How to Convince a Non-Muslim that God is Merciful?

01 September, 2018
Q One of my Hindu friends lost his daughter in a tragic accident. He was upset and said that God is cruel as He took away his innocent daughter from him. How could I convince him that God is Compassionate and Merciful? Please advise. Thanks.

Answer

Short Answer: Everything happens for a reason. Only God fully understands why things happen the way they do, but if we have firm belief and try to remain positive, God will help us through the difficult times and grant us ease eventually. Your friend had a wonderful daughter that he loved very much. Tell your friend that if it was God’s will, He may have never created her in the first place. The death of a loved one does not have to mean that our life must also come to an end. We must continue on as best as we can. We never forget the good times we shared, but we try to continue living so that more good times will be possible in the future.

_____________________________________

Salam Dear Syed,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

There is no doubt that losing a child is a very sad and tragic event for any parent, Muslim or not. Our sympathies go out to you and your friend’s family.

To convince a non-Muslim friend that God is Merciful would first require that this person testifies to God’s existence and to His sovereignty over His creation.

Since your friend is a follower of the Hindu faith, it is not clear that he has the same basic understanding of God as Muslims do.

Assuming that your friend does acknowledge the existence of God as the One and Only Creator and Sustainer of the universe, I can offer some suggestions to help him better understand this tragedy in the light of God’s mercy.

Death and God’s Mercy

Although losing a child is a huge trial to endure for any parent, it is out of God’s infinite mercy that there is always something positive that can come out of it.

It is certain that such a loss will cause us to be very sad and possibly very negative, but we should always try to look for something positive to hold on to.

If we do not do this, it may be a long time, or maybe never, before we are able to overcome this loss.

The death of a loved one does not have to mean that our life must also come to an end. We must continue on as best as we can. We never forget the good times we shared, but we try to continue living so that more good times will be possible in the future.

Enjoying life after the death of a loved one is not dishonoring their memory. If they really loved us too, they would wish that we are happy, even if they are gone.

As Muslims, we know that all of us, and everything in the universe, belongs to the One and Only Creator:

{Every soul shall have a taste of death. In the end to Us shall ye be brought back.} (Al-Ankabut 29:57)

{Those who say, when afflicted with calamity: “To God we belong, and to Him is our return. } (Al-Baqarah 2:156)

Death Comes Suddenly

The fact that we do not know when death will come is also a mercy from God. If we were informed in advance of the exact time, place and manner of our death, it is very likely that we would drive ourselves insane trying to avoid it.

We would attempt anything to delay the moment or ward it off. It is only out of God’s Mercy that none of us knows the time or place of our death.How to Convince a Non-Muslim that God is Merciful

{Verily the knowledge of the Hour is with God (alone). It is He Who sends down rain, and He Who knows what is in the wombs. Nor does anyone know what it is that he will earn tomorrow: Nor does anyone know in what land he is to die. Verily with God is full knowledge and He is acquainted (with all things).} (Luqman 31:34)

Things to Remember

At the time of death we are sad and negative about life, and sometimes negative about God. Why do we not remember the good things we had?

Your friend had a wonderful daughter that he loved very much. Tell your friend that if it was God’s will, He may have never created her in the first place.

There would have been no wonderful moments to remember. No carrying her in his arms as an infant. All of the smiles and laughter that only beautiful babies can produce would never have been experienced and cherished.

Tell him that there are countless moments to be thankful for. Just existing together as father and daughter, even if for a short time, is worth everything in the heavens and the earth. Would any of us prefer to have never experienced those moments at all?

Remind him of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s words in his poem In Memoriam: 27, 1850:

I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

Innocence of Children

It is out of God’s Mercy that children remain free of sin for many years after their birth. It takes so long for us to mature and learn right from wrong.

When death comes to a child, it is likely that they have not committed any sin that is worth mentioning. Their innocence brightens our lives and eases our minds of the stresses we encounter dealing with the crazy world around us.

It is adults that often make this world a difficult place to live. The honesty and innocence of children helps us to make it through the day. They give us something to go home to at the end of a tough day in the real world.How to Convince a Non-Muslim that God is Merciful

No doubt, all of these things are difficult to keep in mind at the time of a calamity such as losing a child.

As Muslims, however, we feel some comfort in the knowledge that so long as we keep our faith at times of tragedy and remain patient during our difficulties, we know that God will always have our best interests at heart.

Everything happens for a reason.

Only God fully understands why things happen the way they do, but if we have firm belief and try to remain positive, God will help us through the difficult times and grant us ease eventually. We always have hope for the future.

{But those who believe and work righteousness,- no burden do We place on any soul, but that which it can bear,- they will be Companions of the Garden, therein to dwell (forever).} (Al-Aaraf 7:42)

I hope this helps you with your attempts to help your friend understand God’s Mercy.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Following the Prophet: Our Deen is Full of Love

My Mercy Prevails Over My Wrath – God Says

https://aboutislam.net/reading-islam/understanding-islam/the-mercy-of-allah/

 

About Waleed Najmeddine
Waleed Ahmed Najmeddine is a Canadian born Muslim and public school administrator. He is an active member of the Muslim community and enjoys educating Muslims and non-Muslims about Islam. He currently holds a Master of Education degree in leadership and school improvement.