How is it that everything good comes from God and evil comes from human beings?
To understand this, Ustadh Bediuzzaman gives the following analogy in the eighth word,
“For example just as a man – who is not content with the joy of a pleasant feast in a beautiful garden, among his friends in the season of summer; makes himself drunk with filthy intoxicants and starts screaming and crying, imagining himself hungry and naked among beats in the midst of winter – does not deserve compassion; he is harming himself, he sees his friends as beasts and insults them. Now, this unfortunate one is also like that. And as for this fortunate one, he sees the truth. And the truth is beautiful.”
In the analogy, the unfortunate one can only blame himself for distorting the truth. If he hadn’t been drinking those intoxicants, he would not be in that state of mind. He is the only one responsible for his misery. The fortunate one, however, cannot claim to be responsible for his joy, for he is not the one who prepared the feast. His joy simply comes from being able to see the truth.
Now imagine the gears in a clock. If a single gear fails to spin properly, the entire clock will stop functioning. We’ll say the clock does not work due to that particular gear. But for a clock that does work, it is not true that it works due to that particular gear since everything needs to work properly (not just that particular gear) in order for the clock to function.
Similarly, God has designed this universe in the most beautiful way and has set us guidelines which, if followed properly, will bring us happiness in both worlds (this life and the hereafter). The more we follow God’s path, the more we will see the truth and the more we stray from His path, the more distorted our worldview will become. It is unreasonable for one who follows these rules to claim they are the source of their happiness since it is God Who designed it all; all they had to do was to follow those rules. It is God Who created this universe, gave them them happiness, and will eventually take them to heaven. But those who refuse to follow those rules and thus find themselves in misery, have only themselves to blame for failing to do their part in being happy.
Relevant Passage from the Eighth Word
“Thus the mystery of the Qur’an’s commandment “know that evil is from you and goodness is from Allah” becomes apparent.”