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In the Name of God بسم الله

God Created Evil?

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(bismillah)

السلام عليكم

Several of our companions from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Khalid from ibn Mahbub and `Ali b. al-Hakam from Mu`awiya b. Wahab.

He said: I heard Abu `Abdillah عليه السلام say: Verily, Allah revealed to Musa عليه السلام and sent down in the Torah, “I am Allah, there is no god except Me. I created the creation, and I created good and I made it run upon the hands of those I love. Tuba is for those in whose hands I made it run upon. And I am Allah, there is no god except Me. I created the creation, and I created evil and made it run upon the hands of whomever I wanted. So, woe to those upon whose hands I made it run". (al-Kafi, Volume 1, hadith 389)

(sahih) (صحيح) ---------

What do you think guys?

Edited by Revolving Ace
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(bismillah)

السلام عليكم

Several of our companions from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Khalid from ibn Mahbub and `Ali b. al-Hakam from Mu`awiya b. Wahab.

He said: I heard Abu `Abdillah عليه السلام say: Verily, Allah revealed to Musa عليه السلام and sent down in the Torah, “I am Allah, there is no god except Me. I created the creation, and I created good and I made it run upon the hands of those I love. Tuba is for those in whose hands I made it run upon. And I am Allah, there is no god except Me. I created the creation, and I created evil and made it run upon the hands of whomever I wanted. So, woe to those upon whose hands I made it run". (al-Kafi, Volume 1, hadith 389)

(sahih) (صحيح) ---------

What do you think guys?

I think Arabic translation would help guys as well.

1- عِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَصْحَابِنَا عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ خَالِدٍ عَنِ ابْنِ مَحْبُوبٍ وَ عَلِيِّ بْنِ الْحَكَمِ عَنْ مُعَاوِيَةَ بْنِ وَهْبٍ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ع يَقُولُ‏ إِنَّ مِمَّا أَوْحَى اللَّهُ إِلَى مُوسَى ع وَ أَنْزَلَ عَلَيْهِ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ أَنِّي‏ أَنَا اللَّهُ لا إِلهَ إِلَّا أَنَا خَلَقْتُ‏ الْخَلْقَ‏ وَ خَلَقْتُ الْخَيْرَ وَ أَجْرَيْتُهُ عَلَى يَدَيْ مَنْ أُحِبُّ فَطُوبَى لِمَنْ أَجْرَيْتُهُ عَلَى يَدَيْهِ وَ أَنَا اللَّهُ لا إِلهَ إِلَّا أَنَا خَلَقْتُ‏ الْخَلْقَ‏ وَ خَلَقْتُ الشَّرَّ وَ أَجْرَيْتُهُ عَلَى يَدَيْ مَنْ أُرِيدُهُ فَوَيْلٌ لِمَنْ أَجْرَيْتُهُ عَلَى يَدَيْه‏

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Bismillah.

 

Salaam.

 

When discussing God’s mercy and His other qualities, it must be kept in mind that the attributes of every being must be looked at from the perspective of the existential dimensions of that very being. For example, the kindness of a child to a suckling infant is to the extent that he doesn’t let her get near dangerous things and gives her things to eat that he himself likes.

 

As for the parents of the child, their kindness has a broader scope, meaning that in addition to keeping them away from dangerous things, they take care of her food and clothing, protect her from harm and dangerous sicknesses, they even have her vaccinated despite the pain she will go through and the chances of her being sick for a week and maybe even going to the hospital. The parents do this with the utmost precision, because they see it as the exact way of being kind to their baby. They know that if the child doesn’t go through this pain, she won't be able to stand against the dangers that will threaten her later. So, this short term pain and hardship will bring about long term peace and health, and everyone sees this as kindness itself, to the extent that if a mother and father don’t carry out these tasks due to the hardship it will cause their child, everyone will scold them for unkindness and cold heartedness.

 

The same goes for God’s kindness towards us; His mercy is even higher and transcends that of the mother and father to their child. If we see this world to be everything there is, and death to be the end of it all, some of the hardships in this world will not be justifiable and will indeed contradict kindness. On the other hand, if we see the life of man to be as expanded as the universe itself, encompassing the time before his birth, his life in this world, after death and the Barzakh, resurrection, the Day of Judgment, and Heaven and Hell, and look at God’s mercy while putting all of these different levels of man’s life into perspective, then all of these hardships and incidents will take on the color of mercy and kindness.

 

When we focus on creation, we see that God has provided for all the needs of every being and creature to reach its respective perfection, meaning that everything has been given the opportunity for its relative growth and perfection by God, and this signifies His love for His creation.

 

Also, how can we accept that God would not share His love with His creation, when He has unlimited power and knowledge, and nothing can get in the way of Him sharing it with them, because He lacks all forms of jealousy, doesn’t have fear of losing His power, nor does He lack any knowledge that might cause Him not to be able to share His mercy with creation; none of these and other factors that get in the way of Him sharing His love can be found in Him. On the contrary, through His endless power, knowledge and grace, He has created the best system of creation that yields the most good and this means maximum kindness and well-meaningness up to par with divine greatness and magnificence.

In addition, the one who has instilled the love and affection of parents towards their child in their hearts, must have that same love at a higher and more complete level to be able to endow others with it, because, as philosophers say, “One who grants another with a quality, cannot lack that same quality himself.” [1]

 

As for the hardships, evil, transgression, pain, depravation and death that take place in our world, they can be divided into two categories:

 

1- Incidents that take place as a result of people’s actions, such as the oppressions and transgressions, murders and plundering that happen.

 

2- Natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, drought and illness.

 

Regarding the first group, we must say that since God has created man with free will so that he chooses between good and bad and beauty and ugliness and evil, such a system means that sometimes, out of making the wrong choice and choosing the wrong behavior, evil, ugliness, oppression and injustice take place in the society and it is clear that these unpleasant phenomena cannot be attributed to God, rather they are the acts of God’s creatures. The Qur'an says:

 

“Corruption has appeared in land and sea because of the doings of the people's hands.” [2] We should remember though, that there is a hereafter, where all of our acts will be reckoned and those whose rights have been trampled and have been oppressed will be compensated for.

 

In regard to the second set of evil which is a result of natural causes, there are some points which should be kept in mind:

 

1- This world is a place of testing and very precise assessment of individuals; all comfort, hardship, happiness, tragedy, abundance and depravation, etc., are a means of trial and to distinguish between good and bad. If we keep in mind the indescribable rewards that God has promised those who succeed in this field, we will find that even the most bitter incidents of this world are indeed grace and unlimited kindness of the Lord; the more the hardship, the more the reward.

The Qur'an points to the abovementioned assertion in many places; it says: “We will surely test you with a measure of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth, lives, and fruits; and give good news to the patient.” [3]

 

2- Hardship and problems both train individuals and awaken nations and stimulate their willpower and resolve. [4] It is because of this that hardship is in total compliance with the aim of creation and has no contradiction with God’s mercy which calls for the perfection of people.

 

3- Many of the hardships play a role in the spiritual development and growth of the individual. Many of those who grew up in poverty and tough circumstances ended up achieving great success, some of which helped all of humanity.

