God is Never Unjust
by G.A. Parwez

“The tree of the wicked will never bear fruit.”

Those who do evil can never succeed. It was said earlier that according to Gods Law of Requital every human deed must reach its conclusion. Those who do good will earn their reward and those who do evil will receive their just punishment. In Gods law there is not the least injustice. No person can sway this judgment one fraction.

After listening to one lecture a person came to me and said: “What you have said we believe because we have faith in God but excuse my ignorance, what we see in this world is totally different.”

“God says in the Quran [28:37-8] the disbelievers never succeed, oppression never succeeds, dishonesty and faithlessness always cause loss. The one who harms another always causes his own injury. The one who causes grief to others cannot live in peace. The one who robs the poor destroys his own life. The one who lifts his hands against the weak has his hands broken.  The one who digs another’s grave himself falls into that grave. However, what we see in this world today is totally the opposite.”

Why look elsewhere? What we now see happening in Pakistan is a living testimony that the wicked prosper and the innocent suffer their tyranny. The rich, intoxicated with their wealth, do anything they desire and there is no one to ask why. They oppress the poor in every way, seizing what the poor earn. Neither the lives nor the property of the poor and needy are safe. They are accorded no respect or dignity. They are kicked from pillar to post and although they beg for justice and fairness, they receive nothing but abuse. Even the dogs of these evil scoundrels sleep on silk beds while the poor children of destitute widows have no cover from the bitter cold of winter.

“Excuse me,” he continues, “I do not understand where Gods Law of Requital is. We are told that honesty is the best policy and honest labor bears good fruit, but we have seen prosperity in the words of evil, dishonest men. We have seen righteous, hard-working men scraping the bottom of the barrel while the wicked are building palaces of gold. We do not know in which world Gods Law of Requital operates. In our world it appears that the one who can afford to pay the pauper calls the tune. In our world this is how the law seems to function.” He finished with a heavy sigh.

The person who said these things to me was in great grief. I had listened to his words with attention and patience. This is not a lone voice. There are thousands, if not millions, of despondent human beings who have these thoughts in their hearts. Some manage to bring these thoughts to their lips while others keep them sealed in their hearts. These are not the kind of thoughts the answers to which can be avoided. They ought to be given their due attention and responded to with calmness and consideration.

If Gods Law of Requital is true and secure – and who can doubt that Gods law is not – then why does this happen in the world? This point is of paramount importance, and this deserves deep reflection.

The best way to understand it is through a parable.

It is around Autumn; the fields are ready for planting. At this time of the year there is often a shortage of grain, much of which is required for seeding and is kept aside.

There are two farmers -  both of them are struggling, as is often the case with smallholddings in the villages of Pakistan. One farmer takes his seeding grain to the mill for flour and in his house that night there are plenty of freshly baked chapattis. He and his family eat their full and are extremely happy that they do not have to sleep on an empty stomach.

The second farmer takes his grain and sows it in his field and, as most of it is planted, he faces difficulties since he cannot properly feed himself or his family. He goes to his field every day and works hard but returns home empty-handed.

The first farmer has now sold his ox and with the money can now make metty and ensure that his family will eat well. Later he pledges his land and again is able to live with joy but his neighbor is facing grave difficulties. Without much grain left, the future now appears bleak. For months he has been working in the field from dawn to dusk but his labors he has received no return whatsoever. His children ask him:

“Papa, the man next door does not do any work but he and his family live in comfort. We work arduously everyday and have hardly enough to eat. We have heard that good efforts beings its reared but our work has bought nothing. We come home empty handed each day.”

“Look son,” the farmer says: “Hard work does bring its own reward, Gods law is absolutely true but from the time we plant a seed to the time it ripens, there is a period of waiting, this is a set term and no person can shorten this duration. The person who shows patience and outrage during this period, works hard and does not become disheartened, will find his labor rewarded at the appropriate time.” The farmer continues to inspire his children and at the same time for harvest arrives and his house becomes full of grain.

His labors have bought their reward, like a grain of corn, which grows several spikes, each spike having hundred grain.

In contrast, the other farmer who ignored Gods law and milled his grain was left with neither home, property, cattle, land nor field. He became destitute and penniless, begging from door to door, scrounging for scraps. This is the result of Gods Law of Requital. God’s laws absolutely true but a fixed term is required for a planted seed to grow and ripen. The one who is not exasperated by this but has the courage and patience to endure it and give the labor is requires foes receive his just reward.

The one, who become despondent and desperate and in haste sells him short, destroys him. This is the very example of the wicked that can never reap a fruitful harvest. But from the time he commits his evil act to the time the result manifests, a period of time elapses.

If, during this interval, he realizes the error of his ways and forsakes his evil habits and instead helps those in need, sympathizes with the poor, takes the path of justice and fairness and disciplines himself through honesty and integrity, then it is these good deeds which will wash the stains of his evil actions. If he does not do this and continues with his wicked ways, then Gods Law of Requital will surely overtake him. The Quean says: “…If you turn away, God will substitute other people in your place, and they will not be like you,” (47:38) There is no power that can stop God from doing so. The righteous people will stand up for the truth and stop the wicked ones in their tracks. Gods Law of Requital becomes retribution for the wicked.

This eventually has been clearly stated in Sura Al-Anbiyaa’ in graphic words: “How many communities We have destroyed whose inhabitants were wicked and replaces them with other people. The wicked were such that they were blinded by their decadence and were unaware that the aftermath of their deeds was going to manifest upon them. When they saw Gods retribution they ran, but the Law of Requital was to show the consequence of their evil words and they had nowhere to hide. The mansions you built by oppressing the poor, the palaces where you hoard the materials of your passions, now return to them so that you can be held accountable and questioned on how you accumulated this wealth,” (21:11-14)

Thus they will be apprehended and will acknowledge their faults but too late. All this will be of no avail because Gods Law of Requital destroys the wicked oppressors (21:15).

It is, however, also made clear to the destroyers not to think that they can do whatever they please without accountability. God makes them successors in order to give them the opportunity to show their deeds. If they do evil, they too will be destroyed. It is Gods law of Requital, which operates equitably, without injustice or favor to anyone.

The Muslims, that is, the one who submits to God, is the one who sincerely believes that there is an interval between action and result. It is inevitable that a deed, good or bad, MUST have a consequence. Evil deeds will have their detrimental outcome even if there is an interval. There will be a delay in time, but never a lapse of justice.