“All we are not stares back at what we are.” (W.H. Auden)
Allah tests us based on our potential not capacity as generally understood. As our default potential (that he knows of, because he created us with it) will always trump a current capability we know of.
He will not burden you with anything except your own potential. This is the truest and clearest meaning of the ayah “La kuliyo nafsan illa wu3s aha” (excuse my funny transliteration)
The point is this ayah is usually translated in English as “Allah doesn’t burden a soul beyond that it can bear” or “beyond its capacity” (Quran 2:286)
If that was the actual meaning end of ayah would have read “Ila BI wu3siiha” (to their capacity) there would have been a ب in there.
So it’s not the clearest translation but it’s the bare minimum. Nouman Ali Khan has a lecture where he explains this really well. The actual Arabic of the ayah 2:286 says…”Allah has not burdened you with anything EXCEPT your own potential”
It’s our potential he aims to bring us to via tests. I remember when i heard the bare minimum meaning of “Allah doesn’t burden a soul beyond that it can bear” I once thought what is it that I can bear? And then I had faith that was content with if I don’t know at least Allah knows. So any hardship I faced I kinda had a calm comfort in the thought that “this wouldn’t happen if I couldn’t handle it” so a test became a platform to reveal a new strength to me so to speak.
When nouman got technical with the Arabic in translating it into the English to the clearest meaning mentioned above. That difference of you will not be burdened “…with anything except your own potential” resonated deeply with me. I had a soul shock hearing it. Like it meant a lot to me.
I felt a shift and that thought of “I wonder what I can bear?” turned into a curiosity about my potential.
I think our true capacity is connected to our full potential. And our current capability to how much of it we possess so far.
Hope this benefits you like it did me.
“I did not put you through difficulty so as to harm you, but rather to complete my favour upon you so that you be of those who are grateful”
^This ayah in sura Maida one of my favs in the Quran. That favour he wants to complete upon you, is sealed through you reaching your full potential.
Our potential is comprised of all the risq/provisions/attributes he jam packed into our individual souls.
I also think this is why our nabi scw when asked by two different men “if I complete the 5 pillars will I go to jannah?” Replied yes to one and stayed silent with the other.
I wondered why and my intuition whispered “They don’t have the same potential, the one that got told yes; his potential is fulfilled in doing no less or more than that. Whereas the other guy Allah knows he is capable of more”
And Allah knows best 💙