Channel: Yasmin Mogahed
Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People by Yasmin Mogahed
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I was below him in a chiffon regime. smilla rahmanir rahim wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah Allah Allahu Safi edge my in rubbish strategy study. We are steadily Omri Washington, Dr Salman destiny of Gokhale.
I was reflecting about what I wanted to share today, what I wanted to talk about. And what occurred to me is a question. And this is a question that I think a lot of people struggle with. It's a question that a lot of people stumble upon. And usually, the inability to answer this question has caused a lot of heartache in a lot of people. In fact, the inability to answer this question has led some people to disbelief.
The inability to answer this question has led some people to complete Li disregard and disbelieve in God completely.
And that is this question of why do bad things happen to good people?
Why do bad things happen to good people? This is a question, which so many people have struggled with. And so many people have not have not found the right answer. And because of that,
we have people who have abandoned God. Now we as Muslims, we as believers also sometimes have this question. And we have to understand the answer to this question.
When I asked this question in my class,
I asked the students tell me this, why do bad things happen to good people? And I get various answers. People, some people say,
because God is testing them. Some people say, to bring us closer to God, I get all types of answers. But I've never gotten the answer I'm looking for.
And the answer I'm looking for, is
the question is flawed.
just staring at me.
Cool. It's cool. We've all been there.
I didn't want to have to compete with your blood, low blood sugar and this child. So
the question itself is flawed.
And the reason why the question is flawed, is because this bad things never happened to good people.
Bad things never happen to good people. But then, you know, you have this reaction when I say that. But wait a minute. What about the people who've lost their homes? What about the people who've lost their lives? What about the people who, you know, who are getting who are getting attacked? How can you tell me that bad things never happened to good people? And I will repeat bad things never happen to good people? How do I know that? Because the prophets I send them said so he says in a Hadith, our job only on remote men, the matter of a believer is strange. on Roku, where all of his matters are good.
Every single thing that happens to a believer is in fact, good. It is never bad. Do you know how powerful that is?
That you can live in a state where no matter what happens to you, it's actually good. That no matter what is taken, no matter what is given, no matter what you face, it's always in the end, it's good for you. That is something and the prophets, I send them emphasizes in this Hadith, that this is only the case for a believer
because in fact bad things can happen to bad people. But bad things can never happen to good people. The prophets, I send them said that something that makes the believer unique is that no matter what happens, if it is something that we love, something that we something that we want, then the believer is grateful and so it is good for him and if it is something that we do not want something that is difficult, the believer is patient. So it is good for him.
Why is this message so important right now?
Because you see the thing is we live in a world called dounia. And one of the characteristics of dunia is that it is a place of tests. It is the place where we are
Given hardships, and we are tested and this is also very important to realize, a lot of times we think that we are only tested with hardships. Many people have this idea. Many people think that even even the idea that why aren't I being tested? Have you ever have you ever heard someone, you know, sometimes we hear a lot about a lot tests those he loves. And sometimes we might go through a period in our lives of ease. And we might think to ourselves, why aren't I being tested? Does that mean Allah doesn't love me?
And in this question is something flawed because we assume that Allah only tests through hardship, we assume that Allah only tests through loss. And that's not true. Allah tells us in the end, that he tests with both ease and hardship.
A lot tests us with both. And in fact, scholars explain that the test of ease the tests of Nam, the test of blessings is sometimes harder to pass than the test of hardship.
Why? Because the problem when things the problem when things are are given to us easily, it's it's think of this analogy. You know, you're sitting on the beach,
and you're drinking a pina colada.
And you're enjoying yourself right? In that comfort. And in that state, it's a lot easier to forget about your greater purpose, it's a lot easier to forget about God, it's because when you feel comfortable,
but then what happens when you get on the boat. Now you're not on the shore anymore. Now you're on the boat, and the storm comes.
Now all of a sudden, the person who was comfortable before, is now looking for help. And even an atheist, when they're in that situation will try to find a higher power. So there you find that there's this test. There's the test of ease, where we don't realize this, but so often, it is in the test of ease that we fail.
