During one of his shows, comedian George Carlin was mocking God and religion, and says:

If there is a God, may he strike me dead. (YouTube)

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Despite him outright denying the existence of God and claiming to worship the sun, it looks like God chose not to immediately strike him dead.

Question: Why did God not strike George Carlin dead upon his request?

The Qur'an gives examples of God killing people for their sins, e.g., the story of Prophet Lut, which sets a precedent that it's possible.

  • Because a person will die when Allah wills him to. It doesn't matter if he does anything that is so bad because he will die when Allah has decreed when he will die. Mar 7, 2017 at 18:18

3 Answers 3


God has many traditions. Among them is the Sunnah of استدراج (Istidraj). Which is like God leaving the person all to himself, letting him enjoy himself. Like a parent who is, OK I'm done with you, I'm not even going to punish you anymore (in this world), I'll leave all my justice to you for the afterlife.

*وَ لاَ یحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِینَ کفَرُواْ أَنَّمَا نُمْلِی لَهُمْ خَیرٌ لاِّنفُسِهِمْ إِنَّمَا نُمْلِی لَهُمْ لِیزْدَادُواْ إِثْمًا وَلَهُمْ

عَذَابٌ مُّهِین*

And let not those who disbelieve ever think that [because] We extend their time [of enjoyment] it is better for them. We only extend it for them so that they may increase in sin, and for them is a humiliating punishment. Al Imran :178

وَأُمْلِي لَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّ كَيْدِي مَتِينٌ

And I will give them time. Indeed, my plan is firm. A'raf : 173

  • Nice to the point answer, with good references. Try replacing God with Allah.
    – Seeker
    Mar 8, 2017 at 5:24

Why should God act on the whims and provocations of a man? Is that worthy of His Majesty and Stature? God acts as He wills, and He does according to what He decrees. God doesn't respond to provocation, He punishes whom He judges, and administers the punishment in His own way, and He gives mankind freedom and respite for an appointed time and He will judge people on the day of resurrection.

22:47 And they urge you to hasten the punishment. But Allah will never fail in His promise. And indeed, a day with your Lord is like a thousand years of those which you count.

22:48 And for how many a city did I prolong enjoyment while it was committing wrong. Then I seized it, and to Me is the [final] destination.

Quran 22:47-48

7:182 But those who deny Our signs - We will progressively lead them [to destruction] from where they do not know.

7:183 And I will give them time. Indeed, my plan is firm.

Quran 7:182-183


Let me give you a not so very perfect parable from a different viewpoint:

It's like a fly telling the greatest Lion of all lions, hey hey hey hey you little imbecile lion which don't exist, kill me if you can...The Lion being the lion can either annihilate the fly in a second or simply because he's deserving of pride (the only entity that is worthy of pride is Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'alla) not even engage with this arrogant fly, don't even pay attention to him. It's like Allah is laughing at him saying you're of no importance, you make a fool of yourself.

There are some verses in Qu'ran which show this sort of mindset of Allah:

مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ كَمَثَلِ الْعَنكَبُوتِ اتَّخَذَتْ بَيْتًا ۖ وَإِنَّ أَوْهَنَ الْبُيُوتِ لَبَيْتُ الْعَنكَبُوتِ ۖ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ

The example of those who take allies other than Allah is like that of the spider who takes a home. And indeed, the weakest of homes is the home of the spider, if they only knew.Ankabut : 41

وَمَثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا كَمَثَلِ الَّذِي يَنْعِقُ بِمَا لَا يَسْمَعُ إِلَّا دُعَاءً وَنِدَاءً ۚ صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْيٌ فَهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ

And if We had willed, we could have elevated him thereby, but he adhered [instead] to the earth and followed his own desire. So his example is like that of the dog: if you chase him, he pants, or if you leave him, he [still] pants. That is the example of the people who denied Our signs. So relate the stories that perhaps they will give thought. A'raf: 176

مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِرَبِّهِمْ ۖ أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَرَمَادٍ اشْتَدَّتْ بِهِ الرِّيحُ فِي يَوْمٍ عَاصِفٍ ۖ لَّا يَقْدِرُونَ مِمَّا كَسَبُوا عَلَىٰ شَيْءٍ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الضَّلَالُ الْبَعِيدُ

The example of those who disbelieve in their Lord is [that] their deeds are like ashes which the wind blows forcefully on a stormy day; they are unable [to keep] from what they earned a [single] thing. That is what is extreme error.Ibrahim :18

وَمَثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا كَمَثَلِ الَّذِي يَنْعِقُ بِمَا لَا يَسْمَعُ إِلَّا دُعَاءً وَنِدَاءً ۚ صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْيٌ فَهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ

The example of those who disbelieve is like that of one who shouts at what hears nothing but calls and cries cattle or sheep - deaf, dumb and blind, so they do not understand.Baqara: 171

In these verses you kinda get a sense that Allah doesn't care very much about those who're in total denial. He's basically like I have nothing but my justice for you, I'll sustain you in this earth but that's just it. Having that said, if they ever turn back to Allah, Allah will have them with open arms


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