write a summary or a reader response critique of the reading. The summary should identify key points in each reading, including a statement of the thesis or central claim. Do NOT USE ANY OUTSIDE SOURCES. Ensure that you follow the standards for a reader response critique if you choose that option. Reading is on ‘Hasan’ pages 1-16. Topic: ‘free will’. Please see attachment for reading as well as critique standard. minimum of 1 page single spaced. Once again, DO NOT USE ANY OUTSIDE SOURCES. Only use the reading/material you are given.
write a summary or a reader response critique of the reading. The summary should identify key points in each reading, including a statement of the thesis or central claim. Do NOT USE ANY OUTSIDE SOURC
Hasan, Abla. Forthcoming. On Pain and Suffering: A Qur’anic Perspective. 3 Rethinking the Divine Status of Humans: A Key to Solving the Problem of Evil A recurring theological question that ignited, and is still igniting, all types of debates is the question: How can a just God allow evil? In Dialogues concerning Natural Religion David Hume famously asks the question, “Is he willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then is he impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?”1 The problematic aspect of allowing evil while having the ability to stop it causes many to deny either the existence of God, the existence of a just God, or even the existence of a God powerful enough to stop evil. This chapter uses the divine status of humans as a key to address these questions. The Problem of “Human Evil” I argued previously that God created Adam as a successive authority and as a divine deputy on earth. In addition, I argued that Adam and his offspring were given a divine challenge. By passing the test of religion as an “epistemic hardship” humans can prove their merit and reclaim their divine status and right to paradise. However, morally speaking, making merit-worthy choices requires free will as a necessary condition. Therefore, humans are given this right unconditionally and unrestrictedly. According to the divine contract between God and Adam, consequences of exercising the right of choice do not constitute a reason good enough to nullify the contract. Because the contract was essentially established on the bases of granting Adam a divine status, ending Adam’s divine status by intervening in the discourse of exercising his rights as the divine on earth is nothing but a violation of the divine contract. In this section, I argue for the existence of “human evil,” which stands for unwanted and undesired outcomes of humans’ exercising their unconditional right to free will. Human evil exists as an option, temporarily allowed yet not desired by God. More importantly, this affirmation of the existence of human evil does not contradict the existence of a just God. My Qur’anic-based argument for human evil, usually referred to as “moral evil,” as a divinely allowed, but not divinely desired, option is supported by the following observations. (1) According to the Qur’anic divine contract between God, on the one hand, Adam and his offspring, on the other, Adam was sent down as a trusted “successor on earth” (2:30). This contract was finalized in the Qur’an the following way, “[Prophet], when your Lord took out the offspring from the loins of the Children of Adam and made them bear witness about themselves, He said, ‘Am I not your Lord?’ and they replied, ‘Yes, we bear witness.’ So you cannot say on the Day of Resurrection, ‘We were not aware of this’” (7:172). By definition, a successor is assigned on behalf of the original authority to exercise all powers given by the former. An intervention to stop evil consequences of any human choice, good or bad, is a nullification of the contract. (2) According to the Qur’anic contract, the timed divine assignment of humans as God’s gods on earth ends only at the Day of Judgment. While I stress in the first point human free will as the basic condition in the contract, I am highlighting here the contract as a temporary one. Any intervention to stop human evil or to correct human conduct or even to reward or punish humans for their behavior before the Day of Judgment is a violation of the timed contract. In the Qur’an the Day of Judgment is described as the day when authority returns to God in a clear confirmation of the absence of divine authority before then, as we read, “On the Day when the sky and its clouds are split apart and the angels sent down in streams, on that Day, true authority belongs to the Lord of Mercy” (25:25–26). In so many places in the Qur’an the text strictly confirms that no divine intervention will be allowed before the Day of Judgment, as in, “On the Day of Resurrection, God will judge between you regarding your differences” (22:69) and, “God will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning their differences” (2:113). In other words, humans continue to be given the authority to act as divine regardless of the merit of their deeds until the Day of Judgment. In addition, any divine intervention to stop evil before the Day of Judgment turns the same concept into a superfluous idea. If justice were to be totally established in the worldly life, what would be left for the Day of Judgment? Alternatively, if justice were to be partially and selectively