Lesson Seven: God Wants Nothing But Good For Us An Introduction to Adl (Justice) – Part 2

 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

The Principles of Religion for Children

The “Principles of Religion” course has been collected and edited by volunteer experts and teachers in the Mohammad (PBUH) Scientific and Cultural Foundation Office for Kids and Teens (Khaane Koodak va Nojavan in Farsi). This course is appropriate for children between the ages of 8-12. The course aims to help students gain basic knowledge on Shia Islam, including beliefs and doctrine.

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 Lesson Seven: God Wants Nothing But Good For Us

 An Introduction to Adl (Justice) – Part 2

Zahra Moradi, Zahra Entezar Kheyr, and Sara Entezar Kheyr

Translated by: Mahla Rezaee andShamsi Nasiri

Edited by: Marzie Salehi and Neda Nima


   

Instructor Note: There are so many things that appear miserable and evil to us at first glance, but are truly blessings in disguise. So, let’s not complain about God.

   

Content:

Last time, we talked about God’s justice, which is one of our main principles of religion. As Muslims, we believe God is just and does not oppress anyone. God has infinite knowledge and is Baseer, meaning that He knows everything. He never makes mistakes and does not act unjustly. Humans, on the other hand, do not have infinite knowledge. Because of our limited understanding of the world, many things are hidden from our perspective. This is why we should not think that God has treated us unjustly even though some events may seem unjust and unfair to us. However, we should not be upset because of how Allah treats his creations. It is critical to always remind ourselves that God is not an oppressor. There are always things that are limited knowledge does not know. In our last session, we gave an example of this in the story of Maryam and the food her teacher gave her. Remember that once the other children in the class understood the full context of what was going on, they no longer felt that their teacher was being unfair. Similarly, if we had access to full knowledge of every situation, we would no longer believe that God’s actions are cruel or unjust.

               

Let me tell you another story.

One day, Prophet Moses (AS) was traveling with another Prophet named Khidr (AS). They arrived at a city whose inhabitants were quite inhospitable and rude. Even though these Prophets were hungry and thirsty, the people did not sell them any food or water. Moses and Khidr continued to wander through the city until they reached the ruins of a wall that the people were afraid of getting close to because it looked like it may collapse.

Even though Prophet Khidr was extremely hungry and thirsty, he started to fix the wall. Prophet Moses was surprised and asked,

“What are you doing? They refused to feed us even when we offered to pay. Why would you rebuild one of these cruel people’s wall?”

Khidr calmly responded, “I know some things that you are not aware of. I will tell you the reason later.”

After they rebuilt the wall, the two prophets continued their journey out of the city and towards the coast. They took a small ship across the sea. The owner of the ship and his staff were very kind and diligent people who treated Prophet Moses and Khidr with great love and care. But as they approached their destination, Prophet Khidr used a sharp tool to make a hole in the wooden floor of the ship! Prophet Moses was shocked, and, without being able to stop himself, cried out,

"Why would you do such a thing!? These poor people cared for us so much. You rebuilt a wall for those malevolent ones, yet now you are piercing the ship of these poor people!”

Prophet Khidr responded calmly,

“Remember, I know some things which you are unaware of. That wall which I fixed had a treasure buried underneath it, which belonged to two orphans. Their father had buried the treasure there before his death. If I didn’t rebuild the wall, the wind and rain would have ruined the wall soon and revealed the treasure. Then, those wicked people would not give let the orphans have any part of it. I repaired the wall to keep the treasure hidden until the orphans are old enough to be able to defend their rights.

As for the ship, I agree with you that both the owner and workers of it were noble and hardworking. Ships in that area are preyed on by pirates that would steal every single good ship. By inflicting minor damage on the ship, I made it seem worthless to the pirates, who would not bother to steal it. The hole I put in the ship was an attempt to save it!”[1]

Once Moses heard Prophet Khidr’s explanations, he fully understood the reasons for his actions and no longer thought his deeds were unfair.

The lesson from this story applies to each and every one of us. There are so many times in our lives that something happens to us which we find hard to accept or unjust. However, if only we knew the main reason behind it, we would realize that God makes plans for us with meticulous care and love. Imagine that you were planning to go on a trip with your family. At the last minute, when everyone sits down in the car, its engine does not turn on, even though it was checked by a mechanical very recently. As soon this happens, you start thinking to yourself,

“Why do we have such rotten luck? Why us? Why would such a thing happen? This is not fair!”

While all these thoughts are going through your head, you enter the house and smell an odd gas in the kitchen. Your mom quickly rushes to the stove and sees that the gas valve was open. Imagine what a disaster it would be if this was not discovered!

Allah states in the Holy Quran,

“You may hate something which is good for you, and may you love something which is evil for you.”[2]

To sum everything up, Allah is just and never oppresses anyone. Some things may seem unjust at first glance, but have a benefit for us that we do not know about. Unlike us, Almighty Allah has complete knowledge of all things. He wants nothing but goodness for His servants.

We will continue this discussion in the next lesson.

  

Main Source: Mohammad Foundation

 


[1]Bihar al-Anwar, Vol 13, Page 279-280

[2] The Holy Quran (2:216):

عَسى‏ أَنْ تَكْرَهُوا شَيْئاً وَ هُوَ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ وَ عَسى‏ أَنْ تُحِبُّوا شَيْئاً وَ هُوَ شَرٌّ لَكُم

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