Knowing that there may be bad in events that seem to be good and good in events that seem to be bad

In the above sections, we stressed that God, the All-Wise, creates each and every event in compliance with a special plan. At this point, another issue deserves a special mention; it is only God Who knows the events that are favourable and those that are not. That is because the wisdom of God is infinite, while the insight of human beings is limited. Humans can only see the outward appearance of events, and can rely solely on their limited perception to judge them. Their insufficient information or understanding may, in some cases, make them dislike a thing while it is good, and love a thing while it is evil. To be able to discern the good then, a person of faith, must put his trust in the infinite wisdom of God, and trust that there is a good in everything that happens. In fact, God has related to man the following:

It may be that you hate something when it is good for you and it may be that you love something when it is bad for you. God knows and you do not know. (Surat al-Baqara: 216)

Here, God informs us that an event one deems to be good may only cause him disappointment, both in this world and beyond. Similarly, something he ardently seeks to avoid, believing it to be detrimental to him, may be for him the cause of bliss and peace of heart. The intrinsic value of any event is a knowledge that resides only with God. Everything, whether apparently evil or good, takes place by God's Will. We experience only those things God wishes for us. God reminds us this fact as follows:

If God afflicts you with harm, no one can remove it except Him. If He desires good for you, no one can avert His favour. He bestows it on whichever of His servants He wills. He is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surah Yunus: 107)

Consequently, whatever we experience in this life, whether or not it seems good or evil, is, in reality, good, since it is what our Lord predetermines for us.

2009-04-04 16:16:51

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