If There's A God . .
Why Do Bad Things Happen?
Why Does God (Allah) Let Bad Things Happen?
TIP: many non-Muslims have this same question. When they learn how we think, believe and worship and most important - WHY - they might become Muslim, inshallah.
So feel free to link to this page or send people here to learn Islam the right way, inshallah.
Why does Allah let things happen to us? How come I have a degree in medicine and I can’t use it or my experience in medical practice now?
Or the sister who asked about her working in day care and why she can’t get a better paying job, like she had before coming to Islam?
Someone had a death in their family recently and had commented that it didn’t seem right, how suddenly someone is just gone. How could Allah let this happen?
Recently a young brother from overseas told me and my whole audience, he left Islam. What we learned was things did not go the way he wanted so he just figured he needed to change to another religion to see if things would be better.
But it is the converts (reverts) to Islam here in the west who really have a double problem, in my opinion. First of all, there are the normal things they have to go through, as people who accepted Islam through the centuries had to experience.
Anyone with understanding of what we American converts go through when leaving Christianity and embracing Islam knows it is not all that easy.
Besides the usual things such as wudu, salat, fasting, zakat, hajj, Arabic, Quran and learning how to navigate inside the masjid (let’s see, men go to that door, women to that door.
The areas that look like bathrooms but don’t have toilets (wudu areas), the main area for worship DOES NOT HAVE CHAIRS, speaking of not having things in worship THERE’S NO MUSIC? Wow.
Then of course, there’s the racks of shoes near the door, you know what I’m talking about.
Second of all there is the problem converts have with the born Muslims. Many who grew up around Muslims don’t really follow much about their own religion but they often confuse their culture with religion and don’t know the difference between the two.
You get the idea . . .
Take for instance the statements above - “Why does God let bad things happen to good people?”
Well, that will be the subject for this week’s khutbah, inshallah.
Let’s start with the Words of Almighty Allah, in the Quran.
Allah tells us in His last and final revelation to mankind, that this life is only here for one reason, and one reason only - A TEST.
Read it in surah Ad-Dariyat (51:56) Allah says, He did not create mankind and jinn except for worship (to Him).
My Story . . .
We have to keep in mind, for instance - like in my own case - when I came to Islam - I lost everything. Literally, everything single thing, even my home, cars, trucks, stores, inventory, boats, airplanes, warehouses - but that's not the hard part.
Even my clothes, suits, ties and boots (high dollar stuff) - all gone. Millions in musical instruments and mold making equipment - lost.
But that was not the hardest part (although, I did miss loosing my favorite diamond ring a little - 40 grand worth...)
My standing in the community went from well-known highly respected entrepreneur, Christian businessman, music minister - to nothing! (or worse). I had lost the respect and dignity built up over 20 years.
My own mother and sisters suddenly didn't want me to come around or even talk to them on the phone. That hurt.
But that wasn't the worst. You know what really hurt?
Loosing something that meant a whole lot to me at that time - my wife and children (they disappeared).
It all happened so fast too. One day I was trying to convert a Muslim from Egypt to become a Christian and before you know it, my friend, a Catholic priest - was making his shahadah to Islam! Then the next morning I was doing the same thing. Before long, my wife (before she left with my kids) was doing her shahadah and then came my father. Before you know it my business is gone, all of it and the last of it. No way to explain it, except to say, "God's Will".
Then as suddenly as my children had disappeared - Allah brought them back to me - after a lot of crying in the nights to Allah, of course.
Almost a year passed, going to flea markets, buying, selling, trading and laboring to do whatever I could to care for my little ones. My dad came on board and as a real supporter all the way. May Allah have Mercy on his soul, ameen.
It was about this time of the year, back in 1992 - I was asking around if anyone knew a sister who might like to have a ready made family, complete with old guy, and his dad and couple kids, even a beat up old pickup that was falling apart (really).
Someone told me about a sister who was a department manager in a department store, convert sister, from Texas, might be interested... More crying in the night and begging Allah (I didn't really know what to do with little girls growing up and asking questions... you know?)
The one day, while in that very department store, my little 6 year old walks up to a lady at the cash register and just out of the blue asks her, "Are you the Muslim lady who works here?"
She says, "Yes, can I help you?"
"Yes. My daddy wants to marry you"
She almost passed out right there...
All this time I was on another isle and had no idea what she was saying and what was going on.
My daughter comes back to me and says, "Daddy, she says she is the Muslim lady you are looking for and for us to come back when she is on break.."
Well, we did come back. We walked around the mall and had a short introduction and parted company.
Next morning I called her to say it was time for fajr (couldn't think of anything more clever than that), she says to me, "I have an alarm clock and I know when fajr comes in" -
WHOA - that I was not ready for. I guess I lost the old touch, you know?
Anyway, I made a one day run from Dallas down to Houston and came back with the first decent money I had made since the day I entered Islam - Just over 1,500 and you know, we sure did need it too.
