Why Does Evil Occur
Channel: Moutasem al-Hameedy
File Size: 38.21MB
hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa salatu salam ala shall have been more serene, so you didn't know Muhammad. While early he was Herbie he a domain what I do. So I have a challenge to speak for about maybe half an hour, I'll try to even cut it a little short. But asking the most complex and problematic questions. Question, why does evil, okay?
I want to start with a story.
In the old days, there was a man
who had horses, he would breed horses.
And one day his
his son, who was around 1820,
goes and checks on the horses in the barn, make sure that they have the food that everything is in place.
And then the man hears a scream. So he rushes to the barn with in a state of panic, he finds his son on the ground and in excruciating pain, screaming out of pain.
And it turned out one of the horses, kicked his son
and injured him severely in his leg,
to the point that his leg for the most likely would not be functional properly for the rest of his life.
So they tried to do whatever,
apply whatever medicine they had at the time medical treatment, they get medical help. And then the following day, a friend of the man visits him. And he sees him so sad and depressed. And he says, what's going on? He said, You know, I don't know why this type of evil happens to us. Then he tells him about what happened last night.
So he says this is evil. The man asks him, how do you know? He says what's evil? He says my son's injury. He says how do you know it's evil? He says it's evil. What else could it be?
Time goes by a few weeks later, the king of that territory, wages unfair and unjust war on another state.
it seems that according to the numbers, that it was a desperate war, and most likely it was going to end up in an obvious defeat. But again, the king wage that war and he, the call goes out for all young men to join the army. It's more like compulsory conscription. Right.
So everyone who is above 18, he has to join the army.
And obviously, people normal people don't want to send their kids to this losing war. And most, there would be a high chance that they would lose their children. And people depended heavily on the children by the way for their well being because people lived
out of like the work in the farm, simple crafts and things like that. So they depended heavily on handing down their craft to their younger children through generations. And when the parents got older, you know, the their children would take care of them, and so on and so forth. So the call goes out. And then all males above 18 and above. They were taken to war, and it was a disaster. So the friend of the Father visits him again. And he says,
How was the injury of your son? Did your son go to war? He said, No. He said, why? He said because of his injury, he said, was the accident evil or not?
The man it got the man thinking. So I don't promise today that I will able to answer this question for you. Right? But I promise that hopefully in sha Allah, I'll try to get you thinking about evil. Because we seem to ask these questions without even you know, having what it takes to be able to ask this question and get an answer from them. It doesn't seem that we are actually looking for an answer per se. The question is not coming from a genuine intellectual thirst to know where evil comes from, and hopefully Inshallah, this will become clearer. I have a question first for you. What is evil?
And you can answer by putting your hand up. But you know what, I don't want you to answer evil. You don't answer something by reference to itself. So you don't say evil is bad things. Because bad and evil are pretty much synonymous.
So you want to don't say evil is the opposite of good. That's again another sort of a cyclical definition. We want the definition a clear definition. What is evil?
So that because before we answer the question, Why does evil occur we need to agree on evil.
And I think it's my guess that you will see that we don't even agree on evil we don't seem to understand evil, but we have the
we have the boldness to even ask a question about evil why does it okay when we don't even have a clear image or a clear mental image of what evil really is? So what is evil
Don't be don't be intimidated by me an introduction we all we're all in the same in the same on the same boat so Yes.
Anything that what
anything that pleases shape on is evil right? Okay, that's that's actually good. Anything that pleases shape on is evil.
But here that means in order for you to know if something is evil or not, then you need to know what pleases shape on and what displeases shape on and if you don't know you won't be able to recognize what's evil right? Okay, cool. Good. Stan.
What's evil sisters? Same chance.
anything okay? Cool. Anything good? Anything that displeases Allah. Very good. Anything that this pleases Allah. Right. So what is the reference here? The reference is ALLAH SubhanA wa taala. The reference? Is Allah anything that displeases Allah is evil. Is this right or wrong? It's actually not wrong. But let me tell you one thing, it's not comprehensive. It doesn't cover all evil.
Okay, other other definitions of evil. What do you describe as evil? If you fail an exam is that considered to be evil? And when I say evil bad okay, I'll put add some synonyms did evil is a whole class of things is all classification.
