What would happen if all people were equal?
Question: There are people who say, “Allah has created some people healthy and some others disabled, some people tall and some others as dwarfs, some people beautiful and some others ugly, some people rich and some others poor, some people as Whites and some others as Blacks, some people sane and some others insane. Would it not have been better if He had created all people equal?” I replied, “Allah creates what is the best. If it had been better, He would have created them equal. It means that behind it there are things that are unknown to us.” But they have not been satisfied with my answers. What should I say?
You gave them the best answer. There is no answer better than yours. If the purpose of the creation of humans is not known, the reasons for the events taking place in this world cannot be understood. Allahu ta’âlâ created this and the next worlds for Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm, who is His beloved born servant and messenger. He created the other living and lifeless creatures for people to make use of. The world has not been created for pleasures and tastes. The next world, on the other hand, is the eternal place where reward and punishment will be given. This world is a place of trial for the next world. If all people were equal in every respect, the trial would be meaningless, and the bad could not be distinguished from the good. We will face various trials and tribulations in observing Allah’s commandments and prohibitions. Thus, the obedient will be distinguished from the disobedient.
Humans were not created like a lifeless being, like grass, or like an animal. They were created for servitude [to Allah] and trial. If they had been created unneedy of anything, free from worries, and flawless in every respect, this world and the trial would have been meaningless. When the actions and the dumbfounding systems of humans, animals, and the other living and lifeless beings in the universe are observed, there is no room for the thought that our Almighty Lord created this world aimlessly.
Hadrat Imâm-i Rabbânî declares:
“If humans did not suffer cares and disasters in the world, they would not appreciate the endless tastes in Paradise, nor would they appreciate the blessing of endless comfort and health. One who does not suffer hunger will not get pleasure from eating. One who does not suffer difficulties will not appreciate comfort.”
If everyone were the same in all points, it would be a disaster, and there would not be societies. If all people were the same in all aspects, such as in height, color, shape, intelligence, wealth, health, strength, beauty, and morals, it would be impossible to differentiate people from one another. A husband and a wife could not recognize each other, and a man could not discriminate his daughter from his wife. Consequently, life would be paralyzed. The existence of this shape similarity alone would cause thousands of problems to come up. Before we witness and experience equality in other fields, life would collapse.
If everyone were identical in knowledge and culture, there would be no need for newspapers, books, or films. There would be no such sports as wrestling, running, and swimming, for everyone would be of the same talent.
The value of the good is understood when there is the bad. If everybody were good, then the value of the good would cease to exist. But for ugliness and illness, the value of beauty and health could not be appreciated.
People want to get a good education and to be perfect individuals in every respect. If all people were the same, who would be higher? There cannot be a society without chiefs, civil servants, employees, and bosses.
The disadvantages of equality in all respects are too many to count. Therefore, Allahu ta’âlâ created everything with justice and with a purpose. When there is justice, activities go properly. For example, if the five fingers were the same or if the thumb were in between the others, we could not use them as efficiently as we do now, and it would be a great defect.
Being created with justice cannot even be compared with being created equal. The creation of children with different levels of intelligence and innate abilities from the same parents, the absence of resemblance in billions of people, even in their fingerprints, testify to Allahu ta’âlâ’s unlimited power. He is all-powerful and sublimely exalted in glory.
Interfering in others’ affairs
Question: Atheists say, “Some people’s being created to be dwarfs, disabled, or ugly is injustice. Everything should have been created in a good and equal form.” What answer should we give them?
Answers to a similar question were given in the article above. The purport of an âyah (Qur’anic verse) is as follows:
(The Jews and the Christians will never be pleased with you unless you follow their religions.) [Sûrat-ul-Baqara, 120]
Likewise, even if we put forth all the proofs on all subjects and prove them, they will not love the Muslims and will go on speaking ill of Islam unless we accept their religion, that is, atheism.
Does a snake have the right to say, “Why did You create me as a snake? You should have created me as a lion.”
Does the lion, in turn, have the right to say, “Why did You create me as an animal? Would it not be better if You had created me as a human?”
The case is the same with every animal. The pig, the ant, the scorpion, and the fly may say similar things.
Is it appropriate for the poor to question Allah why He did not create them rich?
If a man says, “Today what counts is beauty and richness. Why didn’t You create me as a woman?” is it appropriate? He may have created him as a pig or a dog.
Is it appropriate if a woman says, “I wish to be a strong wrestler. Why didn’t You create me as a man?”
Can a Black say, “Why didn’t You create me as a White?”
It is possible to multiply such examples, even to say the exact opposite of everything. If a farm owner, for instance, puts the animals of the same kind into a separate sanctuary or if he builds different sanctuaries for each or if he puts some kinds of animals into the same stable, can anyone raise any objections? Or if he jugulates a lamb or a chicken and eats it, can anyone say anything? For those animals belong to that man, and he, in turn, can feed them as he wishes and kill and eat whichever he wants. Everything in the universe belongs to Allahu ta’âlâ and He can use it at will. Nobody can interfere in His work. If He used another person’s property, then injustice would be the topic of discussion. No one can interfere in another’s private affairs.