established in the worldly life, what would be the criteria for such a selective approach? Would such a discriminatory approach in dealing with some evils and leaving others behind be just in the first place? (3) The Qur’anic text clearly and literally addresses the problem of the existence of a human evil that is postponed, to be properly dealt with only once the divine contract is over. In other words, the Qur’an doesn’t seem to be ignoring but acknowledging the existence of a problem that will be dealt with following the expiration of the divine contract. This literal acknowledgment is found, for example, in, “Do not think [Prophet] that God is unaware of what the disbelievers do: He only gives them respect until a Day when their eyes will stare in terror” (14:42). The Qur’an doesn’t deny the existence of evil (sharr), unlike those who try to deal with the problem of evil by ignoring its reality. To the contrary, evil is confirmed in many places in the Qur’an, as in, “If God were to hasten on for people the harm (sharr) [they have earned] as they wish to hasten on the good, their time would already be up” (10:11). Also in the Qur’an, we read about Joseph ascribing evil to his brothers as he says to himself, “[His brothers] said, ‘If he is a thief then his brother was a thief before him,’ but Joseph kept his secrets and did not reveal anything to them. He said, ‘You are in a far worse (sharr) situation. God knows best the truth of what you claim’” (12:77). Further, we read about the existence of evil in, “Whenever We are gracious to man, he goes away haughtily, but, as soon as harm (sharr) touches him, he turns to prolonged prayer” (41:51). Rethinking the Qur’anic text reveals a consideration of evil as a human, and not a divine, responsibility. “Why did you say, when a calamity befell you, even after you had inflicted twice as much damage [on your enemy], ‘How did this happen?’ [Prophet], say, ‘You brought it upon yourselves.’ God has power over everything” (3:165). Interestingly enough, in the Qur’an all unwanted outcomes can be categorized as the result of humanity’s propensity for corruption, including that of the natural world, usually referred to as “natural evil.” “Corruption has flourished on land and sea as a result of people’s actions and He will make them taste the consequences of some of their own actions so that they may turn back” (30:41). What the Qur’an denies, though, is “divine evil” as we read, “God does not wrong people at all – it is they who wrong themselves” (10:44). In the story of creation, we see the Devil adopting a God-blaming attitude by saying, “‘Because You have put me in the wrong, I will lie in wait for them all on Your straight path’” (7:16). Instead of adopting such an attitude, the Qur’an askes humans to consider God not as the source of evil but as the refuge that can be sought for all kinds of protection from evil, either as caused by other humans or as caused by Satan, “Say [Prophet], ‘I seek refuge with the Lord of daybreak against the harm (sharr) of what He has created, the harm (sharr) of the night when darkness gathers, the harm (sharr) of witches when they blow on knots, the harm (sharr) of the envier when he envies’” (113:1–5). In the famous story of Job, the prophet practically adopts this approach as he blamed Satan for his calamities and sought help from no one but God. Not only were his prayers answered, as the Qur’an confirms, in addition, he was acknowledged and praised as “an excellent servant!” (38:44): “Bring to mind Our servant Job who cried to his Lord, ‘Satan has afflicted me with weariness and suffering.’ ‘Stamp your foot! Here is cool water for you to wash and drink,’ and We restored his family to him, with many more like them: a sign of Our mercy and a lesson to all who understand” (38:41–43). The Qur’anic acknowledgment of human evil as an outcome of bad human choices implements punishment in the hereafter as necessary for bringing criminals to ultimate justice. Unlike a popular line of argument that tries to advocate for religion by portraying God as a merciful deity who rewards but never punishes, praises but never reproaches, loves but never hates, the Qur’anic image of God draws our attention to a deity who does not turn his back to the wronged but acknowledges fair punishment as a way to address “human evil,” which – otherwise – would be left inadequately addressed. Chapter 85 in the Qur’an describes the punishment assigned for a group who tortured believers. This chapter addresses the same concern that many might raise concerning a God who doesn’t immediately react to human suffering. Interestingly enough, the chapter fully and vividly describes the horrible crimes committed against a group of believers; however, instead of implementing an immediate worldly plan to stop the mentioned crimes, the chapter insists on documenting all what happened to insure the remorseful after-worldly fate those aggressors will be facing, “perish the makers of the trench, of the fuel-stoked fire! They sat down and witnessed what they were doing to the believers. Their only grievance against them was their faith in God, the Mighty, the Praiseworthy, to whom all control over the heavens and earth belongs: God is witness over all things. For those who persecute believing men and women, and do not repent afterwards, there