Why God Allows Suffering
Channel: Yasir Qadhi
File Size: 24.94MB
ICNA-MAS Convention 2018
Episode Transcript ©
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how can we truly thank Allah for our blessings, without appreciating the blessings we have? By mentioning those that are not as fortunate as us? How can we truly understand how blessed we are, unless and until we connect with those who are not as blessed it and we feel their pain, we feel their suffering we take on their cause. And so today I wanted to just go into a bit of a tangent, because my whole day has just been thinking about this sad reality, that Subhanallah here we are living a very good life, by and large, and the Islamophobia that we face in America is utterly trivial compared to what people are facing in Burma with the Rohingya refugees in Syria, with the 7
million refugees and a million and a half dead in philosophy and for the last 75 years, and so forgive me for diverting the topic away. But I felt that it is actually very pertinent for us to understand what it means to be thankful, by thinking about what it means to be in pain and suffering. And by appreciating as Allah says, In the Quran, Allah the author Alma whom endure in what manner human health that thank Allah for two big blessings He has given the Quran in this idea and US extended by this is the one who has given them enough food so that they're not hungry, and the one who has saved them from fear so that they're not in Civil War, they're not in distress. So
the biggest calamities in this world are to number one, the calamity of not having enough food and shelter. And number two, the calamity of civil war and strife. Who cares if you have food if their bombs dropping on your head? Who cares if you have water if there's soldiers shooting at you, Allah, the auto AMA, whom endure what I'm in a human health, these two are the biggest blessings that Allah gives in this world. And and hamdulillah by and large, us Muslims living here, we have these blessings. And you know, brothers and sisters, this whole issue of struggling of of calamities of strife. What is happening now is that it's leading so many of our youth, so many of our young men
and women to wonder, why is this going on? Why is our own man in so much suffering? No day goes by except that another tragedy takes place. No week goes by except that we hear of some major massacre, the situation and fellow Steen literally says before I was born then since my earliest memories, we've been hearing things about philosophy and and of course, the Palestinian crisis is 75 years old. The Rohingya, Syria, Kashmir and the list goes on and on and on. And I've had young men come to me, I've had sisters come up to me and they asked this question, how do we understand as Muslims, that Allah is causing this much to the Ummah and this is a dual question. At the one level,
religious folk are struggling with why our Ummah is in so much pain, especially the Muslim ummah, why is our bloods the cheapest in the world? Why is our dignity the lowest on the scale of all civilizations? Are we not the OMA of Allah? Are we not the ummah of Rasul Allah? Are we not the OMA of the Quran? So at one level, Muslims are struggling with why Islam
and yet at another level, which in some ways is even more difficult to answer. People that are struggling with faith itself, not just Muslims, Muslims and other faiths. They're asking, How could any all powerful Almighty God allow such pain and suffering around the world? Last week,
Pew survey released the statistics on the rise of religions in North America. And it should not be a surprise to any one of us. But the largest growing demographics in terms of religion is not Islam. It used to be 20 years ago. The largest demographics in terms of religion
is lack of religion. The largest demographics that has spurted up to almost 35% in this country are people who saying they don't believe in any god.
This is an America in some European countries, this is districts are double this 70 75% And one of the taboo topics that most of us do not like to talk about, but it needs to be discussed is that these statistics don't just happen in other faiths. They don't
just happened in our Christian and Jewish and, and Buddhist neighbors. They're happening in our own households as well. The sad fact of the matter, I guarantee you almost every one of you sitting here know someone in your extended family or relatives or friends who has now doubted Islam and left to faith. It is now becoming a trend that is recognizable and visible. There are movements, the X Muslims of North America and this and that, that are now very public and visible touring college campuses, trying to sow more doubt in the seeds of Muslims. And they raised many things, but one of the main issues that they raise is exactly how I started this talk. And that is how do you or
Muslims explain the concept of your Rahman Al Rahim? How is a Rahman surah. Herman? When children are dying of starvation when Palestinians are being killed when the Rohingya are being raped when Facilier sapiens are being executed and mass? Where is the Rahima? How could a divine God who is merciful and all powerful, allow this to take place? And this is the number one argument that is being used by the people who are the self appointed Prophets of Atheism and agnosticism? People like Sam Harris, people like Bill Meyer, these are mainstream names, and they are the CELT they call themselves we are the prophets of no religion, we are calling the people to to leave faith. And the
