Lesson 4: The Philosophy of Undesirable Events in Life
We have said that a group of the materialists have coercively made use of the issue of unpredictable occurrences of calamities and difficulties which occur in the life of human beings as an excuse to deny the justice of the Creator and sometimes, to deny even the existence of God!
Now we will continue the discussion of the previous lesson.
We again repeat that we should not create difficulties for ourselves, but, at the same time, it often happens that difficulties increase our will-power just like iron which is strengthened when placed in hot smelting pots. In the smelting pot of difficulties we become experienced and more persevering.
War is basically not good but sometimes a difficult and long war causes the abilities of a nation to blossom and transforms dispersion into unity and quickly makes up for our falling behind.
A famous Arab historian says, “The blossoming of civilization has appeared throughout history in various parts of the world. It followed a country being attacked by a powerful foreign country, being awakened and mobilizing their forces.”
Of course, reactions to difficulties are not similar among all people and all societies. One group falls into despair, weakness and pessimism and reaches a negative conclusion but there are individuals who have the right attitude when faced by these difficulties and are stimulated, mobilized by them, begin to move and they are filled with excitement and enthusiasm.
But because in such situations, many people judge by what appears on the surface, they only see the bitterness and difficulties and ignore the positive and constructive effects.
We do not claim that all bitter events have such effects in a human being but at least some people are in this way.
If you study the life of geniuses of the world, you will see that almost all of them suffered difficulties and great misfortunes. There are fewer people who are raised in comfort and luxury who have shown themselves to be geniuses and who have arisen to a high position.
A good commander of an army is a person who has seen a difficult and long battle. Their economic genius’ are people who have fallen into difficulties in the economic market.
Great politicians are those who have passed through hard and difficult political struggles.
In summary, we can say that the difficulties and anguishes which human beings bear, nurtures them.
The Holy Qur’an says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَنْ تَرِثُوا النِّسَاءَ كَرْهًا ۖ وَلَا تَعْضُلُوهُنَّ لِتَذْهَبُوا بِبَعْضِ مَا آتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ إِلَّا أَنْ يَأْتِينَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُبَيِّنَةٍ ۚ وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۚ فَإِنْ كَرِهْتُمُوهُنَّ فَعَسَىٰ أَنْ تَكْرَهُوا شَيْئًا وَيَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ فِيهِ خَيْرًا كَثِيرًا
"It may be that you dislike a thing and God brings about through it a great deal of good". (4:19)
In the previous discussions, we have seen that, little by little, our being has a goal or purpose. Our eyes are for a purpose; our ears are for a purpose; our heart, brain and nerves each have been created for a purpose. Even our finger tips have a philosophy behind them. Thus, how is it possible that our total being be without a purpose?
At the same time, for the completion of this task, one must look every once in a while at one’s sins and one’s transgressions must be shown or pointed out. In facing difficulties in following God’s Commands, one becomes familiar with one’s ugly and evil deeds and will turn back to God. It is here that a part of the difficulties and unforeseen events are, in reality, Divine blessings.
The Holy Qur’an says:
ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُمْ بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ
"Corruption has appeared on land and sea because of (the deed) that the hands of men have earned, that (God) may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that they may turn back (from evil).” (30:41)
Noting what we have said above, painful events are confirmations of evil and interpreting them as calamities that are considered to be in opposition to Divine Justice is far from logic and intellectual reasoning because the further we go into this narrow way, we will better understand the various philosophies.
1. What is the purpose of our Creation? How can we reach there?
2. How is a person strengthened by facing difficulties?
3. Have you ever seen people or read about them in history who have suffered difficulties and developed themselves? Write about their Lives,
4. What does the Qur’an say in relation to our Sins?
5. Which people attain positive results from bitter events and which ones, negative results