Why Does God Allow Suffering? – Explained by Muslim

In Islamic belief, Allah is often seen as testing individuals to assess their faith, perseverance, and patience. These tests can serve multiple purposes, including:

1. Spiritual Growth: Tests and challenges are considered opportunities for individuals to grow spiritually, develop inner strength, and deepen their relationship with Allah.

📖Quran 3:186
You will surely be tested in your possessions and in yourselves. And you will surely hear from those who were given the Scripture before you and from those who associate others with Allah much abuse. But if you are patient and fear Allah – indeed, that is of the matters [worthy] of determination.

📖Quran 2:155-157
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, Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah , and indeed to Him we will return.” Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided.

📖Quran 29:69
And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.

2. Purification: Trials are seen as a means of purifying believers’ hearts and souls from sins, arrogance, and worldly attachments.

📖Tirmidhi 2399
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah(s.a.w) said: “Trials will not cease afflicting the believing man and the believing woman in their self, children, and wealth, until they meet Allah without having any sin.

3. Reward: Enduring hardships with patience and faith is believed to result in greater rewards in the afterlife.

📖Quran 22:35
Who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts are fearful, and [to] the patient over what has afflicted them, and the establishers of prayer and those who spend from what We have provided them

📖Quran 42:43
And whoever is patient and forgives – indeed, that is of the matters [requiring] determination.

Quran 23:102
And those whose scales are heavy [with good deeds] – it is they who are the successful.

📖Quran 13:22
And those who are patient, seeking the countenance of their Lord, and establish prayer and spend from what We have provided for them secretly and publicly and prevent evil with good – those will have the good consequence of [this] home –

📖Quran 68:48
Then be patient for the decision of your Lord, and be not like the companion of the fish when he called out while he was distressed.

📖Quran 93:5
And your Lord is going to give you, and you will be satisfied.

📖Quran 23:111
Indeed, I have rewarded them this Day (Judgement Day) for their patient endurance – that they are the attainers [of success].

  • The verse you provided, Quran 23:111, is from Surah Al-Mu’minun (The Believers). It is part of a passage that describes the rewards and consequences of people’s actions in the Hereafter, on Judgment Day. In this particular verse, it signifies that those who have shown patience and endurance in their faith and righteous deeds will be rewarded with success and attainment on that Day. This verse underscores the importance of patience and perseverance in the face of life’s challenges for believers in Islam.

4. Distinction: Tests can differentiate sincere believers from those who might not have a strong commitment to their faith.

📖Quran 29:2-5
Do the people think that they will be left to say, We believe” and they will not be tried? But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars, Or do those who do evil deeds think they can outrun Us? Evil is what they judge. Whoever should hope for the meeting with Allah – indeed, the term decreed by Allah is coming. And He is the Hearing, the Knowing.

5. Reminder: Challenges can serve as reminders of the transient nature of life and the need for humility before Allah.

📖Quran 3:185
Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.

📖Quran 57:20
Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children – like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion.

📖Quran 57:21
Race toward forgiveness from your Lord and a Garden whose width is like the width of the heavens and earth, prepared for those who believed in Allah and His messengers. That is the bounty of Allah which He gives to whom He wills, and Allah is the possessor of great bounty.

📖Quran 57:23
In order that you not despair over what has eluded you and not exult [in pride] over what He has given you. And Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful –

📖Quran 35:5
O mankind, indeed the promise of Allah is truth, so let not the worldly life delude you and be not deceived about Allah by the Deceiver.

Atheists and Theists: Questions and Answers

Atheist: Religions divide people 

Muslim: There is only one religion; it can’t be divided into two. Either Christianity is right, or Islam is right. It’s up to humans to read the scriptures and decide for themselves. I am unable to explain the Bible or other religious scriptures. However, the original Torah and Gospel did not divided anyone; these Scriptures guided people toward the right path. Over time, these scriptures have undergone changes. Therefore, claiming that religions have divided people is not accurate. When you are saying ‘religions divide,’ the phrase ‘religions’ refers to more than one, while there was originally only one religion; therefore, the question itself is wrong. If you want to justify your atheism by using the current Bible or other scriptures texts, then I can’t help you because it is not the fault of God but rather the result of human alterations and the addition of stories. But God sent the original message 1400 years ago, confirming that previous scriptures were not in their original form. You are already aware of this, yet you continue to use them to support your atheism. I can explain the Islamic concept if you are interested in understanding the original message. The Qur’an itself reveals both past and future messages. To comprehend the original message, it is essential to read the Qur’an rather than relying on fabricated Bible, Vedas, and other fabricated Scriptures to validate atheism.