You know how you go through your life, right? And you have these periods of ease where you become headless. And there's something else that happens in the test of ease. So there's many ways in which we can fail the test of ease, what are they?
Number one, one of the ways that we fail, the test of ease is that we become heedless. We forget about Allah. We forget about our purpose, you know, our Salah, it's no longer like something we rushed to our door. It's no longer that desperate pleading to Allah. It's a bit of a difference in your husband's record. It has an ultimate Kannada but not you know, I'm saying and there is a big difference between Robin and if it didn't it has nothing for athletes. It has an empanada not and Rob banner
ads you know dunia has an atom warfare after he has an atom working out there. But not there is a difference between the pleading of a person who was stuck in the middle of a storm, right? Who is stuck in the middle of the ocean. And the person who was on that head and beach sipping the Highland pina colada, there's a difference.
So oftentimes, one of the ways that we fail this test of ease is that we become comfortable and we forget, we become heedless, we we become it we enter a state of hustler.
Why am I talking about this? Because we as a community, are going to be tested with both. There are going to be times when we're tested with ease. We're gonna there's gonna be times when we're tested with power.
And then there's gonna be times when we're tested with hardship. But both are tests from Allah, how else can we fail the test of ease. I'm going to tell you guys this second way and then I'm going to I'm going to give you guys an example. That's actually very timely. The second way that we can fail the test of ease is that we become dependent on the gift itself. So when a law gives us a gift,
we start to love the gifts more than the giver. You guys understand what I mean? For example, we really want money. We love to have money. So Allah, He is the giver. He is the provider so he gives us money.
But But what but what we do sometimes is we start to love the money more than the giver so the gift we begin to love more than the giver. We love our money more than
We love a lot. That's one of the ways that we can fail the test of ease. But beyond that, is something very subtle. And that is dependence dependence. So Allah gives us a gift. And sometimes what we do is we depend on the gift, instead of depending on Allah. Let me give you an example.
A recent example and I spoke about this yesterday. Recently, we saw some interesting movements in the media.
We had something huge that happened, and that was the death of Muhammad Ali.
And after his death, rattle Talalay, the, it's like for a moment, the world actually was being positive was showing a positive image of Islam was showing a positive depiction of Muslims. All of a sudden, people were, you know, being shown something that's not about terrorism.
So here, Allah subhanaw taala was giving us a gift.
But what happened was, things suddenly shifted, after we had the attack in Orlando. And now all of a sudden, it was business as usual, right with the news. And now all of a sudden, all that positive coverage turned into the typical negative coverage.
What happened to us when that shift happened? What happened to our state? What happened to to our internal state as a community?
Well, what happened was, we became we we despaired.
So there are people who it's like, we felt like,
okay, things were going so well. And now it's shifted. But you see, the subtle problem was when Allah gave us that gift of some positive coverage, it was as if we got attached to that. And we thought that this is okay, you know, this is where we're gonna get our victory from. And then when that was taken away, we fell into despair.
But that's the thing that this is the subtle problem with getting attached to the gift. You see, the gift comes and goes, the way we have to pass this test is that no matter what gifts were given, and no matter what gifts are taken, we have to always make sure that our ultimate dependence is on the giver, not on the gift. And that our ultimate Love is the giver more than the gift.
Here's the third way we can we can fail the the test of ease.
And that is that we take credit for our gifts, when Allah gives us ease when Allah gives us power when Allah gives us a gift, and then we take credit for it. So for example, there was a man who lived at the time of Musa alayhis salaam, named qarun. And Allah tells us his story and sort of Casa, Allah says that he was so wealthy, he was so rich, that even the keys to his property, even the keys to his wealth was in and of itself wealth. So he was given this gift of wealth, and so much so that he used to walk and show off among the people, he kind of like, you know, the red carpet, you know, the red carpet, it was like, it was like the red carpet. And he was showing off his
wealth. And the people around who saw this life, Allah says, they would look at him. And they would say, Wow, we wish we had what he had. They wanted what he had, they envied him.
