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Rewards, Punishments and Tests by Allah

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Salaam Alaikum Burhan Bhai,


Allah (SWT) Rewards, Punishes and Tests. I don’t think there are any doubts about these three things. However, is there a way to determine or distinguish Punishment from Test? There are people around, whom you see suffering from miseries, one after the other. You also know that these people have committed atrocities on others, harmed others, laid evil plots against others, snatched others properties and hurt others. The list is endless. However when they suffer, they say it is a “Test” from Allah (SWT). So, is it possible to reach a conclusion about such people? I am fully aware that Ghaib is known only to Allah (SWT), yet, since he (SWT) has given us wisdom, can we determine whether a these suffering(s) are Tests or Punishments. I can see some people whom I know suffering and I also know what evils they have done, yet I cannot say for sure whether it is a Punishment from Allah (SWT) or not? Could you please help me with this? JazakAllah Khair for the service you are doing and the guidance that you are spreading


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Rewards, Punishments and Tests by Allah

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His  forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Allah says in the Holy Quran in Chapter 67 Surah Al Mulk verse 2:He (Allah) created death and life that He may test you, to see which of you is the best in deeds.


Allah Subhanah created man on this earth to test him whether he is obedient and grateful, or denies his Lord and is ungrateful. He puts man through good and/or bad conditions to see what is his reaction.


Thus, the life of this transient world is merely a testing period and a place to do deeds; only in the life of the Hereafter the real results will be declared by the One Who is All Knowing and Well-Aware of everything. Neither is this world a place for full rewards, nor is this world a place for complete punishments; but a place for doing deeds.


At times, when one does evil deeds, Allah Subhanah may, if He so Wills, warns him with a punishment in this world, so that he may realize his mistake and amend his conduct; and at times Allah Subhanah, if He so Wills, punishes a whole community so they may serve as a warning to mankind, and at times He extends the ‘rope’ of the evil-doers and does not punish them in this life at all, so that they may get a full recompense for their evil deeds only in the Hereafter.


At times Allah Subhanah also puts hardship and trials in the path of his devout and obedient believers, so that He may test them and thus increase their reward in the Hereafter.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale-Imraan verses 185-186:

185 Every soul shall have a taste of death! And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved far from the fire, and admitted to the Gardens will have attained the object (of life): for the life of this world is but goods, and chattels of deception.

186 Ye (O Believers) shall certainly be tried and tested in your possessions, and in your selves; and ye shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those who received the Book before you (Jews and Christians), and from the ‘mushriks’ (those who worship many gods). But if ye persevere patiently and guard against evil, then that will be a determining factor in all affairs.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale-Imraan verses 185-186:

141 Allah's object also is to purge those that are true in faith, and to deprive of blessing those that resist faith.

142 Did ye (O Believers) think that ye would enter heaven without Allah testing those of you who strove hard (in His cause) and remained steadfast?


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 214:

214 Or do ye (O Believers) think that ye shall enter the Gardens (of Bliss) without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering, and adversity, and were so shaken in spirit that even the Messenger and the believers who were with him, cried out: "When (will come) the help of Allah?" Ah! Verily the help of Allah is (always) near!


Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 7.548 Narrated by Abu Huraira

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said, "If Allah wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts him with trials."


Every person is the best judge for himself, for he knows whether he is being punished or tested as he has knowledge of his deeds! As you have rightly mentioned, the knowledge of the unseen is with Allah Subhanah Alone, and He Alone Knows who is being punished, and who is being tested. It is not for us to judge whether others are being tested or punished, for we obviously do not hold adequate knowledge.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your Brother in Islam,







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