Mufti Shafī' quotes the following narrative while interpreting the story of Ayyūb in Surah al-Anbiyā:
اشد الناس بلاء الانبياء ثم الصالحون ثم المثل فالامثل
Is a person not tested through trial has less dignity in the eyes of Allah? Please explain.
This question arises when we restrict this trail to physical punishment. The Holy Qur'ān frequently explains that Allah Almighty tests the believers to illumine their weakness of faith so that they are not left with any excuses. These trials can be physical as well as psychological, social or economical. For example, the Holy Prophet (sws) faced a trial when he traveled to Tā'if. The slanderous accusation to Ā'ishah was also a test. If we consider both the above events as trial then both are of the same category. Similarly, a person who lost his faith due to his poverty and a person who was thrown into hell due to his wealth both have gone through a big test. However, we mistakenly think that a wealthy man is never tested.
The narrative explicates the rule of test and trial described in the Holy Qur'ān. When Allah decides to test one's faith, He tests it on His prescribed standards. Likewise, the prophets are tested according to their relationship with God and they successfully pass these tests. Similar is the case of other pious people. Those who pass these tests will enjoy the nearness of Allah. But it will be discovered in the Hereafter. Facing a hard test does not symbolize higher status.
Translated by: Abid Mahmood Hashmi