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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Be_the_change

Evil God, Merciful God?

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Many times the preachers from the pulpits drill into the masses the importance of being thankful to the creator for giving us the opportunity to exist, to live in his kingdom, breath his air, enjoy his bounties. Yet believers in a personal God do not take into account the number of people who feel life is the biggest curse. Every forty seconds one person commits Suicide, and for every successful suicide completion there are 25 unsuccessful ones. Just ponder over this statistic for a while, it is mind boggling. Heck by the time you finish reading my post, a fellow human being somewhere in the world has just taken his own life, and numerous others have attempted but failed to end their misery.

How can a believer reconcile his beliefs in an omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient God when it seems millions and millions of people who are given the 'blessing' of life see it as the biggest curse and take the agonizing step to end their own life? (And let's not forget that suicide is one of the greater sins according to the abrahamic faiths which will lead to eternal damnation.)

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I dont know that 'suicide is one of the greater sins' is supported by the sources. The Quran doesnt just say 'dont kill yourself', it says after 'and whoever does that in aggression and injustice we will drive into the fire'. Which suggests that there is the prospect for mercy if your intentions arent to hurt others, but Allahu alam.

 

This is a subject ive struggled with myself actually. For many years i have said 'thank you for not giving us more than we can bear' every night before sleep and sometimes i think about the question 'Does God give us more than we can bear?'. My thinking tends to go like this:

 

It seems true that suffering makes people turn towards God, people who otherwise wouldnt turn towards God.

 

It would seem fair to say that if God is truly merciful he would respond to peoples earnest supplication to help them overcome there burdens/challenges.

 

Is allowing people to get to the point where theyre suicidal giving them more than they can bear?

 

if they got to that point and earnestly supplicated to God and he responded in some helpful way, then it seems that would not be an unjust situation to put them in because it ultimately led them to acknowledging God and turning towards Him and experiencing His grace/mercy.

 

Until the point at which someone has taken action to end their life you could say that God hasnt given them more then they can bear because, although theyre suffering, theyre bearing it. But when someone has attempted suicide or succeeded in it, can we then say God has given them more then they could bear?

 

the reality is they stopped bearing what God had allowed for them.

 

Some people have half-hearted attempts at suicide that are more of a cry for help, but some people are far more decisive; they jump in front of trains and off the top of tower blocks or shoot themselves in the head. At the point at which they took their lives they must have been certain that they wanted to end their suffering above all else, as they wouldnt have taken such decisive action that was overwhelmingly more likely to succeed than not (?)

 

how can we say that these people could have done otherwise when they were clearly so fixed on death as the answer?

 

Is it reasonable to assume that they couldnt have believed that there was any other way to stop their suffering given the evidence of their method of choice?

 

Can we assume that all these people refrained from earnestly supplicating to God before that fatal moment?

 

what ever occurred, they must have had little or no faith that they were going to be helped and may have thought they had compelling justifications for that point of view. If their minds had become so narrow in their perspectives, it would have taken an outside intervention (maybe the planting of a thought or an event in the world) to make the change needed for them to consider otherwise.

 

For the ones that succeed in their attempts we cant know what was going on in their mind or what they did and what their intentions were. For the ones that survive and get better we can say that God answered their prayers one way or another and there experience ultimately got them to a better place.

 

 

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Gratitude is important for mental and spiritual health its true, so i think it right that its emphasised in talks, but i dont think people always take the best approach when it comes to talking about mental health issues. When someone is depressed the last thing they need is someone either telling them 'if you kill yourself you'll go to hell' or 'you should be more grateful and count your blessings'. Spending time thinking of blessings is helpful, but its probably not going to undermine the deep seated beliefs people have about themselves and the world that are causing/fueling depression and other mental health issues. Sometimes mental wellness requires radical questioning and many people (religious and otherwise) find that prospect unnerving. You have to trust at the end of the day. In my experience radical questioning wont lead you away from God, rather the reverse and as believing people surely we should trust in that. Went off on a tangent there.

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^very well written Ruq, this question has also been haunting me for years now and my thought process regarding this issue follows a similar pattern to yours. I think the well eloquently piece written by you begs more questions than it does answers, as the verse in the Quran says a soul is never given a burden it cannot bear, however I can't help but wonder if I can get myself to believe this. It requires a great leap of faith to assume that all the people who committed suicide did not sincerely call upon the creator before the fatal moment, I mean if we were talking a few numbers then there might be a way to justify it, but out of the millions of people who commit suicide I am pretty certain a considerable amount will have called upon God to help them. Contrary to what people believe (suicide is an act of cowardice), I am inclined to believe that it requires a great deal of courage to end your life. The mental preparation, and carrying the act out is no easy task...I can't even imagine the pain one must be going through to be able to mentally and physically prepare themselves to jump off a cliff or hang themselves.

