We are born into this world. We spend our short lives here. The journey of our life in this world passes through different and varied experiences. Because of these experiences, consciously or otherwise people begin to think that this present world is for us the real world. In contrast, they feel that the world of the Hereafter is an imaginary world. On account of what appears to be this difference between these two worlds, people’s thinking process functions at the level of this present world. In practice, no real room is left in their thinking and planning for the Hereafter.
This is the biggest issue facing human beings. From the point of view of larger consequences, it is for us to develop Hereafter-oriented thinking, not this-worldly-oriented thinking.
To save ourselves from going astray in this regard, God has arranged that this present world be a world of problems. These problems serve for us as speed-breakers. The problems and difficulties of life help us to understand that this world cannot be our habitat. They exist so that we do not think that this world is the real world and so that we lead our lives in the light of the Hereafter.
This reality of life is explained in the following verse of the Quran (2:155) as follows:
We shall certainly test you with fear and hunger, and loss of property, lives and crops. Give good news to those who endure with fortitude.
The role of patience in the examination of life is that it keeps us steadfast under any and every circumstance. It prevents us from deviating from the right path and going astray. Patience keeps us established in a principled way of life, no matter what the conditions we might face. It is impossible to pass the examination of life without patience.