Quran: Surah Al-Mulk (Verse 2)

{Al-la-z’ee khaw-la-qawl mau-ta wal-h’a-yaa-ta li-yabb-lu-wa-kum aiy-yu-kum ah’-sa-nu a’-ma-laa. Wa-Hu-wal A-zee-zul Gaw-foor.}
{Who created death and life that He might try you as to which of you is better in deed. He is the Most Mighty, the Most Forgiving ;}(67.2)

Reflections From  The Verse

The object of giving life to man in the world and causing his death is to test him to see which of them is best in deeds. Allusion has been made in this brief sentence to a number of truths:

(1) That life and death are given by Allah, no one else can grant life nor cause death.

(2) That neither the life nor the death of a creation like man, which has been given the power to do both good and evil, is purposeless. The Creator has created him in the world for the test. Life is for him the period of the test and death means that the time allotted for the test has come to an end.

(3) That for the sake of this very test the Creator has given every man an opportunity for action, so that he may do good or evil in the world and practically show what kind of a man he is.

(4) That the Creator alone will decide who has done good or evil. It is not for us to propose a criterion for the good and the evil deeds but for Almighty Allah. Therefore, whoever desires to get through the test, will have to find out what is the criterion of a good deed in His sight. Every person will be recompensed according to his deeds, for if there was no reward or punishment the test would be meaningless.

(5) That He is Almighty, in spite of being dominant over all His creatures, He is Merciful and Forgiving for them, not tyrannous and cruel.

(6) That He has full power to punish the evildoers. No one can escape His punishment. But He is forgiving for him who feels penitent, refrains from evil and asks for His forgiveness.

Reference: Towards Understsanding the Quran

Sayyid  Abdul A’la Mawdudi