Okay, we say bad we say detrimental. We say
yeah, I don't want to I don't want to I don't want to give you answers. So but again, anything of sort of a negative charge that's what we what we mean by evil right to include everything that we can and the definition brothers nothing sisters, Sister over there
anything that causes
anything that brings about this crash destruction and chaos in the world? Meaning in any place, right? Anything that brings chaos and destruction?
So Allah subhanaw taala I want to challenge this so bear with me. So Allah says in the Quran about the believers when they took over Hi, buddy freeborn Abu to hum about the some of the Jewish tribes you freeborn who to whom they add him or add more meaning. They destroy their own houses, with their own hands and the hands of the believers? Isn't that destruction of property?
And actually, the Muslims burnt a number of palm trees, as well, under the command of the Prophet sallahu wa salam and the beginning. Isn't that destruction? Is that evil?
So we grappling with a concept that's not very easy to relate to. We thought, oh, evil is evil. Everyone knows evil, right?
The Day of Judgment, on the Day of Judgment, there will be chaos, right? There will be destruction is that evil?
So if evil is everything that brings about chaos and destruction, does that mean the Day of Judgment is evil?
Or what are the destruction on the Day of Judgment? Is that evil? Particularly
These are big questions, they help us understand, but you know what? Okay, I'll come back to that later inshallah. And the other definitions
there's only one Okay, from the definitions we had so far. Does anyone feel that they have a better understanding? Now these definitions help you understand what evil a little more
we're still in a standstill? Okay. Any other definitions brothers?
must be brief. Moto moto Sermo.
by Ma was Cheb.
then you asked to speak in Arabic we give you permission.
That's a different question. Halina facade for you, man who was shot? What is evil
anyone with displeases Allah.
Right? Boy. Let's keep it there. Okay, and yeah, brother.
Harmful, something harmful? Like what? Disease? injury? Right? natural catastrophe
hurricane is the is that evil? Can we call this evil? Can we call natural disasters evil?
Can we call them evil?
Who says no?
Who says Yes?
Who's not sure?
You see how like we have different ideas of what is good or what's not. Okay just to answer this question, so we don't leave, you know,
open threads in this. Allah says wanna blue condition they will hire a fitna.
We try you we test you with evil and good
as a test.
If you go to the refer to the books of Tafseer what is a shuttle here? We test you with evil. What is it? Natural disasters? Illness?
So do you change your mind? Natural disasters? Evil?
You can call them evil. You can call them evil? Yeah.
You can call them evil. Okay. Other definitions help us get to understand where you're like, honestly, like, I'll be honest with you, I'll be blunt. From what you said, I am not getting a clear understanding of what evil really means. So how am I going to answer the question? Why does evil occur?
We're running out of time. Go ahead, sister at the back.
Okay, so the things practices are what did what was the first word?
Something Okay, generals, something that goes against the morals that are set by society, by religions or by human nature. Right, three things? Does that make sense? So something that goes against the moral morals. See now there? We're talking about something different now? There is morality here involved? There is morality? So is it okay, I have a different question for you. I don't think I'll be honest with you again. I'd be a little mean, you didn't do? Well? You did you did average you did. Okay. Now I have another question for you. Which is easier? Is there an entity or an element called evil? That you can weigh it? Or you can measure it? Or you can point at it?
Is there anything like this physical tangible? Can you go to the shop and buy evil?
Or buy online? Maybe with cryptocurrency? Can you buy evil
as an evil?
So, okay, so such a problematic concept? Such as, how are we going to answer a question that says, Why does evil occur? So evil is not one thing.
That's the conclusion.
Evil first is not a thing.