number one argument that people like Sam Harris use is explained to me why there's so much pain, what is the wisdom of the suffering that takes place? And so today, allow me to go on the topic of thankfulness by talking a little bit of a tangent, but it is still related. And that is the topic of suffering and pain of evil. How do we as Muslims, understand and appreciate the concept of an all powerful God, the concept of a merciful God, who still allow so much evil and pain in this world? What is the theological explanation for this? Now, obviously only have 15 minutes and the topic is one that goes to the very beginning of humanity. In fact, to be brutally honest, every philosopher
since pre Socrates has attempted to discuss this problem. Every theologian, every Christian, or Jewish or Muslim intellectual thinker, philosopher has attempted to bring forth this understanding how do we reconcile what is the purpose of pain and suffering? So I'm not going to do justice in 10 minutes to what philosophers have been discussing for 10,000 years, but I will shed some light from the Quran and Sunnah. And I want to begin by simply pointing out that this topic of trying to understand evil, of trying to understand how Allah could allow so much evil in pain, this topic is not even something that humans themselves brought up. Actually, this topic was first brought up the
very second that Allah said to the angels, I'm creating a new species, I'm creating a new entity, Allah announced to the angels I'm creating a new form of life called humans in nature, I don't fill out the Khalifa. And as soon as Allah explained this new creature to the angels, what was the question that the angels asked Allah? Even the angels could not understand? Oh, Allah, the Quran tells us, The angel said, Oh Allah, why would you create a new species? That is killing one another, and shedding blood? That is gonna cause so much evil? Why would you do that? When we are so pure? We are so holy, we don't do any harm. No, no, set the whole behind the corner of this rug? All we do
day and night is praise you and thank you. Why would you create a species that's gonna see so much pain and suffering?
Even the angels could not understand.
The angels had never seen the types of wars and bloodshed and evil that we are immune to and used to. And even the angels challenge not they didn't challenge they asked, they did not challenge that's not the right word to use, but they were inquisitive. Why Oh Allah, would you do that? What is the wisdom behind doing this? And here is the beauty that we as Muslims need to understand. When the angels asked this question, how could this evil be taking place? Why would you do this? Allah subhana wa Tada did not answer the question from a intellectual or a philosophical or a rational
No manner. He did not even attempt to explain his wisdom. He simply said, What did he say all Muslims, all of you should know, what did he say?
In the I learned more Mullah Tyler morning, basically, you're gonna have to trust me.
My knowledge is more than yours. And I know what you can never understand. So even the angels and the angels are more intelligent than us. They're more pure than us. They're more they're more worshipping of Allah than us. Even the angels were not told the secrets. And they were essentially told, You shall have to trust me, I know what you do not know. So as Muslims, we begin the answer to this question by saying we will never have an answer to the question. That is how we begin the answer to the question. We shall never have a watertight, foolproof answer, because Allah Himself was asked the question, and Allah Himself said, You're gonna have to trust me. And here's the irony,
brothers and sisters, people like Sam Harris, like the ex Muslim Association of North America, these groups, they reject Islam, they reject the Quran, they reject Allah for some reasons, one of them being how do you explain evil? But here's the irony, by rejecting God because they don't understand evil. It's not as if they have understood evil anymore.
They've tried to come to a conclusion. And that conclusion is there cannot be a god. Okay, fine. You got rid of God, what then is the solution? How do you understand evil? And you see, by eliminating God, these people have created a much more longer series of far more complex questions. Where is life coming from? What is the purpose of life? Where are we here? Where are we going? What's going to happen after death? By rejecting God? Not only did they not solve the problem of evil, they ended up creating an infinitely more complex series of problems that they don't have any answer to. And they don't see the irony of that. As for us, we say we know where we came from. We know the purpose
of life. We know what's going to happen after death. We know why we're here. We know what to do is just that we don't understand Allah's wisdom. We don't understand Allah's knowledge and guess what? It is fully rational to say my rationality is not divine. It is fully logical to say my limited logic cannot understand the logic of God that is logical and rational. But to end up denying God is irrational and illogical because you still haven't discovered the mystery of life, the mystery of death, the mystery of why we're here. So we say to these people, that even the angels asked and Allah said to them, you're gonna have to trust me. However, the Quran does mention some points and
I'm just gonna mention four or five of them. And then in sha Allah to ALLAH ask us to think about these points. The Quran does mention some points about the wisdom of why there's pain and suffering, and of the greatest points that ALLAH SubhanA wa Taala mentions in the Quran is that the purpose of evil is not intrinsically to punish or to hurt or to harm No. Allah says in the Quran, ma your federal law will be either become in Shackleton mentum what will Allah gain by punishing you? If you are thankful to Him and believe in Him my talk was about chakra and Allah mentions punishment and sugar as opposites. Maya file Allahu be either become in Shackleton. If you believe in Allah and are