Atheist: You are only ok with death because you want something beyond the bounds of your mortal coil

Muslim: I am familiar with the scriptures, so I don’t believe that religion inherently divides people. I don’t believe there can be more than one true religion simultaneously, but humans have already chosen different religions, and we can’t change everyone because that’s their own choice. However, the majority of the world’s population, almost 4 billion people, follow Christianity and Islam. These scriptures don’t divide people; instead, they convey messages for the betterment of humanity. However, I’ve found many fabrications in the Bible, so I don’t believe it’s 100% in its original form. Nevertheless, it doesn’t promote doing anything bad; every negative action happens due to human fault. In my personal understanding, the reason for division is different countries. People often harbor nationalistic sentiments, believing their country is superior to others, and this leads to conflict over territory, wealth, and power. However, if you read the New Testament or the Qur’an, they advocate against such things. These scriptures emphasize helping each other, but people are often preoccupied with personal gain. So, everything happens because of humans, not because of religion. The Qur’an explicitly advises against insulting other religions, and if someone does so, it’s their own fault; it has nothing to do with Islam. The Qur’an encourages peaceful coexistence but also allows self-defense if one is attacked or threatened in their homeland. It’s necessary to protect oneself as much as possible, but if one doesn’t live peacefully with others, that’s their fault. Regarding helping the poor, the Qur’an doesn’t restrict assistance to only fellow Muslims. Instead, Islam emphasizes helping your nearby family first, and if they need help, you should assist them. If possible, you can extend your help to others, regardless of their religious affiliation. The Qur’an also instructs not to insult the deities of other religions and their beliefs, but if someone does, it’s a human fault. Similarly, the Qur’an advises against adultery, but some Muslims may engage in it; that’s not because of Islam but because of human choices. There are many examples in the Qur’an, and I am personally responsible for my actions.

Atheist: So everything happens because of humans, not because of religion” Explain the asteroid belt then.

Muslim: The question of the asteroid belt can be related to the concept of God’s creation. According to Quran 45:13 & Quran 21:30, this verse can be seen as a prediction of modern science. In Islam, the pursuit of knowledge is encouraged, as long as it is lawful and does not contradict Islamic principles. When it comes to scientific information that may conflict with Islamic beliefs, the approach is to learn it but not necessarily accept it as absolute truth, as scientific understanding can evolve and change over time. This perspective emphasizes the importance of continuous learning and critical thinking within the boundaries of Islamic teachings.

Atheist: Why did God send only one book 1400 years ago, and how did people know about Him before the Qur’an?

Muslim: The Qur’an confirms that the Psalms, Torah, and Gospel are from God. Also, there are verses in the Qur’an where God confirmed He sent scriptures to each nation, but they changed many things within the scriptures. We don’t deny everything, as we believe there are some real parts in them. However, we have found contradictions. Also, what Christians and people of other religions say is not found directly in the Bible and other religion scriptures; the Christians combined the Old Testament with the New Testament and tried to prove that the God of the Old Testament was also Jesus. But that’s not based on the Bible. According to the same Bible, Jesus himself said that the one who sent him is the only true God, and it’s mentioned in many verses in the Bible. Also, other religion scriptures are not in their original form at all, and we have already disproved all their claims. You can read articles from our website.

