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People often ask that if God is Just, then why people suffer from poverty, natural calamities and physical disabilities. Lets analyze what is the answer to this question.


This life is a test for the Hereafter. Not only poverty and physical disablities are a test, but even wealth, health, family and comforts are also a test.
As Qur'an states in Sura Mulk Chapter 67 Verse 2
“He Who created Death and Life, that He may try (test) which of you is best in deed; And He is the Exalted in Might, oft-Forgiving.”
Life is a test from God and we all will be rewarded for our good deeds and likewise be punished for our evil doings.

Mental Disabilities
A child with mental disabilities is a test for his parents to see if they remain faithful to God and see how well they look after and bring up their child. He gets concessions as he has mental disabilities, he does NOT have to do certain religious duties, which normal people have to fulfill. Above all, he will NOT be held accountable for any actions he might have done during his abnormality.
As Qur'an states in Sura Tagabun Chapter 64 Verse 15
“Your wealth and your children are only a trial, and Allah — with Him is a great reward. And whoever is saved from the greediness of his soul, these it is that are the successful.”
In Sura Munafiqun Chapter 63 Verse 9-10
“O you who believe, let not your wealth nor your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah; and whoever does that, these are the losers.”

Physical Disabilities
Physical disability is a test for a person to see if he shows patience and remains faithful and strives to do good deeds or does he turn unfaithful and resorts to evil. It is also a test for their family to see how well they look after him and if they remain fatihful to God.
As Qur'an states in Sura Anfal Chapter 8 Verse 28
“And know ye that your possessions and your progeny are but a trial and that it is Allah with Whom lies your highest reward.”

Good Health
Even good health is a test to see if the health person uses his good health for the good fellow human beings and benefits them and his soul or uses his good health only to serve his evil instincts to fulfill his personel evil means. On the day of judgement he would be held accountable as to how he used his good health.


Poverty and Wealth
Poverty is a test for the poor and wealth is a test for the rich. To see if the poor remain patient and faithful to God despite poverty and to see if the rich remain thankful to God and spend on the poor out of the wealth that God has bestowed upon them and seek God's pleasure or they use their wealth to serve their evil means and oppress the poor. Poor are always pass in the test of due charity because they lack the wealth to pay the due charity, while the rich can only pass this test by paying the due charity or otherwise they would fail and would be punished for it on the day of Judgement. So we can see that God gifted wealth if mishandled can be serious disadvantage.

Natural Calamities
Since both evil doers and righteous suffer from natural calamities, for the evil doers it is a punishment, whereas for the righteous it is a test of their faith.
As Qur'an states in Sura Baqara Chapter 2 Verse 155
“Be sure We (Allah) shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss of goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil-labor, work) but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere”.

In all tests if people remain patient and faithful to God, they are rewarded for it and their reward is doubled nad multiplied. Whereas if any human being oppresses any other human being, God has commanded all human beings to strive against all sorts of oppression.

Does testing people increase God's knowledge about who is faithful and who is not? NO, of course NOT. God has eternal knowledge. But if God judges between the faithful and unfaithful without testing them, the faithful would pass and be pleased, but the unfaithful, who fail, would argue that at least they should have been given a chance to prove themselves. So this life is a test for the hereafter. Judgement will be based upon the difficulty of the test.
As Qur'an says in Sura Ale Imran Chapter 3 Verse 185-186
“Every soul will taste death. And ye will be paid on the Day of Resurrection only that which ye have fairly earned. Whosoever is removed from the hellfire and is made to enter Paradise, he indeed is triumphant. The life of this world is but comfort of illusion. Assuredly ye will be tried in your property and in your persons, and you will hear much wrong from those who were given the Scripture before you, and from the idolaters. But if you persevere and ward off evil then that is of the steadfast heart of things”.


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About Liaqat Qazi

Student of BA in Islamic Studies at the Islamic Online University. Can be reached at @LiaqatQazi
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