This question forms the very foundation of every religion. Let us examine whether Islam can provide a satisfactory answer to it or not.
The person in the video asked Zakir Naik:
- Allah stated in the Quran that He subjected humans to a test, resulting in the "majority" of mankind failing and facing eternal punishment in hell.
- However, why would Allah choose to do so? This seemingly proves that Allah is "sadistic", who intentionally creates humans and subjects them to a test, despite knowing that most of them will suffer eternal torment in hellfire due to this test.
Zakir Naik presented the following explanation:
- It was not Allah who put humans to the test, but rather humans themselves opted for the test.
- Moreover, Zakir Naik claims that we humans were foolish in making this choice.
- Thus, Allah cannot be held accountable for the decision made by humans.
The First Proof by Zakir Naik:
Then Zakir Naik presented the following verse as his proof:
And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam - from their loins - their descendants and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them], "Am I not your Lord?" They said, "Yes, we have testified." [This] - lest you should say on the day of Resurrection, "Indeed, we were of this unaware."
So, this verse claims that:
- Allah took the promise (to accept him as Lord and to worship him alone) from all humans before their BIRTH.
- Then they were made to forget this promise when they were sent into this world.
- And then they will be reminded of this promise again, only after their death.
Therefore, the question is, whatever happened before the birth, or whatever will happen after the death, why Allah is taking a TEST on its basis in this world?
It would only become a test if Allah had appeared in this life to all humans, and then He would have put humans to a test, whereby intentional disobedience would result in eternal fire.
For example, according to the Islamic story, Allah appeared to Iblees (i.e., Lucifer/Satan). And Iblees was not caused to forget Allah, but still he intentionally disobeyed Him. In such a case, one can understand why Iblees will be put in hell.
But the case of humans is totally different from that of Iblees, and it has absolutely no justification:
- There are thousands of people who are born into non-Muslim families. Allah never appeared to them openly as He did to Iblees. Thus, under the influence of their families, 99.99% of these people never accepted Allah and remained non-Muslims.
- Millions of non-Muslims truthfully try to find out the real God, but Islam has so many problematic, controversial, and anti-humanity teachings that they had to reject Islam due to their true intentions.
Not to mention, there are millions of ex-Muslims who were firmly believing and practicing Muslims. But they also felt the pain of humanity. When they tried to find God with sincere hearts, their search led them to the conclusion that there is no Allah in the heavens, and Muhammad was making revelations on his own. Thus, they left Islam and Allah.
إنما الأعمال بالنيات
(Verily, the reward of deeds depends on the intentions)
But here we see a clear contradiction. Instead of being judged based on my true intentions, I am called an apostate. Islam demands that I be killed in this life, and then Allah condemns me to eternal hellfire, disregarding all the good deeds I did for mankind. These are double standards and injustice.
Moreover, it is not only today that people ask the questions of why Allah created us and why He subjected us to a test, but people during Muhammad's era were also asking the same questions to Muhammad.
Thus, Muhammad tried to answer these two questions by using his own arguments in the form of revelation. Let us proceed to the next verses so that it becomes clear to us:
And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam - from their loins - their descendants and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them], "Am I not your Lord?" They said, "Yes, we have testified." [This] - lest you should say on the day of Resurrection, "Indeed, we were of this unaware." Or you may say, “It is our ancestors who first ascribed partners (to Allah) and we were (their) children after them; so will You destroy us on account of the deeds of the followers of falsehood (i.e. our ancestors)?” ... Whomever Allah guides – only he is on the right path; and whomever He sends astray – it is they who are the losers. And indeed We have created many jinns and men for hell; they have hearts in which their is no understanding; and the eyes they do not see with; and the ears they do not hear with;
Muhammad being a human, we can readily identify flaws in his arguments (i.e. revelation), such as:
If it is indeed Allah who guides some individuals towards the right path and others towards the wrong path, then why would those humans who were led astray by Allah Himself be punished? This raises questions about the justice and fairness of such a system.
Additionally, if Allah claims that He predetermined that the majority of humans and jinns will suffer in eternal hellfire, then why did He create them and subject them to a test? This seemingly implies a sadistic nature on the part of Allah.
It is important to note that this Surah was revealed during Muhammad's time in Mecca, where a significant majority rejected him as a prophet, while only a few believed in him. This context likely influenced Muhammad and Allah's assertion that the majority of people would become fuel for hellfire.
The Second Proof by Zakir Naik:
Then, Zakir Naik presented the following verse about the test and argued that humans were foolish for accepting it, and they have to blame only themselves for this:
إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا ٱلْأَمَانَةَ عَلَى ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ وَٱلْجِبَالِ فَأَبَيْنَ أَن يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا ٱلْإِنسَٰنُ ۖ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ ظَلُومًا جَهُولًا
We offered the trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to carry it and were afraid of doing so; but man carried it. Surely he is a tyrant and ignorant.
In Muhammad's attempt to justify why humans were subjected to the test, a significant issue arises. This argument actually places the blame on Allah Himself rather than on humans. The questions that emerge include:
- Why did humans agree to bear this trust?
- According to this verse, it is Allah who created humans as tyrants and ignorant beings (i.e. fools in the words of Zakir Naik).
- Therefore, if it was Allah who created humans as tyrants and ignorant beings, then the true culprit is Allah Himself. Humans cannot be held responsible for this, and they should not be unjustly punished.
This highlights the complete failure of Muhammad to present a single logical argument for putting humans to the test, especially considering that the majority of them will end up in hell and suffer eternal torment. How does making humans ظَلُومًا جَهُولًا tyrant and ignorant save Allah from the accusation of being sadistic??
And the jinns are not even the “Best of Creations اشرفُ المخلوقات”, and their majority too will still land in the hellfire for eternity.
وَلَقَدْ ذَرَأْنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ ٱلْجِنِّ وَٱلْإِنسِ
And indeed We have created majority of jinns and men for hell
Poor jinns. But the good thing is that they don't exist except in the minds of religiously brainwashed people.