Does the Quran mention Tests?
The Quran is clear about tests. Anyone who claims to be a submitter will be tested (29:2-3; 2:124, 143, 155; 3:154; 5:48, 5:94; 6:42, 165; 18:7; 20:131; 37:106; 47:31; 3:186; 33:11).
[3:154]…GOD thus puts you to the test to bring out your true convictions, and to test what is in your hearts. GOD is fully aware of the innermost thoughts.
[5:48] …But He thus puts you to the test through the revelations He has given each of you. You shall compete in righteousness.
[47:31] We will certainly put you to the test, in order to distinguish those among you who strive, and steadfastly persevere. We must expose your true qualities.
Is ‘admission test’ mentioned in the Quran?
‘Admission test’ is not mentioned in the Quran. However, the Quran gives two examples of an admittance test (You are admitted – you are in). One is to test an orphan in 4:6 and the other believing woman seeking asylum during war.
Even though not mentioned in the Quran, what is the concept of ‘admission test’, if any?
The Christian concept of being ‘born again’ has a Quranic basis. At some point a human being after studying the point of view of God and the point of view of Satan will have to make a decision if he/she accepts God’s point of view.
This takes place when an individual makes a commitment (2:112, 131; 31:22, 40:13) to uphold God’s point of view, to worship God alone, uphold the scripture and dedicate the religious practices to God alone. The individual has made a commitment to be a submitter to God alone.
The (new) submitter will then have tests in which he/she will have to make a decision either to abide by God’s laws in the Quran or not, under all circumstances.
All the submitters who have made this commitment and who subsequently live up to their commitment (15:99) experience these words from verse 2:118 which form an incredible blessing from God, “We do manifest the miracles for those who have attained certainty.” Submitters experience miracles in their life, some associated with the number 19, designed by God exclusively for that submitter. These miracles also provide the clear recognition of presence of God and a great subsequent blessing of being stripped of worry in this life.
Do the tests ever cease?
If a submitter keeps up the worship of God alone with religious practices dedicated to God alone, the tests do not cease. In our lives (8:28; 64:15), as we go through the challenges of our daily life the tests continue. There are numerous verses in the Quran with the words test or tested and no verse which indicates that the tests will stop.
If an individual gets away from the worship of God alone, the tests will cease. That individual will join the vast majority of humans who either don’t believe in God or believe in God associated with idols (12:103, 12:106). These individuals at that point would have stepped out of God’s Protection (4:132) and will become oblivious of God. The truth of 2:118, “miracles for those who have attained certainty” becomes alien to them. If they are tested or a retribution befalls them they will not recognize it as such.
Do the miracles cease?
The miracles (2:118) too will cease for those who have stepped out of God’s Protection per the example above.
Does the Quran state that submitters may be ill or sick?
The Quran does point out that a submitter may be ill (2:184, 2:185, 2:196, 4:43, 5:6, 9;91, 73:20), weak (4:98, 9:91), sick (26:80, 48:17), poor (2:236, 9:79, 24:32, 53:48, 65:7), blind (24:61, 80:2) or crippled/handicapped (24:61, 48:17). In 2:180 we are commanded to write a will when “death approaches.”
Do the above verses not expose the fallacious belief of some that if a person dies of any illness (headache or cancer or anything in between), he/she failed the ‘admission test’ and thus destined for the worst in the Hereafter?
Yes, absolutely! It is unfortunate that some take the messenger’s words of conceptual explanations as a source of law in defiance of God and His Messenger (6:114-115). The messenger’s words or phrases of ‘God’s Kingdom’, ‘Satan’s Kingdom’, ‘Perfect Health’ or ‘Perfect Wealth’ are all conceptual and are not the phrases of the Quran.
Can we state that the disagreement about ‘admission tests’ boils down to death or cause of death?
Yes. It is a very unfortunate conclusion by some which has no Quranic basis or foundation. Their conclusion essentially states that if a person dies with any illness (headache or cancer or anything in between), that person has failed ‘admission test’ and is thus in Satan’s domain.
Does this conclusion by them not cause a serious problem when we add to God’s Criteria of Judgment in the Hereafter?
