Why did Allah create the soul so rebellious, inclined to evil and commanding evil?

Details of the Question

- Why did Allah create the soul so rebellious, inclined to evil and commanding evil that 999 people out of 1.000 deserved Hell as it is stated in a hadith?  

- Why did Allah make this world test so hard?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

- Allah regarded it appropriate to make a test. We have no right to question this preference of His. We can only try to learn the wisdom behind it.

However, when we cannot proceed, we need to surrender to our Lord, in whom we believe wholeheartedly, and to know our place.

- For a fair test, the existence of elements that will help people to pass and to fail the test is necessary. From this viewpoint, people are supported by strong elements like mind, thought and revelation that help them positively in the test. In addition, Allah also created the elements like the soul that will affect the test negatively.

Besides, it is possible to guide the soul by contributing to it with training and education. The levels of the soul like lawwama (blaming), mutmainna (satisfied), radiya (pleased), mardiyya (fulfilling) indicate this positive affect of it.

- In fact, this test is not so hard. The concept “hardship/difficulty” is a debatable and relative concept that is hard to understand. However, it has been shifted from its real meaning.  

The concept “hardship/difficulty” is like a negative energy central that seems impossible. Therefore, a way is opened for the experience of a psychological trauma in mind management without using a method of logic.   

- Let us view it fairly: Allah rendered all kinds of foods and drinks halal for us but He prohibited only some - harmful things to our health - like wine-alcoholic drinks. If man keeps away from those prohibitions throughout his life, he will not lose anything from his health, nutrients and taste. In order to satisfy his sexual motives, man can do it legitimately with a discipline that fits man by having a marriage contract.  

- Man generally loses the test not because it is hard but because he does not listen to the voice of his conscience that is located in the depths of his mind and nature. We naturally do not want to say that everything is very easy. What test is very easy? The difficulty, seriousness and discipline of a test that leads to Paradise, which is not cheap, and Hell, which is not unnecessary, is definitely indisputable.

However, no mind and conscience can reject the fact that Allah’s forgiveness and endless mercy, His mercy’s being superior to His fury, the door of repentance always being open, one bad deed being recorded as one bad deed and one good deed being recorded as at least ten deeds are tolerance offered to man to pass the test.

- According to a narration, some Companions were walking normally while others were walking slowly – due to fatigue – in a journey.  Meanwhile the Prophet (pbuh) recited the first two verses (mentioning the earthquake of Doomsday) of the chapter of al-Hajj aloud. When the Companions heard that the Messenger of Allah recited those verses aloud, they ran toward him – thinking that there was definitely some wisdom behind it. The Prophet said,

“Do you know the day mentioned in those verses?” Then, he continued as follows:

It is the day when “Adam was called and when Allah addressed Adam as follows: 'O Adam! Allocate the share of fire!'  Adam will say, ''O Lord! What is the share of fire?' Allah will say, ' Out of each thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine will go to Fire / Hell and one will go to Paradise.”

When the Companions heard it, their faces faded; there was no trace of smile left on their faces. When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saw the hopeless and distressed state of the Companions, he stated the following:

“Glad tidings to you! Be hopeful and continue doing righteous deeds. I swear by Allah, who has Muhammad’s soul in his hand, that you will be between such two groups of creatures that they will be more than any people or any things that they will be compared to. They are Yajuj (Gog) and (Majuj) Magog and the ones from the offspring of Adam and Iblis (the father of jinn) that were destroyed.”

When the Companions heard it, they started to smile. Then, the Messenger of Allah stated the following:

“Do righteous deeds and be hopeful. I swear by Allah, who has Muhammad’s soul in his hand, you will be like a mole on the side of a camel or a like scratch on the arm of an animal (in a narration, a white black spot on the side of a white ox, or a white spot on the side of a black ox).”

Tirmidhi also reported that hadith along with Nasai and stated that it was hasan-sahih. (see Ibn Jarir Tabari, Ibn Kathir, the interpretation of the verse in question)

Tirmidhi and Ahmad b. Hanbal also narrated that hadith. Tirmidhi stated that it was hasan-sahih. (see Tirmidhi, Tafsir, 23; Ibn Hanbal, 4/435)

Imam Bukhari reported this issue without including the beginning part “During a journey...” (see Bukhari, Tafsiru Surati 22, 1)

- As far as we understand from the expressions of the narrations, we can say that the number given for the people to go to Hell belongs to the stage before the divine court starts on the Day of Judgment.

Accordingly, the total of the people including all kinds of unbelievers and sinners that deserve Hell is mentioned with that number. However, as it is stated in various sound hadiths, many people will be saved from Hell by being forgiven by Allah afterwards.

Similarly, many people will be saved by the intercession (shafa’ah) to be performed by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), other prophet, saints, martyrs and great scholars. That is, though they deserve hell, they will be saved without entering Hell.  

Besides, an important part will go to Hell but some people will be saved from Hell since they “have an atom's weight of belief” thanks to Allah’s grace and mercy, and go to Paradise.

Just as Paradise want people so too does Hell want people. “Long live Hell for oppressors!”

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