WHY DOES GOD ALLOW SUFFERING?
Being a convert can pose many challenges, and one of the first ones we face is how to deal with our loved ones. From telling them about our conversion to Islam, accepting God, Allah, as the One and only creator and Lord, can be scary as we fear rejection and loss of our beloved family. Secondly is trying to get them to understand why we chose Islam and to at least learn enough about Islam to understand where WE are coming from when we visit them.
This can encompass problems such as: how do we explain that we don’t want to sit with them when they drink alcohol, that we no longer celebrate Christmas or Easter and please can they send the presents during our holidays? Thanks to God I have accepted Islam now for 22 years and have been blessed with relatives who took every thing in stride. They never made me feel awkward around them, although I still did inside myself. They were always so gracious and went out in public with me even in hijab and long coats (jilbab). But I often wished that I could explain more to them about Islam so that they could know about it for themselves. It took my Grandmother 15 years to finally accept that I had become Muslim as MY choice, not because I had married a Muslim and went to live in a Muslim country. Actually I was Muslim before I even knew my husband wanted to marry me!
NOW, to get to the answer for this sister from Saudi Arabia, it has to do with how we as Muslims understand religion and the purpose Allah has sent mankind to this earth, and why there is suffering and catastrophies. I hope that my answer will help to satisfy you and your Grandmother as mine had the same questions and actually she was so angry about all the wars going on, and why don’t humans learn from the past? She is facing the end of her life at 93, and is starting to ask about what is the truth, which I think is the same thing your Grandmother is doing. How can any God exist and allow such horrible things to occure?? What crime has the poor Somali or Sudani or Palestinian child done to deserve such punishment in this life?? The answer is, through the suffering of this child, many, many, many adults will be questioned on the day of Judgement for their part in making this child suffer.
From the person who was a dictator of the country, to the person who shot a child, or was actively involved in supporting wars, or those who sat around enjoying extravagant lives and didnt do anything or didnt give in charity to help the poor—- the list would be soo long to post here. But I think you get my point. It is the trial and test of the adult that is in question here. We know that all life begins and ends in some way or another and our life path is written. Much of the suffering that occurs in this world occurs because of the sins and evil that humans do by not following the rules and guidelines that Allah has given us. For example, if all of us were to pay our zakat in full, there would be no poor. But greed and miserliness is what causes poverty. Those who did not pay will be held accountable on the day of judgement, and those who suffered and were patient will be blessed with something better in the hearafter which is for eternity. They will be given compensation for their harship in this life and this will be taken from those who created the hardship against them. In otherwords, they will be give their full rights and more on the day of judgement. Allah is fair and wise and knows more than what we know.
Lastly, there are somethings, many things, that we as humans may not be able to comprehend no matter how much we try to analyze it, because Allah keeps somethings as knowledge only for Himself. It is not meant for us to understand everything about His creation, and there must be an aspect of faith also. Let her read about the “Quran and Science” if you can get this book. Its just so amazing.
May God guide us to what is right, and give us patience. I hope that our relatives can find out what Islam really stands for and understand its beauty, peace and light and the life that comes by following the laws that God has set down for us. Thanks for your comments.