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The Quandary of Disbelief

Shaykh Farid Dingle gives advice to a person who is struggling with the problem of disbelief, why Allah is as He is, and how one justifies this to oneself.


Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I’ve spent most of my life following Islamic principles with a devoted love toward Allah and often myself able to find answers to many of the perplexing questions about faith that many people have, except for one. No matter how much ways I’ve attempted to look at this question through theology, philosophy, or simple common sense, the math doesn’t seem to add up, and I’m hoping for a helping hand in getting through this hard question that’s starting to shake my soul in recent months.

I don’t see any logical reason for suffering or disobedience or evil, except for one consideration: Allah willed to be known (Hadith Qudsi), so He created us. He created evil (pain) so that we’d know what existence would be without Him, since knowing is not the same as wisdom, which is experience. It would be like trying to describe what an orange tastes like to someone who never tried it and the way we exist as creation is through our senses, so we’d have to actually eat an orange to understand it.

But that still doesn’t explain the reason for creating people He already knew would end up in Hell, because that would be essentially creating them to belong in Hell, and it doesn’t fit with the conceptualization that a Just, Compassionate, and Wise Lord would create something just to torture it for eternity. That’s sadism.

Why would Allah create those He knew, in His Eternal Knowledge, would disobey Him and even disbelieve in Him, thereby condemning them to Hell forever before they are even brought into existence?

Is there any guidance for me through this?

Jazak Allah khayr.


Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Dear questioner, the mind is a tool to help us understand what Allah wants us to do, not necessarily to understand what He is or why He does things.

The key issue that I can see in your question is that Allah’s creating people who are destined to the Hell-Fire necessitates sadism. This is not true. Allah has a wisdom in doing what he does, and that is enough: “He is not asked about what He does, but they will be asked.” (Sura al-Anbiya 21:23)

We should use our mind to eliminate foolish beliefs from our mind, and foolish actions. That is the limit of the mind.

Rather than trying to find a justification for what Allah does, we should focus on ourselves. We should think about our deeds and our ultimate end, and think about what we have to say for ourselves when we stand before Allah on Judgment Day.

My advice to you would be to work on the quality of your prayer by thanking Allah when you say, “Alhamdulillahi rabbil alamin,” and in your prostration. Thank him for your existence, your faith, your well-being, safety and wealth. Try to feel the verse of the Quran, the words that will be said when all is done and dusted on Judgment Day, “And the last thing they will say is, ‘All praise and thanks be to Allah, Cherishing Lord of all beings.’” (Sura Yunus 10:10)

I pray this helps.


Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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