Why did God Create Evil?

My friend resumed his questions, addressing me derisively:

How do you people claim that your God is perfect, gracious, merciful, beneficent, and compassionate while he has created all this evil in this world? Diseases, feeble old age, death, earthquakes, volcanoes, microbes, poisons, scorching heat, freezing cold, cancer sufferings that spare neither the newborn child nor the feeble old man. If God is love, beauty, and good, how does he create hatred, ugliness, and evil?

The topic that my friend has triggered is one of the main philosophical problems around which opinions have differed and schools of thought have split.

We say that God is all mercy, all good, and he does not instruct evil, though he has allowed its existence for a wise purpose.

Say: Surely Allah does not enjoin indecency; do you say against Allah what you do not know? Say: My Lord has enjoined justice, and set upright your faces at every time of prayer and call on Him” (Quran 7:28-29)

God does not instruct except with justice, love, philanthropy, forgiveness, goodness, and he does not accept except what is good.

Then why has he allowed the unjust to treat unjustly, the killer to kill, and the robber to rob?

The reason is because God wanted us to be free, while freedom necessitates error. Freedom would be of no meaning without the right of trial, error, correct judgment, and the unrestricted choice between sin and obedience.

God was quite capable of making us all benevolent by compelling us to obey him, and that would have necessitated that he deprives us of the freedom of choice. Though under God’s law and plan, freedom with suffering is more honorable to man than slavery with happiness. For that reason, he has allowed us to make mistakes, suffer, and learn; and that is the wisdom behind human freedom.

Nevertheless, an honest and unbiased observation at the universe would reveal to us that good is the rule, while evil is the exception.

Health is the rule, sickness is the exception; we spend most of our years in health, while sickness pays us a visit occasionally. Similarly, earthquakes are a total of few minutes compared with the age of the earth that is calculated in millions of years, and the same concept with volcanoes. Wars are short convulsions in the life of nations in between long extended periods of peace.

Then we get to notice a bright side in all what we see as bad. With sickness comes immunity, while pain nurtures strength and tolerance. Earthquakes vent the pent-up pressure inside the earth, preventing its crust from blowing up and restoring mountains to their places as ‘belts’ and ‘weights’ that stabilize the crust. Volcanoes spew up minerals and other hidden resources thus covering the land with rich soil.

Wars bind nations, combining them into groups and alliances, then into a group of united nations, finally forming a security council that serves as an international court for complaints and conciliations. In addition, the greatest of inventions came out during wars; penicillin, atomic power, rockets, jet planes, all came out of the crucible of wars.

From snake poison comes the antidote, and serums are made from microbes. If it wasn’t for our forefathers’ death we wouldn’t be in our positions today. And Evil in the universe is like shaded spaces in a painting, seeing them from very near gives you the sense of a defect or a fault, while taking a step backward to see the picture as a whole shows you how it is necessary and indispensable, fulfilling an aesthetic function within the structure of that art work.

Had we known health if it wasn’t for disease? For health remains an invisible crown on the healthy, right until sickness comes to visit. Similarly, we wouldn’t be able to distinguish beauty if it wasn’t for ugliness, neither the norm if it wasn’t for the odd.

For that reason, the philosopher Abu Hamid Al Ghazali says: The universe’s imperfection is the essence of its perfection, just as the curvedness of the bow is the essence of its eligibility, if it was straightened it wouldn’t throw an arrow.

Another role for hardships and sufferings is that they sort out people, revealing their true nature.

If it wasn’t for hardships all people would rule supreme, bounty beggars and boldness kills.” Al-Mutanabbi

They are the tests through which we get to know ourselves, and the trials upon which our degrees in the sight of God are determined. After all, this whole world we’re living in is nothing more than a chapter in a novel that contains several chapters, and death is not the end of the story but rather its beginning. It wouldn’t be rightful to judge a play on the basis of one act, neither to reject a book because the first page wasn’t so appealing to us; judgment here would be invalid. It is impossible to understand the complete wisdom behind something except at its end.

Then what is it that the mocking enquirer sees as an alternative? Does he want us to live a life that is void of death, disease, growing old, disabilities, limitations, sadness, and sufferings? Does he in fact enquire utter perfection? In fact, utter perfection belongs to God alone, and The Utterly Perfect is one with no plurality; Why would he? What does he lack that is found in someone other than himself?

