In The Name of Allaah The Most Merciful The Bestower of Mercy
Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baz (rahimahullaah) stated:
Indeed, from the Perfect Wisdoms of Allaah (The Mighty and Majestic) and His All-Encompassing knowledge of Everything is that He puts His slaves to the test with good and adversity, hardship and ease, blessings and misfortune, in order to examine their patience and thankfulness.
Therefore, whoever exercises patience during times of affliction, thankful during times of ease, submissive to Allaah (Glorified be He) when calamities occur, expresses dissatisfaction about himself to Allaah, due to his sins and shortcomings, and seeks Allaah’s Mercy and Forgiveness, then indeed he (or she) will succeed with all success and with a praiseworthy end.
Allaah (The Most High) said:
أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوا أَن يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ
وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ۖ فَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ الْكَاذِبِينَ
Alif Lâm Mîm. Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allâh will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allâh knows all that before putting them to test). 29:1-3
The intent behind (the word) Fitnah in this ayah is Trial and Test, so that the truthful one, the patient one and the thankful one is distinguished from the liar, as Allaah (The Most High) said:
وَجَعَلْنَا بَعْضَكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ فِتْنَةً أَتَصْبِرُونَ ۗ وَكَانَ رَبُّكَ بَصِيرًا
And We have made some of you as a trial for others: will you have patience? And your Lord is Ever All-Seer (of everything). 25:20
And He (The Most High) said:
وَنَبْلُوكُم بِالشَّرِّ وَالْخَيْرِ فِتْنَةً ۖ وَإِلَيْنَا تُرْجَعُونَ
And We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good, and to Us you will be returned.21:35
And Allaah (Glorified be He) said:
وَبَلَوْنَاهُمْ بِالْحَسَنَاتِ وَالسَّيِّئَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ
And We tried them with good (blessings) and evil (calamities) in order that they might turn (to Allâh’s Obedience). 7:165
Al-Hasanaat in this ayah are the blessings of abundant provision, ease, good health, honour, victory and support against the enemy etc. And As-Sayyi’aat in this ayah are the calamities, such as illnesses, overpowered by the enemy, earthquakes, winds, hurricanes, destructive torrential floods etc
Allaah (The Most High) said:
ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ
Evil (sins and disobedience of Allâh, etc.) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and evil deeds, etc.), that Allâh may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allâh, and begging His Pardon). 30:41
And what this means is that Allaah decreed the Hasanaat and Sayyi’aat in order that the people may return to the truth, hasten to repent from what Allaah has made forbidden for them and rush towards obedience to Allaah and His Messenger. That is because disbelief and sins are the cause of every affliction and evil in this life and the next.
To be continued…In-Shaa-Allaah
[Source: from a small risaalah of Imaam Bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) titled: ‘Obligation of repenting to Allaah’ Page 1-2 Abridged and lightly paraphrased]