However I have to disagree with you when you say you're unsure if suicide being a greater sin is established by the sources. I think it's very well established that suicide is one of the greater sins, let me share with you a few of the sources. I will also quote the verse of the Quran that you are referring to in your post.

4:29- O you who have believed, do not consume one another's wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.

4:30-And whoever does that in aggression and injustice - then We will drive him into a Fire. And that, for Allah , is [always] easy.

Here are two Ṣaḥīḥ (Authentic) ḥadīth about the punishment for those who do intentionally kill themselves (i.e. suicide). The ḥadīth start with the same chain of narrators, but as they get closer to the respective compiler they branch off in different chains which is why I mentioned two chains.


مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنِ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ مَحْبُوبٍ عَنْ أَبِي وَلَّادٍ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ع يَقُولُ مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسَهُ مُتَعَمِّداً فَهُوَ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِداً

From Abī Walād said, I heard Abā `Abd Allāh (عليه السلام) say: “Whoever kills himself, intentionally, he is in the fire of hell (jahannam), eternally!”
Source:
1. Al-Kulaynī, Al-Kāfī, ed. `Alī Akbar al-Ghaffārī, 8 vols., (Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmiyyah, 3rd Edition, 1388 AH), vol. 7, pg. 45, hadeeth # 1
Grading:
1. Al-Majlisī said this hadeeth is Ṣaḥīḥ (Authentic)
à Mir’āt Al-`Uqūl, 26 vols., (Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmiyyah, 1410 AH), vol. 23, pg. 76


حدثني محمد بن موسى بن المتوكل قال حدثني عبد الله بن جعفر الحميري عن أحمد بن محمد عن الحسن بن محبوب عن أبي ولاد الحناط قال سمعت أبا عبد الله ع يقول من قتل نفسه متعمدا فهو في نار جهنم خالدا فيها

From Abī Walād al-Hanāt said, I heard Abā `Abd Allāh say: “Whoever kills himself, intentionally, he is in the fire of hell (jahannam), eternally!”
Source:
1. Al-Sadūq, Thawāb al-`Amāl wa `Iqāb al-`Amāl, (Qum: al-Manshūrāt al-Sharīf al-Raḍī, 2nd ed., 1406), pg. 276, ḥadīth # 1

Source: http://www.revivingalislam.com/2012/01/suicide-in-shia-islam.html

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That reconciliation would only be problematic if we stayed in this world in a forever limbo. But we will all have to leave it.

I agree with this. We all will face death which is ultimate reality. Commiting suicide whether through beliefs of holy wars or hate of life experiences and its pains or neither of these and just dying naturally, we all die so death is upon us all, why worry and make it such a big deal it happens to everything that lives.

You're question is of such questions that involve a wide range of factors, subjects, situations, states, ethics, lifestyles, financial, health, emotional issues, the evil the good, the guilt the inflicted and oppressed, theres soo many reasons each individual would go through to do what he/she does. a muslim believes each individual is judged by his lord on his/her own level. The punishment is not death but what occurs before and after it.

If all evil was destroyed, without giving it a chance and only goodness remained on earth then im sure you'd agree it would be a lonely

planet, and maybe we wouldnt be here, definitely would be a lonely shiachat site.... we are all here because we are given chance upon chance.

suicide is a name of taking a life so is murder. They are tackled and prevented by humans normally. These failures are within humans for not being able to help not failures in the creator who provided human with the tools to help. Its a topic thats alittle deeper. Pain, grief, ilness, hurt, is all part of life.

Theres alot more to be said on this just a very wide open topic. He swt is merciful and forgiving and is there even when youre alone, what kind of god is this caring,kind who watches over us even without our awareness. How beautiful is God who is the lord of the world yet feeds even the smallest of atoms.

Edited by alialiali

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Many times the preachers from the pulpits drill into the masses the importance of being thankful to the creator for giving us the opportunity to exist, to live in his kingdom, breath his air, enjoy his bounties. Yet believers in a personal God do not take into account the number of people who feel life is the biggest curse. Every forty seconds one person commits Suicide, and for every successful suicide completion there are 25 unsuccessful ones. Just ponder over this statistic for a while, it is mind boggling. Heck by the time you finish reading my post, a fellow human being somewhere in the world has just taken his own life, and numerous others have attempted but failed to end their misery.

How can a believer reconcile his beliefs in an omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient God when it seems millions and millions of people who are given the 'blessing' of life see it as the biggest curse and take the agonizing step to end their own life? (And let's not forget that suicide is one of the greater sins according to the abrahamic faiths which will lead to eternal damnation.)

 

What Rumi said should suffice all of us:

 

 

 

“Know that every suffering is a piece of death.

Drive death's part from yourself, if you can!

Since you cannot escape death's part, know that

its whole will pour down upon your head.

If death's part becomes sweet to you, know that

God will make the whole sweet.

Pains are the prophets of death.. Do not turn

away from the prophets oh worthless man.

Whoever lives sweetly will die in bitterness,

whoever worships the body will not win the spirit.”

 

--RUMI

 

Also it may help if we refelcted over the 4 Noble Truths of Buddhism:

 

1) Life is Suffering.

2) Suffering is the result of attachment(s).

3) In order to end suffering one must end attachment(s)

4) One puts an end to attachments by the following the Noble Eightfold Path which is:

 

eightfold-path.jpg

Edited by eThErEaL

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The greater the adversity, the greater the patience required. The more intense the patience is, the more beautiful it is,  and the more beautiful it is, the more beautiful the soul becomes. Of course God tries by the world people of different levels, but, the possibility of showing greater patience can create everlasting beauty and honor, and exalt you in rank.

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What Rumi said should suffice all of us:

 

 

 

“Know that every suffering is a piece of death.

Drive death's part from yourself, if you can!

Since you cannot escape death's part, know that

its whole will pour down upon your head.

If death's part becomes sweet to you, know that

God will make the whole sweet.

Pains are the prophets of death.. Do not turn

away from the prophets oh worthless man.

Whoever lives sweetly will die in bitterness,

whoever worships the body will not win the spirit.”

 

--RUMI

 

Also it may help if we refelcted over the 4 Noble Truths of Buddhism:

 

1) Life is Suffering.

2) Suffering is the result of attachment(s).

3) In order to end suffering one must end attachment(s)

4) One puts an end to attachments by the following the Noble Eightfold Path which is:

 

eightfold-path.jpg

I agree very nice.

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I'd like to thank everyone for their contribution to this thread.

Brother aliali, I have to disagree when you say why make suicide a big deal...if you read my previous post you will see the sources I have quoted which state that people who commit suicide will be eternally damned. So you cannot equate suicide to natural death as suicide in Islam is one of the greater sins.

One of the core tenents of Islam is divine justice and this is embodied by the verse in the Quran that states a soul will never be given a burden it cannot bear. This is the reconciliation that I have been referring to; if the number of people committing suicide were a few hundreds or thousands I myself wouldn't have an issue believing the verse, but as previously stated the number of people committing suicide is way way more than a few hundreds or thousands.

No one would want to take their own life unless they are In extreme agonizing pain. It's the hardest thing anyone can do. Yet suicide is quickly becoming one of the leading causes of death and one can't help but question the role of an omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God in giving life to people who see it as a curse and wish they never existed. To make matters worse, if this higher power is the one preached by abrahamic faiths then the poor souls have not only suffered in this transient world, but will also suffer in the hereafter!

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لا يسأل عما يفعل وهم يسألون


اولا : لا يمكن ان يأخذ رأيك قبل خلقك لانك غير موجود


ثانيا : شاء الله تعالى ان يخلقك في دار ممر لدار مقر ، وهذا الامر لا تدركه بالعقل بل هو نقلي لذلك ارسل الله الرسل ليخبروا الناس بالخطة الالهية التي وضعها الله لهم


يروى ان رسول الله ص اول ما جهر بالدعوة سأل الناس فقال أرأيتكم لو أخبرتكم أن خيلا تخرج بسفح هذا الجبل أكنتم مصدقي ؟  قالوا ما جربنا عليك كذبا قال فإني نذير لكم بين يدي عذاب شديد


وفي القران تفاصيل كثيرة حول هذه الخطة : منها (وجعلنا بعضكم لبعض فتنة  أتصبرون؟


ومنها : ولو يشاء الله لانتصر منهم ولكن ليبلوا بعضكم ببعض !)


ثالثا: شاء الله ان يجعلك حرا ، والحرية متوقفة على وجود خيارات ، وانت تتحمل خياراتك السيئة ، وان اخترت عدم الفاعلية في الحياة فهو ايضا خيار من الخيارات


 والبشرية تذوق وبال هذا الامر (اي اختيار عدم الفاعلية) فتجد ملايين من الناس غير فاعلين يحكمهم حفنة من الالوف وهم خاضعون لهم ويتهمون الله في عدله !! بدلا ان يفعلوا اللازم من دفع شر الاشرار ، هل ينتظرون ان يقوم الله بما كلفهم به؟ ما دورهم اذا؟ وما قيمة حريتهم؟


ورسالة الاسلام تركز على ان يكون المؤمن فاعلا غير خامل آمرا بالمعروف ناهيا عن المنكر


قال تعالى: ان تنصروا الله ينصركم


وقال: لا يغير الله ما بقوم حتى يغيروا ما بأنفسهم


لو تابعت حركة دخول الناس في الاسلام ودخول المسلمين في التشيع لايقنت ان الخطة الالهية تسير بشكل محكم والله متم نوره !

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Life is a gift from Allah swt it aught to be respected and given a purpose to which it needs to live and obey until an appointed time. Earth and its inhabitants are subject to the divine plan of Him who spins this universe.

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