So I’ve received this question, which goes something like: According to Islam, life is a test, but isn’t it fair that someone takes a test that they’re not willing to take, and then gets punished for it?! Don’t get me wrong, but I loved the question! I love it because first of all, it’s a smart one, I have to admit. But also because it’s a legitimate question, well, everyone has a right to ask and many of us do. And lastly, because it opens many doors for a wide range of answers.
I hate to do it, but some type of questions can “only” be tackled by replying with a similar question. In our case, what exactly is Islam asking us to do, and hence, by refusing to, we’d fail the test and get punished for it? Pause for a few seconds, and think about it! Let me just list a few: Justice, tolerance, compassion, honesty, giving charity? Ain’t this what Islam is asking “everyone” to do? Among many other virtual morals? Ain’t this the “main” message prophet Muhammed SAW came with?
And he SAW made it perfectly clear when he said “I was only sent to perfect moral character” [Ahmad]. So make no mistake about it, the only test you’re supposed to take is that of moral character. Fail this one, and you’d fail everything else! Aren’t you asked to admit that you did “not” create yourself, and that you cannot prevent yourself from dying? Tell me how are you supposed to admit that without initially having a good moral character?! How are you supposed to submit to Him in the first place?
What Islam is asking us all to do, is basically to be “Human”, to live as “Humans” and to treat others “Humanly”. Now the question becomes, if you reject to take such a no-brainer test, why do you expect Him to care? I personally wouldn’t, nor would anyone else! Hence, when the time comes, all the ones who had decided to skip the test and live by their own opposite rules, will have to pay a price for it, for nothing comes free of charge; not in this world, and definitely not in the Hereafter!
Lastly, let me make it even harder and remind the questioner that when we wake up each morning, there’s a different kind of test that we all take; that is, we go find something to eat/drink, or else we die. Go reject this test first, and then let’s talk about the big one!
Being given the option of whether to take life’s test or not is a mercy from Allah, and definitely not something that you would take as an excuse to make it seem like you’re a victim here; because you’re not! And Allah knows best!