When I look at myself and at the world, I see that we are in constant pain and sorrow. Does Allah become happy by causing us to feel pain?

The Details of the Question
When I look at myself and at the world, I see that we are in constant pain and sorrow. Does Allah become happy by causing us to feel pain?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

There are sociological, psychological reasons alongside with ontological laws why this subject has been perceived like that. We are going to list it in a few points.

Let us express that this situation is perfection, development, beauty and growing in maturity for man. It is not disadvantageous for him but advantageous. If man looks at around him with justice and conscience, he will find the answer to this question.

- The seeds in the barn must be put into soil so that they can be trees. Seemingly, the underground is dark and boring. However, it is the only way of being a tree. A tree does not appear even if the seed stays in a barn for thousands of years. Now, what can this seed say to its owner other than thanking to Him who put it into the soil in order to make it become a tree from the state of a seed? Does it have a right to say the following; why did you put me into this boring and dark life?

Likewise, Allah (SWT) sent Hz. Adam and his offspring from the barn of Paradise to the field of the earth. He gives man illnesses, troubles so that he would return to Paradise in the form of a tree and He buried Adam into the soil of worshipping. Thus, man returns to Paradise just like a tree.

- A kind of compassion lies under the fact that a teacher makes his/her student work hard because after that hard work, the development of that person occurs. The main factor that turns iron into steel is the fact that it is put in fire. The severity of the winter and the horridness of the storms are necessary for the spring flowers to appear. That essential rule is valid for us too. That is, the flower we call development can blossom if we are exposed to some hardships and troubles.

- Allah equipped the universe that He created in a wonderful system with His endless knowledge and power with opposites because beauty can only be perceived when ugliness appears. The darkness of the night shows the brightness of the day; the existence of the disease shows the value of the health; the existence of hunger shows the value of the bounties; and the existence of oppression shows the beauty of justice. This system also paves the way for hundreds of relative truths to appear. For instance, it serves as a means for variations of sour, sweet and salty tastes to appear; similarly, it serves as a means for beauty, ugliness, oppression, justice, bravery and cowardice to appear in thousands of shades. The beauties of material beings in different shades appear through this system; the different degrees of the achievements of people who are subjected to tests are also determined through this system. The penalties for different crimes are different; similarly, the rewards of different good deeds are to be different. It is necessary to know the shades and degrees of all forms of beauty and ugliness for being able to make different evaluations – based on the fine criteria of justice.

- Man has two different worlds. One of them is the objective, big world, in which all humans live. The other is the subjective, small world, which is limited to the psychology of each person. While the color of the first – the real – world proceeds on its way – without changing – in accordance with its own principles, the subjective world of the person changes its color depending on the psychological mood of the person. A person can make mistakes since he tries to see the world through the window of his subjective world. For instance, a person who is crying due to his sorrow thinks that the whole world is crying; a person who is very happy will see the whole world in happiness. However, the situation of the real world cannot be evaluated by the criteria of this mental, virtual, subjective and psychological world. Dark glasses will show everything dark but things are dark for only that person. It does not mean that everything is black.

- There are principles that Allah has imposed. Those who do not act in accordance with those principles – no matter what their religions are and how religious they are –are bound to be downtrodden. As it is emphasized in the verse, “That man can have nothing but what he strives for” (an-Najm, 53/39), what is demanded from man is to work. The natural ways of sustenance are agriculture/farming, artisanship and trade. Allah has filled the earth with bounties that are enough for everybody. He has created the earth suitable for it. However, He will not personally put the food into a person’s mouth.  One of the most important reasons for the poverty in the world today is the laziness of people on the on hand and the imperialistic attitudes of the oppressors – who are unfortunately regarded as members of the family of the mankind – on the other hand. When the power is in the hands of the oppressor, the law is bound to be downtrodden.

The exemplary blows that oppressors like Nimrod, Shaddad and Pharaoh, and tribes like Thamud and Ad, who held power, received throughout history, the prophets that were weak but struggled and became victorious and the rewards that their followers received show that Allah will justly punish those who rebel against Him and will protect compassionately and mercifully and reward those who obey Him. However, since the world is a place of testing, things are to be held secret. It is against this principle of secrecy to punish the criminals whenever they committed a crime and to reward those who obey whenever they did good deeds. However, the fact that they take place even if on a small scale shows that justice will be manifest fully in the great court in the hereafter.  

- If the crime of every thief, snatcher, murderer, killer were to be prevented, it would not be possible to distinguish between the good people and the bad people.

- The ecological and ontological balances present in the universe denote the existence of a large justice because balance is the reflection of a justice criterion. The place where this justice will be manifest is the hereafter. 

- Although beauties are more than evil deeds, the intelligence of man that is affected by suspicions can alter those rates through the gift of the gab. While the sun, the moon, the stars, the seas and the atmosphere work in the service of man and the earth helps man through all of its bounties, it will be an ugly mistake like accusing the mercy of Allah, who introduces Himself as the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful at the beginning of the chapters of the Quran, to ignore all of those bounties due to some troubles that we do not like originating from the misuse of man himself, the mistakes of others or that are like warnings. Man sometimes becomes so ungrateful that he will forget about all of the bounties and will start to complain if he becomes ill for one day even if he has lived healthily and wealthily for 50 years. May Allah show us the straight path.

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