This means that our friend won’t be satisfied unless he himself becomes God, which is the ultimate trespass.

So let us, in our turn, mock him, and those like him, who dislike everything. Those who want it a paradise; what have they done to deserve it? What has our friend presented for humanity to set himself up as The Almighty God who orders a thing to become and it simply comes into existence?

In fact, my grandmother had more sense than our friend here, the professor with a PhD degree and graduating from France, by simply putting it:

Good from God.. Evil from ourselves”

Simple words, but an honest summarization to the whole problem.

God sends the winds and flows the river, yet the greedy captain overloads his ship with passengers and goods leading to its sinking, then he moves on to curse divine providence and fate. What does God have to do with this? God sent the wind and flowed the river for good reasons, but greed and avarice of the soul have turned this good into evil.

How can those fine words be more true: “Good from God.. Evil from ourselves”

This is my (Mohamed the blog owner) first attempt to translate Arabic books that I find interesting and worth reading, in a simple and easy way to follow. If you have any comments please don’t hesitate to leave them, and of course feel free to share this wherever and whenever you like.

God Bless

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He Begot None, Nor He Was Begotten

My friend is a man who loves arguments and talks. He thinks that we, naive believers as we are, feed on illusions, fool ourselves with ideas of Paradise, and that we miss the pleasures of this world and its attractions. Talking about my friend, he graduated from France, got his PhD, lived with the hippies, and came to disbelieve in everything.

He addressed me sarcastically:

You people say that God exists, and the main evidence that you hold on tightly is ‘The Law of Causation’ which dictates that for every work there is a worker, for every creation there is a creator, for every being something brought it into existence. A piece of fabric denotes a weaver, a piece of art denotes an artist, and an inscription denotes an inscriber. Therefore, the universe, following this concept, is the most convenient denotation for The Almighty God who created it. We came to believe in this creator. Don’t we have the right, following this same concept, to ask who created this creator? Who created this God you’re talking about? Doesn’t your own deductions lead us to this? Following the same Law of Causation? What are your thoughts regarding this bump, if you please?

We inform him that his question is invalid, and there’s no bump or anything of that sort. You agree on accepting God as the creator, and then you ask who created him. You’re making him the creator and a creation in the same sentence, and that’s a contradiction.

Another side of your invalid question is that you imagine the abidance of the creator to the laws of his creations. The law of causation belongs to us, residing in time and space. While God has created time and space, it is not right to imagine him confined within time and space, neither with their laws. God created this law of causation. Hence, it is not right to imagine him confined within it.

And you, falling in this fallacy, are more like a string doll, imagining that humans who created it must be moving with strings too. If we would inform it that humans move freely, it would say: It’s impossible for someone to move freely! In my world, I see everyone move with strings.

Similarly, you don’t imagine God existing without the need of someone bringing him into existence, just because you see everything around you in need of something to bring it into existence. Then you’d be like those who think that God needs a parachute to descend to people, or a fast car to reach his prophets. Exalted and raised, is He from all those descriptions, far above.

In his book, Critique of Pure Reason, the German philosopher Immanuel Kant realized that the mind cannot comprehend matters of core nature. Instead, it was naturally designed to perceive matters of the apparent. It is unable to perceive an intrinsic quality like divine existence. For that reason, we’ve come to know God through conscience, and not through reason. Our yearning for justice was our indication of the existence of The Just, just like how our thirst is an indication of the existence of water.

Aristotle moved on with the flow of causation, saying that the chair came from wood, wood came from the tree, the tree came from the seed, the seed came from the farmer, etc. Eventually he was compelled to say that this serial flow in time has to end with an act that isn’t in need of a cause; a primary act, or a primary trigger that is in no need of someone triggering it; a creator in no need of a creator. That’s what we assert about God.

On the other hand, Ibn Arabi‘s response to that question, of who created the creator, was that it denotes a distorted mind. That God is the one who substantiates existence, not the other way around. Just like saying that it is light that indicates day, while the other way around would be a reverse logic.

God says in a Hadith Qudsi (Sacred Hadith):

It is I who aids in proving and finding, there is no proof leading to me.”

God is the proof which is in no need of a proof. He is the self-evident truth; and he is the evidence that substantiates everything. God is manifest in the order, precision, beauty, and in accuracy. In the tree leaf, the feather of the peacock, the wing of the butterfly, the fragrance of the flower, the chanting of perching birds, the consistency of the stars and the planets, in this symphonic poem that we name ‘The Universe’.

