Saturday, 2 June 2012

The Problem of EVIL


The Problem of Evil

I hold in my hands, my fate.
And below that a book leant me by a Christian friend, "Deliver us from Evil" (by Zacharias).
It is telling that within that one sentence, above, we see the Subject-Verb-Object; Christian-Deliver-Evil.

It is a decidedly boring read, the book that is, tho' I for one have never really read it (just skimmed through it).

The concept is another matter altogether.

Athiest arguments sometime centre on the existence of Evil, and whilst this may hold some relevance for Christian theology, it holds absolutely none for Muslims. And so for me, and others like me, it is really a non-question.

For, Evil as an object is "the" Christian object. So much so that it becomes a fixation, and even at times, a flirtation.

But for Muslims, when a man commits a crime, he primarily performs an ACT of denial (Kufr) and secondarily an ACT of oppression (Dhulm).

The Kufr & the Dhulm.
But both are ACTs, and none are objects, even that is, when those acts condemn the man.
The Kufr is a denial of the Goodness that is within him and all about him. The Dhulm is the oppression that he thus visits upon himself and upon his fellow man (on himself through the act of Kufr-covering & hiding).

In the whole of the Qur'an I, for one, cannot think of a word that is synonymous with Evil. There we find our sworn arch-enemy named not by a passive-object-concept, he is not called "the Evil One", but by his 
given name (Iblis) or by the abhorent reaction that is due to him- Shaytaan nir rageem- The Rejected Devil.
And his crime of arrogance, for which we can all feel a certain resonance, is and was compounded by his supplication (dua): "O GOD, give me respite till the day of the rising (of People and Jinn for Judgment)." And GOD accepted it.

This respite was Iblis's choice that was granted because of his one-time proximity to GOD, and it is that which cursed him to Evil for Eternity. For the rest of us, no matter how far gone on the road to perdition we might be, still GOD's law holds true- that HE will only ever give a temporary respite to those who do wrong. This so that those errant-one might see, and feel, the error of their ways, that they might reform.

And so GOD's mercy even encompasses these people, when they feel remorse 
and see a glimmer of a better/purer life, but most of them turn away and ignore. And at the last GOD takes them as they were wont to live, and then there is no respite for an eternity.
And so it is Iblis's supplication that condemned him: that he will not see his evil nor taste it's bitterness till the end. Truly an Evil End.

But now that I have thought more on it there is such a word in the Qur'an that could possibly be equated with Evil = Fasaad. However it could equally mean mischief and furthermore it lacks the absolute nature of Evil.


The Eternal Struggle.
And so for the Muslim, the eternal struggle is not between Good and Evil, but between Right and Wrong, which far from being objects are characteristics of OUR Actions.
And now I recall the song of my friends "Native Deen"..."Small Deeds", even a small good deed can act as your passport to Paradise.

The Balancing Absolutes.
Muslims do not inhabit a World of Evil and Good.
For them the devils powers are confined to suggestion, the waswasa (whisperings) that play on our emotions and make us proud or envious or spiteful etc.... And for them the devils schemes are weak, ever prone to failure.

But that does not mean that they have a non-absolutist vision of our World. For they know what is right and what is wrong. And these things do not waiver with the passage of time. For they know that an unlawful death is a crime against the whole of humanity, and that the sexual crimes (including homosexuality) destroy the family, and that the thief destroys the trust within a society. For these things are their absolutes, that they will never stop knowing.
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