The life of this world is a test specially created by Allah. It is a transitory thing with both good and bad in which human beings are tested. There is, of course, considerable wisdom in this. It is essential that evil exist beside good for people to understand the value of Paradise. Human beings are tested in terms of the virtuous behavior they display, by Allah’s leave, in this sphere in which the good are divided from the evil.
The life of this world is a sphere in which there is a constant struggle between the good and the bad. However, good and bad are not separated from one another by just a few characteristics. They possess totally different, comprehensive and detailed character traits. The bad act entirely according to satan’s directions, while the good follow their consciences. The bad know no bounds inspired by fear of Allah, and are capable of doing anything at any time. When the situation and prevailing conditions require they are quite capable of lying, slandering others, engaging in unlawful acts, disloyalty, treachery, putting their own interests before those of others, hatred, envy, imbalance and intrigue. Since they have no fear of Allah they are potentially capable of all kinds of betrayal and wickedness. There is nothing to stop them killing, for example, when they become sufficiently imbalanced. The more evil they commit, the more they come under satan’s control, and the more evil deeds they are capable of committing.
People under satan’s control busy themselves with wrongdoing, making life difficult for others, and spreading darkness, fear and misery, instead of enjoying life’s blessings. They look at the life of this world from a different perspective. Although they know their lives will be very brief, they still elect to waste this short time span on feelings of greed and enmity, thinking of their own interests. And their targets are people of good character.
Good people are those who act from a fear of Allah. The delights created in this world are all blessings in the eyes of such people. Fear of Allah leads them to behave well and properly throughout their lives, to be loyal and honest, never to do anything unlawful, never to infringe anyone else’s rights, to put others above themselves, to be friends and brothers to others, to be trustworthy, to harbor no ulterior motives and never to plot and conspire. Such people are highly virtuous at every moment in their lives. They are never imbalanced, exhibit unexpected character traits or lose control of themselves. Because of their fear of Allah, the good always behave in a manner compatible with the Qur’an. This is one of the main distinguishing features between the good and the bad. It is also the cause of the evil’s eternal hostility to the good: Since the evil have declared war on all that Allah sees as good, they also hate those who love Him.
Since the life of this world is a test in which the good are distinguished from the bad, whenever there is chaos and evil in it, one faces the need to live in a manner compatible with the Qur’an. Only when people live for Allah’s approval, and thus according to the Qur’an, will this world be a flawless place of friendship, brotherhood, honesty, love and compassion. The fact that this world was created as described in the Qur’an is also evidence of the existence of the Hereafter. People are tested according to whether or not they will abide by the Qur’an. In one verse Almighty Allah reveals:
He Who created death and life to test which of you is best in action. He is the Almighty, the Ever-Forgiving. (Surat al-Mulk, 2)
Perfection endures for all time in the eternal Paradise created by Allah. Our Almighty Lord will bestow His artistry of perfection, together with the most delightful blessings, on true believers in the Hereafter. Paradise is a sphere where there is no evil, imperfection, sorrow or fear, in which delights are bestowed for all eternity. It manifests the sublime artistry of Allah, He Who has the power to create flawlessness and the finest blessings. As our Almighty Lord reveals in other verses:
Those brought near will witness it. The truly good will be in perfect Bliss on couches gazing in wonder. (Surat al-Mutaffifin, 21-23)