If we say that all of this came into existence by chance, then we’d imagine that throwing a bunch of alphabets in the air would result in its combination by itself to form an authorless Shakespeare poem.

And the Quran spares us all these arguments with a few expressive words, in a non-philosophizing decisive clarity:

Say, He is Allah , [who is] One,

Allah , the Eternal Refuge.

He begot none, nor He was begotten,

Nor is there to Him any equivalent.” (Quran:112)

Our friend asks again, sarcastically:

And why do you say God is one? Why wouldn’t there be multiple Gods with multiple specialties distributed among them?

And we shall reply to him using his concept that he acknowledges; with science and not with Quran.

The creator is one, because the whole universe is built from one resource, and is based on one plan. From Hydrogen, the ninety two elements in the Mendeleev table were formed in the same manner; through fusion and the emission of atomic energy, in which stars and suns flame-up in space. In addition, all forms of life are built of carbon composites; they are all charred when burned.

They are all according to one anatomical plan. An anatomy of a frog, a rabbit, a pigeon, a crocodile, a giraffe, and a whale reveal the same anatomical structure in all. The same arteries, veins, cardiac chambers, and bones correspond in all of them. The wing of the pigeon is the foreleg of the frog; the same bones, only a slight transformation. The long neck of the giraffe contains seven vertebrae, we find the same number in the hedgehog’s neck.

The nervous system in all consists of the brain, the spinal cord, and the motor and sensory nerves. Their digestive apparatus contains the stomach, the duodenum, and the small and large intestines. The genital apparatus has the same components: the ovary, the uterus, the testicles and their ducts; while the urinary system in all consists of the kidney, the ureter, and the bladder.

The anatomical unit in each of these creatures is the cell. Whether we are dealing with plants, animals, or humans, we are met with the same features; they all breathe, breed, die, and are born in the same way.

Doesn’t all of this denote unity in techniques? What’s so strange then, in asserting that God is one? and why would The Complete multiply? Does he lack something that needs completion? It is only the incomplete who multiplies.

And if there were more than one God, they would fall among themselves each taking his own creation to his side, and the universe would fall apart. God has his own glory and pride, and these are characteristics that cannot be shared.

Our friend makes fun of the divine concept as we understand it, saying:

Isn’t it strange this God that intervenes in everything, little or big? Mastering all creatures, inspiring the bees to abide in the mountains, no leaf falls but he knows of it, no fruit grows out of its bud but he takes count of it. It is he who causes the foot to tumble in a hole, or a fly to fall in a plate of food, or a bowl. Even if the phone is dead, or the rain doesn’t fall, he’s behind all these events after all. Don’t you keep your God busy with too many trivial matters under such conception of him?

I certainly don’t understand. Does a God, in the eyes of the enquirer, become more worthy of divinity if he relieved himself from these responsibilities, took a vacation, and turned his back on the world he created? Does a God who is not operating, unconscious, not hearing, not seeing, not responding, and not caring for his creations become more worthy of being a God? And how does someone know if a certain issue is trivial, while another is much more important and of great value?

The fly, which seems insignificant in the eyes of the enquirer that it doesn’t seem to be of much importance whether it falls into a plate of food or not, has the power to change history with its unimportant fall. It could infect an army with cholera, resolving victory to the competing side, and thus changing the course of history. Wasn’t Alexander the Great killed by a mosquito?

The most trivial premises can lead to the most serious consequences, whereas the most important beginnings can issue in nothing. The All-Knowing of the unknown alone realizes the value of everything.

And did the enquirer imagine himself to be a trustee over God, defining his prerogatives for him? Glorified and disdained, is our Lord from this naive conception.

God who is worthy of divinity, is he whose knowledge has covered everything; who misses not one atom, whether on earth or in the sky.

The All-Hearing, The Responder, The Caring for his creations.

This is my (Mohamed the blog owner) first attempt to translate Arabic books that I find interesting and worth reading, in a simple and easy way to follow. If you have any comments please don’t hesitate to leave them, and of course feel free to share this wherever and whenever you like.

