Can we have the right to complain about what we do not have?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

9.1.7-Complaint comes from a right

Complaint stems from a right1 and a person who is wronged can complain to eliminate the injustice. “Why was I created as an ugly person while others are handsome? Why am I short while others are tall?” Those who utter the complaints above and similar ones and who regard them as injustice and cruelty of qadar think Allah owes them and speak like that. It looks as if they made a deal with God Almighty before they were born. They think Allah owes them a height of 180 cm.

When Allah created people and pre-ordained their bodies by giving a height of 150 cm to some, 160 cm to some, 170 cm to some, etc., they raised their voices and objected:

Why am I 160 cm tall? 

Why am I 170 cm tall?

They assume the same attitude related to the issues such as ugliness-handsomeness and sickness–health. Let us ask them the following questions:

“Does Allah owe you anything? Did you give Him a height of 180 cm before and did He shorten it by 5, 10 or 20 cm when He returned them to some people? You have the right to complain if there is a loss like that.”

In fact, Allah does not owe anything to anyone; whatever He gives man is from His grace and mercy. In this respect, no right is violated and lost, which does not give man the right to complain. On the contrary, we owe God Almighty so many things and rights. Demanding some rights from Him instead of paying our debt to Him is like a debtor denying his debt and complaining about the creditor by saying, “I have been wronged and oppressed.”

In terms of blessing, man has no right to look above and the people superior to him and to complain. On the contrary, he should look at those who are in greater distress than him, be thankful and happy. The following example tells us this fact very well:

A generous man wanted to help a desperate and poor person financially. He took the poor person in front of a minaret and said,

If you go to the top of the minaret, I will give you a gift for every step you ascend.

Then, he added:

I will give you the greatest gift for the top step.

The desperate poor person reached the top step of the minaret. The minaret was really high. The generous and benevolent person who told him to ascend to the highest step gave him one piece of gold for the first step and two for the second step. He increased the number of gold coins one by one for each step. He gave the poor man a thousand gold coins at the top step of the minaret.

The man expected only two things from the poor man: to thank him and to be grateful to him. However, the poor man forgot the gold coins granted to him and the favor of the generous man and addressed him as follows:

“I wish the minaret were higher. I wish I would go up more steps and get more gold coins.”

Despite all of the grants and help, the poor man started to complain instead of thanking the generous man. He started to oppose and blame the generous and benevolent person by saying, “Why do I not have as much gold as others? Why don’t you give me more?” instead of thanking the man who gave him so much gold.

In fact, this complaint is ingratitude and thanklessness. The benevolent person may not have given him anything because the desperate man had no right to receive anything from him. The rich man gave him the gold coins because of his mercy and as a grant.

Similarly, Allah brought man into existence from nothing; He did not create him as a stone, as soil or as one of the thousands of species of trees and animals. He raised man to the degree of the greatest blessing and bestowal, bestowed the blessings of humanity and Islam. He made him healthy in most of his life, fed him at the table of the earth every day and equipped him with the organs like hands and feet along with spiritual organs like mind, thought and love.2

If we liken every given blessing to a step, man has been ascended to such a high minaret in terms of blessings; he has been granted such great blessings grants and boons. Allah has bestowed upon him so many blessings out of His generosity though he does not owe man anything; can man ignore what He has given him, show ingratitude and think as follows as if Allah has violated his rights and owes him: 

“Why am I 160 cm tall, not 170 cm?

Why am I not as handsome or beautiful as such and such a person?

Why am I sick but such and such a person is not sick?

Is what has happened to me not cruelty and injustice?

In fact, the person who is 60 cm tall and who thinks he is inferior to others should think as follows: 

 “Allah brought me into existence out of nothing; He did not create me as a stone, soil, tree, microbe or animal. Thus, He elevated me to millions of steps of bounties though He does not owe me anything. He would have never created me if He did not want to. He could have created me as a stone or soil”.

Although He expects thanking from me for all those grants and blessings, I look at the people who have been given more blessings and complain about it. However, I have to look at those who have fewer blessing and be thankful. Instead of thinking that I am 10 cm shorter than others, I should think as follows: There are people and creatures that are shorter than me. I could have been even an ant of half a centimeter tall. I should not complain and show ingratitude instead of thanking Allah.”

1.Nursi, B.S. Lem’alar., p. 217.
2.Nursi, B.S.Lemalar, p. 226; (On Sekizinci Deva). Allah is not cruel. See Mehmed Vehbi, Akâid-iHayriye, p. 29-32; Keskin, p. 134.

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