By Sikandar Azam
Man tries to live in ease and comfort, always. But this is not possible in this ephemeral life on earth. It does not happen that a person lives in prosperity and faces no trials and tribulations. Like it or not, the Lord Creator has designed human life so as to make us taste the earthly life, which is both sweet and sour. And, in both the conditions, of prosperity and of hardship, we are under Divine surveillance.
The Lord wants to test us whether we remain obedient to Him, keep on following His commandments, do only what He loves us to do and keep from what He prohibits us from and try in every walk of life to earn His pleasure; or contrary to it, forget His bounties and blessings, go astray and start associating partners with our Lord and thus earn His wrath. In the former case, our life becomes successful both here in this life and in the hereafter. While, in the latter case, our life will be a complete failure just due to our misdoings.
Generally, people live in vacillating conditions. When they are subjected to hardship, they turn to the Lord and seek His help. But, when the Lord, out of His munificence, removes their hardship, they turn back to their previous condition, and start associating partners with the Lord. The Qur’ān (30:33) draws a picture of this vacillating condition of people: “When harm touches people they call out to their Lord for help, turning to Him in repentance. But when He gives them a taste of His grace, some of them associate partners with their Lord.” This human behaviour is nothing less than showing ingratitude to the Lord for what He has blessed us with.
As the Qur’ān is the Book of Guidance sent by the Lord Creator and Sustainer Himself, it does not stop only at drawing a picture of man’s turning ingratitude; it does warn such disobedient people against their ingratitude to the Lord: “Enjoy, then, your life (as you may); before long you will come to know (the truth).” (30:34)
The Qur’ān says that God gives some people in abundance while some others in scant measure; and this depends on His Will, Knowledge and Wisdom: “Are they not aware that God gives in abundance, or in scant measure, to whom He wills?” Those who believe realise that the bounties and blessings of God given to them are in abundance or in scant measure, they have to remain thankful to the Lord and keep on praising and thanking Him for whatsoever He has given to them. This is so because they know that these bounties and blessings are “Clear Signs” of God. “In this there are clear signs indeed for people who believe.” (30:37) So, our success lies in realising the Signs of God and standing thankful to Him for what He has given.