thankful to Allah, what will Allah gain by the pain and suffering that you have? Which means brothers and sisters, one of the main purposes of pain is for a higher cause. And the higher cause is for us to recognize Allah subhanho wa Taala and to turn to Allah and to worship Allah subhanho wa taala. In other words, one of the greatest wisdoms of anxiety, of mental grief, of physical pain is so that we rediscover the importance of Allah and of prayer to Allah and of dua to Allah and of calling out to Allah subhana wa taala. If you think about it, subhanAllah when is your DUA the most powerful and strong? When do you raise your hands with the utmost assure, and humility? It is when
you are in grief when you're in tragedy, when you're in pain, when your loved one is sick, when some grief and calamity happens? That's when your hand raises up to Allah and from the depths of your soul. You make dua to him, guess what? That is the purpose of the pain and suffering. That's the purpose of the grief because some
Sometimes living the life, our bodies become so luxurious. We forget the needs of the soul, living the good life. We forget the higher calling, living the good life. We don't, we don't think of death. But what happens when a pain afflicts us when a loved one is sick, all of a sudden we start thinking of the era of Allah subhanho wa taala. And therefore our rule our soul reaches out to Allah. As the Quran says, when a calamity touches mankind, what either must sell in Santa Bora, he starts praying to us standing, sitting and lying down, he makes dua to us, as the Quran says, when they're about to drown in the ocean, they remember us and they make dua sincerely, as the Quran
says, when any type of grief hits mankind, He remembers us when the grief goes away, he turns away and forgets about us over a dozen verses in the Quran. Over a dozen verses that when you are in calamity and tragedy, you turn to Allah. Now I want to be very clear here, listen to this carefully. Allah never criticizes, turning to him at times of tragedy. Allah criticizes neglecting him after the tragedy is over. Allah never criticizes making dua A times of tragedy. That's not a criticism. That's not a problem. So if one of you rediscovers Allah when you're sick, when your child is sick, when you're going through a financial crisis and emotional loss, and you're making extra to our to
Allah, don't feel guilty. That is the reason why you're in pain and suffering Allah azza wa jal, just like the doctor has given you the shot for a greater goal, there is a greater purpose, there is pain, but the pain will protect you from a bigger pain. So the purpose of that smaller pain is so that you rediscover the pleasure of worshiping Allah. If I am the famous scholar, he remarked, that sometimes ALLAH SubhanA wa taala, afflicts a person with a tragedy. And because of that tragedy, the person starts making dua to Allah praying to Allah invoking Allah, and he discovers a new level of relationship with him and Allah that he never had before. He discovers the sweetness of waking up
for tahajjud he discovers the sweetness of praying to Allah sincerely. And he enjoys that sweetness so much, that he would rather that sweetness continue than the tragedy be lifted up. Because he knows when the tragedy goes, then that level that he has with Allah, the connection that he has with Allah will also go so secretly, he actually likes to have that connection more than he wants that tragedy to be taken away. And this here is the benefit and blessing of that pain and suffering of the wisdoms as well brothers and sisters that Allah subhanho wa Taala mentions in the Quran, why there is this tragedy going on, is that at some level, every one of us is being tested. You see, we
look at our brothers in philosophy and our sisters in the Rohingya. We look at our Muslims around the world are non Muslims, all of us, and we feel oh my god, how much pain and suffering how Allah is testing them. True, Allah is testing them. But realize Allah is testing me and you right here and now in this hall. We are all being tested in different ways. Their test is more apparent, it's more blatant. Their test is the test of pain of fear of tragedy. Our test is the test of our response. What are we going to do? Allah is testing us with our surplus wealth, our surplus time, our energies, our efforts, we can help them out. We are being tested, are we doing our job to help them
out? So our test is different. And we don't want to be tested that way. We don't want civil war. We don't want guns bombing on us. We don't want the violence. We don't want to be living in hunger and poverty. But we are being tested nonetheless. And our test is the test of ease and comfort. It is the test of surplus and money. Are we helping others out? And this leads me to my next point brothers and sisters, and that is that of the wisdoms of why there is so much pain is that Allah subhanho wa Taala does not love the pain or evil, but he loves the good, that is generated by the evil. He loves the good that is generated to counteract the evil. Allah says in the Quran. Will
Allahu Allah your hibel facade Allah does not love evil. Allah says in the Quran Wallah y'all God everybody Hilco for Allah is not pleased with go for Allah does not love evil. But what does Allah love? Well Allah who you hipbone, again, will love you hit Busaba in Allah loves the righteous Allah Allah those who give Allah loves those who are patient. Question. How could you be patient unless you were suffering from an evil question?
