How does God call Himself the All-merciful while He puts his servants in hardship?
“I have these questions.
It is said that God is the All-beneficent and the All-merciful, but in fact, He is not.
God has brought hardship for human beings from the beginning of His creation.
It is said, they are all tests. What should we do for not being tested?
If tests are good, why He is not being tested Himself?
We humans have the power of thought, and this has separated us from other creatures. Why should we realize that one day we will die? Why should we realize that we are very mortal?
Isn’t it really cruel?
I need the answers of these question in the real sense not just some storytelling and making up words.”
To be honest, it is a bit scary for me to see that you are looking at others behind the glasses of “storytelling and making up words”. The fear is for the fact that you may not be patient enough to hear the answer!
Anyway, you asked some valuable questions that many great people and poets wanted to know about. As Rumi said:
All day I think and all night I say
Why am I not aware of myself?
Where have I come from, and why
Where am I going at last? You do not show me my home
- Firstly, you said God has always brought hardship for humans.
Let’s look at this issue in a more precise way. Have you not had any happy moments and memories? Have you not laughed out of happiness? Have you not had any delicious food? Having these pessimistic glasses on your eyes is either for ignorance in your life or for the fact that you expect all your life to be so easy.
My friend! Life is just like normal roads. It has uphill and downhill. It has turns and they are what make the life more exciting and keeps it away from being tedious and dull. It is just like a roller coaster in an amusement park. It depends on the way you look at things. A person who becomes a gym member or the one who goes mountain climbing or off road driving is in fact leaves comfort behind and looks at these hardships as fun.
- You said again that these are tests.
Well, of course hardships are sometimes tests, sometimes life’s force, and sometimes the reactions of deeds of us or the others. For example:
A school kid that keeps himself busy watching soccer matches while he has an exam the next day and finally gets a bad mark in his exam cannot accuse others for favoritism, treachery, and playing smart. He should firstly know that some things are the result of his actions.
If people of a country had a president like Trump, they should firstly think that the presidents are not being imported from China. This is the person that you (the people) have chosen.
If you are not pleased with your society (that is probably the reason of your pessimism) that is because of your people’s behavior and culture and you are one of them.
Of course, tests are there, too. For example, Corona Virus and floods are good tests to find out whether I am kind with my own people or not. Do I volunteer to help or I go to malls and markets to empty the shelves and fill my fridge and I do not care if others may not have these things? Do not be surprised my friend! This has already happened in some countries.
Tests are there. Because to be successful in any field there are some hardships that you have to accept. No one goes to a higher grade without examinations. No one wins the first place in a sports competition or becomes champion without hard work. With laziness and indolence (like sitting on the sofa and watching a soccer match) no one will become a soccer player or a champion.
- The fact that we are being tested is an inevitable law. Everyone is tested in life. We Muslims believe in the Quran that says: “Do people suppose that they will be left off because they say. “we have faith”, and they will not be tested?” Every one in every situation (at least for getting to know himself) should be tested. Assume some one is told to enter hell. If he has not been tested then he asks, why? Why the other person is entering paradise without any trouble and hard work? If I were in his shoes, then I should have entered paradise. Why should I go to hell? What have I done?
- Overall, tests are for knowing and growing. But an absolute existence (God) has neither any need to prove Himself to a higher position nor any growth is imaginable for Him. Therefore, that is the answer for the question you asked about why He Himself is not tested.
5-Tests are in fact favors that God does for his servants. We should know what we achieve in return for hardships. More growth, being punished for our mistakes, knowing ourselves better, or even the reward of the Hereafter that is not comparable with any treasure in this world, are the results of tests and our reactions towards them.
6-My friend, you said we humans have the power of thought. It is right. And then you interpreted death as annihilation. Well…
If we assume that death is annihilation, then there is no problem at all. We live for some decades, give or take and then we are relieved. Finally, it will be over.
But, firstly, this world is the place for change and transformation. Transformation of mass to energy. Transformation of one form to another. Transformation the soil chemicals to plants, transformation of plants to meat in a sheep’s body, and transformation of sheep to meat in human body.
Birth and death is the same thing. If a fetus could speak and we could asked him: Do you believe that out of this dark and tight belly of your mother and away from such disgusting food, there is a bigger and prettier world with facilities you cannot think of and a mother that loves you? What do you think is the fetus’s answer?
Being in mother’s belly and being in hardship is a context for growing and getting to higher levels and reaching the moment of birth. The birth is in fact dying from mother’s belly and being born in a new world.
My dear friend! It is recommended to develop your knowledge from real Islam teachings (not the fake version). That is because I believe solving many intellectual problems of human beings (which causes social and behavioral problems) lies in compliance with the commands of the All-merciful God.