will be the torment of Hell and burning” (85:4–10). (4) A deity who intervenes to stop human evil every time a person chooses to bring about harm is more evil than a deity who leaves human-caused harm and evil to take place. Because, while the latter respects the full authority already given to humans on earth, even when they abuse that authority, the former is more concerned with correcting the act even if this results in the destruction of the – already granted – divine status of humans. This divine agency of humanity places humans as God’s gods on earth. God doesn’t act as a superior God to His deputies as long as the divine assignment on earth is still ongoing. Divine intervention includes, by definition, a sense of a divine guardianship that can end all human divine agency if humans are to be placed as God’s inferior gods. The fact that God made Adam divine by breathing His own spirit into him should be reevaluated when we think of humans’ worldly divine agency as one that can be violated, devaluated, or arbitrarily deactivated, “When I have fashioned him and breathed My spirit into him, bow down before him” (15:29). (5) As the Qur’an asserts, divine guidance was sent down to humans via books, prophets and messengers. This divine guidance is strictly conditioned by free will and is limited to what humans freely choose to do. The repeated Qur’anic messages of compulsion as foreign to what religion stands for match the full acknowledgment of divine human agency, which can’t be annulled even by religious authorities. This is clear in, “There is no compulsion in religion” (2:256). Granting human beings free will without allowing them to make their own choices –including wrong choices – is a logical contradiction and a violation of the same meaning of granting free will. As Richard Swinburne states, “It would seem logically impossible for God to give agents this freedom (to make it up to them how they will choose) without the probability of them making some wrong choices. The more agents who have this freedom, the more such choices they have, and the greater the temptation to wrongdoing, the more wrong choices there will probably be.”2 (6) There is a difference between God as a deity who desires human evil and God as a deity who merely allows and temporarily tolerates it, due to respecting divine human agency. God does not orchestrate or facilitate human evil; to the contrary, “God wishes for us to repent and atone for our sins so we can enter paradise after death.”3 In the Qur’an we read, “Alas for human beings! Whenever a messenger comes to them they ridicule him” (36:30); “God creates evil not pleased by it […] but for reasons He knows.”4 Evil as an unsatisfactory and undesired human choice is explained in the Qur’an: “If you are ungrateful, remember God has no need of you, yet He is not pleased by ingratitude in His servants; if you are grateful, He is pleased [to see] it in you” (39:7). (7) God doesn’t desire human evil by choosing to create beings that can choose evil. Because the opposite will be one of two options: either choosing to create beings that cannot choose evil or choosing to create beings that can but do not choose evil. As I explain, both options are problematic in our case. First, choosing to create beings that cannot choose evil means the cancelation of free will and human autonomy. This option means no more than downgrading humans from divine to robotic and from creative to merely animate. Peter Green states: As the essence of virtue lies in free choice, the idea of any man forced to be good is a contradiction in terms. From the least matter to the greatest it is true that a man cannot be made to choose. He may be forced to accept one of two alternatives, but such acceptance, if the forced applied is really such as he could not resist, involves no moral element. If the alternative accepted is the right one, he is nevertheless deserving of no praise and in no sense virtuous. If the alternative is the wrong one, he is nevertheless not blame-worthy and there is no element of vice.5 Reconciling the concept of human suffering with divinely granted human freedom does not only help reconnect humans with their divine status but can help cope with suffering as well. David Birnbaum elaborates on this: The aggrieved may find some comfort in the concept that this pain is, rather, part of the high price humanity pays for its freedom, and for the possibility of ultimately realizing its full potential; that the individual’s tragedy was unlikely to have been punishment, and at the same time did not occur for naught; that while the particular tragedy was not part of a specific Divine plan, the allowance of tragedy in general is a cosmic necessity, and on that level may be considered part of an ultimate schema. For man must operate at an increasingly higher level of freedom if he is to have bona fide potential for a higher good – in his quest towards ultimate potentiality.6 Muslim theologians have famously debated the free-will question for centuries. The Qadariyya, who predated the Muʿtazilites, reject predestination. For the Muʿtazilites, “Humans for their part have free will and create their own good and bad deeds apart from God’s control. God is therefore just to reward and punish. If God were the sole creator of all human acts, He would obviously