The Quran about temptation
In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful
Human experience shows that to ensure strength and reliability of anything you must first try it. The more diverse types of testing and the modes of application, more qualitative object will be in the end of a trial.
Considering our life on earth as a testing ground for the improvement of the human soul, the Divine test through His temptation becomes understandable.
In the Quran, the term “fitna” is often used, which has several meanings: “to enchant, entice, seduce, dislodge, sow discord, tempt.”
The main tools for tempting people, of course, are the disobedient ones led by the disappointed (iblees).
O children of Adam! Let not the disobedient tempt you as he removed your parents from the garden, stripping them of their clothing of prudence to show them their misdeed. Indeed, he sees you, he and his tribe, from where you do not see them. Indeed, We have made the disobedient ones patrons to those who do not believe! (7:27)
That is to make what the disobedient throws in a trial for those within whose hearts is disease and those hard of heart! And indeed, the obscurantists are in extreme dissension! (22:53)
People who fall under the influence of temptation themselves become tempers for others, because each of us has a certain circle of communication and some degree of influence on them.
And We did not send before you, any of the messengers except that they ate food and walked in the markets. And We have made some of you as temptation for others – will you have patience? And ever is your Lord, Seeing! (25:20)
Your wealth and your children are but a temptation, and God has with Him a great reward! (64:15)
Indeed, those who have tempted the believing men and believing women and then have not repented will have the punishment of Hell! (85:10)
Human life is full of events. All of them, one way or another, are evaluated by us positively or negatively. But no doubt that whatever happens is not for nothing.
Every personality will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as temptation! And to Us you will be returned! (21:35)
And I know not; perhaps it is a temptation for you and enjoyment for a time.” (21:111)
And when harm touches man, he calls upon Us; then when We bestow on him a favor from Us, he says, “I have only been given it because of [my] knowledge.” Rather, it is a temptation, but most of them do not know! (39:49)
They said, “We consider you a bad omen, you and those with you.”
He said, “Your omen is with God. Rather, you are a people being tempted!” (27:47)
Not for nothing did the messengers of God appear, not for nothing they were given the signs of the Creator. Everything has its own meaning.
And when We told you, “Indeed, your Lord has encompassed the people.” And We did not make the sight which We showed you except as a temptation for the people, as was the accursed tree [mentioned] in the Literature (Quran). And We threaten them, but it increases them not except in great transgression! (17:60)
Looking at the history, you can see that the most frequently visited nation by the prophets were the nation of Israel. Accordingly, the Jews were tempted by the Most High.
It was not Suleiman (Solomon) who closed himself, but the disobedient ones were of closed nature. They taught people magic and that which was revealed to the two maintainers at Babylon, Harut and Marut. But both of them do not teach anyone unless they say, “We are tempers, so do not be closed ones!” And they learn from them that by which they cause separation between a man and his wife. But they do not harm anyone through it except by permission of God. And the people learn what harms them and does not benefit them. But the children of Israel certainly knew that whoever purchased the magic would not have in the hereafter any share. And wretched is that for which they sold themselves, if they only knew. (2:102)
O Messenger, let them not grieve you who hasten to close themselves of those who say, “We believe” with their mouths, but their hearts believe not.
From among the Jews, there are listeners to lies. They are, the ones listening to another people who have not come to you. They change the order of the words, saying “If you are given this, take it; but if you are not given it, then beware.”
Indeed, he whom God intends to confuse – never will you possess for him a thing against God. Those are the ones for whom God does not intend to purify their hearts. For them in this world is disgrace, and for them in the hereafter is a great punishment. (5:41)
And judge between them by what God has revealed and do not follow their desires and beware of them, lest they tempt you away from some of what God has revealed to you. And if they turn away – then know that God only intends to afflict them with some of their [own] trespasses. And indeed, many among the people are apostates! (5:49)
And they thought there would be no temptation, so they became blind and deaf. Then God turned to them in forgiveness; then [again] many of them became blind and deaf. And God is Seeing of what they do. (5:71)
The most frequently mentioned prophet in the Quran, directed toward the nation of Israel, is Moses. The temptations that have occurred with him are vividly described in the Prescription of the Creator.
And Moses chose from his people seventy men for Our appointment.
And when the earthquake seized them, he said, “My Lord, if You had willed, You could have destroyed them before and me. Would You destroy us for what the foolish among us have done? This is not but Your temptation by which You send astray whom You will and guide whom You will. You are our Patron! So forgive us and have mercy upon us, and You are the Best of forgivers! (7:155)
Only offspring among his nation believed Moses, despite fear of pharaoh and his establishment that they would put them in distemper. And indeed, pharaoh was haughty within the land, and indeed, he was excessive! (10:83)
So they said, “Upon God do we rely. Our Lord, make us not a temptation for the obscurantists. (10:85)
When your sister went and said, ‘Shall I direct you to someone who will be responsible for him?’ So We restored you to your mother that she might be content and not grieve. And you killed personality, but We saved you from retaliation and tried you with a trial. And you remained [some] years among the people of Madyan. Then you came at the decreed time! (20:40)
God said, “But indeed, We have tempted your people after you [departed], and the Samiri has led them astray!” (20:85)
And Harun (Aaron) had already told them before, “O my nation! You are only being tempted by it, and indeed, your Lord is the Merciful, so follow me and obey my order!” (20:90)
And We had already tried before them the nation of pharaoh, and there came to them a noble messenger. (44:17)
The information would not be complete without mentioning the events with other messengers to the children of Israel.