 

4- If ugliness wasn’t next to the beauties, the beautiful wouldn’t be beautiful, and the ugly wouldn’t be ugly. In other words, if there was no ugliness in the world, there would also be no beauty. If all people were beautiful, then no one would be beautiful! In reality, the attractiveness of the beautiful, comes from the repulsiveness of the ugly. [5]

 

5- Ugliness is the preliminary step to the existence of beauty and is actually what creates beauty. What is meant is that in the core of hardship lies prosperity and salvation, the same way that sometimes, it is inside beauties that hardship and ugliness develop; this is how this world is and works. [6]

 

If we keep all of these points in mind, we will find that the evils in this world are actually a stepping stone to very high goodness.

 

As for the last part of your question about the creator of evil, we must remind that evil isn't something existential that has been created, rather, it is non-existential (meaning that it is actually the absence of good, and not something that exists in and of itself). For example, physical disability isn't something independently created, rather, it is the lack or absence of a body part. This explanation of evil answers the dualistic approach that says this world has two gods, one of good and the other of evil, because it proves that this existence in this world isn't of two types of good and evil, to entail the need for two gods. [7] Thus, existence, from the perspective that it exists, is all good, and evil, from the perspective that it doesn’t exist, is evil, and it is good that is need of a creator and not non-existence; non-existence doesn’t need a creator because it doesn’t exist. This proves that this universe only has one creator.

 

For further reading:

 

http://www.islamquest.net/en/archive/question/fa3237

[1] Bidayah al-Hikmah, Allamah Tabatabai, pg. 269; “ معطی الکمال غیر فاقد ”.

 

[2] Rum:41 “ ظهر الفساد فی البر و البحر بما کسبت ایدی الناس ”.

 

[3] Baqarah:155 “ و لنبلونکم بشیء من الخوف و الجوع و نقص من الاموال و الانفس و الثمرات و بشر الصابرین ”.

 

[4] Adle Elahi, Shahid Mutahhari, pg. 156.

 

[5] Adle Elahi, Shahid Mutahhari, pg. 143.

 

[6] Adle Elahi, Shahid Mutahhari, pg. 149.

 

[7] Adopted from: Adle Elahi, Shahid Mutahhari, pg. 135.

 

With Duas.

 

Narsis.

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Allegorical. The quran uses the same type of language when talking about free will. It is understood that when Allah is speaking about "Him creating evil", it comes from the limited free will that Allah has endowed upon man. Thus evil, truly comes from the rejection of Good, in the hands of man. Allah is the All Good. No evil comes from Him.

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السلام عليكم brother Narsis.

 

As for the last part of your question about the creator of evil, we must remind that evil isn't something existential that has been created, rather, it is non-existential (meaning that it is actually the absence of good, and not something that exists in and of itself). For example, physical disability isn't something independently created, rather, it is the lack or absence of a body part. This explanation of evil answers the dualistic approach that says this world has two gods, one of good and the other of evil, because it proves that this existence in this world isn't of two types of good and evil, to entail the need for two gods. [7] Thus, existence, from the perspective that it exists, is all good, and evil, from the perspective that it doesn’t exist, is evil, and it is good that is need of a creator and not non-existence; non-existence doesn’t need a creator because it doesn’t exist. This proves that this universe only has one creator.

Does this not contradict the authentic narration?

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Allegorical. The quran uses the same type of language when talking about free will. It is understood that when Allah is speaking about "Him creating evil", it comes from the limited free will that Allah has endowed upon man. Thus evil, truly comes from the rejection of Good, in the hands of man. Allah is the All Good. No evil comes from Him.

He said : I created evil and made it run upon the hands of whomever I wanted. - how do you know it's allegorical? What is the proof for your statement from the Holy Qur`an or Sunnah?

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(bismillah)

 

(salam)

 

ace

 

There are a number of responses one could give, e.g. linguistic, theological, or philosophical.

I will offer a linguistic one:

 

It might be that there is taqdir ul lafz, i.e. a modifying word has been dropped.
In the Koran, the verse says, 'and ask the town in which we were', which literally is nonsensical, because one does not address a question to a localised collection of infrastructure and superstructure, but the qarina allows us to infer that what is meant is, 'and ask the people of the town in which we were'.

With respect to the hadith, it may be that 'God created good' and 'God created evil' means 'God created the potentiality of good' and 'God created the potentiality of evil'. 

The internal qarina is that, until it 'runs on the hands', it is not actual and remains potential

The external qarina is that the creation of actual evil is evil, which is why God punishes those on whose hands evil runs.   

Allah knows.

 

(wasalam)

Edited by Jebreil
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Thanks Jebreil, very good comment. The reason why I posted this, is because when I saw it, I was surprised. I didn't want to reject the hadeeth since there's a good chance that it came out of the mouth of a Ma`soom, in particular because the chain of narrators is authentic. This is why I did tawaquff - and thought I'd come here and ask about it - because maybe there's a deeper meaning.

Anyone else want to share a comment regarding this?

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Imam Khomeini ( R ) deeply delves into this hadith from an uruf's perspective. It maybe a bit hard to comprehend: http://www.al-islam.org/forty-hadith-an-exposition-second-edition-imam-khomeini/thirty-ninth-hadith-good-and-evil

 

Basically this hadith is fully in line with the Quran.

 

Whatever of good befalleth thee (O man), it is from Allah, and whatever or ill befalleth thee it is from thyself. (4: 79)

 

Say (O Muhammad): Everything is from God. (4:78)

Edited by PureEthics
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Imam Khomeini ( R ) deeply delves into this hadith from an uruf's perspective. It maybe a bit hard to comprehend: http://www.al-islam.org/forty-hadith-an-exposition-second-edition-imam-khomeini/thirty-ninth-hadith-good-and-evil

 

Basically this hadith is fully in line with the Quran.

 

Whatever of good befalleth thee (O man), it is from Allah, and whatever or ill befalleth thee it is from thyself. (4: 79)

 

Say (O Muhammad): Everything is from God. (4:78)

Okay, I read through. The problem is the language was too complex lol, half the time I didn't know what was happening or what was being said, so you're right, it was hard to comprehend.

How brother?

Because the hadeeth says that evil was created, what said from your comment was - "we must remind that evil isn't something existential that has been created".

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Okay, I read through. The problem is the language was too complex lol, half the time I didn't know what was happening or what was being said, so you're right, it was hard to comprehend.

Because the hadeeth says that evil was created, what said from your comment was - "we must remind that evil isn't something existential that has been created".

 

we must remind that evil isn't something existential that has been created.

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Elaborate.

Evil isn't a thing. So you have to ask what does Allah mean when He says, He created good and evil? Evil or good cannot be an entity, therefore the understanding that from God evil came has no meaning. Therefore as the brothers have brought forth evidences, this Hadith is understood to be speaking about the existence for the potential of both evil and good has come from Allah e.g limited free will.

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Evil is like dark or cold. It isn't a quantifiable thing, but an absence. Therefore, "creation" of evil would more accurately be imagined as separation of goodness.

