Don’t think of the trials in your life (‘balaa’) as just a ‘test’ in the human form. Allah is not like a professor who hands you a test, moves away and just watches from afar to see how you’ll do. Allah is our murabee–the One who raises us with more mercy than a mother raises a child. The Prophet (pbuh) tells us that when Allah wills good for someone, he sends them ‘balaa’ (trials or tests). When Allah wills good for us, He purifies us. That is why each person is tested in what they love most. In other words our greatest possible ‘competitor’ in our love for God is what is withheld or must be sacrificed. This is the purification process because it cures the heart of competitors. Why was Prophet Ibrahim (AS) asked to slaughter the most beloved thing to him? Did Allah actually want him to *kill* his son? No. He didn’t kill his son. He killed the attachment. By being willing to sacrifice what he loved most, he had slaughtered any possible competing love. Allah was raising him, purifying him and elevating him. Allah tell us, “By no means shall you attain righteousness unless you give (freely) of that which you love.” (3:92)

Yasmin Mogahed.

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