Dawud (David) replied, “He has certainly wronged you in demanding your ewe to his ewes. And indeed, many partners oppress one another, except for those who believe and corrected themselves – and few are they.”
And Dawud (David) became certain that We had tempted him, and he asked forgiveness of his Lord and fell in his knees, praying for forgiveness! (38:24)
And We certainly tempted Suleiman (Solomon) and placed on his throne a body; then he repented. (38:34)
People who believe in the Quran, being the heirs of the last revelation, are also subject to divine temptation. In the light of current events, the question of repelling aggression is urgent, which also implies armed resistance to evil.
Fight in the way of God those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed, God does not like transgressors. And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you. Distemper is worse than killing. And do not fight them at the forbidden for battles place for earthly worship until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the closed. And if they cease, then indeed, God is Forgiving and Merciful.
Fight them until there is no temptation to distemper, but there is an obligation before God. But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the obscurantists!
They ask you about the sacred month – about fighting therein.
Say, “Fighting therein is great sin, but averting from the way of God and closing yourself from it and forbidden for battles place for earthly worship and the expulsion of its people therefrom are greater sin in the sight of God! Distemper is greater than killing!” And they will continue to fight you until they turn you back from your duty if they are able. And whoever of you reverts from his duty and dies – he is the one who closed himself. For those, their deeds have become worthless in this world and the hereafter, and those are the companions of the fire, they will abide therein. (2:217)
And when you travel throughout the land, there is no offence upon you for shortening the prayer, if you fear that those who closed themselves may tempt you. Indeed, the closed ones are ever to you a clear enemy. (4:101)
And fight them until there is no distemper, but the duty, all of it, is for God. And if they cease – then indeed, God is Seeing of what they do! (8:39)
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)
There is no question that it is easy to overcome the temptation, and the declaration of faith in God does not guarantee a peaceful life.
Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tempted? But We have certainly tempted those before them, and God will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars. (29:2-3)
And beware of temptation, especially of wrong deed of obscurantists among you. (8:25)
Do not make calling of the messenger among yourselves as the call of one of you to another. Already God knows those of you who slip away, concealed by others. So let those beware who dissent from the prophet’s order, lest temptation strike them or a painful punishment! (24:63)
And of the people are some who say, “We believe God,” but when one [of them] is harmed for God, they consider the trial of the people as [if it were] the punishment of God. But if victory comes from your Lord, they say, “Indeed, We were with you.” Is not God most knowing of what is within the thoughts of all creatures? (29:10)
The most powerful temptation is temptation through the family, for example, as with Noah and Lot.
And know that your properties and your children are but a temptation and that God has with Him a great reward! (8:28)
Therefore, realizing the whole burden of the test, the believers turn to the Creator as follows:
Our Lord, make us not temptation for those who closed themselves! Forgive us, our Lord! Indeed, it is You who is the Exalted in Might, the Wise!” (60:5)
Of course, all believers are not the same. Moreover, there are frankly weak, pathetic people who, under temptation, do not stand the test.
You will find others who wish to obtain security from you and [to] obtain security from their nation. Every time they are returned to distemper, they fall back into it. So if they do not withdraw from you or offer you peace or restrain their hands, then seize them and kill them wherever you overtake them. And those – We have made for you against them a clear authorization. (4:91)
And thus We have tried some of them through others that they might say, “Is it these whom God has favored among us?” Is not God most knowing of those who are grateful? (6:53)
Had they gone forth with you, they would not have increased you except in confusion, and they would have been active among you, seeking [to cause] you distemper. And among you are avid listeners to them. And God is Knowing of the obscurantists! They had already desired distemper before and had upset matters for you until the truth came and the ordinance of God appeared, while they were averse. And among them is he who says, “Permit me [to remain at home] and do not embarrass me!” Unquestionably, into embarrassment they have fallen. And indeed, Hell will encompass the closed ones! (9:47-49)
Do they not see that they are tempted every year once or twice but then they do not repent nor do they remember? (9:126)
And if they had been entered upon from all its regions and rebellion had been demanded of them, they would have done it and not hesitated over it except briefly! (33:14)
They will call to the believers, “Were we not with you?”
They will respond, “Yes, but you tempted yourselves and awaited and doubted, and wishful thinking deluded you until there came the command of God. And the tempter tempted you concerning God. (57:14)
Muhammad, being an example of faith to be followed for others, was subjected to trials, perhaps even more severe than for ordinary people.
And indeed, they were about to tempt you away from that which We suggested to you in order to make you invent about Us something else; and then they would have taken you as a friend. (17:73)
And do not extend your eyes toward that by which We have given enjoyment to pairs of them, [its being but] the splendor of worldly life by which We tempt them. And the provision of your Lord is better and more enduring! (20:131)
Sad experience of believers after a successful beginning leads to the thought of their main mistake: the misunderstanding and wrong fulfilment of the conditions of the Prescription of God.
It is He who has sent down to you the Prescription. In it are precise signs – they are the foundation of the Prescription – and others similar. As for those in whose hearts is deviation, they follow that of it which is similar, seeking to charm and seeking to interpret it. And no one knows its interpretation except God! But those firm in knowledge say, “We believe in it. All is from our Lord.” And no one will be reminded except those of understanding. (3:7)
By this passage, the Almighty regulates the proper guidance by His Word. The unerring use of signs in life can only be based on clear and exact statements that do not give more than one meaning, which do not require the interpretation of “scientists” deviating from them.