Atheist: I’m convinced you’re a bot at this point, you dont have an answer for the questions you claim to have

Muslim: I am a real person. What I said almost conveys a similar message mentioned in the Bible. However, the main differences arise regarding the true God and whether Jesus died on the cross or not. There are also some additional messages related to science and other topics which I find Islam addresses better than the previous scriptures. Yet, Islam doesn’t deny the validity of the previous scriptures; rather, it confirms them as true and from God. Nevertheless, it’s also mentioned that the scriptures weren’t in their original form, as the message got altered. I personally found this in the Bible, and the interpretations within Christianity itself don’t always align with the Bible

Atheist: “Yet, Islam doesn’t deny the validity of the previous scriptures; rather, it confirms them as true and from God. ” multiple answers cannot be true

Muslim: The message was with God from the beginning, so He sent it down to mankind. We need to learn he gave us an guidance to understand why He created us. Just as we need to study school and college books to find a job or learn how to cook to prepare meals, God also provided us with a law that explains why He created us, the universe’s purpose, the reasons behind it, and our own purpose. It’s quite straightforward to comprehend.

Atheist: There is no free will in religion; it’s man-made because God knows everything, so what is happening, He created, and we don’t have any free will. I am an atheist because He wants me to be an atheist.

Muslim: We have free will. Free will in religion refers to the concept that God granted humans the ability to make choices and decisions on their own. In a simplified explanation, God created us and provided guidelines. If someone doesn’t receive His message, they won’t be punished. If someone is aware of the message but rejects it, they choose to go against it, even knowing the consequences. Regarding the question of whether God knows the future, I want to clarify that He knows the future, but the choice is ours. For example, you’re an atheist, so God already knows that, but that doesn’t mean God made you an atheist. Rather, you have chosen to be an atheist. If you become a believer, it doesn’t mean God changed you, but according to Islam, you need to change yourself. If you seek God, He will guide you, so the outcome or the future of your life is your own choice, but God already knows it. So, He didn’t make you an atheist. If you die as an atheist, that’s your own choice. It’s also possible that if you try to seek God, He can change the future event, meaning you have the ability to seek Him, and He can change the event in your future. But if you don’t seek Him, He won’t guide you because it’s up to you, and He has already mentioned the punishment. You don’t have the right to question why there is punishment because it’s your choice. God has already told you that He will punish you, but if you’re not ready to seek and find Him, He leaves you to your choice.

Atheist: Ok then what about children who die of an ailment without ever being exposed to any religion?

Muslim: According to Islam, God knows the future and what a child would do if given a longer life. This is between God and the child. However, many Hadith mention that non-Muslim children are in heaven. It’s definite that if someone is born into a non-Muslim family and dies as a child, it doesn’t matter; they can go to heaven. For example, a child who is born into a non-Muslim family and dies, the decision won’t be based on their parents’ religion. Instead, it will be determined whether, if given more time, then what the child’s choices would be. It’s possible that the child’s predetermined lifespan was meant to end at the same age, but they can enter heaven. It’s not influenced by what their parents are doing.

Atheist: So the people and kids who suffered were only ment to suffer and die? fuck off

Muslim: I have already mentioned that God knows what decisions a child will make if given time. Therefore, it’s still the choice of humans, not the choice of God. However, the concept of free will or predestination is not easy to completely understand. Based on Islam, God knows the future, but we have free will, the ability to choose something. Also, according to the Quran, God doesn’t change the condition of people; they need to change themselves. So, it means you’re now denying God, but God already knows. That doesn’t mean you don’t have free will. The question is whether it’s predestination. If we accept that it’s already written to happen, according to Islam, you have the chance to change your condition. You have the ability to seek God. Also, if there’s something you don’t know about tomorrow, God can even change the event completely. So, it’s up to us to believe or disbelieve.

Atheist: Why does God allow suffering in innocent people if He exists, and why does He allow children to die shortly after birth, with thousands of children dying during childbirth in times of war where people kill children, women, and each other?

