Why does Allah use bad things as a test tool?

The Details of the Question

- Why does Allah make people suffer, disgrace or be in need of other people as a means of testing?
- On the other hand, He says pray and I will give; you pray and make dhikr when you are in trouble, but there is no intervention that will turn the result in your favor.
- However, if you rebel or tend to rebel, Allah’s intervention can take place in a short time and you can get into a worse situation than you are.
- While an intervention in your favor does not come, an intervention in your bad deed that will put you in even more difficulty takes place immediately.
- Why does it happen like that?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

- First of all, the statement in the question meaning “Allah’s intervention takes place immediately after an evil act” is not true because one of the names of Allah is Halim; it means He does not punish the criminals immediately. There are expressions that reinforce this meaning in various verses and hadiths.

“Whatever misfortune happens to you, is because of the things your hands have wrought, and for many (of them) He grants forgiveness(ash-Shura, 42/30)

That fact is underlined in the verse above.

However, calamities and troubles are of great importance in people’s lives because most people become spoiled when they see themselves healthy and wealthy without needing anything. From this point of view, misfortunes are also considered as warning and beautiful blessings of Allah.

- Let us listen to this issue from Badiuzzaman Said Nursi:

The sheep struck by the stones turn back, as if saying: “We are under the shepherd’s command. He knows us better than ourselves, so we must return.” Then, the sheep returns followed by the herd.” “Know, O my soul, you are not more astray than the sheep. When stricken with misfortune, say: ‘ اِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَ اِنَّٓا اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ (‘To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return.)’ al-Baqara, 2/156) Return to the real shelter and become a believer; do not be depressed. He takes care of you more than you.” (See Mesnevi-i Nuriye, p. 120).

- Finally, we can find the best answer to this question in Risale-i Nur Collection

“Almighty Allah sends calamities and inflicts tribulations; isn’t this an injustice towards the innocent in particular, and animals even?”

“The answer: God forbid, sovereignty is His. He holds sway over His possessions as He wishes. Moreover, a skilful craftsman makes you a model in return for a wage and dresses you in a bejewelled garment that he has artistically fashioned. Then in order to display his art and skill, he shortens it and lengthens it, measures it and trims it, and he makes you sit down and stand up. Can you say to him: “You have made the garment that makes me beautiful ugly. You have caused me trouble, making me sit down and stand up.”? Of course, you cannot say that. If you did, you would be crazy.

“Similarly, the All-Glorious Maker has clothed you in an artistically wrought being bejewelled with such faculties as the eye, the ear, and the tongue. To display the embroideries of various of His names, He makes you ill, He afflicts you with tribulations, He makes you hungry, He fills you, He makes you thirsty; He makes you revolve in states like these. To strengthen the essence of life and display the manifestation of His names He makes you pass through numerous such conditions. As is indicated in the comparison, if you ask: “Why do you inflict these calamities on me?” a hundred instances of wisdom will silence you. In any event, calm, repose, idleness, monotony, and arrest from motion are forms of non-existence, and harm. Motion and change are existence and good.”

Life finds its perfection through motion; it progresses by means of tribulations. Life performs various motions through the manifestation of the divine names; it is purified, finds strength; it unfolds and expands; it becomes a mobile pen to write its own appointed course; it performs its duty and acquires the right to receive reward in the hereafter.” (See Mektubat, pp. 44-45)

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