DunyaDivine Justice
Do people really face consequences for their actions as it is a common observation that wrongdoers are more blessed in this world?
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Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from ANU, Canberra. He has written and translated several Islamic texts and also prepared educational videos on Islamic rulings and practices. 494 Questions Answered & 3 Days Average Response Time.
Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD from the University of Exeter in the philosophical and mystical readings of Mulla Sadra in the context of the schools of Tehran and Qum. 354 Questions Answered & 6 Days Average Response Time.
Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to religious questions. In the past, he has also spent significant time in India guiding the community. 2697 Questions Answered & 7 Days Average Response Time.
Hassanain Govani, Hassanain Govani is based in Sweden and has an MA in History of Religion from Uppsala University and an MA in Islamic Studies from the Islamic College of London, and has also studied Arabic in Damascus. He has a position as project secretary at SST, the committee for state support for religious communities. 7 Questions Answered & 54 Days Average Response Time.
Abbas Di Palma, Shaykh Abbas Di Palma holds a BA and an MA degree in Islamic Studies, and certifications from the Language Institute of Damascus University. He has also studied traditional Islamic sciences in London, Damascus and Qom and taught for different institutions in Italy and UK. 208 Questions Answered
Seyed Ali Shobayri, Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the Islamic College of London. He also studied at the Hawza Ilmiyya of England and continues Hawza and Islamic studies with private teachers. 149 Questions Answered
Rebecca Masterton, Dr Rebecca Masterton graduated with a BA in Japanese Language and Literature; an MA in Comparative East Asian and African Literature and a PhD in Islamic literature of West Africa. She has been teaching for seventeen years through different media, and has also worked in media for ten years, producing and presenting programs for several TV channels. 97 Questions Answered
Sayyed Muhammad Husaini Ragheb, Sayyed Muhammad Husaini Ragheb has a BA in Law from Guilan University, Iran and has also undertaken Hawzah studies in Qom. He is a Cultural Affairs director of Ethics Group of Al-Mustafa Open University and has also taught Arabic conversation at Masoomieh school. 67 Questions Answered
Abolfazl Sabouri, Abolfazl Sabouri is based in New Zealand and has an MA in Jurisprudence and Islamic Studies. He is a graduate of Elmiyeh seminary in Qom with more than 15 years of study and research where he has also taught Tafsir, Theology and Jurisprudence. 43 Questions Answered
Mateen Charbonneau, Sheikh Mateen Joshua Charbonneau achieved a certificate from Harvard University in Islamic Studies. He undertook Howza classes under esteemed scholars since 2013 and has been teaching at Imam Mahdi Howza since 2017. He has compiled and published several books, has filmed several documentaries on Islamic subjects and has also promoted Islamic propagation in US jails. 39 Questions Answered
Zeinab Donati, Zeinab Donati has been studying books about various Islamic subjects for more than 19 years. She is deeply interested in history and politics as well as social issues in particular those pertaining to women. 25 Questions Answered
Nour Tessie Jørgensen, Nour Tessie Jørgensen has an MA in Islamic studies from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and a degree in Philosophy of Ethics at Al Mustafa International University in Qum, Iran. She works as an Islamic Studies teacher and a counselor in spiritual and female-related issues. 18 Questions Answered
Saleem Bhimji, Shaykh Saleem Bhimji was born and raised in Canada. After completing his post-secondary education at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), he moved to Medina, New York, to study at the Imam al-Asr Theological Seminary. He later continued his religious studies at the Hawza of Qum. To date he has translated over 40 full-length books into English that have been printed worldwide. 15 Questions Answered
