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I know evil and suffering are tests, but why do children suffer?

I know evil and suffering are tests, but why do children suffer?


I know that evil and suffering is supposed to be a test and all but why do children suffer sometimes? They don’t need to be tested.

Salaam alykum,

This is obviously a difficult question, but, most of the perils that children face are the results of adults failing their tests, rather than the children facing any.

However, as someone who has worked with children since my teens, I think the idea that we remove agency or accountability completely from children is a little odd.

For example, bullying doesn’t start at adulthood, it begins at childhood.

Furthermore, childhood experiences can shape our future and to remind us what we can do to those less fortunate than ourselves.

For instance, The Prophet was an orphan, which was a horrendous social position to be in during his lifetime, and it was that trying experience that made God’s Commandments regarding orphans hit home to The Prophet.

So, we cannot look at tests simply as times of temporary suffering that we must get through, rather, we must learn from them, and if there was a population that learns the most, it is children.

I’d just like to reiterate that the onus and responsbility for most of what children face is the test of adults, not children, but children are tested to their ability, and God alone knows what is best and just and will judge us according to our abilities, intentions, and limits not the subjectivity of human logic.

I pray this reaches you and your families in the best of health and Iman, insha Allah.

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