God Bless

Dialogue with my Atheist Friend (Preface)

Because God is unseen, because the future as well as the afterlife is unknown, and because whoever goes into the grave does not return, the commodity of atheism has spread, and materialistic concepts have prevailed. People worshiped themselves, gave themselves away to their desires, and buckled down to this world quarreling over its goods. Many of them believed that nothing is behind this world and that nothing is after this life. Major countries are fighting over Earth’s gold and goods. Disbelief has its own theories, materialism has its own philosophies, denial has its own recesses and gun crew, and deniers have their own sacred house, clinging to its cilia and performing pilgrimage to it during their accommodation and travel; A dignified sacred house, which they call ‘Science’.

When the ‘Human Genome’ emerged, this little booklet containing 5 million pages inside the cells of each one of us, stored in a microscopic cellular space, in the form of 3 billion chemical symbols, explaining our shares, weaknesses and strengths, and our health and sickness, it awakened the whole world, rendered them absolutely shocked.

How? When? Using which unseen pen this precise work was written about a future that is yet to come? Who wrote all this info? What are the means used? And who has the ability to register logs like this?

Then we saw Bill Clinton, the president of the biggest country in the world, showing up on Television and speaking in a humble tone: “At last, it is now possible to collect the complete information about the Human Genome, and scientists are about to break the code which God has used in writing our fate.”

Just like that, he mentioned ‘God’ in his statement.

Yes, it was a temporary awakening, followed by controversies and commotions; allot started talking in the name of religion and in the name of science, and they disputed.

Old questions regarding human freedom started to reappear; Do humans have a free will, or are they determined? If God has already predetermined our actions, then why does he hold us accountable? Why did God create evil? What about those unreached by Holy Books? What’s the religion’s situation with regards to evolution? And why do we assert that it is impossible that the Quran might be fabricated?

Once again this old dialogue with my atheist friend has returned, as well as its subjects: determinism, choice, resurrection, fate and judgment to be the contemporary topic.

This new version returns just in time to participate in solving this puzzle, and to stimulate this topic in the light of fixed science, Quranic signs, and the unshakable divine certainty.

Welcome to the tranquil, constructive dialogue.

Mustafa Mahmoud

 

This is my (Mohamed the blog owner) first attempt to translate Arabic books that I find interesting and worth reading, in a simple and easy way to follow. If you have any comments please don’t hesitate to leave them, and of course feel free to share this wherever and whenever you like.

God Bless

A Call for Co-existence

Have you ever asked yourself how many religions exist in our world today? Have a quick look at this List of religions and spiritual traditions. What’s the purpose of religion and spirituality anyway? How could we live together in peace under the circumstances of this massive religious diversity we have today? Even if you thought of it as countries having different traditions, we still live in the same planet under one sky!

Do you notice how sometimes countries having larger religious diversities, tend to have more understanding and a better application of religions? While other countries that have smaller religious diversities often tend to lean towards extremism?

It’s because we are all different, we are meant to be different so that we could get to know one another. We are not here on Earth to fight on who’s right and who’s wrong, but to rather learn how to accept our differences.

If you are a believer of God, then you should understand that all religious principles are the same. There is no religion that teaches people fear, hatred and bloodshed. Religions are supposed to give our life meaning, justice, and serenity. The perspective of every religion may vary, but the main purpose stays the same; Communication with God.

I believe that having the ideology of “My religion is the only authentic religion in the world” and “Every person embracing any other religion than mine will burn in hell” is a sign of naivety. God is just, in fact one of the 99 names of Allah is “The Just”. And of course you don’t need to be a Muslim to know this fact about God. How can we believe that God is The Just while believing that all other people embracing other religions, out of whom may exist people who don’t know what God means, are going to hell? Who are we to say so?

Who are we to speak in the name of God? Are we Messengers? Angels? We are nothing but normal human beings. Our mentality does not withstand recognition of God’s way of thinking. We were created by God. Everything we know today, is because He permitted for this info to reach us. Yet instead we put ourselves in God’s shoes, God forbid, and we give ourselves the right to judge people.

I’m trying to say that we are all different. We live in different environments, societies, circumstances. Our perception is different. Human beings’ mentality vary from novice to brilliant. Each one has his own perspective. Each one has his own life to live, upon which his afterlife destiny will be determined. Who has permission to judge? The One and only with the ability to do so, know so, God.