And it's not one thing, it includes so many things. And we are born, we are born with a with a system that recognizes that there is good and there is evil. And that's why in every language in every culture, there is the concept of good and evil. But what happens the spirit fitrah is part of our fitrah which is the recognition of good and evil and appreciation celebration of good and this kind of rejection of everything that is evil. Is is natural to all human beings is part of all fitrah but what happens is that this withdraw needs to be taken care of. It needs to be enhanced and developed. But what happens instead, through our culture, through our upbringing and the external
influence around us what happens? These concepts get distorted
They get distorted. So two main things that people refer to as evil, moral evil, moral violation, despicable things that you find, again, that's not the definition of them, but that's a sign of them, you find them repulsive, you find them as they give you a sense of violation to something sacred, something that should be
something that should be
sustained, something that should be taken care of something that should be preserved or violate this is moral. So this sister there that she said, moral, moral violation. So there is evil that we refer to as moral and these this is about behavior, a crime. Some someone commits murder, someone commit Zina, right, someone commits theft. For us, this is a moral action,
and what sort of moral evil, this is an evil action, which is a moral evil. But we also call things that are detriment where there is destruction, where there is disruption,
there is disruption, there is damage. We also call this evil as well. And they are not the same.
They are not the same.
They're not the same. So when we are asking, Why does evil occur in the world? Which evil are we talking about?
Which evil are we talking about? So it seems to us that what the word evil or our usage of the word evil boils down to one thing,
things are counter forces that go against
what we appreciate what we value what we like.
We can call them destructive forces, detrimental forces. The same these are concepts that the scholars say these are things you can't put a definition on, like the concept of love. If you try to define the definition of love, you will not be able to, and all of the definitions people have of love are descriptions of manifestations or signs of love, not love itself. You can't put a definition on on love itself, the essence of love, you can't. The same thing applies to this everything that is intuitive, meaning everything that is part of your human nature, everything that is instilled in you built in you you are you know you're born with it, but of your fitrah you can't
define it with your mind. Because it's deeper than that. He can't define it. Define it with words. So evil, you can't you can't define it, but you sense it. So what is the reality of evil, evil is not an entity, it's not a thing. Evil is a judgment.
Evil is a judgment is a judgment. It's either a moral judgment, or a functional judgment. So when we are talking about moral violation, evil, any kind of sin, any kind of crime,
this is a moral. This is moral evil, anything that is of a destructive nature.
Right, something that brings harm, the brother said harm,
harm, something that brings harm, something that causes pain, something that pushes against your plans, and your work and your actions. We call it evil, counter force, anything that pushes against you, you call it evil, you define it automatically as evil.
This is what it boils down to in our usage. So why do these two types of evil why do they exist in the world?
Now, I think I believe that this question, or the attitude behind this question is very arrogant.
It's very arrogant.
And I also argue that the person who's actually asking this question is not really looking for answers, but they are just venting, some kind of an inner crisis and a problem within them. You know, why?
Because we are here on this earth not to pass judgment.
You're not here to evaluate the creation of Allah, and the actions of Allah and the plans of Allah and what happens in the world, you know, philosophers. And again, some thinkers like to call this ontology, ontological truth. ontological truth is what is what is happening what's on the ground, the reality as it is?
Allah did not place you on earth. Allah did not create us and places on Earth in order to pass judgments, and classify, classify what's going on and give it some sort of a quality. Is it good or evil? Why did Allah creators, Allah says Allah the holla call moto will hire the blue or come to you come as no Anna
Now, it is Allah who created death and life in order to test you to test who will be best among you in terms of actions. So you are here on a mission, when you are not busy with your mission, you have enough time and luxury to start looking at the world and say, Well, why is there so much evil in the world?
And this that question shows that you don't understand why you here on earth. You don't it shows that we don't understand I don't want to say you, let's say we we don't understand what is the meaning of this life? Because this is why this is why I said at the beginning that someone who asks the question, why is there evil in the world?
These people are negligent, they are negligent of their duty and of their purpose on this in this life, how come?
How come someone asks a question? Because Allah said, He, as we said, the verse that we quoted in certain milk that Allah created death and life in order to test you who's who's best in actions. The verse that we quoted before, when a blue come from Surah Al Anbiya, when a blue Combi surely will hire a fitna and we test you with what with evil and good as a test.
So Allah subhanaw taala says that he placed us on Earth to test us. And he clarified as well what is the mechanism for testing us, he's going to test us with evil and good with hardship and ease,
with pain, suffering, and with ease and luxury.
So Allah says, I'm placing you on earth, and I am going to test you by means of what you call evil.
