The Difference between Good and Evil that Befalls You.

By Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymeeyah (may Allah have Mercy on him)

Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allah, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself.[ An-Nisa’ 79]

The Scholars of Tafseer view the words “ Good ” and “ Evil “ in the Quran to mean blessings and misfortune. They don’t just refer to the acts a person does by his freewill.

If a good befalls you, it grieves them, but if some evil overtakes you, they rejoice at it. But if you remain patient and become Al-Muttaqun (the pious – see V.2:2), not the least harm will their cunning do to you. Surely, Allah surrounds all that they do.[Al-Imran 120]

If good befalls you (O Muhammad ), it grieves them, but if a calamity overtakes you, they say: “We took our precaution beforehand,” and they turn away rejoicing.[Taubah 50]

The good deeds which we are commanded to do and the bad deeds we are prohibited from doing.

Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.[ Al-Furqan 70]

Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins).[Hud 114]

Abu Aaliyah said: “ Good is obedience and bad is disobedience.

Ibn Munabbih said: “ Good is the blessing and bad is the trial.

Some differences between Good and Bad are:

  1. Allah’s blessings and favors happen to His slaves without reason from them at the start. Allah gives good health, provisions, help and the like to people that never did anything at all. Allah creates man for Paradise to dwell therein in its bounties. He has only created them for the hereafter, while they never did anything at all. The Muslim children and their insane enter Paradise through Allah’s mercy, even though they never did a single deed.

Now then about punishment, no one is punished except on account of his actions.

  1. The good deeds that a servant does are a gift from Allah. It’s a gift that He favors towards him due to guidance and faith. This resembles the words from the people in Paradise:

“All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has guided us to this, never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allah had guided us! [ Al-Araf 43].

Bad deeds only occur due to the servant’s sin that he committed.

  1. Good deeds multiply and increase themselves. The servant is rewarded with their multiplicity. Bad deeds on the other hand don’t multiply. The servant isn’t punished with a bad deed that multiplies itself. The person who does a good deed is rewarded over and above that single good deed. The person who commits a bad deed is recompensed based on that single bad deed and its degree.

     Whoever brings a good deed (Islamic Monotheism and deeds of obedience     to Allah and His Messenger ) shall have ten times the like thereof to his credit, and whoever brings an evil deed (polytheism, disbelief, hypocrisy, and deeds of disobedience to Allah and His Messenger ) shall have only the recompense of the like thereof, and they will not be wronged.[Al-Anam 160]

  1. Good is linked to Allah. He is the One that is good in all aspects. Bad isn’t linked or connected to the Most High. Bad deeds are only acts that Allah allows to occur due to His infinite wisdom. The Lord of All the Worlds never does anything bad. On the contrary every single thing that He does is good and beautiful.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to begin his prayers by saying,” All good in Your hands and evil doesn’t belong to You”.


Taken from Al-Hasanat was Sayee’at or Tafseer of Verse 79 in Surah An-Nisa’ by Shaykul Islam Ibn Taymeeyah 728H

Translated by Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle

Doha,Qatar 1431H ©


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