"How does Allah decree something evil when He is not to be attributed with evil attributes?
By Veronika Matulova
ِ ِ َّ ِ َ ْ َّ ِ ِ ْ بِسم اللَّـه الرحمـٰن الرحيم
Alhamdulillahirabbil-'alamin was salatu was salamu 'alaRasoolillah . Ammaba'ad:
Allah Most High is Wise, Merciful and free from any imperfection. Whatever He decided to happen will happen and whatever He did not decide to happen will not happen. Allah is creator of everything1 and nothing exists without His will. All of Allah’s names are attributes of perfection and praise without any deficiency in them2. All His names are perfect and complete. Attributes that contain deficiency are absolutely not attributable to Allah. All of Allah’s names are beautiful 3, because they contain perfection free from any imperfection. Whatever evil befalls us is a result of our own actions and whatever good reaches us it is from Allah Most High4. Allah’s decree is in the Qur’an and Sunnah divided in to two categories. His universal will and His legislative will. His universal will and decree Nothing happens outside of His will and whatever is decreed will happen e.g. birth and death. Acts of worship and acts of
“Allah is the Creator of all things…” Q 39:62 “…to Allah applies the highest similitude” Q 16:60 3 “And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah” Q7:180 4 “Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allah, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself...” Q 4:79
disobedience happen by the will of Allah5. Under this decree falls whatever pleases Allah, and whatever displeases Him. By His universal will He can decree something not for its own self, rather for some other purpose –benefit. As an example, we can take creation of Shaytan. He is generally viewed as something evil, yet due to his existence, other positives such as mercy, forgiveness and repentance could have been manifested. His legislative will This will apply to what He is pleased with only. Out of legislative will, Allah will prescribe something for its own sake and whatever has been prescribed does not have to happen. Example would be His legislative will (wish) for all the people to believe, however as we know, out of our own free choice, not everybody will become a Muslim.
Prophet Muhammad attributable to Allah ta’ala.
made a clear statement saying that evil is not
"I respond to your call (O Allah!), and I am obedient to Your orders, all good is in Your hands, and the evil is not attributable to You, I am by You, and to You, Blessed are Thee and Exalted… "6 When Allah ta’ala talks about evil in the Qur’an, He is making general statement as Creator of all things. Act of evil is also mentioned in the passive voice 7,
“…But when Allah wills a people's punishment, there can be no turning back of it, and they will find besides Him no protector.” Q 13:11 6 Muslim 7 “…And we know not whether evil is intended for those on earth, or whethertheir Lord intends for them a Right Path.”Q 72:10 1|P a g e
and as an act of one of His creations8.9 So even though evil is not directly attributable to Allah, it is in His creation. Decreed evil in His creation can be seen as good or apparently evil, however it is never absolute evil, as there would not be any wisdom behind such creation. Allah ta’ala does what He does for reasons that are known only to Him. His creation can or does not have to know His reasons. Sometimes limited minds of His creation are incapable to comprehend His wisdom. So this evil is not pure evil, rather it is evil in one respect and good in another. Example10: Allah ta’ala said in the Qur’an, "Evil (sins and disobedience to Allah, etc.) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and evil deeds, etc.), that Allah may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allah, and begging His Pardon"11 Evil that has appeared on land and sea did not happen by coincidence. It is evil that has come out of what men have earned. Allah has made them taste it, so they perhaps might come to Him in what is good – repentance.12 Hence, even though this evil is apparent evil, it has wisdom behind it. Another example could be of a loving father, who brings his beloved sick son to the doctor. In order to save the child’s life, doctor will have to, with the permission of his father, amputate son’s leg. Doctor and father will view this act as beneficial and necessary in order to save his life. However, the son’s limited mind will not be able to view this surgery as something beneficial.
“…From the evil of what He has created…”Q113:2 The Rays of Faith, Q. Hayl, Al Maghrib Institute, p. 156 10 Muslim’s belief, sheikh Al-'Uthaimeen, p. 29 11 Qur’an 30:41 12 In the Shade of Qur’an, SayyidQutb , vol. 13, p. 314 2|P a g e
We could use othereveryday situations as examples of relative evil, like vaccination or visit to the dentist. In general, suffering and pain are parts of our lives, and if barred with patience and gratitude, they will be source of our purification and reward.13 Therefore, as we can see, it is not appropriate to attribute evil to Allah Most High due to His mercy and wisdom that does not allow to create something without any benefit in it.He Most Wise and Merciful, by His will and wisdom, permits evil, because there is a greater benefit in it, even if known only to Allah ta’ala.
Bibliography Commentary on The Radiance of Faith by Ibn Qudaama al Maqdisee [Book] / auth. Philips Abu Ameena Bilal. In the Shade of the Qur'an [Book] / auth. Qutb Sayyid. Islam Q&A [Online] / auth. al-Munajjid Muhammad. - www.islam-qa.com. - Hadith quotation and source authentication. Qur'an [Book] / auth. Khan Muhsin. Sahih Al-Bukhari [Book] / auth. Al-Bukhari Muhammad bin Isma'il. Sahih Muslim [Book] / auth. al-Hajjaj Muslim ibn. The Muslim's belief [Book] / auth. al-'Uthaymeen Sheikh Muhammad as-Saleh. The Rays of Faith [Online] / auth. Hayl Qabeelat (Al Maghrib Institute). The Salaf's Understanding of Al-Qadaa' wal Qadar [Online] / auth. As-Saleh Dr. Saleh // kalamahullah.com/ abdurrahman.org.
“No illness, fatigue, sickness or grief befalls the Muslim, not even worries, but it will be expiation for some of his sins.”(Muslim) 3|P a g e