I'm not sure how this is relevant, but I feel like it somehow is.

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Darkness, is the absence of light. Therefore, Evil does not exist, but is the absence of the Good. However, if the LORD is the creator of ALL, thus, the opposite, which being the absence is also part of "ALL".

 

Simplification : Positive and negatives are contained into the "ALL", as "ALL" denotes the realm of creation and ownership.

 

Word games are fun. ϞϞ(๑⚈ ․̫ ⚈๑)∩

Edited by monad
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I think the problem with saying that evil is "non-existential" is that we can often give the impression by this statement that evil is something completely relative, which certainly isn't the Shi'ite position here as we no doubt know. God is good and, as the Qur'an states, whatever good we receive comes from God.

 

If we say evil is existential though, we can give the impression that many dualist belief systems of the past gave: that evil is some kind of independent principle in an of itself that is equal to the good. The problem with this is if evil and good are equal powers, then there's no reason to choose one over the other, rather we are free to pick from either what we desire and should not have to be held accountable for choosing the "wrong" thing.

 

I think people who say good and evil don't exist as entities are sometimes being misleading or at least they need to find a better way to explain what they're saying. It's quite clear from various hadiths that the world is a kind of battleground between the forces of Knowledge and Ignorance or Good and Evil and God has made it so. But the difference is that because the good reflects God's own nature, it can therefore exist independently from evil, while evil is a purely contingent thing that lives a kind of parasitic existence which no matter how prevalent it may become, cannot overcome the ultimate source of good upon which its very existence depends, which is God in this case. Evil therefore DOES have an existential reality to the extent that there exist two spiritual forces between which man and djinn may side with. This I think was the natural product of God's creating not only a world of multiplicity but also the free will. Evil came into being when God negated himself and created that which is not him and then gave man the choice to follow either the path of ascent towards him or the path of descent towards what is not him or with him(non-existence, anti-God). My view here is that God "created" evil in the sense that he created the potential for evil by the negation of himself and this negation of himself which was absolutely necessary for the creation of a world of multiplicity filled with things that are other than himself and the various steps of descent down the ladder of contingent worlds within which the potential for evil gradually increases. God could remove this potential at anytime if it pleased him, but then nothing would exist but God and there'd be no creation. This also is in perfect accord with what you hear from many of our scholars when they speak of evil as referring explicitly to the conflict that arises between otherwise good things. In other words, "evil" can be associated with the very principle of "disharmony" that arises between the otherwise good and beautiful elements of creation. Jealousy may arise because a person ultimately wants what is good, but somebody else has it, for instance. Is wanting that thing "wrong"? Is wanting to give yourself something good wrong? Certainly not in and of themselves, but when a certain imbalance occurs, otherwise good desires and emotions may become sources of strife, conflict and needless suffering.

 

Look at it is like this: evil is bad, but the potential for evil to manifest is fundamentally good because without it, one can't reap the benefits of multiplicity and the opposition between things that naturally comes from the principle of diversity, these potential goods that result from the creation of diversity and the creation of free will far outweigh then the potential evils which may become manifest as a result of conflict between diverse elements and the abuse of free will to make evil manifest. In this case, any apparent benefits for causing evil to become manifest is purely illusory or temporal and unsatisfying.The potential for evil however, cannot exist, without there being a principle called evil and God created the principle of evil to the extent that we can recognize and distinguish what is "not God/not good" from that which "is God/is good".

 

The only people I know who ever grappled with this problem were the world denying gnostics in  the Christian world, who couldn't comprehend the idea that God permitted evil to exist and thus, in their mind, was responsible for its existence and yet evil was supposed to be undesirable. Islam, in contrast, understands evil, at least as a potential thing, to be a natural product of the world of multiplicity and where Shia Islam and Sunni Islam differ here is only on the matter of whether God is the ultimate and independently good who although created evil in principle is not affected by it nor is he blameworthy for evil becoming manifest by the free actions of humans (Shia position) and whether good and evil are meaningless with regards to God because God is so powerful he can do what he wants, be it good or evil, because good and evil only exist from a human perspective and are thus purely subjective things with no real meaning except being whatever God's will arbitrarily decides he likes or dislikes at the present moment (Sunni Asharite position).

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23
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considering a self-eveident clear cut ruling that the absolute goodness does not constitute evil source,

one might think that this Hadith could be justified as follows

the evil is of two category:

1- absolute evil

2- relative evil

the first is what we call it non - existential and as mentioned above it can not be issued by absolute goodness, which is God.

but the second, relative evil, is what considered evil in comparison to other things in the world. for example a virus that causes illness and sickness looks evil whereas it is not. That is not inherently evil as it might have some certain beneficial functions.

the same goes with other instances i.e earthquake, death, ... 

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I think the problem with saying that evil is "non-existential" is that we can often give the impression by this statement that evil is something completely relative, which certainly isn't the Shi'ite position here as we no doubt know. God is good and, as the Qur'an states, whatever good we receive comes from God.

 

 

'Evil doesnt exist' means that evil isnt some kind of independent 'stuff' out there in the world.  If evil was some kind of concrete stuff then this would raise the question of where it came from.  The answer 'evil doesnt exist' is a reply to the ontological 'problem of evil'.  It doesnt deal with the more common contemporary 'problem of evil' which is the existence of suffering.  Addressing the latter involves invoking free will and various other theodicies.

Edited by .InshAllah.
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considering a self-eveident clear cut ruling that the absolute goodness does not constitute evil source,

one might think that this Hadith could be justified as follows

the evil is of two category:

1- absolute evil

2- relative evil

the first is what we call it non - existential and as mentioned above it can not be issued by absolute goodness, which is God.

but the second, relative evil, is what considered evil in comparison to other things in the world. for example a virus that causes illness and sickness looks evil whereas it is not. That is not inherently evil as it might have some certain beneficial functions.

the same goes with other instances i.e earthquake, death, ... 

 

The problem with that line of thinking is, again, you're almost saying evil is nothing but relative, which is an Asharite position, not exactly a Shi'a one.

 

Can't "absolute evil" exist without being literally absolute?

 

You mention things like earthquakes and natural disasters, sure. But I'm pretty sure that you'd say that killing a child is evil, hands down. If that's the case, if there exists things that regardless of what excuses we may come up with for them, are indefinitely evil and shouldn't be done, then we are affirming evil having something of an "absolute reality," in the sense that what is evil is clearly different from that which is good and that even if on one plane, things can be murky, on another, higher plane, what is good and what is evil and how they differ is clearly visible to anyone with knowledge.

 

There are clearly things which are evil, which should be brought into the realm of manifest reality and if they are in the realm of manifest reality, need to be removed.

 

You could say evil has an absolute reality in the sense that the principle of evil exists as a hypothetical reality opposing all that which is good, but is brought into manifest reality by contingent, free willed beings.given the choice to uphold the reality of the good in its purity or to corrupt it by introducing evil from conception into contingent reality.