Well, anyway it was Thursday, Thanksgiving day and I called her again - tried to make it sound casual you know? And asked her how she dealt with the family on Thanksgiving day, what with the ham and drinking and smoking and all the foolishness the non-Muslims go through.
Surprise to me - she asked what we were going to do? I told her to come on over to my dad's home and we'd have lunch and watch a new movie about the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, called "The Message" (it was still new back then).
Well, she came over in her new Thunderbird, dressed in her hijab and met my dad and we sat down to watch the movie - but it never happened - someone copied some other movie over it - I was the debate of Ahmed Deedat and Jimmy Swaggart of all things.
We had not watched much of it when all of a sudden my same daughter came right up to her and asked her, "Are you going to marry my daddy and be my mommy?"
AAAAAHH - WHOA - OH MAN (my dad is looking at me and laughing).
She replied back to her, "Well, he hasn't asked me yet"
Now my daughter is right up in my face, "Daddy, ask her"
"Ahhh, well, ahh, duh - I ahhh, you know . . "
She looked right at me and said, "Well?"
Me - "Ahhh OK, well - would you . . .?"
Her - "Would I WHAT?"
Me - "You know, ahh marry me?"
(dad is really laughing now)
Her - "I don't know if it is in Islam or not. But I would like it if you properly proposed to me and asked me like a man does when he wants to get married"
Me - "O, well I don't know, but maybe in Islam you don't need to, you know, have to aaah, say something like - "
Her - "Yes. I want you to propose to me the right way"
(I was really embarrassed you know? After all, here I was nearly 50 years old and my daughters and father all right there and everything - you know...)
Me - "Well, OK - Will you marry me?" (that was tough, but at least I did it)
Her - "Not good enough. Come across the room, put your knee on the ground and look at me and then ask me"
Me - (looking over at dad and he's dying laughing) - "Ahh, well. OK. Would you please marry me?"
Her - (looking around at the ceiling like she's thinking - but no answer - nothing)
- at this stage, my dad is the only one having fun - and he's laughing it up big time...
Me - I get up, go back to my chair and just there...
Her - "Well, they say I'm crazy. And I must be. Because I am going to accept your proposal for marriage".
- Now the kids are dancing all over the place, shouting, my dad's having a time of it and me, I'm not sure what just happened.
Just then, the phone rang -
By the Will of Allah - the very same brother who had told about the sister was on the phone, telling me he and his wife would try to set up a meeting with the sister (no one knew we already met) for this weekend.
I had to tell him twice before he got it into his mind - "She is here. Right now. She just agreed to marry me."
Brother - "WHAT? How is that possible?"
I explained the whole thing to him (well, not the part about getting on one knee and all that)
Brother - "We'll be right over" and he hung up the phone.
And sure enough, 15 minutes later, three brothers from the masjid pulled up, got out and came in. They were ready to do the marriage, right then and there. And they did. In Arabic and in English.
On Monday we went down to the courthouse, got the license and did the ceremony - and we've been married now for the last 22 years, this Thanksgiving.
Things were a bit tight and even difficult for us all in those first few months and as the years went by, we saw the way Allah made things work out, not the way we wanted - but the way Allah wanted it. And we learned how to persevere and be steadfast and patient while we go through these trials and tests of this life.
My daughters are grown and married now - the one with the big mouth, now has three of her own big mouth daughters (and another baby on the way, inshallah). They have a nice home out in California, maashallah. Her husband is a scholar of Islam and works for a dawah organization there. The other daughter grew up, traveling with me around the world, and then married a many who had never traveled out of Pittsburgh (even hates to fly).
For those who know about our efforts for dawah on the Internet, we put the first video for Islam on Google videos and then when YouTube started 10 years ago, we also put the first video for Islam there too. Who knew it would become the beginning of millions and millions of views and so many people coming to Islam?
Many organizations, governments, even the United Nations have hosted me and invited me for speaking, traveling, sharing and telling my little stories over these many years, the country of Dubai even awarded me the honor of being (according to them) the world's most influential Muslim of 2012 (although I told them there are many people, like Dr. Zakir Naik who are more deserving than me, but I'll take any money involved for our new TV station - GUIDE US TV) - Yes. I said that on international television during the program. And the next year, sure enough, they gave the award to Dr. Zakir Naik. Ha Ha.
Brothers and sisters, by now you know I told you this whole story to give you a better perspective of why Allah does things in the way He does. It is not for us to question or even really understand - it is a question of whether or not we are truly dedicated to Allah, no matter what we think is going on.
It is always for the best for the believers and it will always be good in the end for those who surrender, submit, obey, in sincerity and peace (with patience) to the Commands of Almighty Allah.
Don't ever give up on Allah. Because He will never give up on you.
Back to work for me now - but if you are interested to know more about God (Allah), please visit our website: www.GodAllah.com
Jazakallah khair was salam alaykum,
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