Ask A Muslim: Everything Happens for a Reason

Ask A Muslim: Everything Happens for a Reason

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By Maimoona Harrington

Is there a verse in Quran  which says, “everything happens for a reason?”

Everything happens for a reason works as a reassurance mechanism to cope with hardships. With reference to the question, it is often considered that it has been extracted from one of the monotheistic Scriptures, but it is not. Hence there is no verse in the Quran that translate into these exact words: everything happens for a reason. However, there are many verses in the Quran that repeatedly confirm the contextual of the above statement. These contexts refer to the sovereignty of our creator, Almighty God, His knowledge of all that is seen and concealed. He does whatever He chooses to, and  all this takes precedence over reasoning.

There are verses in other Scriptures including the Quran that clearly show that nothing is in our control. Almighty Creator is the Sovereign. Nothing happens without His approval, knowing and will. Anything good or bad happens with His permission and we should accept it as a blessing in disguise since we cannot see or know what will happen from one moment to another in our lives. This leaves the burden of reasoning both on the faith and the faithful.

Say, “Only what God has decreed will happen to us. He is our Master: let the believers put their trust in God.”Quran (Chapter 9, Verse 51)

Things happens to us in life and in that particular moment, we do not know why they happened but the notion that it happened for a reason is what empowers us in our lives and how we react to them and create meaning out of all of this is what matters most. We seek closures though mostly in case of loss and knowing the reasons satisfy us but sometimes when in search of closures, faith and consolation of knowing there must be a reason behind helps us move forward.

I found this question challenging to answer because this is something, I never question myself about. My belief tells me that God is Al-Alim and Al-Ghaib al-Mutlaq. The Knower of All and with the knowledge of all that is unseen, hidden and concealed.

“He has the keys to the unseen: no one knows them but Him.” Quran (Chapter 6, Verse 59)

We can live our lives with good deeds and intentions. What happens next is out of our control since as humans we lack the knowledge of our future and the knowledge of the unseen.  

In the end I would say that I am a novice learner of my own faith myself, I could be wrong and there could be a verse that states precisely as asked that, “everything happens for a reason.”

There are numerous interpretations of the Quranic verses that are used fully or in part for explanations on various subjects. Secondly, all what is believed and practiced in Islam is not entirely based on the Quran only. While we have the Quran, we also have Sunnah – Prophet Muhammad’s sayings and his way of life called Hadith’s. So all Muslims do, believe and practice is a combination of these two. 

I will end my answer with a part of a verse in the Quran:

“No soul knows what it will reap tomorrow,” Quran (Chapter 31, Verse 34)

This verse narrates the fact, that our Creator is All Knowing. To me, there is a direct link between “everything happens for a reason” and “with not knowing what happens next.”

To further understand the statement, the questioner can also read the parable of Prophet Moses and Al-Khidr. It’s narrated in the Quran’s 18th chapter called, The Cave, verses 60-82. The parable signifies that no matter how intelligent and knowledgeable we are, we will never know all and all that is unseen and concealed.

Disclaimer: I am not a religious scholar. I tried to answer this question with the best of my knowledge and understanding of Islam as a Muslim. 

About Maimoona Harrington

Maimoona Harrington was born and raised in Pakistan moved to the United States with her family in 2008. She is married and a mother of two sons. She has a bachelor’s degree in Islamic studies and sociology from Pakistan and a bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from United States. Along with her career as an interpreter, translator and monitor she is also an Islamic and Pakistani Culture Adviser.

As a practicing Muslim with the extensive world travel and living in the West, she has devoted herself to spread awareness of Islam as a goodwill gesture. In an effort to do this she started writing from her own personal experiences with religion, beliefs and life in a different culture. She also has special interest in all the religions and how and why they are all important to its followers. Her primary focus is on the co-existence and harmony between all human beings. Her message is to spread peace not division. She strongly believes that if you want to be closer to your creator then love His creation unconditionally and expect nothing in return for He loves us unconditionally and forgives us no matter how sinful we are!

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