 

I'd say the best way to word this is like so: Evil as pure conception is absolute in as much as the imagination and intellect is capable of conceiving of things that are opposite to those things which are good and which could reasonably exist given the circumstances. For example, when you go to work, you can imagine possible outcomes of your actions that are evil as opposed to possible outcomes to your actions that are good, though you may never choose to bring those evil actions into any form of fruition. As a manifest reality in the world of multiplicity, evil is contingent and existential to the extent that there exists existential creatures who serve as sources of evil's continued manifestation in the world. These creatures however are dependent on God for their own continued existence and may not realize that is only by the good things that God has given them that they can even continue to manifest evil in the manner they have chosen.

 

 

'Evil doesnt exist' means that evil isnt some kind of independent 'stuff' out there in the world.  If evil was some kind of concrete stuff then this would raise the question of where it came from.  The answer 'evil doesnt exist' is a reply to the ontological 'problem of evil'.  It doesnt deal with the more common contemporary 'problem of evil' which is the existence of suffering.  Addressing the latter involves invoking free will and various other theodicies.

 

I understand that, but I don't see why evil can't be some kind of ontological "stuff" provided this stuff does not have a truly absolute reality but is merely a product of the free will of contingent beings. Like for me, I have no problem believing there are things within nature itself that are good or evil or some mixture of both. I've also read plenty of hadith which refer to our own evil stemming from the [Edited Out] of Shaytan and things like that.

 

Mahdi-servant for example mentioned earthquakes, viruses, and other natural calamities which we don't normally call evil. This is true that we don't normally call it evil, but can we really say they're good? That is, has the thought ever occurred to anyone that maybe the world we live is in fact filled with things that ARE fundamentally evil in their nature and that this world's natural order, while meticulously arranged, should not be taken to be the ideal order of things?

 

I think the issue here is that people tend to believe the world is created by God, which it is, but we often have a habit of taking this to mean that everything existential in this world is good in its character. As a result, we are forced to look at the worst natural disasters with a kind of ambivalence in spite of the fact that our conscience is probably telling us that "something is wrong here."

 

I'm not saying that the world is evil, but are guilty of leaning more towards naturalistic view in order to secure our faith where we forget the fact that there are more cosmic forces at work in the world, both good and evil, in their character and that our ultimate destiny is not this transient world but a higher world where there is no evil. The appearance of evil in this world is because of its nature and there are entities out there which are far more powerful than men which look upon us with indifference or even hatred and I don't see why the appearance of evil in this world must be restricted to human social actions when it's pretty obvious that these are cosmic forces do at times influence the more temporal nature of things for both good and evil. And I don't think this contradicts the idea of God being the Creator of the world or the best of creators like some gnostics believed, since God is creator of the world in its most essential (good) elements and the one who arranged the entire order of things, including the potential for good and evil to manifest in the realm of action, while being himself the absolute good.

 

More simply put, I believe that in nature there are things both good, evil and a mixture of both and so a natural calamity or event can in theory be called "evil" if it is the product of the evil actions of certain cosmic forces. However, the essential nature of creation is good because it comes from God and thus the good of this world far outweighs whatever evil may result from the actions of humans or entities higher than humans, but we can still see evil in the nature of some things. What should be avoided, however, is labeling things in nature as evil simply because they are different from the human order of things (lions eat uncooked meat, are they then evil?) or simply because we do not understand for what purpose they happen (an earthquake that kills a few people may only seem bad because we don't understand the purpose for which it happened), but who says that the epidemic of a deadly virus must be what God desires? Certainly God may have, in his omnipotence, allowed it to happen, but that's different than saying God desired it, wouldn't you say?

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23
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I think people who say good and evil don't exist as entities are sometimes being misleading or at least they need to find a better way to explain what they're saying. It's quite clear from various hadiths that the world is a kind of battleground between the forces of Knowledge and Ignorance or Good and Evil and God has made it so. But the difference is that because the good reflects God's own nature, it can therefore exist independently from evil, while evil is a purely contingent thing that lives a kind of parasitic existence which no matter how prevalent it may become, cannot overcome the ultimate source of good upon which its very existence depends, which is God in this case. Evil therefore DOES have an existential reality to the extent that there exist two spiritual forces between which man and djinn may side with. This I think was the natural product of God's creating not only a world of multiplicity but also the free will. Evil came into being when God negated himself and created that which is not him and then gave man the choice to follow either the path of ascent towards him or the path of descent towards what is not him or with him(non-existence, anti-God). My view here is that God "created" evil in the sense that he created the potential for evil by the negation of himself and this negation of himself which was absolutely necessary for the creation of a world of multiplicity filled with things that are other than himself and the various steps of descent down the ladder of contingent worlds within which the potential for evil gradually increases. God could remove this potential at anytime if it pleased him, but then nothing would exist but God and there'd be no creation. This also is in perfect accord with what you hear from many of our scholars when they speak of evil as referring explicitly to the conflict that arises between otherwise good things. In other words, "evil" can be associated with the very principle of "disharmony" that arises between the otherwise good and beautiful elements of creation. Jealousy may arise because a person ultimately wants what is good, but somebody else has it, for instance. Is wanting that thing "wrong"? Is wanting to give yourself something good wrong? Certainly not in and of themselves, but when a certain imbalance occurs, otherwise good desires and emotions may become sources of strife, conflict and needless suffering.

 

 

If you were directing that point at me, I am speaking about evil being a "thing". This notion is quite usual, as people in the west tend to argue for such a thing. There is no such thing, as an evil thing. There are some major flags in your ideology that I in totality disagree with, they are in bold.

 

First of all, evil being an contingent thing, is a moot point because as soon as you analogize the existence of this contingent thing called evil with a parasitic nature, you are implying it is empirical. You would have to bring forth evidence for such a case. Considering once you bring evil and good, it becomes an argument stemming from morality.

 

Second, if you claim this contingent thing exists within a two sided spiritual force between man and jinn, (im guessing in relation to the notion of free will), yet at the same time it has a form of autonomy (existential), on what basis is it relative to satan? because now we have a major theological contradiction, and that is 2 evil potentials affecting the state of worldly things (intelligent and non), of which one, satan, who supposedly chose to side with evil, and at the same time this contingent thing called evil, which becomes sort of a satan of itself yet having at the same time both autonomy like satan and a spiritual force. Non intelligent things cannot be this "evil thing" yet have a spiritual impact upon those who are in trial. The moment God gives existence to such a thing, it becomes contradictory to God's justice, and in totality, brings a major question upon an all good God. Also, how can an "evil thing" be unintelligent yet possess intelligent enough to reject God, who is the all good, while this thing is evil, literally?

 

Thus brings me to the third bolded part, which seems as the source of this false assumption. First of all, you need to bring evidence to prove God negated himself, let alone explaining the contradictory notion. An absolute being cannot negate itself, in relation to having no choice but to do that, for an absolute being, can never put Himself into such a situation. Saying it is absolutely necessary, is a negation in itself for an absolute being can never subject Himself unto a necessity. To me this sounds like some sort of pseudo christian mentality kinda like the original sin.

 

 

More simply put, I believe that in nature there are things both good, evil and a mixture of both and so a natural calamity or event can in theory be called "evil" because it is the product of the evil actions of certain cosmic entities. However, the essential nature of creation is good and thus the good of this world far outweighs whatever evil may result from the actions of humans or entities higher than humans, but we can see evil in the nature of things. What should be avoided, however, is labeling things in nature as evil simply because they are different from the human order of things or simply because we do not understand for what purpose they happen, but who says that the epidemic of a deadly virus must be what God desires? Certainly God may have, in his omnipotence, allowed it to happen, but that's different than saying God desired it, wouldn't you say?

 

You see, you fail to understand that nature is not subject to trial or has a sense of intelligent, therefore subjecting that to good or evil from their literal perspectives is nonsense. What you are simply doing is, relating this from your own perspective which once again is a flawed way of thinking, its subjective. For example, the example you gave of a deadly virus. First of all, the source for a virus is not harmful. Although we still do not exactly know much about the existence of viruses, we know that viruses come about through the interaction of bacteria, man, and organisms of sorts. Meaning, at the very least it is a cause and affect. The virus in itself is an unintelligent being, working in such a way it was molded to do, even by killing things. It obviously isnt something that can be speculated as to whether God intended that or not, it wouldnt make sense. Allah has given it existence through a cause. Its effect came through interaction with the world. You have to realize that this cause is not from the choice of Allah, but the choice of the interacting entities that caused it. Allah has given us existence when we are unworthy of it, and His plan is the best of plans. The virus killing, whether it  maybe for human populating, saving someones after life, effecting the existence of another creation and so forth. What I am trying to say is, you cannot call it evil because man dies per chance through its interaction with a "virus". The death can only be evil, if you prove it was unjust, on that from the non intelligent virus which has no morality or choice, or from a divine perspective. I believe the reason for how you gave such an example is the err in your theology on this matter. This is why I argue that evil isnt a thing. It is irrational. Just my two cents.

 

Edit: I am now confused .. You say: "I believe that in nature there are things both good, evil.."

 

and at the same time: "What should be avoided, however, is labeling things in nature as evil"

 

I may have argued against a point you didnt raise, after I reread the paragraph.

Edited by PureEthics
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(bismillah)

 

(salam)

 

saintly

 

Inshallah you are well, akhi.

I liked your first post, but I am not sure about your response to brother Inshallah.
After I read his post, it struck me too that the first few lines of your first post conflated the ontological problem with the so-called problem of evil, which revolves around alleged actual instances of evil.

Even if we suppose that there are evil forces, each of these can be interpreted as good forces, and this is what is meant by the oft-repeated refrain that evil does not 'really' exist. 
An argument runs as follows:

 

If is not what the Good God wants, i.e. if, on the ultimate analysis, in the context of the wholeis not good, then has no reason to exist.

Since everything that exists has a reason to exist, consequently, on the ultimate analysis, in the context of the whole, everything that exists is good, i.e. the Good God wants everything that exists.

 

In sum, what God permits but does not approve per se (by itself) is just a thing that God permits because approves per aliud (by another).

Thus, there is no absolute evil, but it is relative to the good, which is absolute.

To deny this would imply that there is something that God does not approve without qualification, which in turn implies that the Good God is not Omnipotent.

 

From what I understood of your post, I do not think you disagree with the above, since you mention that evil is parasitic on the good, etc., but in which case I feel the first few lines of your post were unfortunate, because to say evil does not exist is to say that all is absolutely good, parts and whole, warts and all - which is True. 

 

(Wasalam)

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From what I understood of your post, I do not think you disagree with the above, since you mention that evil is parasitic on the good, etc., but in which case I feel the first few lines of your post were unfortunate, because to say evil does not exist is to say that all is absolutely good, parts and whole, warts and all - which is True. 

 

(wasalam)

 

So i can save on words and can address Pure Ethics confusion and your position in the same post, I think I should clarify that I was using the word absolute in the first part of my last post a bit more loosely.

 

I was trying to point out that when we say that evil's existence is relative and not absolute, we can often confuse people more than enlighten them.

 

I honestly think the issue of evil is a rather simple one that is complicated more than it has to be by people who approach from a logic that can only apply to certain matters, but not to those things which may be beyond our limited understanding.

 

Basically, my position is this:

 

There is potential evil and manifest evil. What is absolute here is man's ability to conceive of the evil he could do or that others could do in opposition to the good. This conception is absolutely essential because it is through this conception of the evil that could be that humans recognize the goodness in God. Manifest evil can only exist in the realm of multiplicity and contingent things, not in God, who is the supreme and absolute good which all contingent good is a reflection of in some sense. I think we're all agreed on this point and I think this could be said to be the "official" position of our school of thought, no?

 

I'm not trying to say my beliefs differ from the traditional Shi'ite position here, but what I'm saying is we often are caught up in thinking that evil only manifests in the world of action and not in the realm of nature, that we can ignore the fact that there are cosmic forces which influence nature and the actions of beings towards evil and there is no reason for us to think these are limited purely to the realm of human social interactions. There are forces out there which look at us humans with a kind of indifference or seek to assault and attack us and all that we hold to be good. What is the point of dua against the whispers of Shaytan if there are no such forces in the world? And how can we say there aren't things that animals or plants do which are not by all standards "evil." Like I said, we don't say a lion is evil because it eats red meat and humans, as per God's law, do not. However, can we say that a male lion slaughtering all the cubs of another male is "good" simply because it's what lions or at least some lions seem to naturally do? Or do we say that this element of a lion's nature is in fact evil by all standards?

 

I think what happens is that we often make excuses for the natural world around us because we refuse to believe that maybe this world isn't all that great. If this world was ideal, why then do the righteous suffer? In an ideal world, the righteous wouldn't suffer? Isn't that the world we look forward to, not this world that is nothing but a transient world filled with conflict between things looking out for their own ego?

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(bismillah)

 

(salam)

 

saintly

 

I was trying to point out that when we say that evil's existence is relative and not absolute, we can often confuse people more than enlighten them.

 

This may be the case, akhi.

The same True statement may confuse one and enlighten another.

 

I honestly think the issue of evil is a rather simple one that is complicated more than it has to be by people who approach from a logic that can only apply to certain matters, but not to those things which may be beyond our limited understanding.

 
Simplicity and complexity is relative, of course.
I am over-sensitive to the word 'logic', as people use it in different technical and non-technical ways, and so it would be great if you expanded on this point, brother. 
 

I think what happens is that we often make excuses for the natural world around us because we refuse to believe that maybe this world isn't all that great. If this world was ideal, why then do the righteous suffer? In an ideal world, the righteous wouldn't suffer? Isn't that the world we look forward to, not this world that is nothing but a transient world filled with conflict between things looking out for their own ego?

 

There is nothing intrinsically non-ideal about there existing some world in which the righteous suffer.

The equation of innocent suffering and evil is not obvious, and I think False.

 

(wasalam)

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Bismillah.

 

Salaam again.

 

It is necessary to note that the discussion of good and evil is an important albeit dangerous one; philosophers have presented many different theories in this regard, nonetheless, the answer given to the problem of evil by most Islamic philosophers and theologians in the Islamic arena is the same.

