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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Islamic Theology

Muslims do not only believe that God is just good and omnipotent. Muslims believe that part of God’s names and attributes include ‘the Just’, ‘the Severe in Punishment’, ‘the Wise’, ‘the Avenger’, and ‘the Compassionate’, amongst many others. Muslim does not reduce God to parts, rather God is seen as one and unique in context of all his names and attributes. So if God was just good and omnipotent, then there may be problem in reconciling suffering and evil in the world. However if you include attributes such as ‘the Severe in Punishment’ and ‘the Wise’, these problems would not exist. Because perceived evil and suffering in the world can be due to,
• God’s punishment as a result of our sins and bad actions.
• God’s wisdom, as there may be divine wisdom in permitting evil and suffering. Even if we can’t evaluate what the wisdom is, it doesn’t mean it is not there. To argue such a thing would be a logical fallacy, known as the argument from ignorance (argumentum ad ignorantiam). The story of Khidr which can be found in the 18th chapter of Qur’an from verses 60 to 82 is an eloquent account of how God’s wisdom, whether understood or not, has positive results and benefits for humanity.
God has justified reasons to permit suffering and evil in the world. The intellectual richness of Islamic Theology provides us with many reasons, some of which include:
1. The primary purpose of the human being is not happiness rather it is to know and worship God. This fulfillment of the divine purpose will result in everlasting bliss and happiness. So if this is our primary purpose other aspects of human experience our secondary. The Qur’an, the book of the Muslims states: “I did not create either jinn or man except to worship Me.” [5]
2. God also created us for a test, and part of this test is to be tested with suffering and evil. The Qur’an mentions “The One Who created death and life, so that He may put you to test, to find out which of you is best in deeds: He is the all-Almighty, the all-Forgiving” [6]
3. Having hardship and suffering enables us to realise and know God’s attributes such as ‘the Victorious’ and ‘the Healer’. For example without the pain and suffering of illness we would not appreciate the attribute of God being ‘the Healer’. Knowing God is a greater good, and worth the experience of suffering or pain as it will mean the fulfillment of our primary purpose.
4. Suffering allows 2nd order good. 1st order good is physical pleasure and happiness and 1st order evil is physical pain and sadness. 2nd order goodness is elevated goodness such as courage and can only happen if suffering or evil exist. [7]
5. People can also suffer from past, present or future sins. God has knowledge of everything which is not contingent on time. Please refer to the story of Khidr in the Qur’an where it mentions Khidr’s reply to Prophet Moses “All this was done as a mercy from your Lord. What I did was not done by my own will. That is the interpretation of those actions which you could not bear to watch with patience.”[8]
6. God has given us free will, and free will includes choosing evil acts. [9]

In the outskirt of Jehlum (Pakistan), real brother and sister got married with eatch other. Father went franzic, cried, and went to police to register a police case against both brother and sister for marrying each other. Police registered FIR under Pak Penal Code 365-B that deals with Kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel for marriage etc.
According to Abrahamic religions, first couple of human being was Adam and Eve. Now, if this story is true, then daughters and sons of Adam and Eve had to have gone through physical relationships to increase human population. Many call it incest other call it need of the time.
Now a logical question arises that if brothers and sisters can have sexual relationship back then in Adam and Eve’s presence, then why to register a FIR against Neo-Son and Daughter of Adam and Eve when they got married in first place? And so far as the concern of Pakistan Penal Code act 1860, it does not ban a brother marrying his sister.