I have came across the story of Prophet Jacob wrestling with God in the Old Testemony of the Bible several times but always felt awkward of the concept itself, didnt even try to think about it except of for sarcasm. How absured the idea of wrestling with God can be? especially when it is written that Jacob won the fight!
Not until yesterday, and thanks to Paulo Coelho, while finalize reading the last couple of pages of his novel ‘The Fifth Mountain’, I had seen the light about the wisdom behind this story.
According to Paulo’s interpretation is that God likes us to challenge his well in order to toughen us. When we decide to fight him that is when we get to see his glory. It like warriors training with their intructors. The aim it to toughen our faith in him. You have to challenge his ways in order to be sure that they are the right ones.
I am not sure how much we have this concept in Islam. I have search for a Hadith and find something close
Allah’s Apostle said, “We are more liable to be in
doubt than Abraham when he said, ‘My Lord! Show me how You give life to the
dead.” . He (i.e. Allah) slid: ‘Don’t you believe then?’ He (i.e. Abraham) said:
“Yes, but (I ask) in order to be stronger in Faith.” (2.260) And may Allah send
His Mercy on Lot! He wished to have a powerful support. If I were to stay in
prison for such a long time as Joseph did I would have accepted the offer (of
freedom without insisting on having my guiltless less declared).
Narrated Abu Huraira
It seems that Prophet Abraham had the same concept as well. Challenge you faith to make it stronger. God doesn’t want us to follow him blindly. He wants each on of us to choose his own path in life.