Why do bad things happen to good people???
'Testing the Believers'
Allah teaches us in the Quran that Victory belongs to the believers in this life and the in the Hereafter BUT they will not be left without being tested.
[29:2-3] "Do the people think that they will be left to say, "We believe," without being put to the test?" We have tested those before them, for GOD must distinguish those who are truthful, and He must expose the liars.
[3:179] GOD is not to leave the believers as you are, without distinguishing the bad from the good..
[2:214] Do you expect to enter Paradise without being tested like those before you? ..
'The testing of the believers'
When bad things happen to someone it is usually one of two things, either a punishment or a test,(4:79, 42:30, 3:165). The disbelievers may NOT be punished in this life and allowed to transgress for a while to accumulate more sins and prepare for their humiliating defeat in the Hereafter. ** The believers on the other hand may be punished quickly in this life to bring them back to the right path, give them the chance to repent and correct what wrong they may have done. What seems to be a punishment for us or the people around us may just be a test to polish our qualities, expose our weakness and give us a chance to work on it and correct it, & also to see if we belong to those lucky ones who will steadfastly persevere while submitting to Allah ALONE and accepting His judgment in this life and in the Hereafter..
"Innal lillahi min as Sabireen ". Allah is with the ones who have patience
that people do not steadfastly persevere on good life, good health,good wealth,
victory, happy times, but they do it for an adversity and/or lack of any of
the above. death is not by itself a punishment as all of us will die,but death
of someone can be a PUNISHMENT or a TEST for the living others to see how they
can accept God's judgment and submit to Him in the good times and in the bad
times, under all circumstances. Those who go through their test while steadfastly
persevere are the most fortunate ones despite their difficulties in
this life and their perseverance in face of all the ignorant ones who do not understand God's system.
[41:35] None can attain this except those who steadfastly persevere. None can attain this except those who are extremely fortunate.
Testing the believers will vary. It may be mild & light or hard & exacting. Sickness, fear, death, through self control, hunger, poverty, failing a marriage etc. are just few examples.The true believers submit to God in all cases and under all circumstances.
[2:155] We will surely test you through some fear, hunger, andloss of money,lives, and crops.
[3:186] If you steadfastly persevere and lead a righteous life, this will prove the strength of your faith.
Who will be tested ?
The Quran shows us that ALL the believers will be tested, Prophets, Messengers, Saints, Righteous people, all will be tested.
We will certainly put you to the test, in order to distinguish those among
you who strive, & steadfastly persevere. We must expose your true
Remember the story of Nuh, when he pleaded to his son, Kanan, to embark the ship with him. Imagine seeing your own flesh and blood, seeing the end of your sons
life right in front of your own eyes, the waves separating between you and him.What a difficult state the father was put in!
<< Being overcome by paternal affection, Noah shouted: "O my son! Believe in the Great Allah (swt). Abandon blasphemy and ignorance until Allah shows His mercy upon your sins and saves you from death. Embark with us.>>
But Nuhs son though, rain COULD NEVER cover the mountains. So if he were to take shelter somewhere in the mountains, hed be SAFE from drowning. He did not fear Allahs punishment. He was thinking in terms of the material world, JUST LIKE the youth of today, the logical thinking of today.
A high wave rose at that moment, separating the father from the son.
<< Noah (as) was sad and took refuge in Allah (swt), saying: "O Allah! My son is MY KIN, and thy pledge was to save and pardon MY FAMILY and me who believed in thee. Thy promise is just and true whilst thou art the most impartial judge.">>
Allah had promised Nuh that he and HIS FAMILY would be saved. So Nuh says to Allah that he has no doubt in Allahs promise, and His promise was that Nuhs WHOLE FAMILY would be saved, and his was infact a part of his family. So this is when Allah teaches Nuh the true meaning of FAMILY.
** << " HE said: "O Noah! Surely, he is NOT of your family; verily, his work is unrighteous, so ask not of Me that of which you have no knowledge! I admonish you, lest you be one of the ignorants.">>
So Allah tells Nuh that though Kanan might be his son, hes NOT a part of Nuhs family anymore because of his unrighteous work, his lack of fear of Allah.
Noah had learned his lesson. He realized that his paternal instinct and affection had concealed THE TRUTH from him while he should have thanked Allah(swt) for the rescue of himself and his companions along with the perdition of the polytheists. He took refuge in Allah.