But there was another group of people. And those people said to him, they reminded him the people of knowledge reminded him to be grateful to be humble. And you know what his answer was? His answer is very important for us to understand and to study. His answer was in Emma ot to highlight that all of this that I got, from a knowledge in me,
you see what he's doing?
what he's doing is he's taking credit for his gifts. He's taking credit for the money that he had. He's taking credit for his wealth. He's saying it's because of me, it's because of my knowledge. That's why I have this. So it made him arrogant.
Do we ever do that?
Do we ever find success in our lives? And we say, Oh, it's because of my hard work.
Yeah, well, I did well, on XYZ because of my efforts, because of my hard work. Yes, almost successful XYZ. Well, it's because of my work. It's because of me.
Well, let me tell you a secret.
There are a lot of people who play
Put in more hard work than you, and they don't achieve that result. Does that mean that every poor person is just lazy? Does that mean that every person who doesn't have what you have in terms of wealth, just didn't put enough effort? And the answer is obviously, no. We cannot take credit for the gifts of Allah. The question then becomes, well, then why do we put in any effort? Yes, mean, right? Well, then if that's the case, if everything is just given by Allah, you know, by his wisdom, then why should we put in any effort? That's a fair question. The answer is because your effort is part of your worship.
Your effort is part of your worship. When the prophets lie Selim said al Qaeda, what are what can remember the camel? Everyone knows about the camel, right? By the way, y'all are like zombies right now.
Like your faces.
Get animated. Thank you. I have no idea if I'm speaking Chinese and you don't understand or what it is, or you're just really hungry.
but yeah, so, okay.
So, so what happened is our own
to credit, and he thought it was from himself. But see, the thing about efforts is that when that companion said to the prophets, I send them that he's not going to tie his camel because he has his trust in Allah. The prophets I send them said, What? Can someone translate that for me?
Okay, tie it and then depend on a lot.
But close. And this is typically how we translate this concept. By the way, it's tie your camel, do your effort, and then put your trust in God. So it's this idea that while I'm putting in my effort, it's all me. We still depend on ourselves. But the prophets I sent him actually said alpin, how what TOEIC good, so the two come together. At the same time, while we are tying our camel, while we are putting in our effort, we have our trust in Allah, the tying of the camel, the pudding of our effort is actually part of our worship. It isn't that I put an effort and because of my effort, I get these gifts. No, the gifts are given by the giver. Because Allah is and will head. Allah loves to give
gifts. Our efforts are for him. Our efforts are part of our worship, his gifts are from him, we need to be careful not to connect the two. Because if we connect the two, then we've subtly failed the test of ease. We've we're thinking a little bit like caught on coronas thinking, because he was so smart. Because of his knowledge, he got all of this wealth, when in fact, that wasn't the case. A lot gave him that wealth. And a lot can take that wealth, every single gift that we have, is given by a law and can be taken by a law. So this is how we have to be careful not to fail the test of ease. When a law tests us. We need to be careful not to lose focus. We need to be careful not to
love and depend on the gift more than a law. And we need to be careful not to become dependent, or rather take credit for those gifts.
As a community, we are going to face times of ease. And as a community, we are going to face times of hardship. Now I want to just end on that note, when we talk about hardship. When we talk about difficulty and tests, how yes mean Can this be good for us? You said that everything is good for a believer? Well, I didn't say it the Prophet did. So I said that
everything is good for a believer. So how can these tests be good for us?
And the answer is, it is good for us if we respond properly.
When we are faced with trial,
there are three different reactions that we can have. The first reaction is the reaction we should never have as believers, and that is God. Why did you do this to me, God, why are you doing this to me? Why are you doing this to us? It isn't fair. This is the response that negates patience. This is a response that we should not have.
The second response is the response of patience of sub.
When a believer is faced with hardship, when we're faced with hardship as a community, when we're faced with hardship
Individually, and we respond with patience, something amazing happens.
