Why Does Allah Allow Suffering and Evil in the World

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by muslim, Jun 1, 2007.

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  1. muslim

    muslim Well-Known Member


    I was wondering if you could possibly help me resolve some conflicting issues. If God is All-Powerful, He must be able to prevent evil. If God is All-Good, He must want to prevent evil. But evil and suffering exist. How is it possible for God to be both All-Powerful and All-Good and still allow a world in which evil and suffering exist? I would greatly appreciate a response

    In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

    Thank you for the question you posed, it is a very important topic these days, as many people have this same question in Christianity as well. In response to your question, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, Director of the Islamic Society of Orange County and (past) President of the Islamic Society of North America, states:

    Answer: Date 16/June/2003 : Answer provided by: Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, past president of I.S.N.A.
    Indeed Allah is All-Powerful (Al-`Aziz) and He is able to do all things (Allahu 'ala kuli shayin qadir). The Quran has mentioned this hundreds of times. It is also mentioned in the Quran that Allah is the Creator and He is the Best Creator. Glory be to Allah, the best Creator. (Al-Mu'minoon: 14)
    But then the question comes why do pain and sufferings exist in the world. We find sickness, old age and death. We see things that are ugly, people who are insane and foolish. There are storms, earthquakes, floods, draught and famine. We also see people commit sins, show disloyalty, unfaithfulness, greed and insincerity. We see people commit rapes, murders; they fight and make wars. We know all these and many more problems. There are evils caused by human beings and there are natural disasters. There are suffering for individuals and there are those that involve a large number of people
    But we also know that this is not the whole story. Besides all these negative things, we also see beauty, health, prosperity, life, birth, wisdom, intelligence, growth and progress. We also see goodness among people, faith, sincerity, charity, love and the spirit of sacrifice. We also see a lot of virtue and piety. It is wrong to see one side of the coin and not to see the other side. Any philosophy that concentrates on one aspect of the creation and denies or ignores the other side is partially true and partial truths are no truth at all.
    It is also the fact that the element of good is more in the creation than the element of evil. We all see that there are more people who are healthy than those who are sick. There are more that eat well than those who starve.
    There are more that lead decent life than those who commit crimes. Goodness is the rule and evil is the exception. Virtue is the norm and sin is the aberration. Generally trees bear fruits, the flowers bloom, the winds move smoothly.
    But then the question is why does Allah allow these exceptions to the rules?
    Let us ask this question to understand Allah's ways in His creation. The Quran tells us that good, evil and whatever happens in this world happens by Allah's Will (mashiat Allah). Only Allah knows fully His Will. We finite beings cannot grasp fully His infinite Will and Wisdom. He runs His universe the way He deems fit. The Quran tells us that Allah is Wise and everything that Allah does is right, just, good and fair. We must submit and surrender to His Will. The Quran has not given us all the details about Allah's Will, but it has enlightened us with the guidance that is useful and sufficient for us. There are several points that we should keep in our mind to understand this issue:
    1. First of all, Allah did not make this world a permanent world. This is a temporary world and everything here has a time limit. When its times comes it will die, come to an end and finish. Neither the good things of this world are forever, nor the bad things eternal. We are here for a short time and we are being tested. Those who will pass this test will find an eternal world that is perfect and permanent. Those who will fail this test shall see the evil consequences of their sins and corruption.
    2. Allah has placed a physical law and a moral law in this universe. Allah allows suffering to occur when one or more of these laws are broken. The physical law is based on cause and effect. Sickness comes if one does not take care of ones health or is exposed to infections. A car accident occurs when one is not alert, or drives in a careless manner, or if the cars are not checked, roads and freeways are not made and kept in right shape, or the traffic laws are not right or not properly enforced. Study of causes and effects is very important to facilitate safeguards. Even here we should keep in mind that Allah often saves us and He does not let us suffer from every negligence. How many times it happens that we are not careful and still we reach safely to our destinations. The way people drive in some cities, it is a miracle that more accidents do not happen and more people do not suffer. Allah says:

