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Al-A'wad

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Al-Aʿwāḍ (الاعواض, the plural of iwaḍ, literally: compensation) is a term in theology, which refers to the compensation or reward given by God to some innocent human beings who unwittingly suffered a catastrophe or a pain.

According to the majority of theologians of Adliyya, God's compensations or rewards for human beings are obligatory and are based on the entitlements of the suffering people. However, al-Shaykh al-Mufid believes that human beings are not entitled for any "iwad". Instead, God rewards people who have suffered out of His grace and kindness.

God's iwad includes unbelievers as well. According to some scholars, God's iwad might be in this world or in the afterlife. In theological works, a'wad are discussed under the problem of primary pains and divine justice.

Definition

"Al-A'wad" is a terminology in theology, which means God's compensation or reward for people who unwittingly suffered a catastrophe or pain in this world. "Al-a'wad" includes innocent human beings, such as children, mad people, believers, prophets (a), and divine saints.

The issue of al-A'wad is discussed in theological books under the problem of divine justice, primary pains (unwanted catastrophes), or the issue of intisaf (punishment of unjust people). Some people believe that it was referred to in the Qur'an and hadiths as well. However, some scholars believe that the historical background of the issue is not known, and the compensation of human pains and sufferings in some hadiths refers to the standard divine rewards and punishments.

Are al-A'wad Out of Entitlement or Grace?

According to theologians of Adliyya, since God never acts unjustly, He is obligated to give rewards to people who unwittingly suffer pains and catastrophes. The majority of Imamiyya and Mu'tazili scholars take the obligation of compensation to be based on the suffering person's entitlement. However, al-Shaykh al-Mufid takes it to be based on the divine grace and kindness, rather than entitlement. He believes that there is a good in catastrophes, which compensates the pains involved in them, and God rewards people to compensate those pains.

Ash'aris do not take it obligatory for God to compensate for pains suffered by people.

Cases of al-A'wad

According to theologians, if a person suffers a catastrophe or pain, or loses an interest, without having committed a sin, or if a person loses his or her rational or psychological capacities without being the culprit, then God is obligated to compensate it for him. Some people believe that animals that are slaughtered should be compensated too.

Al-A'wad are not restricted to Muslims. God will compensate for unbelievers as well. According to some people, God's compensation might occur in this world or in the afterlife. Some people maintain that God's compensations are permanent, and others take them to be temporary.

References

  • The material for this article is mainly taken from اعواض in Farsi WikiShia.