 

That which is referred to as ‘evil’, only exists in the material world, and has nothing to do with the realm of abstract beings (such as angels).

 

Good and evil have been defined in this manner: Good is that which one’s nature desires and what one chooses from amongst several things, while evil is the opposite.

 

Good and evil things can be divided into five groups:

 

1. Pure good

 

2. Pure evil

 

3. Predominant good

 

4. Predominant evil

 

5. Equally good and evil

 

From among these five groups, only two actually exist:

 

1. Pure good, which is a necessary being that is pure perfection bearing all existential perfections.

 

2. Predominant good, meaning something whose good outweighs its evil, because in the abandonment of abundant good lies much evil and privation. So God has deemed necessary and willed that these two groups come into existence. As for the other three groups, they don’t exist, because, pure evil is the same as pure privation, which cannot exist due it being pure inexistence and having no place in the existential universe. As to the other two groups, meaning predominant evil and equal evil and good, their existence is incompatible with God’s grace, since God has created the universe in the most perfect and well-established form possible, and if one focuses on the phenomena in this world, he will find that everything in the universe has been created in the most perfect form possible.[1]

 

To elaborate, the picture of privation that we have in our minds is either total privation, or the opposite of total existence, or a relative non-existence in the sense of privation (adam al-malakah), meaning the privation of a virtue for something that bears the capability of possessing such a virtue. An example of such would be blindness, which is actually the absence and privation of sight in a person who could have possessed the faculty of sight (this is why a wall can't be called ‘blind’, because although a wall cannot see, blindness is a non-existent in the sense of privation that can only be attributed to something that could have been sighted but isn't. Clearly, a wall isn't something that bears the potential of being sighted, so it is neither correct to refer to a wall as being blind, nor sighted).

 

The first division can be assumed in different modes. One would be to assign privation to the whatness (mahiyyat) of something instead of its existence. For example, we can picture the absence of a person, and assume him to be non-existent, not after he has existed. This division is but merely a conception devoid of any form of evil, the reason being that we haven't taken the subject to be something common in ‘existence’ and ‘non-existence’, resulting in its non-existence being evil. However, one may make the privation of something contingent upon itself, an example being when we picture something that actually exists to be non-existent, and then to assume it as non-existent after it has come into existence. Such a privation is evil, nonetheless, this division of privation is in reality, the non-existent in the sense of privation, something that will be explained later in this article. The second mode would be to compare the absence of something with something else, such as the absence of a necessary being in relation to contingent beings, or the absence of humanity for another thing like a horse, or the absence of an animalistic essence for plants, or the absence of a cow in a horse; this division of privation is a consequence of quiddities, and is something imaginative and not really existent.

The second type of privation, is the non-existent in the sense of privation, which is the absence of a quality in something that has the capability of possessing it. Deficiencies, shortcomings, sickness, pain and calamities are examples of things that befall other things, who are supposed to lack them and instead bear their opposing virtues. For example, health is something a person should have; this makes sickness a non-existent in the sense of privation.

 

This type of privation is evil, and is found in material and has to do with the deficiency in material’s potential, which varies from one material thing to another; the point trying to be made is that the origin of these types of privation which are actually evil, isn't the source of existence, meaning God, and they cannot be ascribed to Him, because the reason for privation, is itself, while the cause of existence cannot be privation.

 

So the extent that these things – that are a combination of existence and privation – are intended and willed by God, is the extent of the existence they bear, and in other words, the amount of potential they have for receiving existence. It is because of this that it can be said God has created it, God’s will has brought it into existence and it is God’s decree that it is subject to. As to the privations (evils) that come along with it, they aren't associated with God, they are rather associated with the lack of further potential and capability. Also, the reason why such privations are considered to be existent is due to the fact that they are in conjunction and unity with that amount of existence.[2]

 

For more study please see these books, articles and links:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Divine-Justice-Murtada-Mutahhari/dp/0934905533

 

http://www.google.com.tr/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCsQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fholybooks.lichtenbergpress.netdna-cdn.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2FDivine-Justice-or-The-problem-of-Evil.pdf&ei=BHjIVM3oOungywOQ8YGYAQ&usg=AFQjCNEcMEo4jVG7wI94ZYVj4NjDE1a0uA&bvm=bv.84607526,d.bGQ

 

http://www.islamquest.net/en/archive/question/fa1166

 

https://www.academia.edu/4913150/Shia_Islamic_Perspective_on_the_Problem_of_Evil_and_Divine_Justice

 

[1] Tabatabai, Muhammad Husayn, Nihayat al-Hikmah, Shirwani, Ali, vol. 3, p. 352, Bustane Ketab, sixth edition, Qum, 1384 (solar).

[2] Tabatabai, Muhammad Husayn, Tafsir al-Mizan, Farsi translation, Musavi Hamedani, vol. 13, p. 259, Association of Seminary Teachers, fifth edition, Qum, 1374 (solar).

 

With Duas.

 

Narsis.

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^ ^ ^

 

I think even with a cursory reading of the Qur'an, we realize a few simple facts:

 

1. God is wholly and absolutely good

2. God is the creator of all things

3. God doesn't want his creations to do evil things

4. The evil is not equal to the good

5. Whatever good we receive is from God, whatever evil we receive is from other than him

 

Honestly, it's pretty straightforward about these issues. That's why I find the Asharite position on this matter to be humorous at times, because so many who follow the Asharite school these days pride themselves on being more or less Qur'anic literalists, but when it comes to the issue of evil, ignore some of the blatant verses of the Qur'an which present a kind of dualism between the good God wants and the evil Satan desires and how humans choose to follow one or the other. Again, this is pretty simple, but sometimes people toss out free will simply because it doesn't conform to their sense of logic, ignoring the fact that if God wants to create free will, surely he can without any danger to his omnipotence.

 

The problem I think is that when you look at the world, things don't exactly conform to the standards imposed on humans. A rabbit or some other creature is not really held accountable for the things it does in the same way humans are and if you look at the naturally world from a moralist perspective, in many ways the natural doesn't conform to the lofty moral ideals we believe in. When we get right down to it, there ARE evil things in nature. Nature is not all kind and good and friendly, but can be very oppressive. In some cases we might be able to say this is necessary for a kind of balance, but we can't say it for everything without being blissfully ignorant to the fact that nature is quite cruel at times and cruel in such ways that sometimes it appears to go past the limits of our moral standards. For myself, I think all things in their essential nature are good. Iblis may be evil, but his essential nature as an existent being is good because to be created and to exist is itself a good thing, regardless of whether the thing chooses to use that existence they've been given to spread evil, because to exist allows one to be good and there is far more good than evil that can be done with existence. We can say Iblis is evil, but we can't say that God creating him was evil.