Mohammad Saeed Bahmanpour, Sheikh Mohammad Saeed Bahmanpour is lecturer of Islamic Studies at the Islamic College for Advanced Studies, London, and a visiting lecturer at the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Oriental Studies. He was raised in Iran and holds a BA and an MA in Sociology from Allameh Tabatabai University, Tehran. He has also studied at Queen Mary College London and the London School of Economics. 15 Questions Answered
Vinay Khetia, Shaikh Vinay Khetia has studied at various traditional Islamic seminaries in London, Iraq and Syria. He has an undergraduate degree in Religious and Near Eastern Studies from the University of Toronto and an M.A. in the History and Philosophy of Religion from Concordia University. He is a PhD Candidate in the department of Religious Studies at McMaster University with a focus on the intellectual history of Islam and specifically Shi'ism. 14 Questions Answered
Abbas Jaffer, Sheikh Abbas Jaffer is an optometrist by profession and has a Master’s degree in Islamic Sciences. He is a part time lecturer at the Islamic College in London and is currently writing his doctoral thesis on the challenges faced by educators of young Muslims in modern day Britain. He has also co-authored a book on Qur’anic sciences for the Islamic College as well as translating several works from Persian into English. 14 Questions Answered
Seyed Ali Musawi, Seyed Ali Musawi studied religion and history at the University of California, San Diego and subsequently he studied for more than 8 years at the Islamic Seminary in Qum, Iran, focusing on Islamic history and jurisprudence. 11 Questions Answered
Masuma Jaffer, Dr Masuma Jaffer is a qualified dentist, with a Masters in Islamic Studies and has also attended Hawza in Qum. She obtained a PGCE - teaching qualification – and has taught Hawza studies at the Islamic College in London. She also has a Diploma in Counselling and is a Qualified Chaplain and worked with women prisoners at Holloway and with Hertfordshire Police advising them on Muslim matters. 10 Questions Answered
Seyed Saied Alavi, Seyed Saied Alavi is a researcher based in Qom who has studied from the Howzah of Qom and also completed a Pastoral studies program. He is currently a university lecturer in the fields of Shia Theology and the History of Religions as well as other subjects. 9 Questions Answered
Mohammed Al-Hilli, Sheikh Mohammed Al-Hilli, originally from Iraq, has a Masters in Pharmacy from the University of London. He completed his Hawza degree from the ICAS in London under the supervision of Ayatollah Fadhil Milani, and also has an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University via the Islamic College. He is a teacher at the Hawza Programme at Islamic College in London. 8 Questions Answered
Shyrose Jaffer Dhalla, Zakira Shyrose Jaffer Dhalla is a graduate of York University in Canada from where she obtained a BA in Psychology and Sociology and a Masters in the field of Education. She lectures on Islam at mosques, universities, churches and interfaith gatherings and also recites majalises in Urdu, English and Gujarati. A published freelance writer, playwright, motivational speaker and Anti-Racist Educational Counsellor by profession, she conducts workshops on Race and Cultural sensitivity and often appears on TV program panels and radio talk shows to speak on Race Relations. 4 Questions Answered
Syed Nabi Raza Abidi, Syed Nabi Raza Abidi is based in the US and has a PhD in Theology and Philosophy having attended Howzah in Iran for several years. His research was conducted under the guidance of Ayatollah Ja'far Subhani. He has also taught various subjects such as Usul, Fiqh, Philosophy, and Tafseer in different Islamic schools. 3 Questions Answered
Sayed Mohammad Saleh Qazwini, Sayed Mohammad Saleh Qazwini has a BA from the University of Michigan and an MA from Wayne State University. He is a graduate of the Islamic Seminary of Qom, Iran. 3 Questions Answered
Mohammad Zakaria, Mohammad Zakaria is a senior lecturer at the Islamic College where he specialises in Research methodology and Islam's Education Philosophy and Teacher Training. His doctoral work focused on the intersection between Race, Human Rights and Education. 2 Questions Answered
