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Don’t Blame God For Our Failures

(Ubedur Rahman Arain)

By admin | September 26, 2008

Fate, destiny, luck are all intertwined words that describe an event, or a course of events, that will inevitably happen in the future, as if the course of events is predetermined. Anything that goes against our desires and expectations is attributed to bad luck, as if we had nothing to do with it. Where is human action in all this? It is led to believe that God has pre-ordained all events till eternity and destined some to success and others to failure and how dare one question God’s command? Raising your voice against injustices of others is considered as if one is challenging God’s Will.

I have always considered the Sacred  Month of Ramadan as a month for pausing and reflection. I have been thinking about this, now, more than ever. I wonder why would God be prejudiced against some and favor others? Are we not all His children? Hasn’t He told us in the Holy Quran that there is one and only one God for all mankind? (3:2). Are there lesser Gods? How come when the heavy rains fall in Bihar, India village after village is wiped out while the same is not the fate of others in the developed countries where the flood waters have been controlled by construction of dams and levees? Katrina caused devastation just three years ago where one thousand seven hundred lives were lost and this year Gustav and Ike together could not cause even ten percent of that loss! What changed God’s Will? It is just that man had learnt his lesson from the previous disaster and had prepared himself for the natural calamity by building stronger and higher levees and thus controlled Nature, all in accordance with other laws of nature.

Same is the case of earthquakes. Countries that follow and build in compliance with the Building Codes, survive earthquakes with minimal loss of life, others have disastrous consequences. Only a few years ago, village after village of Kashmir and Northern areas of Pakistan were wiped out with deaths of over seventy five thousand people, due merely to construction of substandard houses. For similar reason, the ancient city of Bam in Iran was practically wiped out in the 2003 earthquake. Look at the life expectancy of human beings. People in the developed countries live much longer than people living in less developed countries. According to the UN projections, the average life expectancy of human beings is 67.2 years while for an average Japanese, the life expectancy is the highest at 82.6 years. In the UK it is 79.4 years, in USA it is 78.2 years and while in Kuwait it is 77.6 years. On the other hand people living in the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent can expect to live only up to 65 years, and that is below the world average. The least being Swaziland where the life expectancy is only 39.6 years!

We have a common belief that the length of life is pre-ordained by God. The question that comes to my mind is why would God fix longer life in the developed countries and less in undeveloped countries? Mind you, this is irrespective of religion or piety of a person. Atheists and non-Muslims of the West live longer than “God fearing Muslims” of the east. For me the answer is very simple. Better health services, better diet and better overall living environment increases their average life expectancy, all in accordance with Laws of Nature that God has created for length of life. Whoever follows those laws, live longer and who does not, has a short life span. One can assume that God has indeed shortened the life of those who go against His rules for life and lengthen the lives of those who follow His rules of life. I believe in one and only God. He is the one who is the Creator and Nourisher of all in this universe (1:1, 2:117). He has made all the Laws that have created us and the same laws are now running this universe by their measures (54:49).

Once the world came into being at the Big Bang, the process of creation started as per His Laws and that process continues to-date. The life since that time is tied in Cause and Effect. Whatever happens now is a result of some Cause. This relationship is tied by Laws of Nature that in fact are Laws of God (17:77, 33:38). While we can control our actions, we do not control the results of the actions. One can say that the result is the destiny ordained by God and we stay responsible for the cause. Thus the results alone are the destiny, and not the actions. We, therefore, should look for reasons for our failures within ourselves and not pass the buck. Sooner we start doing this, sooner we can find the answers and control our own destiny.

Even God clearly tells us in the Noble Quran (42:30) “All your failures are brought about by your own actions.” This discussion reminds me of subcontinent’s famous poet Sir Mohammed Iqbal. In one of his poems he says, that “God only fixes destiny of inanimate objects and from human beings, He only expects obedience to His Laws”. In another verse, He says, “one should develop one’s personality to a level that God will have to ask man himself before fixing his fate, to tell God the destiny he wants for himself.” The success is all within our reach. All we need to do is to assume our responsibility and work at it.

Ramadan Kareem


(For any comments, please feel free to contact the writer on his email address:


By Ubedur Rahman ArainCEO, Gulf Consult


Courtesy:  Arab Times, Kuwait - September 24, 2008

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