The justice of Allahu ta’âlâ
Question: Because what God does is contrary to my reason, I do not believe in Him. God is testing us by force. For example, if I go to school and pass the examinations, I will graduate and receive a diploma. If I do not go to school, I will not graduate. Here I have a choice: I will attend school, or I will not attend it. However, when I was born and when I was put the examination of servitude, I was not asked anything regarding it. If I had been asked, I would in no way have taken it. I may have preferred to be an animal or soil. Is it compatible with justice that I was created without being asked and then I will be called to account? How can such a god be just?
The justice of Allahu ta’âlâ is unlike the justice among human beings. As it is wrongly likened to the justice among humans, the matter cannot be settled.
The justice among humans means to act within the limits of laws and regulations established by someone predominant or a ruler in order to govern a country. And injustice means to go beyond these laws.
Allahu ta’âlâ, who created everything out of nothing, is the Ruler of rulers, the true Owner and the only Creator of everything. He does not have a commander or an owner above Him to hold Him liable to some laws. For this reason, one cannot say, “Allah’s such and such deed is not compatible with justice.”
“To use what is one’s own property” is another definition of justice. And injustice means to trespass on other’s property or possessions.
Since Allahu ta’âlâ is the Creator of the universe and all that is in it, since there is no Creator other than He, since nobody possesses anything, whatever our Rabb does is not an act of trespassing on other’s property or possessions. Concerning the deeds of Allahu ta’âlâ, it cannot be said, “They are incompatible with justice.” He can make a formerly unlawful thing lawful later, and vice versa. Everything belongs to Him, and He can use it at will. No one has any rights to question Him.
If Allahu ta’âlâ had willed, He could have created you to be a cat or a dog. Then would you have had the right to ask the reason why He had created you to be an animal? We buy, for example, sugar at the grocer’s. Some people use this sugar in tea while some others use it to make dessert and eat it. Does sugar have a right to say anything? Can sugar question people why some people use it in tea and why others use it to make dessert? Since sugar is mine, I can use it at will. Nobody has any rights to ask why I have used it in dessert.
Everything, living or lifeless, animals or humans, belongs to Allah. He can use them as He wishes. No one can ask anything. It is He, too, who has bestowed the faculty of speech upon us. He is the Possessor of sovereignty. He, alone, is the Creator of everything from nothing. He says that He will put those who do such and such deeds into Hell and that He will put those who do such and such deeds in Paradise. So He has put us to the test. He will send those who pass the test to Paradise, but He will send those who fail the test to Hell. In fact, He could have put whomever He wills in Hell and whomever He wills in Paradise without testing them at all. It cannot be said to be incompatible with justice because all things are His. If Allahu ta’âlâ put all the created in Hell, it would not be injustice, either. But He, out of His mercy, has declared that He will put those who do such and such deeds in Paradise, which is a favor. If He put us in Hell, could we say anything? Could we raise an objection? Even if we raised an objection, were there anything to be gained?
Some passages from the answer given by Sayyid ‘Abdulhakîm Arwâsî to an atheist are as follows:
1. When you mean to commit a sin, do not eat the food He gives! Does it befit you to eat His food and to disobey Him?
2. When you want to rebel against Him, go out of His domain! Does it befit you to eat His food and to disobey Him?
3. When you want to disobey Him, do not sin where He sees you! Is it appropriate to be in His domain, to eat His food, and then to sin where He sees you?
4. When the Angel of Death comes to take away your soul, ask him to wait until you repent! Repent before he comes, while you are able, and you have the chance at this very hour, for the Angel of Death comes unexpectantly.
5. On the Day of Resurrection, when it is said: “Sinners, go to Hell!” can you say that you will not?
As you have not come out of nonexistence to this world of existence by yourself, so you cannot go there by yourself. Your eyes, your ears, your other organs, all the roads you will pass, all the places you will be, in short, all the members and systems connected with your body and soul, all of them, are Allahu ta’âlâ’s possessions and creatures. You cannot misappropriate anything from Him! He sees, knows, hears, and every moment He keeps in existence everything that exists. Even for a moment, He is never unaware of the state of all things, nor does He ever fail to control all of them. He does not let anybody steal His property. He is never incapable of punishing those who disobey His commands.
The purport of a hadîth-i qudsî is as follows:
(If [all of] your ancestors and descendants, the young and the old, the alive and the dead, human beings and genies were like My most devoted, Most obedient human creature, My greatness would not be increased. Conversely, if you all were like My enemy, who opposes Me and despises My prophets, My greatness would not ever decrease. Allahu ta’âlâ is free from needing you; He needs none of you. As for you, in order that you might exist and keep on existing and everything you do, you always need Him.) [Muslim]
Operating the machine of your body, He hands it over to you so that you may use and utilize it conveniently. He does all these things not because He needs you, your will, or help, but to make you happy by giving you a distinguished position and authority among His creatures. If instead of leaving it your hands, your feet, and all your limbs, which you can use according to your wish, He used them without you knowing it, as is the case with the beating of your heart and the circulation of your blood, if He controlled you by force, with reflex actions, with paralyzed hand or feet, if each of your actions were a vibration, what could you do?
Do you think of your state before and after you were born?
Where were you, in what were you, during the creation of this globe, on which you live, eat and drink, go about, amuse and divert yourself? On this planet, you have discovered the means that are remedies for your diseases and the ways of defending yourself against the attacks of your enemies and the harms of wild and poisonous animals. Where were you while the stones and soil of this globe were being baked on fires in the ovens of creation and while its water and air were being distilled in the chemistry laboratories of the Omnipotence? Have you ever thought: Where were you while the lands, which you claim to be yours today, were gliding away from the seas, while mountains, rivers, plateaus and hills were being laid down? Where and how were you while, with Allahu ta’âlâ’s omnipotence, the salty waters of the seas evaporated and formed clouds in the sky, while the rains, falling from those clouds, took substances [of nourishment prepared by lightning and waves of power and energy in the sky] into the motes of burnt, dried soil, and while these substances, stirred, vibrated and nourished the cells of life?