By means of what you call evil, evil in the sense of operational evil in the sense something that disease, natural disaster, and injury and accident, the death of a loved one, mental illness, anything that you call disaster, anything that's painful, anything that is harmful, the you know the the falling apart of your plans, you're failing an exam,
your business, your you know,
you know you're losing your wealth, while going through financial difficulty. Allah said, we are going to test you through these things.
Right. But Allah also said, when a blue can be shared, we will hire and we are going to test you by means of evil and good. Allah will also test you by means of moral evil.
By means of moral evil, Allah is going to allow moral evil to happen in this world at the hands of perpetrators.
So that you are tested by it. If it comes your way, how do you deal with it?
How do you push back against it.
And number two, the number two of tests. The second type of tests with moral evil is it is tempting. There will be situations in your life where it's tempting to commit moral evil to lie, to cut corners, to deceive, to wrong others, to gain advantage over others, to backbite to speak about someone to slander someone to lie against someone
to get the upper hand over someone.
And evil is not only by doing there is evil by not doing not performing your prayer is what evil seeing someone who's about to die and not help not extending a hand to help them. It's evil. You can say I haven't done anything. Right? Because even by withdrawing you are committing evil in situations like that. So Allah tests you by means of moral evil. And Allah test you by means of existential or ontological evil, which is going to be called an operational evil, detriment, illness, disease, pain, struggle, suffering, most of the struggle about again, again, most of the questions that are asked today about evil, why does evil occur? Why why is there evil in the world?
People are not even talking about moral issues. People are talking about what pain and this has been an observation by researchers in the social sciences. Most of people's questions about pain, about evil are actually questions about pain, physical pain and psychological pain.
So when someone says why is there evil in the world, they're not really interested in knowing why evil truly exists. They are screaming.
It's a scream from inside from the pain that they are experiencing inside.
And no amount of rationalization is going to help someone when they ask a question. When it's when they're asking a figurative question.
Remember, they're complaining about their pain.
But what's dangerous about the stance, which we just mentioned earlier?
Is that when you are busy with your pain,
and you turn it into, from an experience, from personal experience into an intellectual debate into an ideological issue, why is there evil in the world? Why does Allah it gets worse? Why does Allah allow evil in the world? Why does Allah allow suffering?
Right? Allah is the Merciful. Why is he allowing suffering? Why doesn't he create a world that is free from evil?
What he already did, by the way, and he told you, I'm not gonna put you in it yet. I'm gonna put you here in a world where there is good and evil. That's what he said to us. I'm gonna put you in a world that has good and evil, and there is a world that is purely good. And in order to enter it,
you have to go through this life and choose good over evil.
And you can't claim that connection to good. You have to manifest it through your lifestyle, through your life choices, in the most difficult times, the most challenging times and the most tempting times, when a blue Combi Cherie will hire a fitna. There is a will that is all good that you asking for, that you craving for right? That's what I want. Why does Allah Allah, Allah is merciful, and it's wise, and He's almighty, and he's able to do all things, and he created a world that is perfect, and there is no evil or there is no place in it for evil. It's pure good.
So why doesn't he put us in in it?
Well, if a weld is purely good, only good ones are allowed to go into it. Because if you allow evil people to go into it, you can have more Uzza
you're gonna have more cheating,
you're gonna have more backbiting so it's not going to be a good world. So Allah said, I'm gonna put you through this world. Okay, if you truly crave that good, and if you really have an affiliation and honest connection, and affiliation, to good, live by it.
And I won't leave you on your own. I'm gonna, I'm gonna give you the details. I'm going to show you how you recognize good from evil. So I'll make it easy for you. Here's an instruction book. Here's a real example Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu sallam. He's a generation the companions of the Allahu Anhu. He wrote personalities throughout the Muslim history, great scholars, and personalities who manifested this as a lifestyle.
live by that.
And you're going to be tested because claims are easy, but when you are tested, and when you are put in situations where it seems as though
committing a violation, cutting corners, is going to get you what you want. That is the real test of whether you want good or evil. You choose evil. You can't make it to the world of good, fair judgment. fair judgment. So someone who says Where does where?
why did why is there evil in the world? Why does Allah allow evil in the world? If Allah is merciful? What is the Allah we will because Allah is merciful, He allows evil in the world. Because if Allah doesn't allow evil in the world, and Allah just keeps you together, this evil is going to perpetuate for eternity. But Allah is going to put an end to this evil and it ends with what they have judgment.
