God’s Balance

To understand the reasons of human suffering, it is important to ponder upon the purpose of creation. It is God who has showered so many blessings, which we too often fail to appreciate and thank Him for. In times of darkness, it will be worth remembering the light of God’s mercy and kindness.

By Nikhat Sattar | May 2020

The world is in the grip of a pandemic, with billions confined to homes, thousands infected and many thousands dead. While the toll is rising, there is no cure in sight. The global crisis is worse than wars that have led to millions of deaths, starvation and illnesses, as well as natural and manmade disasters.

Many believers question the will of God in allowing so much suffering upon humankind. Non-believers claim that a God would not let these things happen if He really cared. Hence He either does not exist or He is an angry, vengeful Creator.

According to Abrahamic religions, God made man as matter and breathed His spirit into him. The Quran is most explicit on this in verses 32:7-8 and 38:72. He is closer to humans than their jugular vein (50:16) and loves them beyond human comprehension. If he were to punish humans for all the excesses they commit despite His warnings, there would be no one left in the world (35:45). The care and compassion of God cannot be imagined by humans whose compassion is only one hundredth of what God has for us (Sahih Muslim: 6629).

Global disasters are a reminder to us that we have limits and that it is God who is the Ruler of the universe.

To understand the reasons of human suffering, it is important to ponder upon the purpose of creation. Humans were created to constantly struggle against evil and wrongdoing so that they may earn the right to live ever after in Paradise. Despite their innate sense of good and evil, many chose to perpetrate acts that had negative repercussions. The universe runs according to physical and moral laws of God, but man’s rebellion and senseless actions disrupted their smooth working. Humans break these laws and then complain of consequences that are a result of their own choice. Many disasters such as floods, tsunamis, hot and cold extremes, air pollution and outbreak of disease are caused by excessive and wrong human activities and selfish choices. Similarly, tragedies of famine, hunger, death, illness, rapes, etc. are often the consequence of wars and mass violence between warring states, tribal feuds and the brutal nature of man; wars are driven by egos of individuals vying for power and hegemony in the world. God wants humans to live in a balance, but they disrupt this again and again.

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The writer is a development professional, researcher, translator and columnist with an interest in religion and socio-political issues. She has translated various writings including Dr. Khalid Masud’s seminal biography of the Prophet Mohammed (SWS). She can be reached at nikhat_sattar@yahoo.com

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