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How to Discern Whether or Not You Are Under a Trial from ALLAH or Chastisement

I have found, in my own self-study and examination, that discernment between these two (‘trial’ and ‘chastisement’) can be very challenging in understanding what each one of us may be going through in our personal lives.

In a recent conversation with one of my brothers, I was reminded of some words from our father, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, dating back to the 1930s where he actually deals and answers this most important question on whether or not at a given moment we are experiencing a trial in life by ALLAH’s permission, or a chastisement as a result of immoral wrongdoing. The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that “you know that you are under chastisement when whatever it is that you have done wrong comes up very clear in your mind”. This reminds me of the look on the faces of children when they know they have done something wrong and punishment from their parents is coming through the door as a response. Children know what they’ve done, whether they admit it or not, and so do adults. Different from children, there may not be a parent coming through your room door to chastise you for your wrongdoing although as adults, it could be the police or some law officer responding to a claim against you. In any case, we know what we’ve done wrong or immoral and it’s the first thing that comes to your mind when chastisement befalls you.

When we are going through a trial in life, often we do not know why. Nothing immediately comes to mind as to why we are going through difficulties. Challenging circumstances or challenging individuals in our lives. According to what my brother shared with me recently, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad said: “When you cannot discern why you’re going through a trial, it is Allah that is trying you.” Trials grow us up into the maturity, spiritually and intellectually, that make us more favorable conduits of ALLAH’s Will and Way. In the Bible it reads that “love means long suffering”. I often wondered what this really meant because often, people share that they have suffered long but long suffering alone does not always equate to love. However, if you have ever loved somebody or something, I’m sure you can relate to the suffering that’s a very intimate part of that loving experience. So, to think of trials in life as suffering, if you believe in ALLAH (God), then we understand that these trials are necessary to mature the human spirit and mind whereby proof (evidence) of God becomes established. Please review a lecture given by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan entitled “Hard Trials are Necessary to Establish Truth”. 😇

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