So let us all accept our differences, learn to co-exist with each other, look for common grounds instead of differences. Learn that God is “The Utterly Just”, “The Exceedingly Merciful”. Every time we see a country where justice is very strict, we remember that if it was to be compared with God’s justice, it would appear so unjust. Every time we see a mother holding her baby in such mercy, we remember that if her mercy was to be compared with God’s, it would appear so cruel. I hope I wasn’t misunderstood in any way. Whatever your religion may be, God bless you.

May Allah be with us all

Peace

Different Types of Masks

Its funny how we sometimes hide our true personality behind a more acceptable mask or appearance to look better or to appeal to as many people as possible. Sometimes it’s our family and loved ones who get to see the genuine side of ours. Other times our true identity is never shown to any human beings other than ourselves.

It’s even more funny I used the word “personality” followed by the word “mask”. For your info, the word “personality” comes from the Latin word “persona” which means mask, which makes allot of sense.

Prior to any elections, politicians will always wear masks that identifies them as one of the people to gain as many votes as possible, while in fact they could be the furthest from this identification. Company sales representatives will always wear masks that identifies their company as the best in its field, regardless to where the truth lies. Celebrities are sometimes willing to wear masks of whatever company willing to pay them the greatest amount of money and fortune, in return for an advertisement!

But recently in Egypt, a powerful new influential form of deceit has risen, which is the religious masks phenomenon. I personally wasn’t aware of the magnitude of this problem, until I began to see its impact on the people.

It’s based on falsely convincing the people around you that you have a message to deliver in the name of God, while in reality you’re looking for achieving your own personal benefits and purposes. In Egypt’s case, a group of people calling themselves the “Muslim Brotherhood” as well as other political parties, wore religious masks in order to gain parliamentary seats and achieve absolute power over the country.

These parties, with their highly intelligence and co-ordination all over the country, have succeeded in exploiting the ignorance of the Egyptian people, among whom were religiously, politically, and even linguistic illiterates, to their own political benefit. They deliberately deceived them into thinking that they are living in a non-Muslim world, and that Egypt badly needs them to be in charge for the sake of Islam. As a result, they were blindly given most of the votes from the poor illiterate people, whom alone form about 30% of the Egyptian population, and they won about 65% of the parliament, followed by a re-vote between one of them, Mohamed Morsi, and one of the former regime candidates, Ahmed Shafiq.

After winning the presidential elections, I thought the activities hiding behind religious masks would come to an end. But on the contrary, it was spread to a more dangerous zone where it can deceive more and more religiously and politically illiterates, the Egyptian media. Nowadays you find the so called “Sheikhs” and “Imams” appearing on their private media channels, approving every single word coming from President Morsi or his regime as if they were claiming that they are actually descendants of the holy Prophet Muhammad, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, and that they should not be questioned!

Of course logically now any one with the opposition side is now, God forbid, against Allah and his Prophet, and should be treated as if they were enemies of Islam. And they are actually treated this way now.

A few months earlier from today, a group of protesters were gathered at the Ittihadiya Palace with their tents and “Nesto” cheese, opposing the new incompatible constitution, while another group of religiously motivated people suddenly attacked them, tortured whoever fell in their hands in the name of Allah, claiming that those were thugs who needed discipline.

Now if any religiously illiterate person saw what happened on that day, the stereotyping of Muslims to violence will no longer be a stereotype. It will be a fact that Islam is a religion that encourages violence when all the people around the globe watch us kill each other over differences in political views.

The leaders responsible for this incident are well known, and we do have solid proof on social networking sites that proves the fact that they were heading towards Ittihadya Palace to show those protesters some discipline. But none of whom were questioned, in fact they are still to this day misleading people on TV and the internet, as if nothing has ever happened!

I see the main problem in pure ignorant large amounts of people, following false leaders who are in fact misleading them from the right path. All of this originated from the idea of politicians wearing religious masks to intentionally deceive the young religiously illiterate people into believing that those leaders have a straight connection to Allah, and therefore worth dying for.

In conclusion, we need to know our religion, our Islam, where there is no one whatsoever between you and Allah in this epoch. A mosque is a place where you pray and learn your religion, not a place where you should be hearing political arguments. A parliament is where you should be hearing political arguments. A politician is either a politician or an Islamic preacher, as we’ve all seen what this can lead to in the end.

Oh and one more thing, Morsi and his regime are not descendants of the holy Prophet Muhammad, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him. They are part of the religious masks phenomenon and should be sent for trials in court on charges of deceit, torture and murder.

May Allah be with us all

Peace