarded us with something extra. Choice.
And for that reason, Allah equipped us with an the human mind & it’s Intellectual capacity… العقل… . The ability to create, choose good from bad, and doing what is best – is the ultimate test of life.
It is through the mind and the intellect that the human and jinnis learn intent and make choices. It is this that differentiates the human and jinnis from the basic natural tendencies of the animals (which is the nafsul ammarah).
What will you be tested on?
وَلَنَبۡلُوَنَّكُم بِشَىۡءٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡخَوۡفِ وَٱلۡجُوعِ وَنَقۡصٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡأَمۡوَٲلِ وَٱلۡأَنفُسِ وَٱلثَّمَرَٲتِۗ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ
And surely We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and crops (possibly sweet successes & prospects); but give glad tidings to the steadfast. Surah Al Baqarah 155
Life is NOT the pursuit of Happiness.
The believer is the person who makes a decision to subscribe – i.e sign up – to be a doer of good – the maintainer of harmony – preserver of balance.
It is a job, or a volunteer position – where prospects are un-grandly, very much limited and mostly unseen – yet you feel good doing it.
Like any good worker (a.k.a servant), the believer believes in the reward that will ultimately come, from the organisation (or his Master / Creator) that he has committed himself to. He does his duties and carries out his responsibility, despite the daily struggles and challenges.
Our Master, Allah azza wa jalla, rewards us for our intent and efforts. The result of the effort, is a bonus and secondary.
Rasulullah ﷺ said:
“How amazing is the case of the believer. There is good for him in everything, and this characteristic is exclusively for him alone. If he experiences something pleasant, he is thankful, and that is good for him; And if he comes across some adversity, he is patient, and that is good for him.”