Why Bad Things Happen to Good People PDF Print E-mail
Written by Yusuf Estes   
Monday, 12 June 2006
“Allah tests those whom He Loves”
Thank you for your question.
Before we begin to provide answers, here are some important points to keep in mind; as Muslims we accept what Allah tells in Quran over anything others may say or do. We have our Quran today, just as it was recited at the time of Muhammad, peace be upon him. The hadeeth of our prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, explain the Quran and how to apply its teachings. This is a very unique part of Islam, not available in any other ancient religions. But sometimes questions contain statements that are not true, as in some of what you wrote. This must be cleared up first before attempting to provide answers. Often times, people have told us they found information they never knew before about Islam and its teachings and this helped them to come to a much better understand and able to form better opinions based on this correct knowledge.
If, while reading the answers to your questions, you find yourself saying, “Gee, I didn’t know that” or “This is something good” or “I like this much better now that I understand it” then you are experiencing what most of us go through as we come to learn more and more about our deen of Islam.
This life, here on earth is a “test” from Allah as you have rightly pointed out. The whole idea is whether or not we will worship Allah with all of our heart, mind and soul, or whether we will choose to devote oursleves to something other than Allah.
This what Islam is really all about. The most important subject is the worship of Almighty God, without any partners or associates or “gods” besides Almighty God. 

Your questions are similar to those that we hear everyday, not only from the non-Muslims, but also from the Muslims who have not had the opportunity to study and learn the true religion of Islam. This is most unfortunate and sad when you think about it. The Muslims have the solution to the problems that plague the world today, yet they do not even know themselves how beautiful and wonderful is their own religion.

You may ask yourself, “Why?” Why is it that Muslims do not even know the basic tenants of their own religion?

Good question. Simply put; “Material distraction.”

We Muslims today are so preoccupied with making money and increasing our status in this life, that we do not spend proper time in learning anything about our purpose in this life. About this Allah Says:

Do people think that they will be left alone on saying, “We believe” and they won’t be tested? For sure, just as those before them were tested, Allah will test them to show the truthful in their sincerity and expose the liars in their falsehood. [Surah Ankabut 29:2-3]
(1) You mentioned in your letter that you are suffering at the hands of those whom you love. The abuse and treatment of these people against you has caused you to question Allah. This means what? That you know what is better for you than Allah? Maybe not. 

You were also correct in mentioning what many others have stated about not having enough knowledge about Arabic and the meansings of the words in depth. There are two important words we often throw around without considering what they really mean. Let us being with these two words.

1> Allah (there is no word in English for Allah. The word “God” is the same as the word “god” only with a capital letter – for more about the meaning of “Allah” visit our site: www.godallah.com 

2> Islam (this is not just the name of a religion. “Islam” is from the verb “aslama” and describes our relationship with Allah. For more details visit our site: www.IslamTomorrow.com/word

After you have read and understood the meanings these two words in the Arabic language, perhaps it will then be easier to begin your journey of life in Islam. Until then, you will only continue to be confused and misunderstand your place in this creation of Allah. It is not my purpose here to teach a class on the basics of Islam. However, I would invite you to visit our website on these important issues and then you should write back to me AFTER you have done a little study into the basics of what it is that we Muslims are to believe, inshallah. 

Please do yourself a big favor and read . . . READ.

“ISLAM” – http://www.IslamTomorrow.com/word/

“ALLAH” – http://www.islamtomorrow.com/islam/allah.htm

There are many words that must be understood from the point of view of Islam prior to making any judgments about what they mean.

Another important word for us to understand is: 

“QURAN” www.islamtomorrow.com/quran.asp

And for a free Quran downloaded to your computer visit: www.islamtomorrow.com/free
After spending some time reading and understanding these basics of Islam, it then becomes possible to continue your studies and begin to ask logical questions, such as; “What is our purpose here in this life?” PURPOSE OF LIFE – www.islamtomorrow.com/purpose.htm
Search our new site for many subjects: www.searchforislam.com 

After reading and understanding the above articles, perhaps you will be able to find some very important clues as to what is going on in this life and what we are supposed to be doing. You will still have questions, I’m sure about that. But at least you will know some of the basics and not make the mistake of using terms like “Allah is interfering in your life.”

Please write back to me and let me know if this was of any assistance to you in your search for truth, inshallah. I have also included below a number of very important links for you to check out. We are here  for you sister, and you can even come on line and hear us and chat with us for live and rebroadcast programs at: www.IslamAlways.com (follow the links to radio and TV broadcasts)

Salam alaykum, Yusuf Estes
Muslim Chaplain – Washington, DC – USA



  1. kumail says:

    Allah the almighty can do anything He wants. He wants to se if our faith is strong and we promote His religion. you said why doesn’t Allah make it easy? why don’t teachers make tests easy? that’s because they want to see what you learned. thats wht the al mighty wants to know. allah wants to know if you learned the sayings of the Holy Prophet… good question

  2. Thank you for your good point. Additionally though, Allah is all knowing, He already knows if we learned it or not. But in order to be fair with us on judgment day He gives us tests. Also we forget that it is through many tests on this earth, and being patient as Job was, that Allah swt will cleans us from our minor sins within this lifetime. Allah tests those whom he loves in order to lighten their burden in the hear after. We need to also remember that we cannot always understand what God has planned for us or our lives, rather we have to trust in His leading us to where we need to be and to work hard in doing good works and righteousness, even if its difficult. And Allah knows best. Ameen

  3. […] – bookmarked by 1 members originally found by rachelmmurray on 2009-01-15 WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE https://islamzpeace.wordpress.com/?p=138 – bookmarked by 5 members originally found by tomatlee on […]

  4. kayla says:

    Yes, sometimes bad things happen to people who seem undeserving of them. But God allows things to happen for His reasons, whether or not we understand them. Above all, however, we must remember that God is good, just, loving, and merciful. Often things happen to us that we simply cannot understand. However, instead of doubting God’s goodness, our reaction should be to trust Him. ”Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight”

  5. Assalam Aleikum dear sister,

    I can understand what u are going through bcoz I too have experienced similar circumstances in my life many times and I would like to share with u what I learnt out of them.

