Dear brothers and sisters, this question is one of the main reasons why many people disbelieve in God, and it is one of the oldest doubts within those that disbelieve, and most common in the west.
When we speak to a disbeliever, the question is that if God is all knowing, powerful, most merciful, how can He allow all this evil in this World?
Therefore as Allah SWT is all knowing, He would know the incidents before it happened, and as the most Powerful, could stopped it in time, therefore why not prevent this evil? Questions such as this come to light when horrific events such as the ones in New Zealand are put before the world.
If we break down this question, it is normally an assumption of one of the four possibilities such as:
- Allah SWT is not all knowledgeable or powerful
- Allah SWT is all knowledgeable but not Powerful enough to stop it.
- Allah SWT is not Merciful as He is all knowing and all powerful but will not stop evil.
- Or there is no God at all
If we delve into this question, we will see that once scrutinized each of these so-called logical points have logical flaws to the argument.
Firstly, Muslims should not be naive and believe what others believe. We can protect themselves from this by gaining knowledge and understanding our Allah SWT’s names and attributes to be able to have the correct vision rather than just be confused with the claims of others.
The reason they don’t believe in Allah SWT is that He is allowing evil to occur, but that’s an illogical reason as this does not mean God does not exist. What it does mean that Allah SWT may not have some of the attributes they would like or expect Him to have.
The imam referenced the Quran in relation to this point. Allah SWT said Sura Saad, ayat 27:
And We did not create the heaven and the earth and that between them aimlessly. That is the assumption of those who disbelieve, so woe to those who disbelieve from the Fire.
Dear brothers and sisters, if we break down the so-called evil in this world then we are tested in two ways. First is natural evilness, such as natural disasters, volcanos, diseases etc and the other type is the behavioural evilness such as killing, oppressions that humans do to each other.
Regarding the first type, they say why do people get hurt by natural disasters if there is a God? The problem for the non-believer is that their main aim of this life, is this life, it begins and ends here and death is the end of all good things, but for Muslims it’s a test in this world for an eternal life after.
As Muslims, we understand that we are simply living a test, an exam that is only to last but a short period of time versus the eternity of life in the hereafter. We know that for each difficulty and test we endure, it counts in our favour. We know that for each moment of pain and suffering, we are being accounted for it and that it will work for us on the Day of Judgement. We know that for each moment of difficulty, we will have immeasurable time of ease and pleasure in the next life insh’Allah so why focus on the test that is this life?
A simple example is if a man works all day but earns a pound, would feel each and every single oppression and pain, but if a man works all day but earns a million pounds, the pain would not be felt as the reward is so huge. We would endure the pain and discomfort with a smile because he is aware of the sheer magnitude of the award. The latter is the belief of the Muslims. Therefore as Muslims, we must remember this and seek our happiness from this crucial fact of life.
The Messenger of Allah SAWS said:
“How wonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him”.
Alongside that, is the second type of evilness or corruption in the world and that is those which are caused by humans. The question here is also illogical as they ask why does God allow corruption to happen and evil to persist? Why isn’t Allah SWT intervening on the heart-breaking accounts of injustice we are almost numb to hearing about on a daily basis.
Even the case of so-called natural disasters can fall into this category such as flooding’s through global warming caused by humans.
We need to remember again that this world is a stage for the test which will determine our outcome in the actual existence of the hereafter. This is a temporary abode for each and every one of us. It is merely a platform in which we determine our own outcome in the hereafter.
We know from what Allah SWT tells us and through the Prophet SAWS that some people will fail this test. They will fail because they will cause evil and wickedness in their time on Earth. If each and every one of them were stopped from carrying out that injustice on the world or others then this life would fail to be a test any longer and the purpose of life as we have been told by Allah SWT would cease to be true.
The reality is we are given a choice and some of us cause evilness through our actions in this life. That has it’s consequences on us in this life as well as the next. But again, this goes back to the earlier point that nobody will be short-changed on the day of Judgment and Allah SWT has promised that each and every one of us will be compensated for every injustice we have endured in this life.
Dear brothers and sisters, we need to remember that this world is set up to test us as obedient slaves of Allah SWT. If a test did not have things that would cause us to feel that test then it would fail to serve its purpose.
The primary difference between a Muslim and that who does not believe in the next life is that they are only focused on making this world their paradise. For the Muslim, this world is like a prison as mentioned by our Prophet SAWS.
Therefore, we ought to keep that in mind and reset our focus to the real life which will begin with the accounting of our deeds and our responses to the tests that we are likely to endure in this life.