Noah said: "O my Lord! I seek refuge with You from asking You that of which
I have no knowledge. And unless You forgive me and have Mercy on me, I
would indeed be one of the losers.">>
A huge wave swallowed Kanan, drowning him in the very depth of the cold waters.
Ibrahim (as) who was called Gods friend was put to an exacting test.[2:124] Recall that Ibrahim was put to the test by his Lord, through certain commands,and he fulfilled them . [37:105-106] "You (Ibrahim) have believed the dream." We thus reward the righteous. That was an exacting test indeed.
Adam and Eve, were put to the test several times including expulsion from Heaven, & may have lived through the loss of their righteous son.
Noah lost his son twice, first lost him as a disbeliever BUT still loved him,then lost him to the flood while calling on Allah to save him.
Muhammed( saaws) lost his only born son (Ibrahim) as all historical accounts
mentions & was very saddened by it. Muhammed ( saaws) spent a great
deal of his life struggling with the disbelievers going from one war to another.Exposed to killings, wounding, loss of friends and loved ones, HE WAS TRULY TESTED. Allah could have won him the wars while Muhammed staying home enjoying a peaceful life of a prophet.
Noah, Abraham, Lut, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Solomon, Jesus, John, Job, Jonah, and Muhammed(pbuh), were all given different and difficult tests.
"We thus put Solomon to the test; we blessed him with vast material wealth,
but he steadfastly submitted."
[38:41] Remember our servant Job: he called upon his Lord, "The devil has afflicted me with hardship and pain."
THE BELIEVERS WERE INDEED TESTED TO THE MAXIMUM UNTIL SHAKEN UP.
[2:214] Do you expect to enter Paradise without being tested like those before you? They were tested with hardship and adversity, & WERE SHAKEN UP, until the messenger & those who believed with him said, "Where is GOD's victory?" GOD's victory is near.
Since this is a test, we would not know when, where or what kind of test we might be given. We do not make the choice, God does. He is the Almighty, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Testing the believers. Expose the hypocrites
While God is testing the believers, He is also exposing the hypocrites and confusing the disbelievers and leading them on in their transgression, blundering. They do not understand Gods system and think they are right when they are dead wrong. God gave us their example in the Quran when He talked about the Battle of the Parties in 33:9-12, and about the hypocrites in 9:50-51.See also 3:118-120, and 22:11 [33:9-12]
you who believe, remember GOD's blessing upon you; whensoldiers attacked you,
we sent upon them violent wind andinvisible soldiers. GOD is Seer of everything
you do.When they came from above you, and from beneath you, your eyes were terrified,
your hearts ran out of patience, andyou harbored unbefitting thoughts about
GOD.That is when the believers were truly tested; they were severely shaken
up.The hypocrites and those with doubts in their heartssaid,"What GOD and
His messenger promised us was no more than an
But what did the true believers say ?
[33:22] When the true believers saw the parties (ready to attack), they said, "This is what GOD and His messenger have promised us, and GOD and His messenger are
truthful." This (dangerous situation) only strengthened their faith and augmented their submission.
What should the Believers do?
[9:51] Say, "Nothing happens to us, except what GOD has decreed for us. He is our Lord and Master. In GOD the believers shall trust."
"When an affliction befalls them, they say, "We belong to God, and
to Him we are returning."
In face of adversity or hardship, the true believers are expected to submit. We are being tested to see if we are truly submitters or not, whether we submit to God during the bad times and the good times or not. God gave us the correct solution in His book, the Quran. Submitting to God, means to accept whatever God has given us or taken away from us, to steadfastly persevere and to wait for Gods victory.In practical terms, let us put it in steps;
Whenever an adversity or hardship afflict a believer, he/she should:
(1) Should not panic. God does test the believers and if He is punishing us, it is to get our attention to correct something wrong we did. He is helping us out instead of leaving us in the dark. Since we asked for our freedom, He gave it to us and it is up to us to correct any wrong doing on our own, He only points things to us and we freely chose.
(2) Check to see if he/she has got off the right path. Is he/she still worshipping God alone and following His sayings (The Quran and Hadith). Correct your path and stay with God alone,if you were not.
(3) Submit to God, by accepting what happened to you without objecting. See 2:155-157
(4) Implore God to remove the hardship or adversity. God wants us to implore Him. Do not rush an answer. God runs everything. See 40:60
(5) Steadfastly persevere, see 2:153, 2:45, 90:17, 2:177 and 103:3 and this is the greatest trait of the true believers. God promised those who steadfastly persevere great recompense. See 41:35, 23:111, 22:35, 31:17 and 2:155-157.