Lea, Jalal habito Baba who Allah Baldon for your Kumar, who Jimmy and Ella houfy Johanna, Allah says Allah is gonna bring evil all together all of evil.
Heap it on top of each other, throw it in the hellfire, that's where it belongs. It doesn't disturb anything else. It stays where it belongs.
Janna, purely good, no form of evil, no physical, no ontological, no moral Allah says about them. You know, they don't feel pain. They don't worry, no stress, no sadness. They don't feel fatigue. And what they only hear what's good.
Like a smartphone if you have like one female in luckyland say even Moral Evil is not there even a bad word a disturbing word is not there because it's evil. And then the ultimate top evil is what is the meeting with Allah subhanho wa Taala when Allah allows them to look at him
as in a sahih Hadith from the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam
and you know what?
So the reason Allah allows evil in the world, and this is something this is a secret, a beautiful secret.
When good exists by itself, it's good.
And this is an extension of the point that we said that Allah tests you with evil and good, moral evil that Allah test you with is evil in the world.
Because without evil in the world,
there will be no Jihad which is pushing against the evil. And the Prophet SAW cinema said about Jihad which is striving for the truth, sacrificing for the truth, the prophets all sudden says, Ville what to Santa mil Islam, the the highest peak in Islam. Why? Because when there is good, it's good.
But when there is evil, and good, removes that evil, it becomes best.
So it's because evil because there is evil, there is best, there is the ultimate good.
You can't reach that ultimate level of good without pushing against evil.
And this is this is a fact the universal fact even works in language, we can say Allah
is the divine,
Allah is Allah.
Allah should be worshipped. Now you tell me which statements are stronger
affirmation, which is like good, okay, Allah is the divine, Allah should be worshipped.
Okay, which is stronger semantically this. Or we say, no one should be worshipped. That's negation.
No one should be worshipped. But Allah, which one is more stronger?
The second one. That's why in Islam, it's not Allah is the One Lord. Allah is Allah Allah. No, it's La Ilaha illa Allah, it has to be negation and affirmation. And this is why you only get the highest level of good when there is evil, and the good work again works against it, it multiplies. So Allah subhanho wa taala. And this is just leads me to the fight finalized sorry, I took a little bit more than I should. But I want to arrive at this conclusion, a bamboo pay Mohan Allah Allah said, and she felt ill his book about remedy or healing, the one who is diseased with matters of the puddle.
He says evil
there is either pure evil,
met possible logical possibilities, pure evil situations, pure evil,
or pure good.
Or in the middle, a mixture of good and evil. These are the only possibilities of a situation pure good. absorber, a pure evil, pure good, pure good exists.
Pure evil does not exist. A situation that's pure evil does not exist.
What remains is a mixture of good and evil. And a mixture of good and evil could be one of two things, or three things, three possibilities, logical possibilities, either the good is greater than the evil.
And that exists in the world. That's the only time evil exists in the world. When the good is greater than the evil. And in this case, the existence of the evil is necessary for that level of good.
Or when good and evil or equal, this doesn't exist.
Or when evil is greater than good. This doesn't exist. He says Allah doesn't create this, Allah doesn't create this, the only possibility that remains is when there is more good than evil in the situation. Just like the man who got his son kicked by the horse, he looked at the situation from from the standpoint of the injury, it's evil. Correct.
But when you look at the contextual meaning of this situation, it ended up being what?
A greater good,
a greater good, this is why Allah allows evil, something similar. A few years back, I remember I was applying for a visa at one of the embassies and things like that. And I was in the waiting room and there was this young brother nice brother. So he was right next to me. We were talking, never seen him before. So he says I was studying doing my University in Montreal, and we were playing basketball.
I saw I asked him what brought you back? He said, I've been here for about a year and a half back home. I said what brought you back? He says, We were playing basketball. And someone bumped into me really hard. And I fell on my head and I had a concussion and head injury. So I was rushed to hospital.
And in my mind I was thinking oh Subhanallah like this is tragic. Tragic. And he said I had to you know
I quit my school.
And I had to go back home.
I said, How come was it that severe he said, You know what, it was bad. But you know.