Muslim: I’d like to clarify that the natural death of a child or any person during childhood or after a few years is considered part of God’s plan, and it isn’t regarded as an act of killing. It is believed to be predetermined. This type of death isn’t viewed as killing, as God is seen as the giver of life who can also take it back, much like a creator who may craft something and later relocate it. In Islam, the taking of innocent lives, whether they be children, women, is strictly prohibited. According to Islamic teachings, if someone unjustly kills an innocent person, God will hold them accountable and punish them. This message has been conveyed to humanity. One might wonder why God doesn’t intervene to prevent such killings. The explanation lies in the concept of free will. For instance, if someone decides to take a life, God, who is believed to be all-knowing, is aware of this intention. Suppose, on a Sunday at 3:54 PM, one plans to commit such an act. However, individuals also possess the ability to change their decisions. This doesn’t imply that God is unaware; rather, He possesses complete knowledge. The choice to not go through with the act rests with the individual. Nevertheless, if it is destined that the person will pass away at 3:54 PM, it will occur through different circumstances.

Atheist: Okey, But why God allows suffering, not only related to killing but also concerning poverty and disabilities.

Muslim: In Islam, disabilities are not seen as punishments or the result of something their parents did; instead, they are part of God’s plan to bring diverse people into existence so that everyone can learn from each other. In Islam, it is recommended to respect and help individuals with disabilities, so they do not feel inferior to those without disabilities. It is also important to note that disabilities can occur for various reasons. For example, I am Deaf, and I am here because there was a Deaf gene in my parents’ DNA. My children are also Deaf because there was a Deaf gene in my DNA and their father’s DNA. We exist because we are part of the gene pool. However, it is all part of God’s plan, and He knows better than us. We cannot question why He did this because there is wisdom in every creation. You also mentioned that God allows some people to be poor. It’s important to note that everything God does, He does knowing what’s best. Everything in this world is a test, and God doesn’t want anyone to live in poverty. He instructs us to help the poor and rewards some people with wealth as a test to see who follows His command. Those who don’t help the poor are disobeying God’s command, and it’s humanity’s responsibility to assist the less fortunate. God tells the poor to be patient, as this world is a temporary illusion, and He will give them everything on the Day of Judgment if they were believers. Those who don’t believe in God and seek help from creation instead of the Creator won’t receive anything on the Day of Judgment because they rejected God, and He will judge both the rich and the poor on that day.

Atheist: Okay, so therefore, Your God is not good. He creates people and gives them pain and suffering. Why should we need to call Him all-loving or merciful God?

Muslim: Indeed, God is characterized by boundless love and mercy. He brought humanity into this world as an expression of His love. Moreover, despite our many wrongdoings, God refrains from instant punishment, offering us the opportunity to repent. He possesses the capacity to forgive all the mistakes we commit. This encapsulates the essence of an all-loving and merciful God.”

Atheist: You mentioned that He can forgive all my sins. Does this mean He is encouraging people to do wrong? If I were to kill or rape someone, would He still forgive such a person? What about the person who died or suffered because of my actions?

Muslim: God has explicitly prohibited actions such as taking the lives of innocent people, committing rape, engaging in adultery, and theft, among others. Alongside these prohibitions, God has prescribed specific punishments for these crimes. For example, in Islam, the punishment for committing rape is death. However, if the victim decides to pardon the perpetrator and refrains from pursuing legal action, the responsibility shifts to the government for a decision. Conversely, if the victim seeks justice, it becomes crucial for the government to carry out the death penalty for the rapist. Throughout this legal process, should the perpetrator seek forgiveness from God, it is possible for God to grant forgiveness because the offender has already endured punishment in this world, and their actions have ultimately led to their demise.

Atheist: Okay, so it means God knows everythin, so if I commit such things, He already knows, which means He wants us to do this, and we don’t have the option to simply change this event by choosing not to do that.

Muslim: It is important to note that God possesses knowledge of the future, but this does not imply that actions such as taking the life of an innocent person or committing acts of violence occur because God desires them. Instead, God’s knowledge extends to encompass awareness of future events, while the decisions themselves firmly rest within the realm of human free will. This concept hinges on the belief that individuals retain the capacity to make choices autonomously, free from external influences. In this context, harmful actions, such as causing harm to another person, emerge as the product of individual decisions rather than predetermined or coerced events. Within this framework, the coexistence of divine foreknowledge and free will is plausible. It suggests that God’s foreknowledge does not impose or dictate the choices individuals make. Even though God possesses advanced knowledge of these choices, they persist as open and genuine decisions made by individuals. These choices are not predetermined but rather foreseen by God. However, it is vital to acknowledge that events unfold according to God’s divine will, and if He so desires, He has the power to prevent a particular event from occurring. The coexistence of divine foreknowledge and human free will is understood in Islamic theology as part of the divine plan. God’s knowledge encompasses what humans will choose, but these choices are made freely by individuals, and they are accountable for those choices.

