Lesson Eight: God's Fault or Our Fault? An introduction to Adl (Justice) - Part 3


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.

The course literature differs as the age group of students changes (e.g., eight years-old when compared to twelve years-old) allowing teaching attitudes and course structure to match with the students capacity for learning while the course objectives and learning outcomes remain the same.


Lesson Eight: God's Fault or Our Fault?

An introduction to Adl (Justice) - Part 3

Zahra Moradi, Zahra Entezar Kheyr, and Sara Entezar Kheyr

Translated by: Mohammad Jahani and Shamsi Nasiri

Edited by: Marzie Salehi and Neda Nima



Instructive Note: Do not blame God for the unjust and unwise behaviour of humans.



Up to now, we explained that God is Just. He wants nothing but goodness for the people and does not hurt anyone.

But there is suffering and unfortunate circumstances in the world. So where do these come from? They come from one of the two following cases:

-    Unfortunate circumstances that appear purely bad from the outside, could also have an unknown positive aspect that only God is aware of. Think of the examples we talked about the last session, like the car that did not turn on or the gas valves that stayed open.

-    Another case are things that are not a result of God disliking or hurting us (God does not dislike or hurt us), but rather outcomes of human actions. An example is a person who drives fast and carelessly. This person zig zags around different cars with no regard for safety. To make things worse, he does not wear a seat belt. As a result, this person may get into a car accident and not injure himself, but other, innocent people. Would it make sense for the victims of this accident to blame God, asking, “Why did God do this to us?” Was this car accident a result of God disliking anyone? Or was it the outcome of someone’s dangerous driving? Put simply, God is not ruthless. Rather, people’s actions are what bring about disasters.

God is not merciless. Most personal disasters and unfortunate events are consequences of the mindless and bad behaviour of human beings.

Another example is war. Millions of innocent people have been killed in wars started by cruel individuals. The ruthless people ruined other people’s lives, killed innocents, and destroy homes. But are these a result of God’s ill will towards humanity? Are all these disasters dictated by God, or they are consequences of humans pursuing terrorism?


God is the Most Kind and Compassionate. God has given everyone the Aql and the ability to choose their actions. God also sent Prophets and infallible Imams to guide and train people. In addition, God has promised all people heaven for good deeds and hell for evil deeds. Despite all of this, some people still choose to be unwise, act evil, and take advantage of others.


Can some of you now, give me some other examples of miserable conditions which are a direct result of human actions? (Some good possible answers are air pollution, cancer and other diseases that develop as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle, drought due to misusing the water resources, flood because of cutting trees, theft, and infantile disorders the develop from unsafe prenatal conditions.)                            

Today, we learned that the root of much of the suffering in the world is the unwise and unjust decisions of humans. This suffering does not mean that God is merciless to us. It should be emphasized again and again that God is not uncaring and wants nothing other than goodness for the people.


{Some students may ask why God does not directly intervene to prevent disaster from happening to us? Why does he not protect people from being killed or houses from being destroyed in a war? Why doesn’t He stop the cruel ones or change unfortunate situations? The response to this question is that God certainly could stop all these if He wanted to. However, as a part of the Sunnah of Allah (the method God does things) he usually does not. God does not make things right as soon as someone does a bad deed. Rather, He has given us the Aql and the ability to choose what to do and face its consequences. So, we need to be mindful of our actions. Our Aql and the guidance of the Prophets and Imams can help us make correct choices that lead us down the right path. This right path will allow humans to live more beautiful and joyful lives. Conversely, avoiding this right path, like the unwise, is what keeps our world as unfair, annoying, and lacking justice.}


Main Source: Mohammad Foundation


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