Jerrmein Abu Shahba, Jerrmein Abu Shahba is originally from Egypt and has a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a masters in Chemistry from Rutgers State University in the US. She is actively involved in many Islamic projects that include organizing annual youth camps, teaching Islamic subjects, writing articles and translating texts from Arabic. 2 Questions Answered
Hamid Waqar, Shaykh Hamid Waqar was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and converted to Islam at the age of sixteen. He started his Islamic studies in the year 2001 in Beirut and, a year later, moved to Qum where he has been studying since. He currently studies at the highest levels of Islamic jurisprudence, translates many books and runs the Muntazar website. 2 Questions Answered
Shahid Pradhan, Shahid Pradhan is a graduate of Al-Mustafa International University, Qum. He is an activist and interested in Indian and international political and social issues. 1 Question Answered
Berak Hussain, Berak Hussain is a Registered Psychotherapist (RP) in Canada. She has a BA in Psychology and a Masters in Educational Counseling from the University of Ottawa. She speaks on a variety of Islamic and psychological issues bridging the connection and misconceptions around Islam and mental health and Islam and women. She has worked locally and internationally on a variety of mental health initiatives working tirelessly to break the stigma around the topic within the community. 1 Question Answered
Faiyaz Jaffer, Shaykh Faiyaz Jaffer is the Associate Chaplain and Research Scholar at the Islamic Center at New York University. He attained an MA degree in Islamic Studies (UK), with a concentration on early Islamic history, after his undergraduate degree from SUNY Stony Brook University in Political Science and Religious Studies. In pursuing the classical course of Islamic education, Faiyaz has studied in the Seminary of Karbala, Iraq. 1 Question Answered
Nasim Walji Pirmohamed, Nasim Walji Pirmohamed is a religious lecturer and a teacher in Islamic Religious Education, Holy Qur'an and Arabic language. She has translated works from Persian to English, and has been very active in working for the improvement of women’s condition and their mental health across many countries. 1 Question Answered
Sayed Mohammedhassan Alsheraa, Sayed MohammedHassan Alsheraa attended the Hawzah in Detroit, Michigan, in the United States. Thereafter he continued his Islamic studies in the Hawza of Karbala, Iraq. Alongside his Hawza studies, he is also a student of political science at the University of Michigan, USA. 1 Question Answered
Amir De Martino, Amir De Martino is of Italian origin and has an MA in Islamic Studies from the Islamic College and a combined BA degree in Persian Language and Studies of Religion from SOAS in London. He has also obtained a PGCE in Social Research Methods from the Department of Education at Roehampton University as part of his preparation for doctoral studies, and is a member of Westminster’s Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education.No Questions Answered
Anwar Jaffer, Born and raised in London, Sheikh Anwar Jaffer has a Bsc in Economics and Finance from Queen Mary University of London. In 2010 he began his religious studies in Najaf and transferred to Qom in 2015 where he currently resides with his family. No Questions Answered
Greg Sowden, Ali Mahdi Greg Sowden studied world history at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Since then he has been a student at Al-Mustafa International University in Qom, in the Islamic Republic of Iran.No Questions Answered
Jaffer Ali Ladak, Shaykh Jaffer Ali Ladak is from Milton Keynes in the UK and has studied at Jami'a Imam as-Sadiq (a) Hawza Imam al-Jawad (a) in Karbala and at Al Mahdi Institute in Birmingham. He is currently completing his Masters Degree in Islamic Law at the Islamic College in London. He has also authored a book on Lady Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Imam Ali (a).No Questions Answered
Ayub Rashid, Shaykh Ayub Rashid is a graduate of the Islamic Seminary of Qom, Iran. He has a BA in Islamic law and MA in Islam and Community Studies from the UK and is also a qualified Muslim Chaplain from the Markfield Institute of Higher Education in Leicester.No Questions Answered
Amina Inloes,

Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the Islamic College in London and also the Managing Editor of the Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies.

544 Answers
Mahmood Abu Maryam,

Trying to make sense of it all...

48 Answers
Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answer updated 3 years ago

Allah is just. However, Allah's justice crosses this world and the next. When we are suffering, there is an aspect due to fate or what Allah has decreed, there is aspect due to Allah's testing people, there is an aspect due to divine punishment, and there is an aspect due to free will and bringing things upon ourselves. 

It is often asked why people who are faithless, immoral, or even evil sometimes seem to flourish in this world, whereas oftentimes those who are faithful or good suffer.

First, Allah responds to what people genuinely want and seek (even if people are wrongdoers). Some people only want worldly enjoyment or position even if it harms others, and they attain that. However, as a natural cause and effect relationship, it causes them misery in the afterlife. In fact, it often causes them misery in this life. It is not uncommon for the world's elite to suffer from drug addiction, suicide, anxiety, and the like. Those who acquire wealth by force often have no rest and sometimes even have had to physically move from place to place to avoid being killed. We reap what we sow, even if it takes time. 

Personally, the older I get, the more I have seen divine justice enacted upon people in this life, even if it was in cases where I never expected to see it.

In fact, when Allah no longer extends mercy to a person, Allah allows them to do whatever they like in this life, because they reap misery for themselves. This is a form of divine curse or an expression of divine hatred.

Conversely, Allah tries the believers more out of His love, because going through difficulty develops us. This doesn't mean that we should seek difficulty or act helpless and remain in it out of faith - we are meant to strive - but rather that wisdom, compassion, and reliance of God are often born from the challenges we face, not the easy times. Sometimes the darkest times can also be the ones when we see the most light. It is said that the trials of God are like gifts to the believer. It is also said that there are some levels of faith that can only be reached by severe trials such as severe illness. 

When a person earns divine punishment, and it will not be forgiven or redressed by intercession, they are punished either in this life or in the next. If we are punished in this life, it will have been a blessing because the punishment in the next is far worse. This is one of the reasons the punishment for the truly evil is saved for the next world. It is narrated that if a believer has sins that require punishment and cannot be erased, Allah will sometimes give that believer a difficult death (that is, a difficult time for the soul to leave the body on its eternal journey) as expiation. 

That being said, often what comes across as "punishment" is simply the natural cause of wrong acts, and wrongdoers also suffer the natural consequences of wrong acts in this life. As a very simple example, just to demonstrate the point, an alcoholic is more likely to have marriage problems, get into an accident, harm their health, suffer financial loss, and so forth. This doesn't even need to be ascribed to divine punishment, it is cause and effect, and this is why alcohol is forbidden in Islamic law. It is also important to remember that not all suffering is divine punishment.

Second, we as humans also have free will. Free will is on an individual and social level. The relationship between fate and free will is complicated. In many cases, suffering is caused not by an individual decision but rather by social or political decisions. Allah allocates sustenance to everyone in varying amounts; but when someone is suffering from severe poverty, someone has stolen that sustenance. In this day and age that happens on an individual and mass level eg through inherited social class, nationality and the resources or opportunities it conveys, access to education, institutionalized racism or the acts of major multinational corporations.

There are also laws of cause and effect. Sometimes there is also responsibility on a people as a whole, e.g. a people who accept tyranny in their personal lives, family lives, or communities will also be more likely to accept political tyranny. A people who do not do genuine amr bil marouf (calling to what is good) for issues of social justice and so forth will also suffer from that. These things are mentioned in hadith. It is sad but fair to say that a lot of the suffering in the Muslim-majority world today is not due to lack of resources or individual faults but rather due to political corruption, mismanagement, greed among the elite, and the like. Of course one can also lay blame on things such as colonialism or post-colonialism which led to this or continue to prop up injustice and dictatorships, but at the end of the day we are the only ones who can lift ourselves up. 

This is largely more of a modern issue with respect to the Muslim-majority world as in previous centuries the Muslim world was in a much better condition, economically and politically. It is really only in the 19th-20th century that the West skyrocketed to material, technological, and political ascendancy, and this left many Muslims wondering for the first time what had gone wrong or if indeed there was something wrong with Islam itself. 

One thing to consider is that, in the past, among Muslims it was common for both the elite and the poor to adhere to Islam and to value faith. Even tyrants gave Islam lip service. However, in the 20th century, a chunk of the financial and political elite in the Muslim world went towards secularization and away from the open practice of Islam, and this gives the impression that somehow being rich or powerful and being unreligious go together. The same can be said about religion in general in the West. However this also is really a modern thing and has not been the case throughout history. 

In any case, we as humans need to get our act together; when we can work in unison for the greater good, we are likely for flourish. This is true for the faithful and this is true for the faithless. It is true for the Muslim and it is true for the person of any other faith. 

In short, Islam teaches us to work for the well-being of ourselves and others in this life, and in the next. There is no merit to suffering for the sake of suffering. Many times people attribute their suffering to Allah or fate whereas they really could have done something to change their circumstances but were afraid to or psychologically unable to make the shift. We should use whatever resources we have (inner, outer, psychological, practical, spiritual) to uplift ourselves and others. We can and should also pray that Allah provides sustenance, ease, health, or whatever it is that we need. 

Also it is good to remember that many faithful and ethical people do quite well financially and materially! So not everyone is suffering. But it is a good question to address.