If evil only comes from man, and not from God, then how can we explain natural disasters that kill innocent people or mental illnesses that cause one to be more aggressive towards others?

Considering something evil is relative rather than absolute. Human beings consider something evil because their judgement is limited to their immediate time and circle. What we sometimes term as evil could be reconsidered as difficult challenges that are tests for people. They nurture growth and bring out potential. A comfortable smooth life with no bumps in it would not help the human being to grow towards perfection, which is the purpose of life on earth. The worldview of Islam sees the world as an opportunity for growth and perfection, the fruits of which will be reaped in the hereafter. It looks at the human being as a soul that is housed in a body. It is the soul that will remain forever and is most important, not the body which will perish.  

Events in the world are inter related. They are links in a chain of events taking place throughout the universe. There is a connection between these events and the systems that are present on earth. Human beings also have a role to play in the way they interact with the earth and with each other.  Earthquakes for example are said to be caused by the moon’s attraction to the dry outer layers of the earth or by heat and gases within the earth. Whatever theory is true, we should take its other consequences into consideration. The earth’s internal heat affects things such as the formation of fossil resources like oil and coal inside the earth. There is an entire system running in the universe.

People who have mental illness are not responsible for their actions. But society needs to care for them appropriately. When they are treated with love and respect, the chances of them committing violence are very slim. Often, the broken systems in society lead to much of the evils committed in society. This is very evident in the increase of violence we see in today’s times.

It is important to consider the big picture when judging something as evil. Like the Quran tells us; 

you have not been given of knowledge but a little 

Holy Quran (17:85)

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