be unjust to punish the unbelief and disobedience that He creates.”7 However, some of “their successors whole-heartedly embraced the determinism which they so earnestly wished to avoid.”8 The Jahmites, on the other hand, denied free will and adopted absolute determinism that ascribed to God the responsibility of what humans do. The Ashʿarite theological school believes both in human free will and in divine destiny and that everything happens by the will of God.9 Islamic theodicy, which the Muʿtazilites, who were soundly described as “the most rational movement,”10 and pioneered its first arguments, seem to have gradually faded away as the Ashʿarites came to be the dominant Islamic theological school. As described by Mohammed Hashas and Mutaz al-Khatib, “The case of the Muʿtazilīs is more than convincing to prove that even a religiously dominated context could bring about rational tendencies”11. However, eventually, the Ashʿarites became the true representatives of mainstream Islamic theology and gained approval by arguing for themselves as providing a middle course. They summarized their argument the following way, “God alone created acts: man, however, ‘acquired’ these acts and so could be deemed legally responsible for his deeds.”12 However, instead of going over the details of the long history of debating this question, I suffice with reverting to my Qur’anic-based methodology to assert free will as a well-established Qur’anic condition and prerequisite essential for the human experience on earth as a divine succession, “Say, ‘Now the truth has come from your Lord: let those who wish to believe in it do so, and let those who wish to reject it do so’” (18:29). The second option is choosing to create beings that can but do not choose evil. What if human beings were created as beings that could still choose evil but were designed in a way that made them always choose and prefer what was good and righteous to what was bad and evil? S. Paul Schilling (b. 1904) argues against this option for being self-contradictory as he says, “we conclude that the notion of human beings created so that they would always choose the good is self-contradictory. If they were really free, there could be no guarantee that they would always choose rightly, while if they were so constituted as to exclude wrong choices, they would not be free.”13 While I disagree with describing such an option as self-contradictory, I still argue that this option is to be dismissed as applied to human beings. In fact, this option seems to have been divinely dismissed not for its incompatibility with human free will but due to its incompatibility with humans’ divine agency. Human beings can still be soundly described as free – as long as they make choices – even if they were designed in a way that makes them prefer what is good to what is bad. One can have a multiplicity of choices that vary substantially but still share the attribution of being good or righteous. Or, put differently, one can still be soundly described as freely choosing even when one chooses out of one of many options that all share the quality of being good. Choosing to help a homeless person on my way to work, or back from work, is choosing between two options that can both be described as good. Human beings who can but do not choose evil do not lose their free will; however, they lose what is even more important: they lose the ability of choosing as a divine ability that they share with God. Because the type of ability of choosing that we share with God goes beyond the ability of choosing different tokens of the same type to the ability of choosing different tokens of different types as well, in our case good acts and evil acts. It is important as well to remember that the choice to create beings that can but do not choose evil is not self-contradictory since it is not a mere hypothetical assumption but an actual case.14 In fact, this choice is the kind of creational choice that had already taken place when God created angels. Rumi describes angels as “abstract and free from lust,”15 as he explains, “To be obedient, worshipful, and constantly mindful of God is their nature and means of sustenance. That is what they feed on and live by, like a fish in water, whose life is of the water and whose bed and pillow are the water.”16 Angels – as the Qur’an describes them – are beings that can but never choose evil as we read, “Believers, guard yourselves and your families against a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which stand angels, stern and strong; angels who never disobey God’s commands to them, but do as they are ordered” (66:6); “The Messiah would never disdain to be a servant of God, nor would the angels who are close to Him” (4:172); and, “They are only His honored servants. They do not speak before He speaks and they act by His command. He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they cannot intercede without His approval – indeed they themselves stand in awe of Him” (21:26–28). As al-Rāzī explains, “the majority of Muʿtazilites and many jurists believed angels to be capable of evil and sinning.”17 They used – as he explains18 – for their claim the following arguments: first, what the angels said, “‘How can You put someone there who will cause damage” (2:30), which can be interpreted either as sinning or