And he said, I thought it was bad. And my family thought it was bad when they heard the news. But you know, when they scanned my head in the hospital, they found a tumor,
asymptomatic, there was no symptoms.
And they caught it at the right time. He said, My, the medical luck, the medical staff, they said, you know, maybe if we, if you just waited for two more months, you'd have been gone.
You would have been gone now, there's no chance you could live, you could survive. We call that at the right time.
So when we talk about evil, we're talking from our small angle of life. But you need to know that Allah only allows evil in the world, Allah in His wisdom in His mercy, and in his mind, and power allows evil in the world, only in as much as it is necessary for a greater good, that if Allah were not to allow this evil to happen,
right or not allow this good to happen. Just because he he doesn't want this evil, lesser evil to have to be, then that would be a greater evil, and Allah does not commit evil.
law only allows evil when it's necessary for a greater good to happen that the non existence of this good would be a greater evil than the evil that is necessary for it. That's the only time Allah allows evil in the world.
That's why there is evil in the world.
Is there the question answered?
If you feel it's answered, put your hand up for you. It's a very subjective matter. You don't have to be nice with me, by the way.
Okay, Hamdulillah. Cool. Cool, because I can unlock it. Okay, so I'm supposed to be done by now. But I want to give you two minutes for very quick questions. Only if we can answer them quickly. I would, I would address them quick brothers.
Excellent question that brother says, you said that there is always greater good than evil. So why Allah says about alcohol gambling, that there is greater evil in them than good. So why does Allah allow them to happen? Perfect. This is where you have to when we think we have to travel through different contexts, expand the context. Crime is evil, murder, there's greater evil in murder than non murder. If you take it individually, maybe if you take it within a family, maybe if you take it in this neighborhood, but in the grand scheme of things, Allah knows. And most of the most of the time we don't see these connections. The the perpetration of this crime, although it's evil, and the
one who does it will be punished for it and is held accountable for it. Its existence brings about in ways we don't know greater good.
And Allah says woman ot terminal Elmy Illa kalila, the knowledge that you were given is very little. So we have to understand that we can't like possibly get every detail, but as long as you understand the principle, your heart is at peace. Okay, sisters, quick question.
Okay, brothers, another chance.
Okay, so I just want to close with this one.
The ultimate definition of what's good, the ultimate definition of what's good, is what Allah loves.
And the ultimate definition of what's evil is what Allah dislikes.
Allah instilled in us a basic device to help us which communicates with us through taste, but this taste could get corrupted,
it could get corrupted, okay, that's the ultimate definition of good and evil. So Allah allows what he dislikes into existence only when it is necessary in the dynamics that he placed in this world. And these dynamics are necessary for testing humans in a fair manner.
Allah only allows what he dislikes in as much as they unnecessary for a greater thing that he loves. So Allah only allows evil for something that he loves. And something that's good and Allah doesn't love anything that is evil, obviously, because the definition of good comes from Allah in the first place.
Okay, so I hope this clarifies at least get you thinking about why does evil occur in the world you realize it's an it's an outcry of pain.
It's not a real question.
And maybe it's better to approach it not with logical answers and intellectual answers. Maybe it's actually with helping the person, you know, navigate this world and realize that we are processing the world based on a worldview that we were taught in schools that we were taught and from people around us, that is at variance with Islam. Islam solves, you know, this, Islam prevents this before it happens. But because we are functioning at thinking modes, and thought systems that are corrupted, that don't reflect the reality of this life, you know, we bump into these dead ends, and we have a lot of pain. Yes, in as much as we depart from Islam, even you know, unconsciously, even
unconsciously, you know, when Allah subhanaw taala says about the people in the hellfire, that they would turn to their leaders to their influencers and say, you know, that we were just following you, right? We were just following you. Why did you lead us to the hellfire? It's not like they were telling them what to do. But they were educating them.
It's more subtle. It's not like oh, it's not overt influence. It's covert influence, with what they instilled in them about life and what life is about and how should they should carry themselves in life, which most of us think we're very intelligent. We're doing that. But we don't really realize that most of our life we take him for a ride and that's why we're struggling to come over here. So Laura Damasceno Hamdulillah, you must have it