Many people have often pondered over the problem of evil in the world. Many have subsequently also put forward the proposition why would an All Powerful God allow suffering and pain to exist in this world? Does God not have the capacity to alleviate such pain from humanity?
The answer provided by Islam in regards to the problem of evil is summarised as follows.
To begin with, Allah says in the Quran:
“It is He who has created death and life to put you to the test and see which of you is most virtuous in your deeds. He is Majestic and All-forgiving” Quran 67:2
So quite clearly our complete life is a test, and like most tests there are difficult questions and situations. For some, God shall test through blessings, while others are tested in hardship.
“Every soul has to experience the taste of death. We test you with both hardships and blessings. In the end you will all return to Us.” Quran 35:21
In another verse, Allah goes on to state:
“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.” Quran 2:155
An example could be in situations whereby Allah blesses some with money, while others are poor and hungry. Those with money are being tested to give and not give into greed, while those without are being tested with patience. If the poor never existed, how would Allah be able to test those who are rich?
In regards to suffering this is also part of a test as Allah says in the Quran:
“Why do you not fight for the cause of God or save the helpless men, women, and children who cry out, “Lord, set us free from this town of wrong doers and send us a guardian and a helper?” Quran 2:75
Allah allows people to suffer, to test those in safety and comfort. To test who is ready to sacrifice the blessing of comfort and safety to protect those in need? Who is ready to risk his own life to help those in need? And who is going to ignore them and watch them die because they love their luxurious life too much?
Surely Allah can help the oppressed, but that’s not the purpose of life. As we’ve understood from previous verses, the purpose of life is to be tested and to distinguish the righteous from the wrongdoers.
Last but not least, this life is a temporary. All those who suffered will not remember a thing the moment they enter Paradise. This is similar to having a nightmare – although many of us are extremely frightened in the moment, by the time we wake up we realise they only lasted a few seconds and completely forget about them as we move on to carry out our daily tasks.
More importantly why are the Muslims donating the most in charity, while others are sitting on the side doing only what they feel comfortable doing? In a recent survey in Britain, Muslims were said to be the most charitable, this is indicative of Muslims understanding their purpose in life and duty to help those in need. This not only shows that Muslims understand why evil exists, but also understand that it is their duty first and foremost to alleviate it – so that God may reward them upon passing the test of life.