Why Do Good People Suffer While Bad People Get Away With Crimes?

Answered by Dr. Bano Murtuja

Question: After many years of marriage I finally left my husband due to various reasons but mostly due to his infidelity. Recently he submitted to the courts a document containing horrible slander and vicious lies about my character.

I believe everything happens only with the permission of Allah (SWT). Then how could Allah (SWT) do something so horrible like this to me when I’ve been striving so hard to get closer to him. It’s shaken my faith and I don’t know how to deal with it. I want to understand why Allah (SWT) is doing this to me and how he could allow someone like that to get away with such slander after years of abusing me.

I also question how Allah (SWT) can hurt innocent children all over the world. Reading the news and hearing of incidents, it appears that women and children get the worst treatment at the hands of men. Why? How can we love when he punishes us beyond reason? Fear I understand, but it’s so hard to love when you are constantly being slaughtered.

What is the message I’m missing?

Answer: As salam alykum wa rahmatullahi,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

Testing Those Who Seek to Get Close to Him

You have mentioned that you are seeking to get close to Allah (Exalted be He). As difficult as it may be, it is often through the harshest tests that we attain true proximity to Allah (Exalted be He).

We of course make dua that we are granted ease, and that Allah (Exalted be He) grant us proximity without tests. That being said, we can often gain perspective by reflecting on what the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) and our teachers have said on the virtues of patience.

Abu Yahya Suhayb ibn Sinan said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘What an extraordinary thing the business of the believer is! All of it is good for him. And that only applies to the believer. If good fortune is his lot, he is grateful and it is good for him. If something harmful happens to him, he is steadfast and that is good for him too.’” [Muslim]

Our teacher Shaykh Faraz provides a beautiful answer on how tests have the potential to bring us closer to the All Loving.

This can be found here:

Qur’anic Reflections: Divine Tests and the Great Virtue of Steadfast Patience

Consequences of Oppression

With regard to your question about how your husband can get away with behaving in this manner, it may appear that this is the case. However, what you often find is those who oppress experience the consequences of that oppression in spiritual terms in this life and with far graver consequences in the hereafter. May the All Loving guide us all to be better than what we are, grant solace and tranquility to those we have harmed and forgive our transgressions.

The question of evil and suffering in the world requires a very lengthy discussion. This has been addressed comprehensively by Shaykh Nuh Keller here:

Suffering and Divine Wisdom

May Allah (Exalted be He) grant you ease and facilitation in all your affairs.