We suffer a lot of hardships in the world. We are in a terrible state. I really need help. I have doubts about the existence of god. What should I do?

The Details of the Question
We suffer a lot of hardships in the world. We are in a terrible state. I really need help. I have doubts about the existence of god. What should I do?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

When we try to understand our awareness of divine justice, it will be evident to what extent we perceive the concept of time, transience and eternity and to what extent we realize and internalize them and manage to think using them. A believing person knows that one percent of the divine justice, so to speak, is prevalent in the world and that ninety-nine percent of it awaits to function in the hereafter. The oppressors will suffer for the cruelty they committed much more severely and intensely in the hereafter than in this world. Many narrations in the Islamic culture explain the reason why some evil people are not punished for the evil deeds they committed in this world as follows: Allah does not like those people; so He does not punish them here; if He punishes them here, their punishment in the hereafter will be relieved. Therefore, He delays their punishment to the hereafter so that they will be punished severely there.

- If we remember that our Prophet (pbuh) resembles the life in this world to a few hours that a traveler spends under a tree to rest under the shade (Tirmidhi, Zuhd, 44.), we will consent to the fact that Allah does not punish the oppressor in the few hours he will live in this world or the fact that the traveler will suffer a temporary pain in that short period compared to the punishment or reward they will receive in the eternal life.  

Allah will punish the doers of the deeds that cause others pains and troubles in this short, ephemeral world, for instance, the oppression an innocent child suffers without any reason, in the hereafter and He will compensate for those who suffer. Maybe that innocent child will be granted such a nice life in the hereafter by Allah due to the pains he suffered in the world that it will be higher than the ranks that a person who worshipped and prayed Allah a lot but led a comfortable life in the world.   

This is a fact: Allah never loses the right of a creator that He creates. If we remember the hadith giving glad tidings that when a thorn pricks a person’s hand, Allah either will regard it as an atonement for his sin or will give him a reward because he has suffered, Allah will atone for his slaves who suffer in this world. When the day when how our eternal life will take place is determined comes, nobody’s right will be violated by others and even the tiniest good and bad deeds will definitely not be lost.  

To sum up;

1. Since the world is a place of testing, Allah lets people commit bad deeds and oppress others. Wars, rapes, murders and the example given above are incidents that Allah allows to happen because He does not interfere with the partial free will of man; however, He will punish severely those who do bad deeds and He will give rewards to those who suffer in the world. Those kinds of incidents were experienced by the innocent prophets like Zakariya (Zacharias) and Yahya (Jonah) that were sent by Allah; they were killed by people; Allah let their cruel nation use their partial free will. As a matter of fact, our Prophet (pbuh) was stoned in Taif; he lost one of his teeth in Uhud; he was exposed to evil deeds of people; Allah let those things happen to His most beloved slave. 

2. The father that inflicts that cruelty upon his son will either be punished in this world by Allah and be saved from the punishment in the hereafter if he is valued by Allah or he will be punished severely in the hereafter in such a way that when his son sees him like that, he will feel relaxed and be content.

3. The oppression and the violent acts that the innocent child suffers might be atonement for his sins in his life in the future. Due to the unjust treatment he has suffered, Allah will not evaluate his good and bad deeds as he evaluates the good and bad deeds of those who led a comfortable life in the world; He will consider his psychology and sufferings and maybe he will be granted surprising bounties that will make him say,  “What did I do to receive so many rewards and high ranks.” To be granted such great bounties in return for leading a life full of difficulties will be atonement for the oppression he has suffered. We should not forget that what we have mentioned so far will be valid for those who do not hide behind the sufferings, who do not exploit the feelings of other people, who do not transform the sufferings he underwent in the past to oppression against others and who try to lead their lives as good individuals.  

4. What we have mentioned above are the state of those people who oppose the Sunnah of Allah, why those states are allowed and explanations regarding the general states of those who violate those rules and those who suffer. It should not be forgotten that natural laws like cause and effect and some spiritual principles are evaluated within the scope of the term the Sunnah of Allah; however, there are some states in which the Sunnah of Allah operate differently and in which the divine principles are flexible. That is, the Sunnah of Allah does not mean laws that take place in the same pattern for everybody. Those divine principles may function differently and have different manifestations depending on each state, person, the qadar of people, conditions and levels, divine purposes, results and the mystery of testing. Therefore, in the example we have given above, the father who beats the innocent child is captured in the world and undergoes punishment; in some states, he is not accounted for what he has done until he dies.  In some cases, the innocent child is saved by the interference of the state or neighbors; in others, he continues to undergo violence as long as his father dies. In some cases, the violence he suffers makes him develop a personality that opposes injustice and defend other innocent people throughout his life; in others, it may cause him to develop a shy, introvert and depressed personality. In short, there is a special plan of qadar for every person and situation and there is special atonement for the unjust treatment a person undergoes and the oppression that a person inflicts upon others.   

In conclusion; the Sublime Creator does not lose the tiniest good or bad deed. The accounting for the things that a person does to another one is carried out by Allah even if the person who suffers forgives him because Allah regards it as oppression inflicted upon his slave.

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