(6) believe that Gods promise is the truth and that victory belongs to the believers, but you have to pass your test. Victory is in the way. Gods victory is near. See 30:47, 30:60, 2:155 and 2:214
are two kinds of victories according to the Quran, victory in this life and
the bigger and most important victory in the Hereafter. God has promised the
believers both victories. Some of these victories my be in disguise and not
apparent to other people. Other victories are obvious and clear. The true believer
can identify many victories in his/her life even during the most difficult times
or the time of testing. Of the many victories that the believers will see in
this life, finding the right path and accepting God alone is the
most important one. The believers accept whichever victory or testing comes their way, and always strive to achieve the eternal victory in the Hereafter.9:50-52
With the help of God and the assurance in the Quran, the true believers will make the best out of their test or punishment and wait for Gods victory. They are absolutely sure that Gods Victory is near and that Gods victory is their reward.
Verses from the Quran references
Allahs Messenger (pbuh): The Hell Fire is surrounded by all kinds of desires and passions,while Paradise is surrounded by all kinds of disliked undesirable things. **** Inordinate desires and animalistic passions lead to the Fire while self- control, perseverance, chastity and all virtues, and the obedience to Allah and His Messenger (pbuh) lead to Paradise. WHAT LEADS TO HELL IS EASY TO DO WHILE WHAT LEADS TO PARADISE IS DIFFICULT TO DO.
"O Mankind! Be careful of Allah Who created you from a single soul and from it created its MATE and from these two has spread abroad a multitude of MEN and WOMEN. Be careful of your duty toward Allah in Whom you claim your rights of one another and maintain your blood relations. Lo! Allah is ever watchful over you." (Al-Qu'ran 4:1)
"Allah has created all people according to the Fitrah (pure and good nature).It is their environment that corrupts them.Allah sent His prophets to teach people what is right and what is wrong.The prophets showed the right path and inspired people by their good examples.If people follow the prophets of Allah, create a good society & live in the company of good people,the goodness & virtue will increase and more and more people will live good & pious life.If people TURN AWAY from the teachings of the prophets of Allah,allow evils to propagate in their societies and live in the company ofevil people,the sin and corruption will increase in the world."
[2:45] You shall seek help through steadfastness and the Contact Prayers(Salat). This is difficult indeed, but not so for the reverent,
Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts;
(1) believes in GOD, and
(2) believes in the Last Day, and
(3) leads a RIGHTEOUS life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They
have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
Righteousness is not turning your faces towards the east or the west. Righteous
are those who believe in GOD, the Last Day, the angels, the scripture,
and the prophets; and they give the money, cheerfully, to the relatives, the orphans, the needy, the traveling alien, the beggars, and to free the slaves; and they observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity
(Zakat); and they keep their word whenever they make a promise; and they steadfastly persevere in the face of persecution, hardship, and war. These are the truthful; these are the righteous
Say, "Nothing happens to us, except what GOD has decreed for us. He is our Lord and Master. In GOD the believers shall trust."
[22:11] Among the people there is the one who worships GOD conditionally. If things go his way, he is content. But if some adversity befalls him, he makes an about-face. Thus, he loses both this life and the Hereafter. Such is the real loss.
[22:35] They are the ones whose hearts tremble upon mentioning GOD, they steadfastly persevere during adversity, they observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and from our provisions to them, they give to charity.
[23:111] "I have rewarded them today, in return for their steadfastness, by making them the winners."
[30:47] We have sent messengers before you to their people, with profound signs.Subsequently, we punished those who transgressed. It is our duty that we grant victory to the believers.
[30:60] Therefore, you shall steadfastly persevere - for GOD's promise is the truth - and do not be intimidated by those who have not attained certainty.
[103:1-3] By the afternoon.The human being is utterly lost.Except those who believe and lead a righteous life, and exhort one another to uphold the truth,and exhort one another to be steadfast.
The Prophet (pbuh): Do not be conceited thinking that your sin will be forgiven because of your prayers. One should not indulge in evil deeds thinking that ones sins will be forgiven by just doing what is mentioned, for Allah acceptsthe prayers and good deeds of righteous people ONLY.
"Allah does not hold us responsible for our bad thoughts as long as we dont act on them."
Verily my prayer, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for ALLAH,the Lord
of the Alamin." (Surah Al-Anam: 162)