We're told that when you respond with patience, that calamity or that hardship, or that test actually purifies you.
And the prophets I send them gave us an analogy. He said that it removes our sins, like leaves falling from a tree
removes our sins, like leaves falling from a tree. And that is when we respond with patience.
Here's the thing about purification.
We as a as a community, are purified at an individual level. But we are also purified as a community. How do hardships purify us as a community? Well, one of the ways is that hardships
distinguish those who are true and faith from those who are not,
you know, this problem of hypocrisy and hypocrites. During the time of the prophets, I send them when was that becoming a big issue?
when things started to become easier,
but they did not have a problem with hypocrites when things were hard. Why? Because when things are hard, the only people who can withstand it are those who are true and faith. So what what happens with hardships is it cleans out it sort of It functions as a separator. Even as a community, It functions as a separator, all of a sudden, you start to see what's inside. Because it comes out, people start to say things, they start to take positions that show what was inside. So if we haven't diseased inside, if we have a disease inside, if we have a problem in our face inside the test externalizes it makes sense. The test is going to bring that out. If we have sections of our
community, and there's a problem in the face, there's a problem internally, when the times of hardship come, that's when you can find them, you know what I mean? They start to become exposed.
They start to become exposed, the hypocrisy will become exposed in the time of hardship. And so it is a purification not only for the individual, but it's also purification for the community, we start to see things as they really are. And those people who are true in faith will become clear. And those people who are not true in faith will become clear. But that only happens during times that happens more clearly during times of hardship during the times of trial.
Similarly, it purifies us individually. Allah says Lima has a love of Medina MnO these trials that we go through individually in our in our personal life, financially, emotionally. They purify us internally if we react properly, if a person reacts with patience, a lot purifies that believer, like you purify gold. Something that's very interesting is that the word in this area compiz Lima has Allahu levena mn O Allah talks about hardships and he says that he gives us hardships in order to put believers through something called some pace. Lima has this word is the same word that is used to talk about the process that gold and silver go through.
You know, do you have any how do you how do you purify gold and silver? Anyone? I know you're hungry.
Anyone? you heat it up, you heat up golden silver to purify it. And when you heat up golden silver, what happens? You remove the impurities and all that remains is pure gold. A lot does this to believers. A lot does this to the oma he is purifying those impurities collectively as an oma and also internally individually. He purifies us through our trials, through our hardships and through our ease the trials purify us internally and remove the impurities for that there is pure gold left.
Finally, there is one more station or response to hardship and this is the highest level. This is called riddle.
Riddle means contentment.
Riddle means that not only am I accepting of the of the decision of a law not only am I accepting of the will of Allah, but I am content and I
I'm pleased with the decision and will of Allah. This is the highest level of a believer that a believer can reach. And we are told that if we respond in this way, not only will we be purified as a community, and individually we will be raised in ranks.
We ask Allah subhanaw taala to ease the hardships of all of those who are suffering all over the world, I asked the last panel die, let's allow these last 10 days of Ramadan to be among the most blessed that we've ever had. And I asked Allah subhanaw taala to bless this event. And I asked you to be generous in your giving, because at the end of the day, when we give for the sake of Allah, we are actually giving to ourselves, anything that we give for a law is never ever lost. It's kept with a law and it will remain You know, every single one of us
every single one of us will end up in our graves
does anyone take their money with them?
that's actually untrue. Some people take their money with them.
You guys were like thinking I'm crazy now right? Or you have no reaction not to.
You had a reaction? Thank you.
Y'all, I'm Egyptian Can you have some reaction?
Some people take their money with them into their graves. You know who they are. The prophets I send them said that all the deeds stop when you die, except for three. And one of those deeds is something called Sobotka jatiya any kind of charity that you give, and it continues to benefit people, even after you die will come with you to your grave. And so when you give for the sake of a law, you are investing in your own self according only had I was stuck for a long time when I come in our funa Rahim subhanak calabi ham that I shared on that Allah and a stockbroker to Lake was Salam alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh