And if only they had upheld [the law of] the Torah, the Gospel, and what has been revealed to them from their Lord [i.e., the Quran], they would have consumed [provision] from above them and from beneath their feet. Among them are a moderate [i.e., acceptable] community, but many of them – evil is that which they do. (Al-Ma'idah [5] : 66)

Does this verse mean that following the right faith gives a person the benefits of this world? But then why do disasters happen to Muslims, as well as to other people? And why are there rich Jews and Christians? For example, the wars in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Maybe it's because of sins?

2 Answers 2



That verse is specifically directed at the children of Israel, who had established a clear covenant with Allah:

O Children of Israel, remember My favor which I have bestowed upon you and fulfill My covenant [upon you] that I will fulfill your covenant [from Me], and be afraid of [only] Me.
Al-Baqarah 40

The full details of that covenant are touched on but not fully laid out in the Qur'an, but were well-known to the Christians and Jews at the time from the previous scriptures:

13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto My commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul,
14 that I will give the rain of your land in its season, the former rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.
15 And I will give grass in thy fields for thy cattle, and thou shalt eat and be satisfied.
Deut 11:13-15

This was a conditional covenant: As long as the children of Israel obey Allah's commandments, He would grant them generous worldly provision. They lost that reward as a result of breaking the covenant.

The only aspect of this that is generally applicable outside of the children of Israel is the idea that Allah will uphold His covenants, but unless you have taken a similar covenant with Him you can't expect similar treatment:

And they say, "Never will the Fire touch us, except for a few days." Say, "Have you taken a covenant with Allah ? For Allah will never break His covenant. Or do you say about Allah that which you do not know?"
Al-Baqarah 80


I’ll divide the answer into two points:

  1. Every Ummah/individual has its/his own troubles that are part of their destiny, Allah -SWT- said [90:4]:

لقد خلقنا الإنسان في كَبَد

Indeed, We have created humankind in ˹constant˺ struggle.

Some of the troubles are direct consequences to the sins and Kufr... these are the ones that could be avoided (entirely or partially [1]) if the Ummah/individual followes the rules of Allah (teachings of the Holy book and the prophet), and as mentioned in @goldPseudo's answer, the verse you’ve mentioned in the question is a general talk to the Ummah (Bani Israel), but still, the individual in that Ummah could have troubles, this is a destiny that no living being could be excepted from.

  1. Furthermore, It's the other way around! Kufr is a stronger cause to having pleasur and avoiding troubles in Donya! read 43:33

وَلَوْلَآ أَن يَكُونَ ٱلنَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَٰحِدَةً لَّجَعَلْنَا لِمَن يَكْفُرُ بِٱلرَّحْمَـٰنِ لِبُيُوتِهِمْ سُقُفًا مِّن فِضَّةٍ وَمَعَارِجَ عَلَيْهَا يَظْهَرُونَ

And were it not that all mankind would have become of one community (all disbelievers, desiring worldly life only), We would have provided for those who disbelieve in the Most Beneficent (Allah), silver roofs for their houses, and elevators (and stair-ways, etc. of silver) whereby they ascend,

That is, once an individual became a disbeliever, the Donya (money, buildings, etc..) would be all to him! but Allah -SWT- is merciful, so to weak individuals not choose Kufr seeking for the Donya, and this is why Allah -SWT- let disbelievers live in poverty and weakness.

[1] What I meant by partially, is that, Allah -SWT- will provide you with power, patient and satisfaction when you face troubles and not let you face these troubles alone and get frustrated and full of anger... this is the hidden part of the equation, and the only winner here is the more obeying, due to his goods, the troubles will have less impact on him, his mentality and self.

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