 

But if there are forces beyond man that choose to be evil and in some cases have remained evil because of those choices without any hope of changing, why must evil only affect the human dimension? I think it's obvious that nature can change shape, become "crooked" when humans commit evil acts that ultimately affect nature. The effects in turn warp nature to make it more suitable for evil. But why must nature only be affected by humans is my question and why must those more powerful cosmic entities which influence nature be good simply because God is good? Isn't it a quite reasonable assumption that, at least in this world, there are cosmic forces at work on Satan's behalf as well as Satan's? My view is that evil does in fact exist as a spiritual force generated by creatures which choose to bring evil from potential reality into manifest reality and that evil can be felt in nature as well as in the actions of humans. However, I don't believe the world is wholly evil because the fundamental elements of this world is good and everything we see in the natural world, be it good or evil, reflects to varying degrees heavenly archetypes and because evil depends on the good, but the good has no need for the evil and ultimately because God is the absolute and ultimate good, is not truly affected by it.

 

 

 

Bismillah.

 

Salaam again.

 

It is necessary to note that the discussion of good and evil is an important albeit dangerous one; philosophers have presented many different theories in this regard, nonetheless, the answer given to the problem of evil by most Islamic philosophers and theologians in the Islamic arena is the same.

 

That which is referred to as ‘evil’, only exists in the material world, and has nothing to do with the realm of abstract beings (such as angels).

 

Good and evil have been defined in this manner: Good is that which one’s nature desires and what one chooses from amongst several things, while evil is the opposite.

 

Good and evil things can be divided into five groups:

 

1. Pure good

 

2. Pure evil

 

3. Predominant good

 

4. Predominant evil

 

5. Equally good and evil

 

From among these five groups, only two actually exist:

 

1. Pure good, which is a necessary being that is pure perfection bearing all existential perfections.

 

2. Predominant good, meaning something whose good outweighs its evil, because in the abandonment of abundant good lies much evil and privation. So God has deemed necessary and willed that these two groups come into existence. As for the other three groups, they don’t exist, because, pure evil is the same as pure privation, which cannot exist due it being pure inexistence and having no place in the existential universe. As to the other two groups, meaning predominant evil and equal evil and good, their existence is incompatible with God’s grace, since God has created the universe in the most perfect and well-established form possible, and if one focuses on the phenomena in this world, he will find that everything in the universe has been created in the most perfect form possible.[1]

 

To elaborate, the picture of privation that we have in our minds is either total privation, or the opposite of total existence, or a relative non-existence in the sense of privation (adam al-malakah), meaning the privation of a virtue for something that bears the capability of possessing such a virtue. An example of such would be blindness, which is actually the absence and privation of sight in a person who could have possessed the faculty of sight (this is why a wall can't be called ‘blind’, because although a wall cannot see, blindness is a non-existent in the sense of privation that can only be attributed to something that could have been sighted but isn't. Clearly, a wall isn't something that bears the potential of being sighted, so it is neither correct to refer to a wall as being blind, nor sighted).

 

 

 

 

 

I would like to speak on a few of these points. I agree that pure evil doesn't exist in that there is not such thing as evil that exists wholly and independently from the good because that would contradict the nature of evil. Good can exist independently and does so in the being of God, who is unaffected by both the good and evil that men and djinn do and because all evil things derive ultimately from their archetypes within the absolute good. As I said earlier, evil as a spiritual reality is simply disharmony between things that are otherwise good in their essential nature but which the choices of creatures have caused to come into conflict with one another and at the same time it reflects what God, who is perfection, in fact isn't in the most extreme ways possible. The potential for evil was created when God chose to create things other than himself, by negating himself in a sense if you will, but the ultimate good of creating things other than himself with a free will to keep things in harmony or to throw them out of harmony with each other far outweighed whatever bad could come of those potential choices which would cause disharmony, especially since a being will always exist who is unaffected by these choices because without Him, they'd have no sustenance to make these choices for themselves to begin with. Even Iblis recognizes he can never be free from God.

 

However, I'd say that while pure evil doesn't exist, there are definitely things that are predominately evil or equally good and evil, but perhaps only in the quantitative sense. There are people whose good actions are relatively equal to their bad ones and while they seem to posses evil characteristics, have nonetheless good ones too, but there's no reason to think that one must be predominant in the quantitative sense nor is there any reason to think one can't be predominant while another can. Again, this is if we are speaking quantitatively. I don't think this contradicts what was posted, but we have to be careful when we say things aren't predominantly evil. Contingent existence, that is existence dependent on God, is predominantly good. So, like I said above, the quality of existence is a good thing regardless of whether what exists uses its existence for further good or evil. But this doesn't mean that in the realm of contingent things, we can't point out people or things in nature which may be predominantly evil individually speaking, although they do not make the grand scheme of things evil itself.

 

Not that I'm arguing against the main point here myself, I just thought that might be a better clarification.

 

I do find myself arguing with this bit, however: if one focuses on the phenomena in this world, he will find that everything in the universe has been created in the most perfect form possible.

 

If I may be frank, this isn't how I feel when I focus on the "phenomena in this world," I don't see a perfect world filled with perfect things necessarily. I see instead a world in contradiction with itself, where the righteous suffer and the evil are far more rewarded until their efforts too come to nothing and where death can strike you at any moment and take away your efforts, not for anything you've done wrong, but just because. You don't even know if you died for a good reason or a bad one. And even in nature, animals and plants can do terrible things to each other that even most humans with all their evil would think twice about doing. The one difference is that because animals lack the tools and minds for civilization, their own evils are far less destructive and they don't act against the natural order of things in the world in such a way that puts everything, both good and evil, within it at risk. Anyway you look at it, the world can be a pretty evil and oppressive place and the righteous human being is in fact an alien in this world because he holds on to lofty ideals that are in contradiction to the nature of the world around him.

 

I mean, isn't the reason we look forward to the Mahdi's return or the Resurrection because the world isn't perfect and we need some great divine deliverance in order for the world's tyranny, horror and suffering to be fixed? If we accept the world is perfect as it is, what need is there for this? What meaning is there for our suffering?

 

I think this more glowing view of the world around us was ultimately created by people who sought to create heaven on earth through political means. "If we just create the right social order, if we just set up the right government, everything will be fine," but what these people forgot was they lived in a world where this is impossible at the present moment, where evil is a guarantee and where the nature of the world will put a halt to any efforts eventually sooner or later. But I think most of humanity's suffering in this world is because it doesn't recognize these facts, more-so than the evil or danger that exists among the natural things around us. I believe when one accepts the nature of this world for what it is, one is able to truly enjoy its goods and ignore or at the very least endure its evils then if one is constantly trying to build a bigger and better civilization to wall oneself off  or is vainly believing that man has the capacity to transform the world through his efforts alone. To live in harmony with the nature of the world is to accept and forgive its imperfections. To live with humility in the world is to see oneself as a transient awaiting the new world that will come about all in due time by the grace of God and so to set as little store for oneself. That's probably the Taoist in me talking, but I feel the world is a better place to live in in spite of the evils that may exist in the form of evil djinn or ravenous creature the more more humans aren't trying to make it better through their own intervention. For me, that's the essence of God's laws and I think the people who think to create big and strong governments, even if they do so in the name of peace and security, are the ones most uneasy with the world, even if they say they believe the world is mostly good.

