What is the concept of evil, does it exist or not? I have read the book ‘Divine Justice’ by Shaheed Mutahari, and in it he gives a logical answer, saying that evil is the absence of good, but do we have any Ayaat or hadiths to back this up?
The term ‘evil’ in the Quran and the Ahadith is usually used to refer to wrong belief or practice. So, they are not meant in their philosophical sense as Shahid Motahari refers to.
Consider the following examples:
2. The Prophet (P) said: انما الخیر ما ارید به وجه الله و عُمل علی ما امره الله، و اما ما ارید به الریاء و السمعۀ هو الشر الخالص. ) الاحتجاح 1:45):”Good is that by which God’s pleasure is sought, and which is done according to the commands of God. As for that which is done to show off or gain reputation, this is pure evil” (Al-Ihtijaj, 1:45).
3. In the famous Hadith of the host of intellect and ignorance, Kofr, oppression, and sins are referred to as evil such as:اسرع الشر عقوبۀ البغی, “The evil which is punished most quickly is oppression”.
Evil is also used in the Quran and Ahadith to refer to what we assume is evil. That is similar to what philosophers say that evil is a relative concept, not an absolute one. For example, the biting of a snake is good and a defence mechanism for itself, but for the one who is bitten, it is regarded as evil. Or we regard something evil due to its immediate discomfort, although on the long run, it provides us a lot of comfort and hence will be good. The same applies to so-called good.
The Almighty Allah states:
Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei