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Why do bad things happen to good people?


Hi, I have an assignment on what Islam has to say about “Why do bad things happen to good people?” And I am supposed to use a Muslim thinker/theologian who speaks in detail about this topic. Do you know any thinker who speaks about good vs evil and who has written things regarding why do good people suffer while bad people thrive?


Salamun Alaykum

Thank you for your query.

First of all, all the people in the world suffer; because the world is a place of growth, you have to struggle to grow, the Quran also says: “certainly We created man in travail(Surah Balad/4).
Therefore, human beings were created in hardship, there is no difference between man, woman, believer, unbeliever, or Prophets.

Secondly, a believer also struggles to increase his faith(Iman) in addition to growth. If everything is easy, how do you know that his faith will not be destroyed by a gust and blow of wind?

If Allah tests us to make us grow, it is a mercy and not suffering but from our point of view, it looks like suffering whereas it is a blessing for us.

Thirdly, it is God’s tradition and practice(Sunnah) that whoever makes an effort will not be in vain. Even if a disbeliever puts in effort, God will not leave him without results. A believer will get double results with efforts and Tawakkul, but a believer without effort will not reach anywhere.

Fourthly, Good people do not necessarily suffer as you have mentioned. Yes, Allah(swt) wants to test His servants so there are different types of tests for the Momineen so they can pass their test and grow spiritually.

Remember, Gold is melted before giving beautiful shapes of rings or necklaces. In the same way, gold has to be melted in order to remove the impurities and give a proper and beautiful shape, the soul also has to grow and remove impurities to strengthen.

You had written:“Why do good people suffer while bad people thrive?”

That is not the general law made by God that we believe good people all suffer while bad people stay happy. Yes, we see bad people and rulers will be having a luxurious life which is the result of their wealth but at the same time, they will have different types of depression and stress. So, it is not a 100% rule that bad will not suffer. If they don’t suffer physically, they do suffer spiritually or mentally at times. Let’s say, even if they don’t suffer, it is because Dunya is everything to them and they will get what they want here and they will be deprived in the Hereafter.

Some of the books you can read about Justice and evil are as follows:

Divine Justice:

Evils, An Excerpt from Ayatullah Murtadha Mutahhari’s Divine Justice:

Divine justice or the problem of evil:

May Allah(swt) grant you success


Syed Haider