Sickness is Not Punishment From God
Only a single connotation of the certain Quranic terms is used in the daily language and these terms are only known with this aspect. Foremost among them, used in the Turkish language, is the term ceza. In fact, the meaning of ceza is both an award and a punishment that is to say, reciprocity.
The words fitne (sedition), bela (trouble), beliyye (calamity), musibet (tribulation) are always used with negative connotations in Turkish. However, for example, musibet actually means hitting the mark perfectly. In addition, the terms fitne and bela mean to be tested/trialed. Consider a teacher who “tests” their students. Once the test is completed and the scores are posted, there will be both high-scoring and low-scoring students. The test is an opportunity for the students to have them recognize their level of learning. They acknowledge the points they were not aware of previously. How beautiful! A prevalent example is the hurdle race. Every obstacle is a bela (trouble). However, these obstacles are not to harm or trap the horse but to develop its agility.
All of them are means for training or education. They are opportunities extended to human beings for their learning. Each and every one of them provides opportunity for the human being to enhance their potentialities. They are all beautiful, beneficial, and opportunity for us to get to know the reality of our creation. It is imperative to make use of them all.
Only bad teachers test the students in order to punish them or since they do not know the level of learning at which the students are, they would test the students to find out. Good teachers give tests to their students which comprise puzzled sections of the topic in order to teach them the points to witch they are supposed to pay attention. At the end of this test, students recognize the points which they do not fully comprehend. Speculating that the Creator of the human being and the whole universe wants to learn about the level of understanding of the human being or thinking that the Creator takes revenge from the human beings by torturing them contradicts the witnessing of the universe and the feelings entrusted to the human being.
To my understanding, if we interpret the Quranic verse that translates as “My Mercy is extended to all things.” in a way that includes the terms like fitne, bela, musibet etc., we will understand that there is mercy associated with these instances of creation. Just as there is Mercy in the creation of the Hell as well. I would not choose to go to the Hell; however, there is Mercy in the creation of it. I do not wish to find myself in agony and unpleasant circumstances but there is Mercy for me in the very creation of these situations.
I do not prefer to find out that the fruit I bought turns out to be rotten; however, there is Mercy in the creation of the fruit’s ability to decay. I should not object to this capability.
As someone who experiences how unbearable it is not to trust Him and how excruciating it is to disbelieve in God, I do not choose the disbelief but how beautiful it is the creation of the painful disbelief as an option. This is the very reason why I flee from it and do not desire it.
In conclusion, agonies and tribulations in no way can be understood as “punishment”. The creation of the illnesses is very beautiful. And it is absolutely the right choice not to desire to become sick.
Sickness is not desired but the creation of sickness is a mercy for me which originates from the Absolute Merciful.
Dr. Ali Mermer