Question: Disregarding the āyāt about Allahs torment, some people say that thieves, betrayers, rapists, and even disbelievers will be beneficiary of forgiveness. Is it wrong to talk about Allahs adhāb (torment, punishment)?
Islam is a religion which is far from both ifrāt (exorbitance) and tafrīt (negligence). Therefore, it is necessary to communicate Allahs torment as well as His compassion because Allahu taālā Himself stated this fact in the Qurān al-karīm. 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 rajā. Khawf means having fear of Allah and rajā means having hope of Allahs mercy. It is declared in hadīth-i sharīfs:
(If a Believer takes a middle path between khawf and rajā, he will attain what he has hoped for and will be safe from what he has feared.) [Tirmudhī]
Just as it is not true to always talk about Allahs torment and to frighten people, so it is contrary to the Qurān al-karīm to totally disregard Allahs 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 āyāt 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.) [Sūrat-uz-Zumar, 53]
(If a person who has done evil and has wronged his own self seeks forgiveness, he will find Allah Forgiving, Merciful.) [Sūrat-un-Nisā, 110]
The purport of two ahādīth is as follows:
(Haqq taālā declared: Even if the sins of a slave reach the heavens, I forgive him if he begs for forgiveness.) [Tirmudhī]
(Allahu taālā is more merciful to His slaves than this woman is to her child.) [Bukhārī]
Allahu taālās compassion is infinite, but at the same time, His torment is severe. It is declared in the Qurān al-karīm:
(Certainly, My torment is very severe.) [Sūrat-u Ibrāhīm, 7]
(Allah is very severe in punishment as well.) [Sūrat-un-Nisā, 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.) [Sūrat-un-Nūr, 52]
(As a recompense for what they have done, let them laugh a little and weep much.) [Sūrat-ut-Tawba, 82]
Committing sins by relying on Allahs forgiveness
Question: Some people commit sins by relying on Allahs forgiveness. Isnt it wrong?
Hadrat Sheikh Yahyā Munīrī declared:
Allahu taālā is not only benevolent and merciful, but also He will torture very vehemently, very bitterly. Though He is very merciful and the Razzāq (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 namāz (salāt, 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.