    (Allah) Most Gracious! It is He Who has taught the Quran. He has created man: He has taught him speech (and Intelligence). The sun and the moon follow courses (exactly) computed; and the herbs and the trees both (alike) bow in adoration. And the Firmament has He raised high, and He has set up the Balance (of Justice), in order that you may not transgress (due) balance. So establish weight with justice and fall not short in the balance. It is He Who has spread out the earth for (His) creatures."
    The way we exceed the measures set by Allah and violate His laws of "cause and effect" is incredible. It is really the mercy of Allah that we are saved. Strictly speaking, the question should not be why does Allah allow suffering, but how much Allah protects us and saves us all the time in spite of our violations and negligence. The Quran says:
    "If Allah were to punish people according to what they deserve, He would not leave on the back of the (earth) a single living creature: but He gives them respite for a stated Term: when their Term expires, verily Allah has in His sight all His servants."

    But sometimes Allah does punish people because of their violations of His laws whether they are physical or moral. The Quran tells us that many nations and communities were destroyed because of their sinful lifestyles:

    If they treat thy (mission) as false, so did the Peoples before them (with their Prophets), the People of Noah, and Ad and Thamud. Those of Abraham and Lut; and the Companions of the Madyan people; and Moses was rejected (in the same way). But I granted respite to the Unbelievers, and (only) after that did I punish them: but how (terrible) was My rejection (of them)! How many populations have We destroyed, which were given to wrong-doing! They tumbled down on their roofs. And how many wells are lying idle and neglected, and castles lofty and well-built?" (Al-Hajj: 42-45)

    3. Suffering can also be a test and trial for some people. Allah allows some people to suffer in order to test their patience and steadfastness. Even Allah's Prophets and Messengers were made to suffer. Prophet Ayyub is mentioned in the Quran as a Prophet who was very patient. Good people sometimes suffer but their sufferings heal others and bring goodness to their communities. People learn lessons from their good examples. Martyrs die for their faith, soldiers give their lives for their nations and this brings liberation and freedom for their people.
    4. Allah sometimes allows some people to suffer to test others, how they react to them. When you see a person who is sick, poor and needy, then you are tested by Allah. Allah is there with that suffering person to test your charity and your faith. In a very moving Hadith Qudsi (Divine Hadith) the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

    Allah will say on the Day of Judgment, "O son of Adam, I was sick and you did not visit Me." He will say, "O my Lord, how could I visit You, when you are the Lord of the Worlds?" Allah will say, "Did you not know that My servant so-and-so was sick and you did not visit him? Did you not know that if you had visited him, you would have found Me there?" Allah will say, "O son of Adam, I asked you for food and you fed Me not." He shall say, "O my Lord, how could I feed you and you are the Lord of the Worlds?" And Allah will say, "Did you not know that My servant so-and-so was in need of food and you did not feed him? Did you not know that if you had fed him, you would have found that to have been for Me?" "O son of Adam, I asked you for water and you did not give Me to drink." The man shall say, "O my Lord, how could I give You water, when You are the Lord of the Worlds?" Allah will say, "My servant so-and-so asked you for water and you did not give him to drink water. Did you not know that if you had given him to drink, you would have found that to have been for Me?"
    (Muslim, Hadith no. 4661)
    Prophet `Isa (Jesus), peace be upon him, is also reported to have said something similar in the Injeel (Gospel or New Testament of The Bible). (See Matthew 25: 35-45) So to summarize, we can say suffering occurs to teach us that we must adhere to Allah's natural and moral laws. It is sometimes to punish those who violate Allah's natural or moral laws. It is to test our faith in Allah and to test our commitment to human values and charity. Whenever we encounter suffering we should ask ourselves, Have we broken any law of Allah? Let us study the cause of the problem and use the corrective methods. Could it be a punishment? Let us repent and ask forgiveness and reform our ways. Could it be a test and trial for us? Let us work hard to pass this test. Believers face the sufferings with prayers, repentance and good deeds. The non-believers face the sufferings with doubts and confusions. They blame Allah or make arguments against Him. May Allah keep us on the right path, Amen!

