News reports appear in both printed media and television every day. These tell of murders, acts of terror, thefts, jealousy, child abuse, rapes, acts of violence, injustice and torture of animals. These acts all fall under the heading of evil. But do these crimes represent the limits of evil? Or does it have a wider scope?
How is it that from being pure and innocent at birth and during childhood, a person can gradually develop a cruel and ruthless personality? How is it that he can consider feelings of revenge, anger, hatred, envy, selfishness and lying as possible when his own interests are concerned? Or how is it that he finds it possible to hold the idea of ‘Who cares what happens, so long as it does not happen to me?’ when other people’s rights are being violated, or when they are being oppressed and mistreated and slaughtered? How is it that while murder or theft are regarded as evil, nobody regards insensitivity or apathy in the same light? There is actually something in common between the behavior of a bloodthirsty killer, or someone who occasionally makes concessions on proper moral values for the sake of his own interests and a selfish person who thinks of nobody but himself, all of which fall under the concept of evil; an emptiness of the soul. There is only one reason for this emptiness that leaves a person prone to commit evil and broadens the scope of evil and that is lovelessness.
Lovelessness ossifies the heart. And as a result, these people effervescently allow themselves be consumed with ruthlessness, anger and hatred.
Under the influence of this ruthless spirit brought about by lovelessness, these people who value nobody may also become killers or thieves. When a lack of compassion pervades the heart, people become uncaring of the suffering of others. In fact, that last step is the most insidious of evils – to care nothing for the sufferings of other.
Insensitivity is a deadly scourge that infests societies like a plague: That is because that sickness may sometimes be seen in a mother who has no qualms about sacrificing her own life for her children but cares nothing for the children of others suffering hunger and slaughter and war, or in a father who sits and watches images of violence on the social media, as if they were scenes from a film, and then forgets all about them and goes on with his daily business, or in young girls and boys who seek to offend other people through their hateful views and unpleasant language. In other words, people you meet in the course of daily life can easily fall prey to this insidious danger of evil. If asked, all these characters will proudly claim to be good people; after all, they have never killed anyone, nor stolen anything nor taken part in any act of violence. Yet they have also done nothing for the sake of affection or compassion or goodness.
Of course, nobody enters that state of mind in a conscious manner. Lovelessness, just like a cancer invading the body, has emptied the souls of the majority of people in today's society so much so that they became insensitive and uncaring without even being aware of it. Well then, since nobody is born evil but falls into this insidious snare of evil over the course of time, can one ever be saved from it? Can one ever achieve the true goodness beloved of God? Of course, and very easily.
There is only one way to achieve true goodness: Faith.
Faith brings with it a love of God. And the love of God has a very fine and positive effect on people. The person concerned would then exhibit good morality in order to earn the approval of God. He would then love with sincere intentions, solely for the sake of God, with no expectation of self-interest. He would then feel affection for the sake of God. He would be compassionate for the good pleasure of God and be a friend for the good pleasure of God. Such a person knows that God created human beings and shows his love of God to all living things that are the manifestations of God. That is true goodness.
Let us not forget that God created the world for love, beauty and goodness. That is the essence of Islam and the Qur’an. That is the reason why God created the universe and this world. The test in the life of this world is a test of love and becoming a good person God approves. A heart filled with love will never even hurt the tiniest insect created by God, let alone offend another human being. For someone whose heart has been purged of lovelessness and pollution, being good is just as essential to life as bread and water. Moreover, all it takes to attain the true goodness beloved of God is to live by the Islam of the Qur’an. As our Almighty Lord reveals in one verse, this is the only way to enjoy true goodness and please the Almighty Creator:
It is not devoutness to turn your faces to the East or to the West. Rather, those with true devoutness are those who have faith in God and the Last Day, the Angels, the Book and the Prophets, and who, despite their love for it, give away their wealth to their relatives and to orphans and the very poor, and to travellers and beggars and to set slaves free, and who establish prayer and pay the poor-alms; those who honor their contracts when they make them, and are steadfast in poverty and illness and in battle. Those are the people who are true. They are the people who have piety.
(Surat al-Baqara, 177)
Adnan Oktar's piece on Islam Today