Absolutely! Dr. Rashad Khalifa picked verses 2:62 and 5:69 for the inside cover of his authorized translation of the Quran. Those verses specifically mention “anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord.” God defines righteousness in 2:177. We can also conclude that a person who is knowledgeable or aware of the Quran has to abide by all the verses of the Quran. No verse of the Quran makes any suggestion that the cause of death would be one of the criterion for judgment for Heaven or Hell in the Hereafter.
So why do submitters who claim to worship God alone add cause of death to God’s criteria of judgment in the Hereafter?
They refer to verses 4:78-79 and 42:30 to make the point that anything bad which happens to anyone is a consequence of that person’s deeds. And they are absolutely correct as those verses clearly state, “anything bad that happens to you is a consequence of your own deeds.”
However, the verses have nothing to do with the process of death, when the temporary garment (the body) is shed and the soul moves to Heaven (for the righteous). The process of death and the shedding of the temporary garment could be minutes (headache), days, weeks, months or years. God provided the example of Dr. Rashad Khalifa’s niece who passed away with cancer under the age of 40. She attended two conferences while she had terminal cancer.
If according to them, if a person dies with any illness (headache or cancer or anything in between), how is the righteous submitter supposed to die other than honorable exit of the messenger of the covenant?
There is no answer so far from them, whether based on the Quran or not.
Does the Quran have any examples of death of righteous believers other than the honorable exit of Jesus or Rashad Khalifa?
The Quran gives the examples of Jacob on his death bed. Obviously he and others knew he was dying and about to shed his temporary garment, the body. Jacob also advised his children, “do not die except as submitters.” Jacob did not say “do not die because of headache or any illness.”
This leads to an obvious question – what is their source for making up rules and regulation which have no basis in the Quran?
It is their misunderstanding of some footnotes, audio and video tapes left by Dr. Rashad Khalifa. To them the (misunderstood) words of Dr. Rashad Khalifa are more important than the words of God in the Quran. The fact that God’s words are complete in the Quran and the only source of law (6:114-115) is unacceptable to them.
Is there a history of basing up rules and laws on audio and video tapes?
Unfortunately, yes. There may be others, but the two I personally know off, other than the issue above; are the audible intention to pray of a person leading the group prayers and the placement and sitting on chairs during the Khutba of Friday prayers. Both of these innovations originated because of misunderstanding the audio/video tapes and the words of Dr. Rashad Khalifa.
Is this not a blessing that God made display of the attempted innovations so public and clear; and we could learn from it?
Absolutely! God also provided the examples of the process of death for Dr. Khalifa’s niece and recent passing away of Abdullah Arik. The blessings are for those whose religion is based on God’s words in the Quran.
What about numerous verses such as 10:62-64; 22:15; 41:30-31; 16:30,97; 20:130; 39:17; 90:18; 91;7 in the Quran about happiness.
Essentially the verses point to the fact that “happiness is an exclusive quality of the soul” as pointed out by the messenger in the Introduction and Appendix 15.
What is the solution?
In the end the solution lies in God’s scripture – the words of the Quran. The solution is for any individual who makes a decision to accept God’s assertion that all wisdom and all religious laws are within the words of the Quran. The solution lies in the DECISION to worship God alone and thus uphold God’s words in the Quran.
What would the messenger have said of the above solution?
The messenger provided the same solution as a principle to follow. Dr. Rashad Khalifa, God’s messenger of the Covenant, who had utterances of an honorable messenger, who explained (5:19) things to us, who provided sacred instructions (98:2), who was a guiding teacher (18:17), who recited what was revealed to him and the one who does not speak on his own (21:27); said the following:
- Principle is – if not in the Quran we do not follow it.” – Video 1989 conference speech.
- “We do not follow Rashad Khalifa, we follow the Quran alone and if I say anything that cannot be verified from Quran do not follow it” – Video – Great Debate
- God thus teaches us that even contemporary Sahaabah can misunderstand God’s messenger. We must uphold ONLY the Quran. – SP July 1989
- “As stated in 3:81 and 46:9, God’s Messenger of the Covenant does not bring anything new; everything I receive and pass on to you is already in the Quran.” – Rashad Khalifa, Feb 1990 SP.
- “The moment they seek guidance from ANYTHING BESIDES the Quran, no matter how ‘right’ it seems, they fall into Satan’s trap (see 63:1). For they have rejected God’s word and set up ANOTHER god besides God (18:57).” – Appendix 19, Dr. Rashad Khalifa