    Allah Almighty knows best
    credit to: Dr. Muzamil Saddique
  2. Ziggy

    Ziggy Antiquitie's Friend

    Interesting post. But then again I find all religions interesting, Buddhism, Shintoism, Christianity, Pantheism, I believe all, I believe none. I question them to learn and to grow.

    But the one thing I can't understand about religion is why we think everything is based around mankind. I mean other lifeforms existed millions of years before we did, and will (hopefully) exist millions of years after we are gone.

    So why do animals suffer? Even when humans weren't around to see them suffering they felt pain, loss, hunger. They can't be being punished as they haven't really done anything wrong, and they can't learn from it or draw closer to God through it.

    I guess animals feel pain as a survival instinct but if God hadn't given them teeth and claws to rip each other to shreds, to hurt and maim each other then these survival instincts wouldn't really be necessary.

    I often think this is the way it has to be, the way all the pieces in the jigsaw fit together, but that means I see that God really had no choice other than to make things like this because He couldn't do anything else. At the end of the day I don't really care if my life makes no sense because I'm just a tiny piece in the jigsaw, but I'd like to think that Life, the bigger picture, in some sort of way does, but I just feel I'm missing something.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2007
  3. SeemsPerfect

    SeemsPerfect Guest

    Ziggy has basically expressed every belief that I hold as my own.

    Only thing I could add as a personal note is that there are times when it seems the suffering of one eventually leads to that person's future success. Success that may not have come any other way. Other times, it seems to lead to an overall improvement of an entire group (as a species, nation, culture, et.al.).

    Of course, there are often things that happen that none of us seem to be able to put into prospective. I do believe in God but I don't know why these things occur when there doesn't appear to be a subsequent benefit to it. I simply feel it isn't always our place to know everything.
  4. muslim

    muslim Well-Known Member

    there was a story they told us which prove to us that something we think it is bad for us but we dont know then we recognize that it is the best for us
    There was a king and he is known that he is very rough and rude to every body
    he has a sevant which was very near from him and the onlky one which can deal with that king(that servant was very wise and religious
    one day they went in hunting trip
    on the palace the servant was playing with his sword but unfotunatly he cut the kings finger
    the king shouted and have a very big pain
    he told his soldiers to put him in the prison
    the servant said i am sure it is good for you the king became more anger.
    when the soldiers took him he said to the king i am sure it is good for me
    then the king went to the hunting trip he went to a island full of Dares and he was walking alone one time 5 people wearing very strange clothes made of leaf of the tree took him and was very happy
    he heared them saying that will be the perfect gift for our king
    this day was the celebration of island king birthday and as of their happits they must kill a foreighner of that island and eat his body
    they put him in front of the king and made him lay in his back
    but the island king shouted stop
    what is that his finger is cut
    throw him out i deserve the best
    our king was very happy and remembered his servant when he said it will be good for you
    he then came back to the palace and called his servant and thanked him and give him a lot of money
    and asked him when i put you in the prison you said i know it is good for me why you said that
    the servant replied if you didnt put me in the prison and i go with you
    so when they found your finger cut
    of course they will kill and then eat me
  5. Ziggy

    Ziggy Antiquitie's Friend

    My cat just brought in a dead bird tonight. She's never done that before. I find it hard to look at her now, it sickens me, the bird was such a beautiful creature. I still can't bring myself to understand why life has to be this way. Maybe I'm not meant to understand, but it still sickens me.
  6. muslim

    muslim Well-Known Member

    Dear ziggy

    of course we dont know why all things happen???
    from this view what we have to do .

    we must not hurt any body
    we must help any body hurted even if he is mistaken but we must help.

    for your bird i am sorry for what happened but may be that bird was hurting other birds and to be sick that is for the sake of others

    dont laugh i just show you may be that is the most right thing and you dont know.
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