Which of these desires mentioned here do I Love? Do I spend too much time, money and energy on them? How can I pass this test?
When I come across aayaat such as these in the Qur’aan, I tend to wonder why I don’t feel like I’m being tested by these things – Am I abnormal? Or is the Qur’aan meant for older people whose lives revolve more around these things? Right now I pretty much live in a cocoon, in the home of my parents, living with siblings, going about life the way I want to, getting (alhamdulillaah) everything I want and need. No complaints or compromises. I think I am tested more so with too much ease and comfort, than with trials. Alhamdulillaah.
I see these aayaat as warning signals, signs to look out for danger, because since Allaah has used the word “beautified”, it means that Allaah HAS put in us the inclination towards these things, and these inclinations can be pretty strong (even destructive) from what I can decipher.
I do not feel I am safe from these trials; I believe that I indeed will be tested by them once I go out into the real world, when I’m married and have kids of my own, when I’ll have to interact with all sorts of people (perhaps get influenced by them), when I’ll be in a different environment and might not have any Qur’aan classes to go to. So these aayaat scare me and make me fear for my eemaan in the future; I seek refuge with Allaah that I am unable to pass these tests. It would be easy not to have these tests at all, but the least I can ask for is to protect me from their evil. Alhamdulillaah that Allaah has given me these warnings right on time, before it’s too late! I hope that inshaAllaah I’ll be alert and live at a conscious level when coming across and feeling tempted by these adornments of the life of this world.
The only way I can relate to the aayat at the moment is how beautiful women are made attractive to me – in the sense that when I see them (models, celebrities) I want to look just like them. Sometimes if I come across a picture, I end up wasting my time by looking at dozens of more pictures, just admiring, or feeling deeply envious, or thinking up ways I can look like that too, or just mulling over the fact that why can’t my face or figure be like that, and then feeling depressed. In this situation, I lose focus and everything else seems to be unimportant. As for desire for men, alhamdulillaah for the aayat that enjoins lowering of the gaze, because I think I can “fall” pretty easily if I see a handsome face. But the test is only if you let it be (i.e. if you choose to gaze).
As for the desire for gold and silver, I can relate by getting lured by the beautiful artificial jewelry (and clothes) when shopping.
May Allaah save us all from the evil of these tests, and make the desire of the Aakhirah dearer to us than the desire of any of these worldly things. Aameen.