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Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?



Reply Date

Aug 04, 2016


I often wonder why bad things happen to good people.



Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People

Salam Dear Reader,

Thank you so much for your question and for your desire to think and reflect on important life matters.

First of all, ‘bad things’ or hardships, tests, trials, tribulations are not a source of disgrace to those who have them. On the contrary, they could be a source of honor and testimony to their high rank and their ability to carry what others can’t.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked which people are the most severely tested. He replied: ‘The Prophets, then the next best and the next best. A person is tested according to his religious commitment.

If he is steadfast in his religious commitment, he will be tested more severely, and if he is frail in his religious commitment, his test will be according to his commitment. Trials will continue to afflict a person until they leave him walking on the earth with no sin on him.’” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

So what we get here is that the toughest tests are given to the best performers.

Of course, you will not find a teacher giving a PhD exam to a kindergarten student.

The exam is given to those who can handle it, those who have the knowledge and ability to work hard, achieve great results and later help and inspire others through their example and what they’ve learned.

This is why you will find Prophets getting the toughest tests.

Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him), for example, was kicked out of his home, his father wanted to kill him. He was later asked to leave his family alone in the desert, and was ordered to kill his own son.

These were tough tests, but Allah always helped and brought His aid and relief eventually after teaching us enormous lessons about patience, faith, trust and the meaning and purpose of life.

Prophet Joseph also was plotted against by his own brothers, he was thrown in a well as a child, he ended up being thrown in jail unjustly for long years. But he later came out and became a supreme authority and a governor in his land.

So tests are not meant to humiliate good people but rather make them a means to teach others. Eventually, good people will always be rewarded for everything they’ve endured, and their status and reward will be higher than everyone else.

“Unquestionably, [for] the allies of Allah there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. Those who believed and were fearing of Allah. For them are good tidings in the worldly life and in the Hereafter. No change is there in the words of Allah. That is what the great attainment is” (Quran 10: 62-64)

I hope this helps answer your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.

About Dina Mohamed Basiony

Dina Mohamed Basiony is a writer based in Cairo, Egypt. She is the Chief Editor of ProductiveMuslim.com. She specializes in Islam and spirituality. Dina holds an MA and BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the American University in Cairo.

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