How could you give money unless there were people you had to give money to? Question How could you sponsor the orphan unless there were orphans to sponsor? How could you feed the hungry unless they were hungry to feed? How could you show your generosity, your Eman, your taqwa unless there were opportunities for you to show that good brothers and sisters, evil exists not because Allah loves evil, because but because Allah loves to see the good that we will do to counteract that evil because Allah loves to see the good that we will have to do in order to try our best to eliminate that evil. Allah does not love evil, but Allah loves the good that is generated to counteract that
evil. And it is in that good brothers and sisters, that we attain our salvation, our deen and our dunya this world and the next our heaven and how they are decided by our reaction to those evil, they are decided by what we choose to do, we could sit back and ignore the pain and suffering, we could sit back and say Nuff said, Enough see myself myself, let me take care of myself, let me live the good life, let me just have a fat paycheck and have a nice house and have good food and ignore everybody. So then we would have failed the test. Or we can say I have a higher purpose in life than just eating and drinking. And Alhamdulillah Allah has blessed me to live in a land where I have
surplus I have extra I have extra food, extra money I have influenced I have power, I have social media at my disposal, and I can influence others and directly help those in pain and and suffering. And so we use that evil brothers and sisters to bring about a higher purpose in our lives. One of the greatest wisdoms of the suffering of others is to make us realize that this life is not the end, that I have a higher purpose to help other people. That is my purpose to worship Allah by helping other people to eliminate as much as I can. The pain, the poverty, the suffering any calamity, and in that is my salvation, and in that is my Jana and my levels of gender will be decided So brothers
and sisters it is true. It is true that there will never be a full understanding to why there is evil. But the Quran tells us that for those who believe. For those who have Iman in Allah, there are wisdoms that any one of us can grasp and of those wisdoms is that we find a purpose in life, we contextualize ourselves and have a higher goal. And the theme of this conference is sharing Islam by serving humanity. This is one of the wisdoms of pain and suffering. When we see that pain, we have to share Islam and serve humanity. When we see the pain anywhere it might be whether it's Muslim or non Muslim. Our job as Muslims is to help other people through the preachings and teachings of
Islam. And one of those ways is to minimize that evil as our Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, Whoever alleviates any pain from his Muslim brother and sister in this world, Allah will alleviate his pain on Judgment Day. Whoever feeds the hungry in this world, Allah will eliminate his hunger in the ark era. Whoever gives close to the naked person, Allah will give him clothe and the ark era. This is the wisdom of evil. It's not to see the evil and then to ignore it. It is to try our best to fight against that evil to eliminate it, even if we realize we cannot perhaps eliminated 100%. But whatever we can do, Allah subhanho wa Taala is watching us, we will never ever be able to
eliminate 100% evil in this world. But see, here's the point. And on this, I conclude these people who reject Islam who reject God, because they don't understand this concept of evil. They say why isn't the world a perfect place? They say why is there pain and suffering? I don't believe in a god in which there's a world of pain and suffering. We say to this person who's acted very foolishly and arrogantly we to believe in a God that will create a world with no pain and suffering, we to believe in such a God, but that world is called Darussalam. And Darussalam means the abode of no evil we to believe in a place called Janna, we to believe there shall be a world where there is no hunger,
there is no misery there is no coldness and nakedness and wars and bloodshed, there is no death. We to believe that God must create such a world the only difference between us and you you in your arrogance feel entitled to that world right here and now. You want it right here and now you say God, give it to me now be
because I don't have Janna I shall reject you that is his arrogance. And we say to this foolish person in your arrogance by rejecting God, you have automatically rejected the very world you desire. If you believe in God, worship God counteract evil, that is your salvation and you shall enter that abode where there is no evil but in your irony and in your arrogance, you have rejected the very source that is going to give you that doubt to salaam May Allah subhana wa Tada help our brothers and sisters in philosophy in May Allah subhanho wa Taala alleviate the pain and suffering and oppression that they've been facing for the last 75 years. May Allah subhana wa Tada help the
Muslims of Rohingya, the Muslims of Syria, the Muslims of Kashmir, the Muslims of China, the Muslims of the retreat of the Muslims around the globe, may Allah subhanho wa Taala allow each and every one of us to be utilized to combat evil to the best of our abilities. May Allah subhanho wa Taala make all of us shining examples of what it means to be a Muslim in this world in this time in this place, may Allah utilize us for every good and may Allah subhanho wa Taala Virtus away from every evil just come Allah Hi Ron was Salam aleykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh