Why does Allah allow suffering and evil in the world?
By: Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi
Indeed Allah is All-Powerful (Al-`Aziz) and He is able to do all things (Allahu ‘ala kuli shayin qadir). The Quran has mentioned this hundreds of times. It is also mentioned in the Quran that Allah is the Creator and He is the Best Creator. Glory be to Allah, the best Creator. (Al-Mu’minoon: 14)
But then the question comes why do pain and sufferings exist in the world. We find sickness, old age and death. We see things that are ugly, people who are insane and foolish. There are storms, earthquakes, floods, draught and famine. We also see people commit sins, show disloyalty, unfaithfulness, greed and insincerity. We see people commit rapes, murders; they fight and make wars. We know all these and many more problems. There are evils caused by human beings and there are natural disasters. There are suffering for individuals and there are those that involve a large number of people.
But we also know that this is not the whole story. Besides all these negative things, we also see beauty, health, prosperity, life, birth, wisdom, intelligence, growth and progress. We also see goodness among people, faith, sincerity, charity, love and the spirit of sacrifice. We also see a lot of virtue and piety. It is wrong to see one side of the coin and not to see the other side. Any philosophy that concentrates on one aspect of the creation and denies or ignores the other side is partially true and partial truths are no truth at all.
When a test comes to you
By: Shaykh Tawfique Chowdhury
When a test comes to you:
1. Know that everything is by Qadr of Allah
2. Remember that other people have bigger problems than you
3. Remember the death of the Prophet (pbuh), the greatest calamity the Ummah faced
4. Maybe through this trial, Allah has saved you from an even bigger trial.
5. Through this trial Allah will remove some of your sins
6. Through this trial Allah has opened up a huge world of ibadah like sabr, salah, repentance etc
7. With this trial, Allah is putting you on the path of the Prophets. It is a confirmation that Allah loves you. The more Allah loves somebody, the more he tests them.”
Meanings of the word fitnah in the Quran
By: Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid
Praise be to Allaah.
Definition of fitnah:
1 – The word fitnah from a linguistic point of view:
Al-Azhari said: “The Arabic word fitnah includes meanings of testing and trial. The root is taken from the phrase fatantu al-fiddah wa’l-dhahab (I assayed (tested the quality of) the silver and gold), meaning I melted the metals to separate the bad from the good. Similarly, Allaah says in the Qur’aan (interpretation of the meaning): ‘(It will be) a Day when they will be tried [yuftanoona] (punished, i.e. burnt) over the Fire!’ [al-Dhaariyaat 51:13], meaning, burning them with fire.” (Tahdheeb al-Lughah, 14/196).
Ibn Faaris said: “Fa-ta-na is a sound root which indicates testing or trial.” (Maqaayees al-Lughah, 4/472). This is the basic meaning of the word fitnah in Arabic.
Ibn al-Atheer said: “Fitnah: trial or test… The word is often used to describe tests in which something disliked is eliminated. Later it was also often used in the sense of sin, kufr (disbelief), fighting, burning, removing and diverting.” (al-Nihaayah, 3/410. Ibn Hajar said something similar in al-Fath, 13/3).
Ibn al-A’raabi summed up the meanings of fitnah when he said: “Fitnah means testing, fitnah means trial, fitnah means wealth, fitnah means children, fitnah means kufr, fitnah means differences of opinion among people, fitnah means burning with fire.” (Lisaan al-‘Arab by Ibn Manzoor).
2 – Meanings of the word fitnah in the Qur’aan and Sunnah:
1- Testing and trial, as in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: ‘We believe, and will not be tested [la yuftanoon]” [al-‘Ankaboot 29:2]
i.e., that they will not be subjected to trial, as Ibn Jareer said.
2- Blocking the way and turning people away, as in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“but beware of them lest they turn you [yaftinooka] (O Muhammad) far away from some of that which Allaah has sent down to you” [al-Maa’idah 5:49]
Al-Qurtubi said: this means blocking your way and turning you away.
3- Persecution, as in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“Then, verily, your Lord for those who emigrated after they had been put to trials [futinoo] and thereafter strove hard and fought (for the Cause of Allaah) and were patient, verily, your Lord afterward is, Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful” [al-Nahl 16:110]
Put to trial means persecuted.
4- Shirk and kufr, as in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allaah)” [al-Baqarah 2:193]
Ibn Katheer said: this means shirk (worshipping others besides Allaah).
5- Falling into sin and hypocrisy, as in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“(The hypocrites) will call the believers: “Were we not with you?” The believers will reply: “Yes! But you led yourselves into temptations [fatantum anfusakum], you looked forward for our destruction; you doubted (in Faith) and you were deceived by false desires” [al-Hadeed 57:14]
Al-Baghawi said: i.e., you made yourselves fall into hypocrisy and you destroyed yourselves by means of sin and whims and desires.
6- Confusing truth with falsehood, as in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“And those who disbelieve are allies of one another, (and) if you (Muslims of the whole world collectively) do not do so [i.e. become allies, as one united block under one Khaleefah (a chief Muslim ruler for the whole Muslim world) to make victorious Allaah’s religion of Islamic Monotheism], there will be Fitnah (wars, battles, polytheism) and oppression on the earth, and a great mischief and corruption (appearance of polytheism)”[al-Anfaal 6:73]
What this means is that “unless believers are taken as close friends instead of disbelievers, even if they are relatives, there will be fitnah on earth, i.e., truth will be confused with falsehood.” This is how it is explained in Jaami’ al-Bayaan by Ibn Jareer.
7- Misguidance, as in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“And whomsoever Allaah wants to put in Al‑Fitnah (error, because of his rejecting of Faith), you can do nothing for him against Allaah” [al-Maa’idah 5:41]
The meaning of fitnah here is misguidance. Al-Bahr al-Muheet by Abu Hayaan, 4/262.
8- Killing and taking prisoners, as in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“if you fear that the disbelievers may put you in trial [yaftinakum] (attack you)”
This refers to the kaafirs attacking the Muslims whilst they are praying and prostrating, in order to kill them or take them prisoner, as stated by Ibn Jareer.
9- Difference among people and lack of agreement, as in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“and they would have hurried about in your midst (spreading corruption) and sowing sedition among you [yabghoonakum al-fitnah]” [al-Tawbah 9:47]
i.e., they would have stirred up differences amongst you, as it says in al-Kashshaaf, 2/277.
10-Insanity, as in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“Which of you is afflicted with madness (maftoon)” [al-Qalam 68:6] Here it means madness.
11-Burning with fire, as in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, those who put into trial [fatanoo] the believing men and believing women (by torturing them and burning them)”[al-Burooj 85:10]
Ibn Hajar said: the meaning may be understood from the context. (al-Fath 11/176)
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: With regard to the “fitnah” which Allaah attributes to Himself or which His Messenger attributes to Him, as in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning), ‘Thus We have tried [fatannaa] some of them with others’ [al-An’aam 6:53] and the words of Moosa, ‘It is only Your trial [fitnatuka] by which You lead astray whom You will’ [al-A’raaf 7:155 – interpretation of the meaning], that carries a different meaning, which is a test or trial from Allaah to His slaves by means of good things and bad, blessings and calamities. This is one thing; the fitnah of the mushrikeen is another thing; the fitnah or trial of the believer by means of his wealth, children and neighbour is another thing; the fitnah (tribulation, differences) that happen amongst the Muslims, like the fitnah that happened between the supporters of ‘Ali and Mu’awiyah, and between him and the people of the camel, and between Muslims when they fight one another or boycott one another, is another thing. (Zaad al-Ma’aad, vol. 3, p. 170).
Your life is a test
A great quote to reflect on. Many people ask themselves, “why me, and what is this life, that I was given, all about”? But the purpose is that the life of any human being on this earth is a test. And when we die, we will get the result of the test that we have completed. Remember; “During exams, the teacher is always silent”. So be careful with your life choices, otherwise you won’t get your diploma! I want to end this short article with the point that “Life is good, at any given time. This life isn’t a punishment.” #peace
Nouman Ali Khan: Punishments Versus Tests (Quran Weekly)
When hardship befalls you, how do you figure out if it’s a test or punishment from Allah?
More Quran Weekly video’s…
Want better exam results? Take notes on paper NOT a laptop!
By: Elliot Davies
Students who write notes by hand during lectures perform better on exams than those who use laptops, according to a new study – even when the computers are disconnected from the Internet to avoid distractions.
In fact not only do handwritten notes appear to help students better understand lectures right away, but they may also lead to superior revision in the future.
Students are increasingly using laptops for note-taking because of the speed and legibility they confer. But research into how note-taking affects students’ academic performance has found that laptop users are less able to remember and apply the concepts they have been taught, despite making more notes than students who write by hand.
The study was carried out by Daniel Oppenheimer, an associate professor of psychology at the University of California, and Pam Mueller, a psychology graduate student at Princeton University. They performed a series of experiments that aimed to find out whether using a laptop increased the tendency to make notes “mindlessly” by transcribing word for word.
In the first test, students were given either a laptop (disconnected from the Internet) or pen and paper. They all listened to the same lectures and were told to use their usual note-taking strategy. 30 minutes after the end of the talk, they were examined on their ability to recall facts and on how well they understood concepts.
The researchers found that laptop users took nearly twice as many notes as those who wrote by hand, which can be useful. However, the typists performed considerably worse at remembering and applying the concepts they had been taught. Both groups scored similarly when it came to memorizing facts.
The researchers’ report said: “While more notes are beneficial, at least to a point, if the notes are taken indiscriminately or by mindlessly transcribing content, as is more likely the case on a laptop, the benefit disappears.
“Verbatim note-taking, as opposed to more selective strategies, signals less encoding of content.”
In another experiment aimed at testing long-term recall, students took notes as before but were tested a week after the lecture, with a chance to revise beforehand. This time, the students who wrote notes by hand performed significantly better at both parts of the exam – even though some of the faster typists had managed to transcribe most of the lecture verbatim.
Taken together these two studies suggest that handwritten notes are not only better for immediate learning and understanding, but that they also help embed information for future reference.
In a final test, the researchers specifically told some of the laptop users not to take verbatim notes. The students were told that “people who take class notes on laptops when they expect to be tested on the material later tend to transcribe what they’re hearing without thinking about it much”.
But despite being explicitly aware of the potential pitfalls, members of this group still got lower scores in both parts of the exam, suggesting that taking notes by hand really is a superior technique.
The findings will be published in a paper called “The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note-Taking” in the Psychological Science journal.