The idea for this blog post came to me over a year and a half ago, but I never got around to writing it. The reason for that is that a) I’m really busy and there always seemed to be other, more urgent things to write about, and b) It’s a really deep topic that is not easy to write about!
So the topic was put on the back burner until I saw a Tweep write the following:
Tough one. Of course, I don’t really know the answer, but I’ll give it a shot. Maryam said that she was discussing this point with an atheist friend.
It seems to me from casual observation, that atheism is on the increase here in Bahrain, which as a devout Muslim, I find rather alarming, not to mention sad. I know several Bahrainis (born to Bahraini families and Muslim parents) who do not believe in God. Also, as I understand it, some of them meet on a regular basis; I suppose to discuss the none-existence of the Almighty. I don’t want to spend too much time here discussing atheism per se, as that is a whole blog post (or more) on it’s own. Each to his own as they say.
But the argument atheists use a lot is this: “if there is a benevolent God why does he allow bad things to happen to good people / why does he allow children to be molested / allow poverty and inequality etc.”
Like I said, I don’t presume to know the answer, but part of the problem in answering this question, is that it requires belief in God to begin with. You see, we have two lives, the earthly life – the one we live now – and the afterlife. In Islam you get rewarded or punished according to your deeds in the earthly life. Furthermore, you get compensated for every single suffering. Nothing is for free, there is always compensation. So whether a person pricks their finger on a thorn, or a child gets molested, there will be compensation for it in the afterlife.
Of course saying something like this does not provide any consolation for the molested child, or for the adult who’s haunted by childhood molestation. One could understand why they might be angry at God, or even refuse to believe in him altogether. But it does not change the fact that they will be compensated in the afterlife, and that their molesters will suffer greatly for their crimes.
Remember, the perfect life is the afterlife. Here – in the earthly life- we are meant to be tested and challenged. No one said it was meant to be easy. How strong of a person would you be if you never suffered? You are the total sum of your experiences. Life is a series of waves of good and bad, of easy and hard, of suffering and happiness. God in His love and compassion, tests and challenges you.
He also gave you the wits and brains to overcome challenges. He did not make you a mindless robot. He gave you your brain and your decision-making capacity, and He then challenged you, and the rest is up to you. You can rise up to the challenge or you can feel sorry for yourself and blame God. Or you can really escape and deny His existence altogether.
Everything happens for a reason – everything. And maybe the children who were molested were meant to become stronger than the rest of us, so that they may help, save and protect other children from abuse. God may have tested them severely, but it does not mean He does not love them. It’s up to them to figure out why it happened, and to then become better and stronger as a result of this ordeal.
Anyone who suffers must always remind himself that it could always be worse. All suffering is relative. They must also (try) to be grateful for whatever it is that they have. The focus should be on what you do have, and not what you are lacking, or suffering from.
I want to end this blog post with a message to anyone who was abused as a child. Please don’t think for a moment that I’m trivialising what happened to you, I’m not. But I do urge you to seek help, if you’ve not done so already. Don’t make yourself suffer any longer.
You are not the first or the last to suffer through this, but your shame is unjustified. It’s not your fault – and nor is it God’s. It’s the fault of the sick person who did this to you. Seek help and find others who suffered the same as you, so that you can help each other heal.
Then make it your mission to help the children of today. There are many sickos out there who are looking for their next victim. Ask yourself what are you doing to stop them? Maybe you could provide coaching and/or seminars to school children to helsp spread awareness. Maybe you were mean to be someone else’s saviour. Who knows…
Thanks for taking the time to read this and talk to you soon.