leaving what was better to be done; second, the following verse, “If any of them were to claim, ‘I am a god beside Him,’ We would reward them with Hell: this is how We reward evildoers” (21:29), which textually asserts their accountability; and third, the verse, “[even] those who live in the presence of your Lord are not too proud to worship Him” (7:206), which praised the angels for leaving arrogance and thereby suggests their ability of arrogance, since no one can be praised for leaving a sin he or she is incapable of doing in the first place. Humans’ divine agency can’t be fulfilled while lacking the ability to bring about evil; rather, it is fulfilled only by this unrestricted ability of free will, of choosing what is good and righteous or what is bad and evil. In other words, the ability of choosing good and evil is a divine ability that only responsible beings and divinely chosen beings like humans19 share with God. (8) God doesn’t desire human evil by choosing to create being that can choose evil and then by creating evil and allowing it as an option for them to choose from. Allowing only good and righteous outcomes to be chosen means banning and even eliminating evil from being chosen as an outcome. But eliminating all options and reducing all of them to one option, or one type of option, reduces the act of choosing itself into an act of accepting one forced option, or a forced type of option, that can only be categorized as good or righteous. Eliminating the ability of choosing by reducing choices into one choice, or one type of choice, is a violation of the status of humans as divine successors on earth. In fact, stripping human beings from their divine status can be done via either depriving them from their ability to make choices or by reducing their choices to one choice or one type of choice. To the contrary, we find both rights to be preserved in the Qur’an. First, free will is protected as we read, “There is no compulsion in religion” (2:256). Second, all options are made available to human beings to choose from as we read, “Did We not give him two eyes? A tongue, two lips, and point out to him the two clear ways [of good and evil]? (90:8–10). More importantly, and in addition, eliminating evil as an option results in turning human beings to amoral agents who may only choose from good and righteous options. Blocking evil choices and rendering them inaccessible turns all deeds and all choices, including moral deeds, into amoral choices. In a world where God allows only right moral choices, there would be nothing to set them apart and distinguish from evil choices. In a world were evil choices are made inaccessible, there would be only amoral choices made by amoral agents. That would eliminate evil for sure, but that would eliminate good as well. Finally, such a place would be a world of one God and many puppets, not a world like ours – a world of God and God’s gods. (9) God doesn’t desire human evil by choosing to create beings that can choose evil, by making evil choices accessible and then by refraining from deactivating the evil consequences of choosing evil. In other words, God is not evil for not intervening, in the last minute, once a human being chooses to do evil, by allowing the choice as a possibility while blocking its actual consequences. God apparently allows not only the evil choice but the actual consequences of the evil choice to take place as well. On might ask though: What if God solved the problem of evil by preserving both the human ability to choose and the existence of evil choices but then eliminated all evil consequences? In other words, what if the process of divine elimination applied only to eliminating evil and bad consequences? Wouldn’t this option solve the problem? For sure, such an option would preserve humans’ free will and their full ability to choose as well by keeping all choices – both bad and good – available. More importantly, this option might seem as if it could finally solve the problem of evil by keeping evil agents and evil choices while deactivating evil by eliminating evil consequences from taking place. John Hick deals with this hypothetical case as he asks us to imagine a world in which “no wrong action could ever have bad effects, and that no piece of carelessness or ill judgment in dealing with the world could ever lead to harmful consequences.”20 To explain more, Hick uses some useful examples: If a thief were to steal a million pounds from a bank, instead of anyone being made poorer thereby, another million pounds would appear from nowhere to replenish the robbed safe; and this, moreover without causing any inflationary consequences. If one man tried to murder another, his bullet would melt innocuously into thin air, or the blade of his knife turn to paper. Fraud, deceit, conspiracy, and treason would somehow always leave the fabric of society undamaged. Anyone driving at breakneck speed along a narrow road and hitting a pedestrian would leave his victim miraculously unharmed; or if one slipped and fell through a fifth-floor window, gravity would be partially suspended and he would float gently to the ground. And so on.21 Could such a world solve our problem of human evil? Hick answers no, because in that world, moral qualities would no longer have any point or value […] If to act wrongly