Dunya

In Islam, dunyā (Arabic: دُنْيا‎) refers to the temporal world and its earthly concerns and possessions, as opposed to the hereafter (ʾākhirah). In the Qur'an, dunyā and ākhira are sometimes used dichotomously, other times complementarily. Islam does not a priori dismiss the world as "evil".

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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... Answered 5 months ago

Every human being who has basic intellectual faculty believes that his
existence in this life is the most valuable. That is why you find
that everyone including small children try to avoid any danger on
life and they do whatever they can to save this life. Those who have
mental or psychological problems feel sometimes that they wish they
were not born. This feeling goes against the basic instinctive
knowledge of all human beings and cannot be taken as normal feeling
but it needs to be dealt with as a mental and psychological problem.
Hence it needs to be treated through specialist health experts and
other ways of treatment. No doubt the best treatment for mental and
psychological conditions is remembering Allah (SWT). Remembering Allah
(SWT) is the source of peace of mind and tranquility.

Even those whose claim that they wish that they were not born are not
sure about their feelings and that is why you find them if they face
any danger then they try to avoid it and save their lives. So their
feeling itself is not firm.

Islam teaches us to appreciate the bounties which we have been granted
and one of the greatest bounties is that Allah (SWT), the Most
Merciful, the Most Compassionate has granted us life after we were not
existing as Allah (SWT) says in the Holy Qur’an : Has there not been
one moment in time when he was not existing (Surah al-Insan : verse
1).

Such people need to be looked after with more sympathy and should be
morally and medically supported. They should be advised to remember
the source of peace of mind and keep on remembering Allah (SWT). That
will make them feel the taste of life and enjoy it and thank the
Creator Allah (SWT)

Wassalam.

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... Answered 5 months ago

It sounds like this person is going through a tough time.

Life has easy and difficult times, sometimes very difficult times. It is good to have faith that there is light at the end of the tunnel and to contemplate on the verses of the Qur'an about Allah's mercy. Nothing stays the same forever and things often change in ways we could never imagine. Until then, however, it is sometimes necessary to walk in the darkness until reaching the light. The good thing about darkness, however, is sometimes it makes the light clearer. 

Existence is not a choice, since a person who dies continues to exist. However, it is good to have faith that Allah has a plan and does not create anything in vain; just because we do not understand why we, individually, were created does not mean that we do not have our own specific reason for being.

Some might argue that Qur'an 7:172 which speaks of human beings testifying to the existence and lordship of Allah (in the realm of pre-existence, or in some other way) implies that we gave a sort of agreement to existing, even if we do not remember it now. Some might also argue that Qur'an 33:72 implies a sort of willingness to exist and accept the risks/consequences of free will, even if we currently do not want it - God knows best. 

If this person is also dealing with depression or a psychological condition (either as a condition by itself or as a response to challenging circumstances), they could also look into psychological/psychiatric interventions and see if they are useful and appropriate at the moment to help get more zest for life. 

If it is more of a spiritual or existential crisis (and all of the above can go hand in hand), more study and reflection of the Qur'an and theology and the big questions of life may help. In the end, while Muslims, like others, offer answers to questions such as "why do we exist?", it is one of those big questions that people have pondered for millenia, and although religions can provide answers, I think it is also something people often need to find answers for inside themselves. 

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... Answered 5 months ago

Bismillah 

Thank you for your question. It is God who decides who exists and that is not the choice of an individual. What is in their choice is what they do with the life they are given, and not wanting life, reward or punishment is not something that absolves them from that responsibility.

May you always be successful 

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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... Answered 6 months ago

Our existence itself is a great bounty from Allah who created us, out of His Mercy and Grace on us. He created us after we were nothing ( Has here not been over man a time, when he was not a thing worth mentioning?) (Sura 76, Verse 1).

He provided us not only with life but also with all what require to live a decent life e.g. He gifted us with the intellect and reason and ability to listen, see, and distinguish good from bad. He gifted us will all sense which make us enjoy our life and be away from danger. He showed us the best way to live our life with harmony and peace between ourselves and our desires and wishes, and between ourselves and our Creator, and between ourselves and the Universe.

What ever bounty we have is from Him, and what ever suffering we may have is from ourselves.(Whatever good reaches you is from Allah, and whatever bad comes to ou is from yourself). (Sura 4, Verse 79).

He guided us to live in the best way away from evil and sinful desires. Those who follow the way of Allah (SWT) enjoy life in the best way as that achieve the Peace of Mind and Tranquility which is lost in he life of millions who are away from Allah.

We are unable to thank Him enough but when we try to thank Allah for His countless bounties, we feel the taste of life and feel more peace in our hearts.

Wassalam.

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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... Answered 6 months ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. Key to the problem of evil is the definition of evil. If there is any greater purpose, compensation or wisdom behind suffering it cannot be defined as unnecessary evil. For example, making your kids do their homework is not evil, as while your kids may think they are unnecessarily suffering, that suffering has a purpose. It also has compensation in that learning is good for the children and it is wise on behalf of the parents to put their children through the suffering of studying. So too other issues of evil can be framed such that they are not evil. For example, the trials and tribulations of the prophets (as) were for a purpose, were part of Divine Wisdom and will be rewarded in the next life. One of the main wisdom behind human evil, is that there is no meaningful free will if humans are prevented from carrying out that free will even if it results in evil.

May you always be successful 

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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... Answered 7 months ago

Any success is granted to us by Allah (SWT) but it is linked with our hard work and sincere efforts with out which no success can be acheived. Worldly success can be  a reward and bounty for the believers , and it can be a test and examination as well.

