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"Suffering & Evil (Perspectives of two religions)"

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Introduction

R.S. Coursework 2 "Suffering & Evil (Perspectives of two religions)" Section A There is pain and suffering all over the world. Even at this very moment, people are facing death and torture, but the question is if God is all kind then why is there suffering? Who or what is the cause of this pain? How can it be stopped? Through this section of the coursework, I will discuss the answers behind these questions from the perspectives of the two religions, Christianity and Islam. According to Christianity, God is wholly good, he does not create evil nor is he evil. It states in Genesis that God created all things in the universe 'and it was good'. So if God is all good, then where does evil come from? The teaching on suffering in Christianity goes back to the beginning when Adam and Eve were created by God. Humans were given the one thing above every other living creature in the universe, and that was the power of free will. God had explicitly told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of knowledge but they were not able to comply with this one basic rule. ...read more.

Middle

The Islamic teaching on the reason for suffering is not so different to the teachings of Christianity. Allah is believed to be all good and so we must also again look to seeing what causes this suffering in Islam. In Islam, the reason for humans to be on earth is because they are being tested by Allah to prove whether they are worthy of eternal happiness in jannat, heaven. Being tested includes going through the process of suffering and pain, and what causes this suffering is Shaytan, the Christian equivalent to Satan although the story of Shaytan is different to the Christian story. Shaytan was the chief Jinn and when Allah had given all living organisms in existence (including angels and jinns) the specific order to bow down to Adam when he was created, Shaytan refused to and was banished from heaven. Shaytan gave one statement, "I will mislead them and I will create in them false desires; I will order them to slit the ears of cattle and to deface the (fair) nature created by Allah". From this Allah gave him permission but the reason for this was so that Allah could test mankind of their faith in Allah and Islam. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although Shaytan may have helped to make the person do that wrong action, ultimately, the person is responsible for his own actions 'Whatever good (O man!) happens to thee is from Allah; but whatever evil happens to thee is from thy (own) soul. And We have sent thee as an Apostle to (instruct) mankind: and enough is Allah for a witness' (Surah 11:79). This quote sums up the other Islamic teaching on suffering. But if we go deeper into the intention of this suffering, we can see that even the punishment suffering is done so that the wrong doers will humble and follow the sirat-al-mustakeem (straight path) and so really the reason for all suffering according to Islam is to help become a better Muslim. So to summarise, according to Islam, the reason for suffering is due to the test from Allah, the reason why all humans are on earth. Shaytan may be the evil one who tempts people to perform sins but he has been given the right to lead astray humans by Allah for the same reason of the test. So let us get back to our question posed at the beginning of this coursework. If God is all kind then why is there suffering? Well according to Islam, Allah does not need to be evil to cause suffering because it is all done for a good reason. Sa'ad Peerzade 11DV ...read more.

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