    First of all you need to remember that Allah is most merciful and benevolent (inclined to do good).

    Allah is free from all evil. Just like universe, time etc are things created by Allah, the entity called Evil (satan is an agent of evil) is also a creation of Allah. And all the creation of Allah is totally subservient to Him (except humans who have free will). You agree with me on this, right? So, the entity called evil is also totally subservient to Allah. It means evil can have no influence on Allah. Hence Allah is free from evil. So its impossible and absurd that Allah has any intensions to torture or harass u etc. bcoz these things are evil. If Allah really wanted to cause ur total destruction and perdition He can do it within a fraction of a second. For that matter, He wouldnt have created u in the first place. So the fact that Allah has brought us into existence from non-existence itself is an act of mercy.

    Allah created the entity called evil only to test man.
    Man is the only creation of Allah who has free will of his own and is not automatically subservient to Allah like other creations. Its entirely in man’s interest to surender his will and become subservient to Allah. By doing this, man plugs himself in to Allah’s mercy and grace which illuminate his life and gradually wipe out any evil that comes into his life.

    The key here is to “plug in” ourselves into the continous mercy of Allah. When we do that all the evil in our lives gets erased sooner or later. This is what we also get to learn through the lives of Prophet Yousuf and Prophet Ayub. They faced many hardships, but they never plugged themselves out of Allah’s mercy. And what happened eventually? They emerged victorious in their pursuits, were blessed with happiness in this world and Inshallah a huge reward in the hereafter also.

    So how to plug-in ourselves to recieve Allah’s mercy?
    Imagine you are in the middle of a painful and distressing situation. In this situation u have 2 options to choose from:
    Keep worrying and whining and drown urself into depression, or just do what you need to do – keep worshipping Allah and plan what u can urself do to come out of this situation.
    The 2nd option comprises of “plugging-in” to Allah’s mercy. You plug in to Allah’s mercy when u do the following (not an exhaustive list) on a regular basis:
    Offer namaz, recite Quran (even if u dont understand Arabic, just reciting it works wonders on u) daily atleast twice, wake up before dawn and offer tahajjud etc.

    So my dear sister, all you need to do is just plug in yourself to Allah’s mercy. Allah’s mercy is a soothing light (Noor) that fills your heart with bliss and wipes out all the evil things in your life like grief, failure, oppression etc. Never get disheartened and give up – just plug-in and never remove that plug. You will achieve happiness and success sooner or later. Its the natural system of Allah that only good remains in the long run. Evil is very short lived and fades away with time. If this was not the case, whole universe would have ceased to exist long back!

    Fi Aman Allah.

  6. Sana says:

    Yusuf Estes didnt really help the sister.
    He just pointed out some other sources.

    I’ve been through a lot of things that this sister is going too and can completely relate to her.
    Have patience, and things just have a way of working themselves out.

    Good luck! :)

  7. Check out some of his videos on youtube then. If she has any questions feel free to ask…

  8. diana says:

    i was just thinking of these same subjects….and it is so true if he really wanted us hurt he would do it…its just hard when you been going through so much and seem like its not ever going to end cuz im still waiting.. :(

  9. I know,,, this year my husband’s cancer came back. And although I accept this as a test from God, but sometimes we get so tired. We never have said why us,, because we know we have to be patient. But when you get tired you wonder when it will end,, and you find relief.. but God said in the Quran that surely after suffering there is relief and he repeated his words. Being patient is what will lift out level in heaven or clean us from our sins before we die. Alhamdillah.

  10. Nour says:

    Muslim Brother, its kind of late, but, I read your post over and over again and wanted to thank you. For some reason, reading it brought some peace to me, as I am going through a difficult time right now. But everything you said is absolutely true. I am so blinded by my hurt and distress that I fail to even consider “plugging” myself into Allah’s mercy. I concentrate more on the pain I am experiencing, instead of a way out of it. And questionting “why me? What did I do to deserve this?” when all I had to do is “plug in”
    Thank you once again for this post.
    May Allah bless you.

  11. ayesha says:

    Muslim brother,i just want to thank u.Cause i have been suffering from my pain and distress for last 6yrs.I have been praying to get relieve from my pain.but nw m really tired.After reading ur post i am inspired once again.All my Muslim brothers and sisters just pray for me.
    May allah bless you.

  12. Recently my husband died of cancer and he suffered so much in the last year. Allah said in the Quran that surely he will test us with loss of money and health and family etc.. so we must be patient and remain kind and remember Allah at all times. It is only a test in this short life. I will post a video now I hope you can see it. It reminds us that we will all end up in the grave and take nothing with us but our deeds, patience being one of them. I pray for you and hope that you will find healing and relief from your pain.. it will pass so just be patient. This life – when you near to death- you will notice that really its short and the 6 years you suffered will seem as minutes. Allah give you strength and patience — ameen..

  13. yasmeen says:

    wow sara you are a stong women allah bless you and bless your husbanad and inshaalh you will both meet in the here afiter in heaven where you will be his queen and he willl be your king ….
    love yasmeen :)

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