It is very wrong to think that worldly success is just because of our efforts with out the help of Allah (SWT). This is the wrong logic of Qaroon ( Korah) who said: (Whatever I have is because of my knowledge  (قال إنما أوتيته تلى علم عندي)( Sura Al-Qasas: 78).

Allah (SWT) says in Quran(16:14): Whatever bounties you have is from Allah).

Hard work is a condition to get the success by the help of Allah (SWT).

Wassalam.

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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... Answered 10 months ago

Yes, every thing in this life is relative and Allah The Glorious is the Only Absolute Fact.

Every thing created in this universe is possible in its existence ممكن الوجود , but only Allah , The Creator is Must in His Existence واجب الوجود.

Wassalam.

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... Answered 10 months ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. There are two types of realities you are asking about in your question; those related to matter and those that are not.

As for those relating to matter, matter is not everlasting. It is constantly in a state of change as that is one of the characteristics of what makes something material. Therefore, anything related to matter cannot be absolute as it is linked to something finite. So movement for example is linked to an object, an object is limited by time and space and therefore movement cannot be absolute. The same is the case for direction as any direction is in opposition to another direction and so cannot be absolute. 
 

As for those things which do not always have to relate to matter such as love or truth, if they are related to the Absolute, they can be absolute and objective, but when they relate to a person or a thing they will be limited by the limitation of their locus. So a human cannot absolutely love another human as that is a limitation of human beings, however God can absolutely love. Humans cannot understand the absolute truth, but God is the Truth. Humans can come closer to the absolute reality and be a manifestation of the absolute reality and indeed it is reported from the Prophet (saw) that Ali (as) is with the truth and the truth is with Ali (as).

This is generally in line with what the scriptural sources say and you can look into it further by studying reports in books such as the Tawhid of Shaykh Suduq or in Nahj al-Balagha.

May you always be successful.

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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... Answered 10 months ago

Imam Al-Mahdi (AS) will remove injustice and tyranny from the whole world. His time of re appearance will be filled with injustice and tyranny. That does not means by any mean that we have to add on injustice and wrong to hasten his re appearance, but on the contrary, we remain as sincere followers of Ahlul Bayt (AS) responsible to do and spread good deeds which is the aim of our Infallible Imams and all the prophets (AS).

The bad deeds are from bad people as Allah (SWT) says in Quran: Evil deeds has appeared on land and sea because of what people have committed. Al-Room: Verse 41.

We should always prevent and counter evil deeds by doing and spreading good deeds but our efforts will never be enough, and the injustice and tyranny will go on till the re appearance of The Divine Leader from Allah who will remove away the evil and establish the pan state of Good and Justice.

There is no dichotomy at all.

Wassalam.

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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... Answer updated 11 months ago

It is a fact admitted by international organizations and NGOs that Islam is the fastest growing religion.

Wikipedia :

(A study in 2017 revealed that Islam is the fastest-growing religion. Studies in the 21st century suggest that, in terms of percentage and worldwide spread, Islam is the fastest-growing major religion in the world.)

This fact is supported by documented figures from all over the world. Many of those who admit this fact do not like to say t but it is the fact which can not be denied.

No doubt, Real Islam (of the Prophet (SAWA) and his Holy Progeny Ahlul Bayt, not the corrupt way of extremist groups) will continue progressing and spreading among truth seekers all over the world because it is based on real evidence, while enemies of Real Islam are trying to defame us through false allegations. With the present situation of information revolution where people can access books and information through internet, false allegations are been defeated gradually and the Real Islam of the Prophet (SAWA) and his Ahlul Bayt (AS) are winning the hears and minds of millions of truth seekers.

Wassalam.

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 11 months ago

It is difficult to say what the fastest-growing religion in the world is. How do you define that? Is it the religion with the most converts? The religion that is growing most, percentage-wise? The religion that is growing most in terms of sheer numbers of people due to birth?

Anyway, depending on how one measures "fastest-growing religion", one might get various answers, but Islam is often said to be the fastest-growing religion today. Perhaps, this is in part because another gigantic world religion, Christianity, is losing adherents in the modern era; although there is still active proselytization worldwide, and many people convert to Christianity, it doesn't have as strong of a foothold in some other areas as it did before.

In my view, the important thing, however, is quality not quantity. Allah doesn't need billions and billions of people to profess adherence to Islam in name only. What is important is the sincerity in looking to Islamic teachings and scriptures to build a world which facilititates human and spiritual growth for individuals and societies.

We don't know what the future of science will be. However, I think we are leaving the era of "scientism" (i.e. science as a substitute for religion) and moving back to what was the norm throughout much of human history which is a worldview containing both the material and the immaterial. As you mention, people do have an innate interest in the big questions of existence and that will not change. In particular, people tend to turn to the spiritual of religious in times of difficulty or crisis, when material solutions fail, and that also will not change. 

However, whether that will correspond to a growth in Islam/other current religions or the development of new belief systems altogether is something that only time will tell. I think a large part of that depends on how Muslims present Islam (both to potential converts and to the younger generations). Although the Qur'an treats Islam as a theology not as a racial matter, there is a tendency today (among Muslims and others) to treat Islam as a racial matter and Muslims as a race or to treat Islam as the property of certain ethnic groups. So, this does not encourage the average person who is not a Muslim to consult Islamic scriptures and teachings for theological answers. Maybe it also depends on how Muslims respond to the challenges of the next centuries and what Islamic thought has to contribute with respect to these challenges. Islam has been shown to be persistent in the face of challenges so it will likely remain a significant force in the future. 

Of course, after the appearance of the Mahdi (A), many people will choose to follow him because it will be apparent that he has the truth and what is good for people.

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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 11 months 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.