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(bismillah)

السلام عليكم

Several of our companions from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Khalid from ibn Mahbub and `Ali b. al-Hakam from Mu`awiya b. Wahab.

He said: I heard Abu `Abdillah عليه السلام say: Verily, Allah revealed to Musa عليه السلام and sent down in the Torah, “I am Allah, there is no god except Me. I created the creation, and I created good and I made it run upon the hands of those I love. Tuba is for those in whose hands I made it run upon. And I am Allah, there is no god except Me. I created the creation, and I created evil and made it run upon the hands of whomever I wanted. So, woe to those upon whose hands I made it run". (al-Kafi, Volume 1, hadith 389)

(sahih) (صحيح) ---------

What do you think guys?

(Bismillah)

(Salam)

When I read this hadith my first reaction is, how wonderful and beautiful! I find no issue with it whatsoever.

First of all, the hadith assumes that one understands the relationship between freewill and predestination. Te fact of the matter is that the relationship between the two is something that cannot properly be grasped by mere ratiocination. The two of them (freewill and predestination) coincide in such a way that it is both/neither. This is this is the real meaning behind "al-amr baynal amrayn" (the matter is inbetween two matters).

From the point of view of predestination, everything God creates is Ontologically Good (even a disbeliever is ontologically good). From the point of view of freewill, there exists good and bad people because this does not pertain to ontology but about following or not following God's law.

When God says He makes evil run through the hands of whosoever He wills, this is because although evil is morally bad (from the point of view of freewill) it is nevertheless ontologically good (from the point of view of predestination). So in this hadith God is talking from two points of view. And when I first read it, like I said, I felt no need to adjust the words because it intuitively makes sense at first reading even. It should make sense at first reading.

Masalama

Ethereal

Edited by eThErEaL
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How can good be defined without the understanding or existance of evil?

or can good exist without evil?

 

e.g. After washing my hands i know they are wet as they are no longer dry.

 

without existance is their reason for good? or is good a product of  our creation?

 

I think good by definition can exist without evil if we associate "the good" directly with God, but the potential for evil or idea of evil at least needs to exist in the minds of contingent creatures. Only good possesses an absolute reality and evil, being its opposite, therefore does not.

 

I often define "evil" myself as "disharmony," and I think the word disharmony itself usually implies that there was once something harmonious which now isn't, but I think we can perhaps see an "apparent harmony" between the diverse things in this world that leads us to think good and evil in fact need one another, but what that harmony we see in this world between the good and evil things is is something of an illusion, although we can live "in harmony" ourselves with the good and evil things of the world by just accepting the evil as a given until the Appointed Time and realizing that we are destined for a better world and thus have no need to fear and take up deep roots in a fading world. Accept the world is in disharmony, live in harmony with yourself so you can live in relative peace within the world for what it is and endure its hardships with enough ease, and look forward to the day when true nature sets things right because everything is moving steadily towards that end sooner or later so you don't have to worry so much about little things that will eventually fix themselves without your having to fiddle so much with them. That's my approach.

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23
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You know your hands are wet because they're wet, not because they're not dry^. You don't have to know that a hug feels good to understand that a knife in the back feels bad.

 

Quite rightly but I guess I have either not made myself clear or you may have misunderstood me as your reply seems naive.

 

The analogy was to demonstrate how the opposites are very much intertwined and complementary of one another. (when wet no longer dry, when dry no longer wet) It would be an impossibility for one to exist without the other. The opposites complement and define one another which is a product of creation and the creator is not bound to such.

 

We have day and night, if night was non-existent would we have a day? Is it possible for a day to exist without a night? With this in mind good and evil are intertwined and complementary of each other. Good is like a light which brightens a dark room and evil can be understood as the same room with absence of the light.

 

Also each opposite is equal in force to keep balance and harmony. One is no more powerful or superior in force.

 

I also find it naïve to say god is nothing but good, such definitions only create boundaries for god to exist in, which can constitute to shirk within some circles of thought.

 

God has no reason to be good or evil, and its unfair to define him with the very essence which control and govern our way of life. Good and evil is a by product of creation which we live eat and drink, not god.

 

Lastly to understand the creator lets go back in time. Before all existence there was only He, neither was there time or space, nor was there a day or night and as such nor was there the essence of good or bad. If he created it wasn’t for the reasons of goodness but rather that he wished for all that which he could without limits that define us as creations.

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(bismillah)

السلام عليكم

Several of our companions from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Khalid from ibn Mahbub and `Ali b. al-Hakam from Mu`awiya b. Wahab.

He said: I heard Abu `Abdillah عليه السلام say: Verily, Allah revealed to Musa عليه السلام and sent down in the Torah, “I am Allah, there is no god except Me. I created the creation, and I created good and I made it run upon the hands of those I love. Tuba is for those in whose hands I made it run upon. And I am Allah, there is no god except Me. I created the creation, and I created evil and made it run upon the hands of whomever I wanted. So, woe to those upon whose hands I made it run". (al-Kafi, Volume 1, hadith 389)

(sahih) (صحيح) ---------

What do you think guys?

 

Its perfectly accurate (y) Reason being :

 

1. Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì Created Everything ........ the Universe, the Earth, the Seas, the Mountains, Man & Woman, Jinns from Smokeless Fire.... and all.

2. When he is the "Creator of Everything" he himself has the right and power over all things. Satan's banishment and punishment was Allah's doing. Allah banished Shaitan, and in doing so "created" a foe.

All evil is from Shaitan and when God created and punished Shaitan, he himself is responsible for the Evil and therfore rightly conveyed in the hadith and chapter above quoted.

 

I hope the answer was convincing for you.

Edited by xstatik2
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Its perfectly accurate (y) Reason being :

 

1. Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì Created Everything ........ the Universe, the Earth, the Seas, the Mountains, Man & Woman, Jinns from Smokeless Fire.... and all.

2. When he is the "Creator of Everything" he himself has the right and power over all things. Satan's banishment and punishment was Allah's doing. Allah banished Shaitan, and in doing so "created" a foe.

All evil is from Shaitan and when God created and punished Shaitan, he himself is responsible for the Evil and therfore rightly conveyed in the hadith and chapter above quoted.

 

I hope the answer was convincing for you.

 

I somewhat disagree with the second part of your post, and find it very uncomfortable. Not sure what lead you to make such a conclusion…. Astonishing really!

 

Sahitaan is not Allah’s foe, and neither is Shaitaan a source of evil and nor does he possess power to be equal in opposition and neither has he been punished by Allah.

 

Shaitaan did not accept the order of Allah to bow to Adam

Shaitaan was arrogant as he was made of greater matter

Shaitaan and Allah made a contract a pact, which allowed shaitaan to exist till the day of judgement and was granted permission to misguide the generations of Adam.

 

If you read the quran evil existed before the creation of Adam, when Sahaitaan was one of the most exhalted of creations.

 

2.30

And when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am about to place a viceroy in the earth, they said: Wilt thou place therein one who will do harm therein and will shed blood, while we, we hymn Thy praise and sanctify Thee? He said: Surely I know that which ye know not.

Edited by Mazloom Mahdi
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