Question: Disregarding the âyât about Allah’s torment, some people say that thieves, betrayers, rapists, and even disbelievers will be beneficiary of forgiveness. Is it wrong to talk about Allah’s adhâb (torment, punishment)?
Islam is a religion which is far from both ifrât (exorbitance) and tafrît (negligence). Therefore, it is necessary to communicate Allah’s torment as well as His compassion because Allahu ta’âlâ Himself stated this fact in the Qur’ân al-karîm. It would be perfidy to conceal and to hush up this fact.
In the Hereafter, there will not be a mote of forgiveness or mercy upon disbelievers. They will suffer eternal torment. The prerequisite for entering Jannat (Paradise) is to be a Muslim. A Muslim, in turn, must take a path between khawf and rajâ’. Khawf means having fear of Allah and rajâ’ means having hope of Allah’s mercy. It is declared in hadîth-i sharîfs:
(If a Believer takes a middle path between khawf and rajâ’, he will attain what he has hoped for and will be safe from what he has feared.) [Tirmudhî]
Just as it is not true to always talk about Allah’s torment and to frighten people, so it is contrary to the Qur’ân al-karîm to totally disregard Allah’s punishment and to always talk about His compassion. Believers’ fear must be more than their hope when they are living. But their hope must be more than their fear at the time of death. Two âyât purport:
(O My slaves with many sins! Do not give up hope of getting mercy of Allah. Allah forgives all sins. He is a Being with infinite forgiveness and endless mercy.) [Sûrat-uz-Zumar, 53]
(If a person who has done evil and has wronged his own self seeks forgiveness, he will find Allah Forgiving, Merciful.) [Sûrat-un-Nisâ’, 110]
The purport of two ahâdîth is as follows:
(Haqq ta’âlâ declared: “Even if the sins of a slave reach the heavens, I forgive him if he begs for forgiveness.”) [Tirmudhî]
(Allahu ta’âlâ is more merciful to His slaves than this woman is to her child.) [Bukhârî]
Allahu ta’âlâ’s compassion is infinite, but at the same time, His torment is severe. It is declared in the Qur’ân al-karîm:
(Certainly, My torment is very severe.) [Sûrat-u Ibrâhîm, 7]
(Allah is very severe in punishment as well.) [Sûrat-un-Nisâ’, 84]
(Those who obey Allah and His Messenger, who fear Allah, and who guard themselves against violating His commandments are the ones who have attained salvation.) [Sûrat-un-Nûr, 52]
(As a recompense for what they have done, let them laugh a little and weep much.) [Sûrat-ut-Tawba, 82]
Committing sins by relying on Allah’s forgiveness
Question: Some people commit sins by relying on Allah’s forgiveness. Isn’t it wrong?
Hadrat Sheikh Yahyâ Munîrî declared:
Allahu ta’âlâ is not only benevolent and merciful, but also He will torture very vehemently, very bitterly. Though He is very merciful and the Razzâq (Sustainer), He will not give crops unless the trouble of agriculture and farming is undertaken. Though He is the One who keeps everybody alive, He will not let a person survive without eating and drinking. He will not cure a sick person who does not take medicine.
He created means for all the worldly blessings, such as living and owning property, and showed no mercy in depriving those who would not hold fast to the means of the worldly blessings. So is the case with attaining the blessings of the next world. He made disbelief and ignorance poisons fatal to the soul. And laziness makes the soul sick. If medicine is not used, the soul will become sick and die. The one and only remedy for disbelief and ignorance is ‘ilm (knowledge). And the medicine for laziness is to perform namâz (salât, ritual prayer). If a person takes poison and then says, “Allah is merciful. His mercy surrounds everything, so He will protect me,” he will become ill and will die. If a person with diarrhea drinks castor oil or if a diabetic eats dessert, he will get worse.