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Topic initiated on Sunday, June 17, 2007  -  3:03 PM Reply with quote
Grief and Religion

Well? Should Muslims not grieve at all? Should they just accept a terminal illness as God’s will, or a test of faith? What can they expect from God? What should they ask Him for?

It is not wrong to ask questions. Human beings are creatures with minds and rational faculties. If God had wanted automatons with no minds, He would have created us that way. It is all right for us to ask for the reasons; but we cannot demand an answer. Sometimes we get an answer, if God deems it necessary for us to know. At other times we simply have to accept that although there is an answer, God has not given it, and since His dealings with us are always loving and for our ultimate good, we can leave the matter there. This is where faith comes in.

How does Islam affect Muslims? A life free from guilt? Possibly, if they try hard. A life free from the fear of death? Possibly, if they have enough faith. A life that can be lived differently from that of non-believers? True, with God’s help. A life free from sorrow, problems and difficulties? Sadly, no.

[You shall certainly be tried and tested in your possessions and in your personal selves; and you shall certainly hear much that will distress you, from those who received the Book before you, and from those who worship many gods. But if you persevere patiently, and guard against evil-then that will be the determining factor in everything.] (Aal `Imran 3:186)

Being a Muslim does not protect anyone from the reality of suffering. Belief is not some kind of spiritual inoculation which will provide immunity from all that is difficult and painful. We love Allah—but doesn’t He care when we suffer? In times of crisis, it is so easy to feel that He is far away and cannot hear our cries-but this is not so. He is closer than our own neck vein; or, as the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) touchingly put it, closer than the neck of our own camel. His love will never desert us or let us down, even in our darkest hour.

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