Atheist: Okey, but In the Quran, there is a verse that states, “All things are predestined.

Muslim: According to the Quran, God’s divine will and power are all-encompassing, allowing Him the extraordinary ability to change or modify events that were originally destined to happen in the future. This profound concept is a testament to the Quranic belief in God’s omnipotence and His unquestionable authority to decree, alter, or guide events as He deems fit, even if they were initially meant to transpire differently. This principle firmly underscores the notion that God’s divine will ultimately prevails over all aspects of existence. Furthermore, predestination is a concept that transcends both theological and philosophical realms. It is a subject of contemplation and discussion not only in matters of faith but also within the broader philosophical discourse. This concept delves into the intricacies of determinism, free will, and the nature of causality. It is crucial to recognize that, as human beings, our understanding of predestination remains inherently limited, and it is a concept that we cannot fathom more profoundly than the Divine.

Atheist: This is all contradiction. Why does God not help the poor if someone does not help them? 

Muslim: Suffering serves a dual role within the context of human existence—it’s both a component of the test we face and a facet of our own responsibility. In religious teachings, God instructs us to aid those in need, yet humans frequently falter in fulfilling this divine directive. This dilemma raises a fundamental question: Who bears the ultimate responsibility for the alleviation of suffering? A counter-question often surfaces: Why doesn’t God intervene directly to eliminate suffering? The answer to this inquiry resides in the paramount principle of preserving human free will. If God were to immediately alleviate all suffering and rectify every hardship, it would unavoidably encroach upon our capacity to make choices autonomously. Such an interventionist approach would necessitate a comprehensive reconfiguration of the entire human experience. For example, consider that suffering is not solely rooted in material deprivation, such as a lack of money or food. It can stem from more complex sources, including the presence of a toxic family environment, discrimination based on race, or one’s internal struggles with self-worth and beauty. Additionally, interpersonal dynamics, like the absence of respect or being disregarded, contribute to this multifaceted tapestry of human suffering. So, if God were to intervene instantaneously and comprehensively, not only in matters of material need but also in these intricate dimensions of human existence, it would entail a profound transformation of our existence. In this paradigm, the preservation of free will would face an existential threat, as our capacity to choose, learn, and grow through the trials of life would be significantly curtailed.

Atheist: Why doesn’t your God reveal Himself so that we can believe He exists?

Muslim: There is profound wisdom and a multitude of reasons behind God’s decision to remain concealed from our direct sight. However, His hidden presence does not imply His absence; rather, it underscores His omnipresence and omniscience, as we previously discussed. The primary rationale behind God’s decision to not reveal Himself directly lies in the preservation of human free will. If we were to witness God with our own eyes, the essence of choice and free will would become obsolete. Our existence would become akin to that of automatons, devoid of the capacity to make independent decisions and moral choices. Moreover, the act of perceiving God’s direct presence might dissuade us from actively seeking personal growth and moral development. In a scenario where God is constantly visible, our focus might shift exclusively towards Him, potentially neglecting the diverse experiences, challenges, and opportunities that make up our human existence. This exclusive focus on God could, in turn, eliminate the need for the various tests and trials that help us evolve spiritually and ethically. In essence, God’s decision to remain hidden is a profound aspect of His divine plan, preserving the essential elements of human agency, choice, and personal growth within the intricate tapestry of existence.

  1. **The Teacher’s Role**: Imagine a teacher who wants students to learn independently. If the teacher constantly hovers and provides answers, students may not develop problem-solving skills. Similarly, God’s hidden presence allows humans to grapple with life’s challenges and grow from those experiences.
  2. **The Parent-Child Analogy**: Parents often let their children make choices and learn from mistakes. They don’t constantly intervene or micromanage, as it can hinder a child’s development. Similarly, some believe God allows us to make choices and learn from them.
  3. **A Puzzle Analogy**: Consider life as a puzzle. If you already know the final picture, the process of assembling the puzzle loses its purpose. In the same way, if God revealed everything, the journey of discovery and self-realization might lose its significance.
  4. **The Testing Ground**: Think of life as a test or trial. Just as students are tested to assess their knowledge, as we muslim believe life serves as a test of character and faith. If God’s presence were always evident, the test might lose its value.

