Gaza? Syria? Iraq? Can't God Stop Disasters?

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Millions Suffer Around the World
disaster1

If There's A God Why Do We Suffer?

Is there a God?
Can God do anything?

Is there some other god or power besides Almighty God?
Is God "Love"?
Why Doesn't He Stop the Evil?

Answer: Dr. Muzamil Saddiqui

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.

Quran also says, "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 observe goodness among people, faith, sincerity, charity, love and the spirit of sacrifice.

We notice a lot of virtue and piety. It is wrong to see one side of the coin and not to see the other side.
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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.

Only Allah knows fully His Will.

We finite beings cannot grasp fully His infinite Will and Wisdom.

God 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.

The prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, told us, "This worldly place is a prison to the true believers, and a paradise to the disbelievers."

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."
(Ar-Rahman:1-10)

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."
(Fatir:45)

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, in summary 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]
Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi is the director of (ISOC) Islamic Society of Orange County
and (former) President of ICNA (Islamic Society of North America).

More? www.GodAllah.com

COMMENTS (Below Please)



Comments   

#14 Poshy 2011-06-21 22:59
Emily and company. Generalisations are silly and have zero credibility. If you want to character assasinate to make yourself feel better, target a person by his morals and his conducts, dont make a blanket statement across an entire religion based on your incorrect and subjective viewpoint, you win nothing that way. Wrong things happen in EVERY EVERY EVERY country, and all these people come from different religions, different social backgrounds, different hair colour, different eye colour skin colour, but you don't go and condemn the whole of that type of person for something they did wrong. Don't confuse politics with religion. I don't go around doing something and because I am a brunette from Australia, suddenly all brunettes from Sydney should be liable for what I did. Silly right? Yes. At the end of the day, the most horrific things that have happened on earth from biblical times to now have been from Christians and Western countries. This is a fact.
#13 Tibatu More 2011-06-09 09:43
Greetings, found this article to be helpful when answering questions possibly designed to draw doubt around the the the teaching of Islam. I received a booklet entitled
#12 muhammad 2011-05-01 06:08
Emily,Jubair and Ejaz Ahamed have on the one hand the same motive to comment just like that. Stephanie and aya on the other hand contrast them by being more reasonable and friendly. Please MUSLIMS, just be nice and be the first to aknowledge others defferences of thought. Stick to our beloved prophet's example and remember your comment or reply could be crucial to others acceptance.
#11 s 2011-04-28 14:50
jazakallah khair.
#10 aya 2011-04-23 00:43
Assalamu Alaikum!__I think Stephanie is right, although my first reaction to Emily's comment was to react like Jubair: accusations, accusations, accusations. Yes, the American Imperialism is strong, but .. the main point is not to spark debate... Besides, I lived in America for over four years, and they're nice people,just misguided. Emily, I think you should look carefully before you make your comment. Besides, I believe that Obama (who is from a Muslim family, and the President of your country) allowed it..? __Salam, Aya!
#9 Stephanie 2011-03-26 09:51
As-salaamu alaikum. For Jubair on 3/11/11...I think a better way to have addressed Emily would have been to take the advice of Sheikh Estes when he said to never debate - it is a accusatory way to hold discussions which leaves lasting negative impressions that cause damage on both sides. I'm sorry I can't remember which video I watched with the Sheikh (maybe Explaining Islam to Non-Muslims??) but he made excellent points and taught Muslims what to say when approached like this by Non-Muslims. If I misquoted the Sheikh, I apologize, but I think I got the meaning right.
Let's put it this way...I used to think like Emily but now, alhamdullilah, I am a Muslimah! Salaams.
#8 Ejaz Ahamed 2011-03-13 09:27
Excellent Jubair......... ..... I think Emily would have got the answer for her great misunderstandin g of Islam and also the followers of Islam.......... .... "Emily you have to realize your mistake........ ...... "
#7 Jubair 2011-03-11 08:00
This is a response to the comment of Emily.It,s kind of funny how you americans like to talk though.You see the world as your own point of view and it,s more funny when americans come here and start talking about hatred well that,s a bigger joke.The muslim umma in a whole never asked to build a mosque there you are judging some people,s own matter of political or whatever situation and blaming it on all muslims it,s nothing new by the way. Because of some people doing terrorism you label them as ( Terrorist muslims)? Hitler was a christian,musso lini was a christian and you people almost wiped out the jews in hatred and do you hear muslims say(christian terrorists)?you are talking like those 4th grade students with tiny little judging brain.Killings of (thousands of iraqis,palestin ians?lebanese,a fghans are not considered as hatred or acts of terrorism? if a person dies in the west and it becomes an international news?with that sort of judging and knowledge power you got you come here talking about muslims being haters?and something more funnier about how we chose relationship with you and we shall reap it?it was you the christians and the west drove the jews out and killed them and you come here talk about hatred?learn some history if you can (with the tiny dumb brain of yours)oh and Emily?those sarcastic words of yours we muslims do not give a damn about it so don,t try to be smart and leave foolish dumb remarks in which you got no knowledge about. Learn you own religion first (one of the other main problems of west they don,t know a dot of their own religion)then come here to talk.
#6 mohsin 2010-12-26 04:00
Assalaamualaikum,

As per my understanding,t he number of the hadith quoted in this article is wrong. It is written as hadith no. 4661 but it should be hadith no. 6232 of Sahi Muslim. Can you please verify it?
Jazakallah

..EDITOR: actually, there are different translations and different numberings of the hadeeth in Sahih Muslim and in Sahih Al Bukhari. This is due to the fact, the idea of numbering the ayahs of Quran and numbering hadeeths and making collections into indexed volumes came along with the students of knowledge and various ones collected and counted them in different sequence. However, these are still the very same hadeeth from the same narrators and the same sub-narrators. -- Hope we helped you with your question.
#5 dara 2010-09-29 00:13
I believe that everything that happen has a reason and we do not cast our doubts upon the Al Mighty.. there are many things in this world that beyond our wisdom to understand.. Insyaallah Allah will lead us to the right path if we seek guidance and help from the Al Mighty.. Thanks for the article.. mashalllah..
May Allah reward you and your family..

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