The Divine Name of Allah “As-Salam” (The Source of peace, safety and perfection), is mentioned in some of the verses of the Qur’an:
He is Allah. There is no god but Him, the King, the Holy, As-Salam (the Source of Peace, safety and Perfection), the Giver of security, the Watcher over His creatures, the All-Mighty, the Compeller, the Supreme. Glory be to Allah! (High is He) above all that they associate as partners with Him. (Al-Hashr 59:23)
Allah calls to the Home of Peace (i.e. Paradise) and guides whom He wills to the Straight Path. (Yunus 10:25)
And if he (the dying person) be of those of the Right Hand, then there is safety and peace for those of the Right Hand. (Al-Waqi`ah 56:90,91)
And peace be on him the day he was born, the day he dies, and the day he will be raised up alive. (Maryam 19:15)
This Divine Name of Allah means that He, All-Mighty, All-Majestic, is the Source of Peace and Safety, which also means that He, Glorified and Exalted, is free from any kind of defect, His Attributes are free from any kind of imperfection, His Acts are free from any kind of evil.
But here we have to elaborate some delicate expressions: He is Free from any kind of defect, His Attributes are free from any kind of imperfection, and His Acts are free from any kind of evil.
But isn’t there evil in this present world? So how come that scholars, when they interpret such a Great Divine Name of Allah, say that His Acts are free from any kind of evil?!
How Do You Think of Allah, As-Salam
At the outset, and in answer to this question, I give special importance to this point, because if you properly understand it, dear reader, you think well of your Lord, Allah, Most Gracious. And undoubtedly, to think well of Allah is the price of Paradise.
In fact this statement has to be understood to mean that Allah’s Acts are free from any kind of absolute evil. But what is absolute evil?!
It is evil that we do just for evil itself. For example, if someone has a serious inflammation in his vermiform appendix, doesn’t the surgeon, whom we wish to carry out such an operation, use a special knife whereby he cuts his flesh? And doesn’t his blood gush out after he has been anesthetized? When he comes round, doesn’t he feel pain?
Do we really desire to cut his body just because we like to harm him or save him? Doesn’t such well-experienced surgeon cut open the patient’s body and cut off his inflamed vermiform appendix saving him from danger and bringing him health, safety and comfort?
But when someone stabs another just for the sake of killing him without any crime he has committed, we say: This is an absolute evil deed, i.e. doing evil things just for the sake of evil. But when a surgeon cuts open his patient’s abdomen to eradicate his inflamed vermiform appendix and bring him safety and comfort is by no means absolute evil, because it is conducive to good favorable results in the end. In this sense should we understand Allah’s Divine Name “As-Salam”, i.e. the One Who provides safety and peace.
Allah’s Acts are, hence, free from any kind of absolute evil; but when man does evil for the sake of evil, this is absolute evil.
Therefore, in the light of the afore-mentioned we should believe that there is no absolute evil in Allah’s Acts. Yes, indeed, there is no absolute evil in Allah’s Acts. But there are kinds of evil that Allah, Alone, knows; and such kinds of evil are necessary to bring about good desirable results.
Man has been created for eternal happiness. But if he deviates from his target, he must be corrected, he must be treated, he must be pushed forward, and he must be deterred. Something must be done to push him towards his noble target.
Hence, he who believes that in Allah’s Acts there is absolute evil, or that Allah, Most Gracious, does evil just for the sake of evil, does not know Allah at all. To this effect, Allah, Most Merciful, says:
Say, ‘O Allah! Possessor of the Kingdom! You give the kingdom to whom You will; and You take the kingdom from whom You will; and You endue with honor whom You will; and You humiliate whom You will. In Your Hand is the Good. Verily, You are Powerful over all things. (Aal `Imran 3:26)
For Man’s Good
For example, is there in the whole world a real father who sees his son commit a crime or a grievous sin – such as stealing money, robbing others of their possessions, telling big lies, transgressing against the rights of others or killing unlawfully other fellow humans – and yet stands hand-folded and does nothing to deter his son by scolding, advising, beating, warning, reproaching, blaming, …etc.?!
And is there in the whole world a real father who intentionally injures or does harm to his dutiful righteous son who does no evil things at all?
Such simple human fathers can never do such unfair and unjust evil things as those mentioned above.
Hence, absolute evil does not exist in Allah’s Acts; and whatever disaster befalls humans is due to what their hands have earned. Moreover, the more grievous the deviation, the harder the treatment.
That was the first meaning of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “As Salam”, i.e. Allah is Free from all kinds of imperfection, His Attributes are free from all kinds of defects, His Acts are free from absolute evil.
Any kind of evil that Allah, Most Gracious, inflicts on His creatures is meant for the near or far benefit of mankind.
For example, someone might lose all his wealth, or suffer from an incurable disease that forces him to spend all his money for its treatment. Such total loss of wealth, and such incurable disease both seem to be seriously evil to those who undergo them.
But when we remember that man has been created for an eternal happiness, that such disease or loss do serve as a kind of treatment to drive him back to his Lord, Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, and that the ultimate goal of such loss or disease is a noble one, i.e. ultimate good for man.