These examples aim to emphasize the idea that God’s hidden presence is seen as a way to allow humans to learn, grow, and make choices in a world filled with uncertainty and challenges. It encourages personal development and spiritual exploration through the journey of life.

Atheist: Okay, okay, how do we know that your God is the only true God when there are thousands of gods and religions?

Muslim: I would like to refer you to this link. Please click here to learn more about the only true God.

Atheist: Okay, I have read this article, but why should we refer to God as Allah, as you gave me this article? In it, Allah is referred to as the only true God. What if I don’t know that Allah is His name?

Muslim: I want to clarify that it doesn’t matter what the name is. We don’t need to know God from a book, nor do we need to use the name Allah if we haven’t received a real scripture from Him. For instance, consider being born in a place where you don’t know any religion, gods, or atheism. When you see the universe, you will surely believe in a God who is unseen to you, and you can refer to this God using any language, such as ‘Creator of the universe,’ and this belief would be accepted. Think about a child growing up in an isolated community where they have never encountered any religious teachings or concepts. If they pass away without ever learning about organized religion, their sincere belief in a higher power, however they describe it, would be considered valid.

Atheist: All Gods Come From The Book. We Have Never Seen Any God in existence

Muslim: You will automatically come to know this true God without any book. However, the world is now divided by different religions, hatred, atheism, and agnosticism. Many people are unwilling to think with an open mind. I have already mentioned that if a child grows up in a place where they are not exposed to various gods, they may naturally believe in one God. It is possible that they will call Him by any name if they do not receive any revelation about Him. If a child grows up in a place where their life is in danger, they will instinctively remember this God, even if they do not consciously recall Him; their heart and mind will retain this memory.

Atheist: if you don’t need a book to know the true God then..

  1. Why do you believe in the Quran?
  2. Is Quran not a book?

Muslim: I’d like to clarify that according to Islamic beliefs, God consistently sends Revelations to guide humanity. However, throughout history, people have often interpreted and followed these Revelations in ways that have led to the formation of different religions. What’s intriguing is that Islam suggests that God, in His mercy, takes into account the circumstances of individuals who, due to circumstances beyond their control, never receive His specific message. In such cases, if a person lives their life with a sincere belief in a higher power, the Creator, or one deity, it is believed that God may not punish them for not adhering to the scripture. But to understand why God created humanity and the universe, what is our purpose, what will happen after our death, etc., always necessitates studying a scripture. There are numerous other Scriptures in the world, each claiming to be the Word of God. It is, therefore, incumbent upon each individual to explore these Scriptures and discern which one resonates with them and makes sense as the true Word of God. This approach allows for personal spiritual exploration and interpretation in the pursuit of a meaningful connection with the divine.

Atheist: Science possesses the capacity to address a multitude of challenges. It can offer solutions to babies born with disabilities, individuals who have experienced loss due to accidents, and those seeking gender transformation. Through innovative medical interventions and technological advancements, science provides opportunities to enhance the lives of those affected and align their physical characteristics with their gender identity, while your God cannot do that.

Muslim: God bestows various forms upon human beings in their mothers’ wombs according to His will. If a child is born with disabilities, there is wisdom and a reason behind it. Moreover, God has also stated that He has granted humans control over the heavens and the earth, enabling them to accomplish many things. Ultimately, everything unfolds according to His will. The Qur’an predicts that people will have the ability to change certain aspects of God’s creation, such as gender. However, God has provided knowledge to humanity for the betterment of society, not for altering things that do not benefit mankind. Therefore, the Qur’an and Islam do not imply that humans lack abilities or are incapable of achieving specific goals. The Qur’an contains references that support the notion that modern science is also part of God’s divine plan.