means, basically, to harm someone, there would no longer be any such thing as morally wrong action. And for the same reason there would no longer be any such thing as morally right action. Not only would there be no way in which anyone could injure anyone else, but there would also be no way in which anyone could benefit anyone else, since there would be no possibility of any lack or danger.22 In fact, this specific type of plan B or deactivation of evil that can hypothetically be launched by blocking evil consequences doesn’t only cancel the act of choosing itself, through canceling bad and evil choices –the case I dealt with in (8) above – but cancels the act of choosing itself. This time the cancelation doesn’t happen because only one type of choice is made available to choose from, namely, righteous choices, but because evil choices will turn to righteous choices due to the lack of any criterion to distinguish them from anything else. In other words, while case (8) means the cancelation of the act of choosing itself due to the cancellation of one choice or one type of choice, namely, evil choices, case (9) would merely constitute another cancelation of the act of choosing. This time, the conciliation comes as a consequence not of eliminating one choice, namely, the evil choice, but as a result of turning both choices into two identical choices or types of choice. The deactivation of evil consequences will simply deprive the human moral agent from any chance to view good choices as any better than evil ones. (10) God doesn’t desire human evil by choosing to create beings that can choose evil while knowing they will choose evil, because knowing something is not the same as determining it or bringing it about. But where does this illusion, which is created mainly by God’s omniscience, come from? In fact, it derives from drawing analogies based on our limited epistemic abilities. It is an outcome of our human tendency to humanize God while we try to make sense of His unknown and incomprehensible attributes. As human beings we are not given foreknowledge. Therefore, one might be tempted to think that foreknowledge – if granted – can by itself change the future by providing humans access to it. At least – some might think – knowing the future can give us the chance to change what causes future outcomes by changing their current causes, either by manipulating the current causal chains, or by blocking the causal connection between current causes and future effects. In other words, connecting our knowledge of the future to the ability of changing it is what lies behind the illusion that knowing about something is the same as bringing it about. To dismiss this illusion of a necessary connection between knowing about something and causing it, it is sufficient to consider our knowledge of the past. As human beings we are granted an ability to know what had happened in the past; however, this faculty is distinct from the ability to retrospectively cause things to happen or stop things from happening. God, by knowing about future evil, doesn’t cause that future evil. In other words, God doesn’t stage current causes to end up as future effects that He already knows; rather, He only allows the natural and causal flow of current causes to their future effects: God is not an active agent in the causal chain that connects the present to the future but a patient witness. This stance is documented in the Qur’an in many places. For example, in Q. 4:33 we read, “God is witness to everything.” And, “Say, ‘Wait if you wish: We too are waiting’” (6:158). 1 David Hume, Dialogues concerning Natural Religion (Raleigh, NC: Generic NL Freebook Publisher), 68, http://search.ebscohost.com.libproxy.unl.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=1085903&site=ehost-live. 2 Richard Swinburne, Providence and the Problem of Evil (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), 127. 3 Joey Green, Jesus and Muhammad: The Parallel Sayings (Berkeley, CA: Seastone, 2003), 147. 4 Muḥammad Zīnū, Rasāʾil al-tawjihāt al-Islāmiyya (Riyadh: al-Sumiʿī, 1997), 2:163. 5 Peter Green, The Problem of Evil (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1920), 61. 6 David Birnbaum, God and Evil (Hoboken, NJ: Ktav Publishing House, 1989), 156. 7 Jon Hoover, Ibn Taymiyya’s Theodicy of Perpetual Optimism (Leiden: Brill, 2007), 2. 8 William Lane Craig, The Kalām Cosmological Argument (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1979), 6. 9 al-Rāzī, al-Tafsīr al-kabīr, 21:110. 10 Peter R. Demant, Islam vs. Islamism (London: Praeger, 2006), 14. 11Mohammed Hashas and Mutaz al-Khatib. Introduction in, Islamic Ethics and the Trusteeship Paradigm: Taha Abderrahmane’s Philosophy in Comparative Perspectives, edited by Mohammed Hashas and Mutaz al-Khatib, (Brill, 2020), 3. 12 Eric L. Ormsby, Theodicy in Islamic Thought: The Dispute over al-Ghazālī’s “Best of All Possible Worlds” (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984), 24. 13 S. Paul Schilling, God and Human Anguish (Nashville: Abingdon, 1977), 209. 14 For the theist. 15 Rumi, Signs of the Unseen, 81. 16 Ibid. 17 al-Rāzī, al-Tafsīr al-kabīr, 2:186. 18 Ibid. 19 And jinn. This other option, however, exceeds the limit of my discussion. 20 John Hick, Evil and the God of Love (London: Macmillan, 1977), 324. 21 Ibid. 22 Ibid., 324–25.