What an insightful discussion! Shaykh Shakiel Humayun just became one of my favorite speakers!
Some of my favorite points (among many) from the discussion:
– To love something, you need to dislike its antithesis. If you love good, then you need to hate evil. So the statement “God loves everything” is a contradiction. If God loves good but also loves evil, then His love of good would be meaningless. In other words, God’s punishment and anger only exist because of His love.
– Mercy is a constant attribute of God, whereas anger is not a constant attribute of God. Furthermore, His mercy always precedes His anger. However, important distinction: Mercy does not equal Love. Mercy encompasses everyone, everything, but the Love of God is specific. Again, if God loves everything, then how do we differentiate between believers and disbelievers, or for that matter why even send Prophets and have commands and prohibitions?
– In this life, if God wants to do good to someone, He afflicts him (e.g. afflictions for Pharoah so he can turn back to God). In Islam, this life is a test, and afflictions have two purposes: 1) to awaken somebody so he can be on the right path, 2) to remove sin: any affliction/sickness born with patience removes sin, which is good because we would rather have our sins atoned in this life than to be punished for them in the hereafter.
– There is nothing that exists that is absolutely evil from all angles (I wish the Shaykh elaborated on this a bit more).
– If anyone does good, regardless whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim, they’ll be rewarded…in this life. But to be rewarded in the Hereafter, the good deeds have to be accompanied with the belief in God and His prophets. A person can be kind, generous, etc. and be rewarded for that. but ***since he did not attach that action to the eternal, his reward won’t be eternal*** [This reminds me of verse 42:20]
– Islam combines the Jewish spirit of “an eye for an eye” with the Christian “turning of the cheek” in this one verse (42:40): “And the retribution for an evil act is an evil one like it, but whoever pardons and makes reconciliation – his reward is [due] from Allah . Indeed, He does not like wrongdoers.” So the application of this on our life is that: Out of the principle of justice that God defined, we have the right to retribute, but what is better, is that we as well (like God) have mercy before anger.
Well summarized. He was very eloquent.
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