Friday, December 27, 2013

Addressing the Argument: Does Allah Laugh at the Misery of Others?

 Addressing the Argument: Does Allah Laugh at the Misery of Others?

The hadith corpus portrays Allah as an evil and uncaring God. It states that Allah laughs at the misery of others:

Waki' bin Hudus narrated that his paternal uncle Abu Razin said:

"The Messenger of Allah said: 'Allah laughs at the despair of His slaves although He soon changes it.' I said: 'O Messenger of Allah, does the Lord laugh?' He said: 'Yes.' I said: 'We shall never be deprived of good by a Lord Who laughs.'" [Sunan ibn Majah, Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 181]

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah said:

"Allah laughs at two men, one of whom killed the other but they both entered Paradise. The first one fought in the cause of Allah and was killed, then Allah accepted the repentance of the one who killed him, and he fought and was martyred." [Sunan an-Nasaa’I, Vol. 1, Book 25, Hadith 3168]

What kind of God laughs at such horrible things?


Allah is not Laughing at the misery of others out of enjoyment, but rather His Laughing is an indication that He is a God whom we could expect good from. This is implied in the first aforementioned hadith when the man asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) “'O Messenger of Allah, does the Lord laugh?”, to which he replied “'We shall never be deprived of good by a Lord Who laughs.” [1] The Prophet (peace be upon him) himself went on to clarify the implications of Allah Laughing. So clearly the hadith isn't talking about Allah Laughing at our miseries out of some self-twisted amusement. 

As for the second aforementioned hadith, similarly as with the first, Allah is not Laughing at the evil of killing. Rather, He is Laughing because during this life there was so much hate and discord between those two men, yet all that animosity was removed from their hearts and they both entered paradise. All of this was done by the Will of Allah. [2]

In conclusion, these ahaadith don’t portray Allah as some kind of twisted God who enjoys watching the suffering of others, but rather they portray Allah as a beautiful God who feels for His servants. 


1) Shaykh al-‘Uthaymeen in his Sharh al-Aqeedah al-Waasitiyah said: والفائدة المسلكية من هذا الحديث: هو أننا إذا علمنا أن الله عز وجل يضحك؛ فإننا نرجو منه كل خير. ولهذا قال رجل للنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم : يا رسول الله ! أو يضحك ربنا؟ قال : "نعم" قال: لن نعدم من رب يضحك خيراً[164] إذا علمنا ذلك ؛ انفتح لن الأمل في كل خير ؛ لأن هناك فرقاً بين إنسان عبوس لا يكاد يُرى ضاحكاً، وبين إنسان يضحك. وقد كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم دائم البشر كثير التبسم عليه الصلاة والسلام.

2) Shaykh al-‘Uthaymeen in his commentary of Riyadh us-Saaliheen said: وسبب ضحك الله أنه كان بينهما تمام العداوة في الدنيا حتى إن أحدهما قتل الآخر فقلب الله هذه العداوة التي في قلب كل واحد منهما وأزال ما في نفوسهما من الغل لأن أهل الجنة يطهرون من الغل والحقد كما قال الله في وصفهم { إخوانا على سرر متقابلين } وقال قبلها { ونزعنا ما في صدورهم من غل } فهذا وجه العجب من هذين الرجلين .

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