Muslims! The world is peopled by the rich and by the poor, the healthy and the sickly, the wise and the stupid, the good and the wicked. If someone asks why this is so, you will reply: "Such is the will of Allah."
It sometimes happens, however, that Allah bestows riches upon a despised loafer, while some person who worships God and toils honestly lives from hand to mouth and can barely feed his wife and children. A quiet, harmless man is often sick and feeble, while some scoundrel or thief enjoys excellent health. The same parents may have one clever and one stupid son. Allah exhorts everybody to be virtuous and live righteously. He directs the righteous along the right path, and sinners long the crooked path, rewarding the righteous with the bliss of paradise and sinners with the torments of Hell. Does this not contradict divine mercy and justice? Both people and their goods belong to Allah. And He disposes of His property as He wishes.
How to understand His actions?
To grant that the Creator is infallible, while ascribing imperfections and errors to Him, means that we keep silent from fear of Him. If this were the case, what would a mortal gain by all his labors and efforts? If everything comes by the will of the Creator, then people bear no blame. Whether doing good or evil, are they not fulfilling the Lord's will?
A reasonable man should know that it is the duty of a believer to do good. A just cause need not fear the test of reason. If freedom is not bestowed upon reason, then what about the truth: "Let him who possesses reason know me?"
If our religion has a flaw, why then forbid a reasonable creature to think about it? What would religion have rested upon if there had been no reason? Good wrought without faith —what is it worth? You should understand and believe that good and evil were created by God, but it is not He who performs them. God has created wealth and poverty, but it is not He who makes human beings rich or poor. God has created diseases, but it is not He who makes people suffer from them. For otherwise everything would be dust and ashes.