The Quran about striving
In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful
Any sphere of life of a person, in all its manifestations, is associated with the application of some effort: whether mental or physical. As a result of labor activity, people develop in different areas: in the technical, social, civil, political, etc. True faith in the One God is not something static and bony. It is a “living”, active energy, fueled by concrete actions. Indeed, it is the action that serves as a “ticket of passage” until the final stop at the Creator:
Or do you think that you will enter the garden while God has not yet made evident those of you who strive in His cause and made evident those who are patient? (3:142)
Do you think that you will be left [as you are] while God has not yet made evident those among you who strive [for His cause] and do not take other than God, His messenger and the believers as patrons? And God is Acquainted with what you do! (9:16)
In the Quran, Arabic words that are used to indicate the application of certain efforts by a person have a root from the expression “jahada”, meaning: to strive, work, strain, make efforts, to struggle (with difficulties).
Here, for the manifestation of faith in practice, the Most High, instructs believers to strive.
O you who have believed! Beware of God and seek to achieve His favour and strive in His way that you may succeed! (5:35)
Go forth, whether light or heavy, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of God. That is better for you, if you only knew. (9:41)
And strive for God with the striving due to Him! … (22:78)
The above excerpts clearly show to believers the vector of the direction of application of their efforts. The Path of the Creator, described in the Quran, Who Himself is the embodiment of this path, shows concrete actions for realizing the potential of the faith.
O prophet! Fight against the closed and the venal ones and be harsh upon them. And their refuge is hell, and wretched is the destination! (9:73)
O prophet! Strive against the closed and the venal ones and be harsh upon them. And their refuge is hell, and wretched is the destination! (66:9)
So do not obey the closed ones, and strive against them with a great striving! (25:52)
The striving on the way of God crystallizes the group of people, with tighter, closer relations to each other:
Indeed, those who have believed and emigrated and fought with their wealth and lives in the way of God and those who gave shelter and aided – they are patrons of one another!… (8:72)
A sign of an even tighter spiritual closeness of people who strive on the way of God is the kinship between them:
And those who believed after and emigrated and strived with you – they are of you. But those of [blood] relationship are patrons of each other in the decree of God. Indeed, God is Knowing of all things! (8:75)
Sincerity and truthfulness of thoughts is known only to the Creator, for people they are not reachable. However, these qualities can be defined and become clear to others through the deeds of a person:
The believers are only the ones who have believed God and His messenger and then doubt not but strive with their properties and their lives in the way of God. It is those who are the truthful! (49:15)
Any striving leads to a definite result. It can be different: negative, positive, expected, unexpected, etc. All these options relate to the sphere of the near life. Only in one you can be firmly confident – for striving on the path of the Lord, regardless of the outcome, the Almighty will necessarily give reward.
But those who have believed and emigrated and strived in the way of God and those who gave shelter and aided – it is they who are the believers, truly. For them is forgiveness and noble provision. (8:74)
The ones who have believed, emigrated and striven in the way of God with their wealth and their lives are greater in rank in the sight of God. And it is those who are the attainers [of success]. (9:20)
But the messenger and those who believed with him strived with their wealth and their lives. Those will have [all that is] good, and it is those who are the successful. (9:88)
The assurance in reward from the Creator is reinforced by His promise to pardon people who strive on His path. After all, you can only enter the Garden through the Mercy of God.
Indeed, those who have believed and those who have emigrated and strived in the way of God – those expect the mercy of God. And God is Forgiving and Merciful! (2:218)
Then, indeed your Lord, to those who emigrated after a trial and thereafter strived and were patient – indeed, your Lord, after that, is Forgiving and Merciful! (16:110)
Work on the divine path inevitably attracts like-minded people to each other. With the increase of “working people”, good deeds increase, and those around can see an alternative to “demonic” examples.
And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways! And indeed, God is with the doers of good! (29:69)
People, being imperfect beings, need support and participation, therefore the efforts are necessary, first of all, for the believers themselves.
And whoever strives only strives for [the benefit of] himself! Indeed, God is free from need of people! (29:6)
Our imperfect, “clay” condition can play a negative role for man. If the material component prevails in the life of people, and the mind is engaged in servicing its terrestrial substance, then such a person cannot count on success on the Day of Debt.
Say, “If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, trade wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than God and His messenger and struggle on His way, then wait until God executes His command. And God does not guide the apostates!” (9:24)