Why Allaah Sends Evil and Sufferings in this World
“Why Allaah Sends Evil and Sufferings in this World” – An Islaamic Lecture by Brother Abul Ehsan; (Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes; recorded in 6 Video Clips)[English Text only]
Brother Abul Ehsan in this lecture focuses, very intensely and profoundly, on a question that has bewildered, and in some cases even misguided, numerous people of all faiths for hundreds and thousands of years. That is, If Allaah is All-Powerful and All-Good then “Why does Allaah Allow Evil and Sufferings to Exist in this World?”.
Since immemorial time people from walks of life asked this very well-known question in numerous ways and expressions. Why many people, despite being good and pious, or apparently innocent, suffer severe tribulations in this worldly life? What wrong could a minor child, for example, commit so that he or she should have to suffer a fatal disease or even be murdered? Why is that the wrong-doers often prosper but the innocent suffer hardships? Why those who disobey Allaah and commit transgression live in great affluence while those who obey Allaah face adversities? Why the wicked enjoy the pleasures of life but the virtuous live in misery? So why Does Allaah allow Evil & Sufferings to Exist?
Relying heavily on a large number of Qur’aanic Verses and authentic Ahadith and also on the ‘Ijma’ of the well-respected and knowledgeable ‘Fuqahaa’ and ‘Aaimmah’ of this ‘Ummah’, Brother Abul Ehsan, tried to elucidate in great detail, the Divine Wisdom and reasons behind these calamities, afflictions, trials and tribulations.
Brother Abul Ehsan explains that those who only look at the outward appearance of things most often draw false conclusions. This is because man is not always aware of the ‘Wisdom’ underlying the events that take place under Allaah’s dispensation. The Disbelievers think that they live in a chaotic world without a ‘sovereign’, or an ‘unjust sovereign’. So they go about doing things as they like without the fear of accountability to Allaah. On the other hand, those who believe in Allaah but do not have sufficient Islamic knowledge are also often heart-broken and confused by the calamities and evil they see around them and their faith is often shaken to core by the severe tests.
Brother Abul Ehsan highlights the Qur’aanic teaching that Allaah Has His Own Reason and Wisdom behind all events including for the existence of evil and sufferings. The Quran proclaims to us that everything that happens in this world- good and evil - happens by the Will of Allaah (mashiat Allah). The Qur’aan has not given us the knowledge of all of Allaah’s wisdom underlying each and every event that take place. Only Allah Has full knowledge of this. All we know is Allaah runs His universe the way He deems fit.
However, the Qur’aan has enlightened us with a Guidance that is useful and sufficient. According to this Guidance, Allaah’s Will or Decree is of two types: His Universal (Kawni) Will and His Legislative (Sharee’) Will.
Allaah’s Universal (Kawni) Will has to do with that which Allah loves and is pleased with as well as that which Allaah does not love and is not pleased. Nothing happens outside His Universal Will. Acts of Worship and Disobedience all happen by the Will and Decree of Allah. For example, Allaah allows the Disbelievers to move about arrogantly in this earth and grants them all the comforts and pleasures of this life but for a very brief period. However, Allaah does not love them. Allaah loves the Believers whom He wants to be patient in this world and whom He will grant His Blissful Paradise for eternity. But His Legislative Will has to do only with that which Allah loves and is pleased with.
By His Universal Will He Decrees something not for its own sake, but to serve another purpose. For example, Allaah created Iblees, and all evil things. But evil happenings often lead people to repentance, striving and seeking forgiveness, which Allah loves. His Legislative Will has to do with that which He prescribes for its own sake. For example Allah wants us to obey His Commandments and He loves it and is pleased with it, for its own sake.
So a true Believer has to understand that Allaah often Allows “bad” things to happen in order to achieve a greater good. Allaah afflicts His servants with suffering in order to mould them into the types of people He wants them to be. Through suffering , humans develop qualities of patience, steadfastness & humility. Suffering causes people to turn towards Allaah for help and enables people to realise and know Allaah’s attributes such as ‘the Victorious’ and the Healer’. Knowing Allaah is a greater good and is worth the experience of suffering pain as it fulfils the primary purpose of our creation – ie. to know and worship Allaah.
We have to also understand that people can also suffer from past, present or future sins. Allaah has All-Embracing knowledge of everything - past, present and future. The Qur’aanic story of Moosa (AS) Khidr (AS) teaches us that we will not always know why a particular thing happens. However, we know from the Qur’aan that all events take place according to Allaah’s Divine Plan. It is not a chaotic world. It is a well-planned world. When Allah gives a command for an event, He has total knowledge of all of its consequences, regardless of time or place as Allaah is Exalted above time and space. The Unbelievers, think that everything evolves randomly and in isolation. But the Believers know that Allah controls everything.
The Islamic position is that calamities appear to be a “bad” thing but there are “good” things that result from calamities which we are not always aware of. We know, for instance, to rescue a drowning man is good work; but this is possible only when someone is drowning, which is a calamity or a bad thing. One can only do good by avoiding or overcoming the evil. We can do ‘good’ where there is an absence of ‘good’ or presence of an evil. We then replace the evil, or the absence of good, with good. Thus, even though it appears that the forces of good and evil work in opposite directions; but in the final analysis, they work to fulfill the divine plan. And both good and evil are equally necessary for the spiritual development of man. However, we must remember that the Believers have been commanded not to accept evil but to counter evil with good.