DEFORMED, RETARDED, FAMINE-STRICKEN CHILDREN
This is a common question posed by atheists, as well as multitudes of people who confess belief in God: "If God is just and merciful, why does he afflict innocent children?" Obviously, these people do not understand that Satan is solely responsible for such calamities; they reflect Satan's incompetence as a designated temporary ruler of this world. Satan is trying very hard to make his kingdom, this world, perfect, but he just can't do it. And this is the whole idea. His ancient claim that he can be an independent “god" is exposed as a lie. God never inflicts an atom's weight of injustice (4:40).
To comprehend the role of deformed, retarded, and/or children who starve to death, we must go back in history all the way to "The Great Feud in the Heavenly Society" (38:69). Billions of years ago, there was God and His creatures. Death had not yet been created (67:2), and everything was just perfect. Then, one creature became infatuated with his God-given powers and entertained the thought that he can run a dominion as an independent "god." This triggered varied opinions among God's creatures. As illustrated in Figure 1, the vast vast majority of God's creatures knew that Satan's supercillious thought was blasphemous, that it was due to arrogance, ego, and ignorance.
The creatures who disagreed with Satan and upheld God's absolute authority became classified as "angels." Their number is so huge, only God knows their number. Even the angels do not know how many of them there are (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: The white area represents the creatures who disagreed with Satan (angels). The shaded area represents the creatures who agreed with Satan.
Figure 2: The grey area represents the creatures who denounced their crime and submitted (animals, children). The black area: the stubborn criminals
THE MOST MERCIFUL
The angels suggested that the rebels (Satan and those who agreed with him) should be exiled from God's kingdom, i.e., thrown in Hell. But the Most Merciful told the angels, "I know what you do not know" (2:30). God willed that all the rebels should be given a chance to re-consider their blasphemy and repent. God knew that some of the rebels were possibly swept in the crowd, and deserved another chance. We see this second chance in 33:72. Thus, those who refused to repent and submit to God's absolute authority are the worst criminals.
THE SUN, THE MOON, THE STARS, THE TREES, THE ANIMALS, & THE CHILDREN
If you look up 55:6, you will see that "The stars and the trees prostrate."
When Almighty God, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful offered the criminals a second chance, the vast majority of them agreed to repent. In return for agreeing to come to this world in a submissive function, they are redeemed back to God's kingdom.
When you and I were asked to repent, kill our egos, and come to this world as horses, or dogs, or deformed children, we refused. That was a stupid mistake on the part of most humans (33:72). Thus, the afflicted children are luckier than millions of "physically perfect" humans. They perform the function of testing and/or punishing their parents, then go on to Heaven.
WE DECLARED WAR ON GOD
NOW WE MUST REPENT AND ATONE
The Quran informs us that the "great feud in the Heavenly Community" (38:69) was a "Great Event." Indeed it is the most significant event in our existence, period. To fully understand the purpose of our life in this world, we need to study that great feud, and put it in the right perspective.
Let Us Face It
Billions of years ago, when Satan promised a better place than God's and more power, all humans and jinns went to war against God and His angels, with Satan as our commander-in-chief. There was, thus, a physical battle; we actually fought against God on
Satan's side. God, being God Almighty, overpowered us most efficiently and took us all as P.O.W.s (prisoners of war). He could have destroyed us, burnt us in Hell eternally-- any of these ends would have been quite appropriate, since we had failed to uphold His absolute authority. The angels expected Him to do exactly that. They were shocked that He could give these traitors another chance (2:30).
God gave us another chance because He knew that some of us rebels were swept with the crowd, but really, truly believed in Him. He willed to save those among us who deserved another chance.
I have written about this is to remind us of the horrendous crime that we committed. Most people think (when & if they think) that their fault was quietly believing that Satan could be a god. They do not have any recollection that they physically did battle with God and His angels on the side of Satan.
Therefore, we need to wake up, realize our mistake, and spend every minute of our lives asking God for forgiveness, thanking Him, and imploring Him for mercy. We should constantly and actively strive with our lives and our money in His cause, in order to be redeemed.