Quran teaches that this life on earth is a final chance given by the Most Merciful for both humans and jinns to make a decision and choose (33:72, 6:130) between God or Satan as their lord and master:
[46:3] We did not create the heavens and the earth, and everything between them except for a specific purpose, and for a finite interim. Those who disbelieve are totally oblivious to the warnings given to them.
[51:55] And remind, for the reminder benefits the believers.
The Purpose of Our Existence [51:56] I did not create the jinns and the humans except to worship Me alone.
[51:57] I need no provisions from them, nor do I need them to feed Me.
[76:2] We created the human from a liquid mixture, from two parents, in order to test him. Thus, we made him a hearer and a seer.
[76:3] We showed him the two paths, then he is either appreciative, or unappreciative.
The Most Merciful expects us to mature spiritually and make our choice by the age of forty (46:15). Those who meet this expectation and choose God's guidance are rewarded for their good deeds. They will benefit from this early start and God has promised to overlook all their previous sins (46:16). Those who recognize God's signs after the age of forty, adopt His path, and repent for their sins will find God as Forgiver, Most Merciful. Those who choose the straying path, persist on staying on it and die trapped by their sins are the disbelievers.
After making the choice between God or Satan, another divine system becomes operative. This system is testing the believers and exposing the disbelievers whether they are idol worshipers, hypocrites or atheists. Our true qualities are revealed when we go through certain experiences in life. Based on the strength and quality of our belief in God or lack thereof, we are provoked by specific kinds of stimulants at certain measures that expose our convictions. God is the One who is fully aware of our strengths and weaknesses. He designs and implements customized packages for each soul, righteous or wicked. Whether through fear, health, wealth, sickness, hunger, disasters, wars, death, oppression, etc., we all go through His sifting system of testing the believers and exposing the disbelievers:
The Test is Mandatory
[29:2] Do the people think that they will be left to say, "We believe," without being put to the test?
[29:3] We have tested those before them, for GOD must distinguish those who are truthful, and He must expose the liars.
For believers, all tests allow them to practice both submission to God's commands and perseverance while expressing their full trust in Him and their unconditional appreciation. In return, this toughens their faith for more striving in God's cause that will advance their souls and leads to higher ranks in the Hereafter:
[21:35] Every person will taste death, after we put you to the test through adversity and prosperity, then to us you ultimately return.
[47:31] We will certainly put you to the test, in order to distinguish those among you who strive, and steadfastly persevere. We must expose your true qualities.
[3:140] If you suffer hardship, the enemy also suffers the same hardship. We alternate the days of victory and defeat among the people. GOD thus distinguishes the true believers, and blesses some of you with martyrdom. GOD dislikes injustice.
[3:141] GOD thus toughens those who believe and humiliates the disbelievers. Our Claims Must Be Tested [3:142] Do you expect to enter Paradise without GOD distinguishing those among you who strive, and without distinguishing those who are steadfast?
[2:155] We will surely test you through some fear, hunger, and loss of money, lives, and crops. Give good news to the steadfast.
As for the disbelievers, they are in no need for the privileges of testing. Having chosen the path of straying, God's guidance merely augments their straying (19:75, 35:39). However, it is God's system to put them in the spotlight to be exposed to public - the community they live in or belong to. God must sift away the bad from the good:
[3:166] What afflicted you the day the two armies clashed was in accordance with GOD's will, and to distinguish the believers.
[3:167] And to expose the hypocrites who were told, "Come fight in the cause of GOD, or contribute." They said, "If we knew how to fight, we would have joined you." They were closer to disbelief then than they were to belief. They uttered with their mouths what was not in their hearts. GOD knows what they conceal.
Hadith & Sunna:
Fabrications by the Prophet's Enemies [6:112] We have permitted the enemies of every prophet - human and jinn devils - to inspire in each other fancy words, in order to deceive. Had your Lord willed, they would not have done it. You shall disregard them and their fabrications.
Important Criterion [6:113] This is to let the minds of those who do not believe in the Hereafter listen to such fabrications, and accept them, and thus expose their real convictions.
The System [22:52] We did not send before you any messenger, nor a prophet, without having the devil interfere in his wishes. GOD then nullifies what the devil has done. GOD perfects His revelations. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise. The Hypocrites Drop Out [22:53] He thus sets up the devil's scheme as a test for those who harbor doubts in their hearts, and those whose hearts are hardened. The wicked must remain with the opposition.
We know that God's knowledge encompasses our past, present and future choices (57:3). Everything is already in a pre-existing record based on His knowledge. He knows the tiniest details of our true qualities, convictions, and claims. He is in NO need for testing the believers or exposing the disbelievers. What is the benefit or the purpose of testing/distinguishing the believers and exposing the liars? To whom the liars are to be exposed?
In this life, there are benefits associated with testing the believers and exposing the liars. As indicated in the above verses, believers grow their souls, set the righteous example, and earn higher ranks (in the Hereafter). As for the disbelievers, their exposure raises the awareness of the believers to take precautions, and react properly. The behavior of the sedentary people and hypocrites in 9:42-51 and 63:1-8 cannot be ignored and must be carefully analyzed for its valuable lessons and divine wisdom.
As for the Hereafter, we are held accountable for perfect, detailed records (18:49). The believers die in a stage of full redemption, they have nothing to fear. They die with dignified records of righteous deeds as they have constantly repented for their sins and God has promised them complete redemption (25:71). They will be surrounded by peace, joy, and contentment from the moment of their departure and for eternity (16:31-32, 27:89, 9:22).
Those who have lost their souls will blame God and others and they will question their shameful fate. But they will be shown the proofs of God's justice. Their exposure on earth and everything they committed was recorded to be brought forth on the Hereafter. God exposes them in this life for the benefit of the believers, and their exposure, printed in their own records, will serve as a testimony against them in the Hereafter. Thus, they can never claim they were not granted the freedom that the rest had, or that they were not given an equal chance of redemption :
[20:125] He will say, "My Lord, why did you summon me blind, when I used to be a seer?"
[20:126] He will say, "Because you forgot our revelations when they came to you, you are now forgotten."
[24:24] The day will come when their own tongues, hands, and feet will bear witness to everything they had done.
The Video Record [41:21] They will say to their skins, "Why did you bear witness against us?" They will reply, "GOD made us speak up; He is the One who causes everything to speak. He is the One who created you the first time, and now you have been returned to Him."
In conclusion, we are here to choose to worship God alone or Satan. Tests are designed by God and and are administrated by God. God tests the believers for their own benefits to toughen their faith and earn higher ranks. God doesn't test the disbelievers, He exposes them for the benefits of the believers in this life. Their exposure and everything they have committed on earth will also serve as a testimony against them on the Day of Judgment when they sense unbearable shame and remorse and start question their undignified destiny.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.