The trial of turning the people of the trenches away from their religion was worse than killing them

Allaah mentioned in Soorah al-Burooj the event of the people of the trenches, in His Words,

{إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ فَتَنُوا۟ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَٱلْمُؤْمِنَـٰتِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَتُوبُوا}
“Indeed, those who have tortured the believing men and believing women and then have not repented…” (Al-Burooj 10),

that is, they tried and tested them in their faith,

{فَلَهُمْ عَذَابُ جَهَنَّمَ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابُ ٱلْحَرِيق}
“… will have the punishment of the Fire, and they will have the punishment of the burning Fire” (Al-Burooj 10)

This story has been authentically reported in the hadeeth and it is about a disbelieving nation who dug up trenches and gathered a large amount of firewood, and lit up an enormous fire. They then test people in their belief. Some apostated and left their faith, and those who persisted, they threw into the fire. This is a tremendous trial because it is a test in the religion. Reflect upon the words of the Prophet ﷺ in the hadeeth about the people of the trenches,

“A woman came with her baby and she was hesitated in case she fell into the trench. The baby said to her: ‘O my beloved mother! Be patient because indeed you are upon the truth!’” (Muslim 3005)

This baby was one of those babies who spoke in the cradle, and which there are Texts about, in addition to the words of the Prophet ﷺ,

“No child spoke in the crib except for three!” (Bukhaary 3436 and Muslim 2550)

If this believing woman was to lose this world, she would actually be successful because she would have been moved away from the Fire of the Hereafter, although she would have entered the fire of this world. However long a person lives, his fate is death and then he will be rewarded according to his actions, if good, then the reward is good, and if evil, then the reward will be evil.  Casting this believing woman into the fire of this life was a test, but her test in her religion and turning her away from it, is greater than killing her. Thus Allaah  says,

{وَٱلْفِتْنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ ٱلْقَتْل}
“… and trying people is worse than killing…” (Al-Baqarah, 191)