A Punishment or a Test from Allah?

Posted: June 6, 2013 in Life
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By, Juwairiyah Faisal Khan

While writing my post on ‘In The Time Of Difficulty!‘ I felt the need of writing something on the topic, “A Punishment or a Test from Allah?”

How are we to decide as to if what we are facing is Allah’s test or a punishment?

In a nutshell, If we are not deliberately and persistently breaching the rights of Allah and of His Creation then whatever difficulty we are going through is nothing but a test from Allah azzawajal!

And how exactly would we know that we are not displeasing Allah by any of our actions? Well, if we won’t then who else would? Is there any soul existent on the face of this earth who could testify to the acts committed by other soul in secret and public? Indeed, “only the dead knows the state of his grave” and no one else! Not even his mother who brought him to this world, nor his father who did everything he could to clothe and feed his flesh! How true indeed!

There are many believing people I have seen in my life, for which I am thankful to Allah that I am fortunate enough to have seen such pious souls living in this age and time, who are going through extreme trials and tribulations even though they are the most harmless people one can ever come across! Why is it then that such believing folks go through trials?

Dear readers, know well that Allah subhanahu ta’ala has PROMISED to test all those who say they believe in Allah! It is the sunnah of Allah to make it clear not only to them but to the whole world too that how sincere and true they REALLY are in their commitment to Allah azzawajal. He says,



Now ponder upon the following words of the above verse, مَسَّتْهُمُ الْبَأْسَاءُ Meaning, they were afflicted with poverty. Although they were pious and god fearing but Allah tested them by depriving them of food and other necessities of life, not luxuries, to see if they would still thank Allah and would still worship Him alone or if they would forget all the manners and boundaries set by Allah subhanahu ta’ala and would beg finite and mortal beings, those who cannot even create a fly, to feed and clothe them! Imagine, those were the companions of prophets who were tested with such a test that despite being the most patient and committed slaves of Allah they cried out for help! Even though, they were fortunate enough to have prophets by their side!

So for someone like me or you, Allahu Akbar! Where would we go and how will we cope if Allah decided to test our imaan to see if we really are as committed as we claim?

Then reflect on وَالضَّرَّاءُ = they were tested with sickness and illness in their bodies. وَزُلْزِلُو = they were ‘shaken’ severely and were tested to the extent that they CRIED OUT TO ALLAH asking when would His help come to alleviate their sufferings!

I once asked my Islamic Studies teacher if she could be generous enough and tell me the difference between a punishment and a test from Allah. She paused for a second then said ever so gently, “my dear, those who go through either a punishment or a test from Allah know well what they are going through as none but self knows that which is done in secret.”

There are four categories of people,
01. Allah tests them to check their commitment to Islam
02. Allah tests them to elevate their ranks
03. Allah tests them to remove their sins
04. The fourth category of test is fitnah, which means a trial to remove the sickness and weakness of behaviour in some people or make them examples for others!

Moreover, in some cases Allah swt tests a person by letting him go through a calamity due to his sins, he then bears it with sheer patience and gratitude so as to qualify for Almighty’s interminable mercy and forgiveness.  Then not only Allah azzawajal forgives him his sins but raises him in status and gives him the reward of those who are patient!

As was the case with some of the Messengers and Prophets, such as Adam (peace be upon him) and Yunus (peace be upon him). Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, tested Adam with expulsion from Paradise, and He tested Yunus ibn Matta with being swallowed by a whale. But by means of these tests, Allah raised them in status because of their patience and seeking reward with Him, may He be exalted. The tests served as their expiation for what they had done (blessings and peace of Allah be upon both of them).

Therefore, if Allah requites an individual in this world, in order for him to reach the lofty status He azzawajal has decreed for him, his requital here will also suffice for the world to come!

Know well, “The people most subject to affliction are the prophets, then come the righteous, and after them come the best people all according to their goodness.” (Narrated by at-Tirmidhi (2398): Hasan Saheeh)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “When I fall ill, my pain is equivalent to the pain of two men among you.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5648).

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also said, “The extent of the reward will be in accordance with the extent of the trial. If Allah loves a people, He tries them, and whoever is content will have contentment, and whoever is angry will have anger.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 2320; Saheeh al-Jami’, 2210).

It was narrated that Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “If Allah wills good for His slave, He hastens his punishment in this world, and if He wills bad for His slave, He withholds from him (the punishment for) his sin, until He requites him for it on the Day of Resurrection.” Narrated and classed as hasan by at-Tirmidhi (2396); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Tirmidhi.

Glad tidings to those who are fulfilling the rights of the Creator along with the rights of the Creation. And as for those who are not, let them “fear Allah, verily, Allâh is severe in punishment! (59:7)

  1. asma says:

    Asalaam alakum I need your help from last year I am suffering from stomach problem and anxiety before when my mother want me marry I didnt marry there was also no good rishta also now I am too old to marry now feel that why dont I marry before then I think it was written by Allah but now I too much worried I feel too much frightening in the morning my mind is out of control I can’t get relax what I’d going to happen is I am going to die I am reading too much durood syeduna kareemun(SAW) and I have full hope in Allah but most of the time I am worried my

  2. Mufti Abdul Majeed Nadeem says:

    My name is Mufti Abdul Majeed Nadeem.I am based in Birmingham. I liked your Taraweeh Summary in Urdu. Is it possible to get these slides in the shape of power point slides?

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