This reminder displays a Quran-based point of view that is different from what we have been promoting as a community of submitters for years and also from traditional Islamic beliefs that have been conditioning the vast majority of Muslims. Is there any kind of punishment on earth that is promised for the believers in the whole entire Quran? Does God remits the sins of the believers on earth through punishment? What exactly has God issued in regard of His punishment in the Quran?
It is emphasized clearly in the Quran that when adversity hits, knowledgeable believers should realize that they are put to the test - they submit and stay steadfast. They are aware of the devil who tries to instill fear and some crooked ideas in their hearts, whispering that God is punishing them, and that they must have done something wrong that they deserve His punishment or as we all claim His 'pinch'!!. This reminder is to assure you that this is nothing but a Satanic trap, and according to 7:201, true believers must recognize such a trap.
True believers are always conscious about God when they commit a sin (3:135). They repent and reform. God then forgives their sins, and transforms them into credits (25:70). True believers fully trust in that system, and they are certain that the Most Gracious will not punish them while promising them full remission, and forgiveness. How and why would that be? Does God ever break a promise? What would God earn by punishing His repenting servants? Believing in God necessitates believing in His systems and promises. It mandates the belief in His grace, forgiveness, and clemency.
[39:53] Proclaim: "O My servants who exceeded the limits, never despair of GOD's mercy. For GOD forgives all sins. He is the Forgiver, Most Merciful."
[4:146] Only those who repent, reform, hold fast to GOD, and devote their religion absolutely to GOD alone, will be counted with the believers. GOD will bless the believers with a great recompense.
[4:147] What will GOD gain from punishing you, if you became appreciative and believed? GOD is Appreciative, Omniscient.
Not only does the devil whispers the claim of punishing the believers, but he also sugar-coat his poisonous ideas to make the believers think that punishing them is mercy from God to get them back on track - a baseless and unquranic concept! God has never issued such a concept. God does not guide His servants back on track by punishing them. Instead, He decreed the worshiping practices to keep them and bring them back on His path. Observing the contact prayers, reciting the scripture, meditating, fasting, giving to charity, and performing the many other righteous deeds also wipe out their sins, constantly. This is what the worshiping practices and leading a righteous are all about ; protect the believers from sinning, keep them on the right path, remit their sins, and grow their souls. God’s mercy manifests itself in His forgiveness and compassion. If God's punishment is categorized by some as mercy, how would they characterize His forgiveness?! This is nothing but some twisted logic that has been introduced to us by Satan and is not founded in the Quran.
[11:114] You shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) at both ends of the day, and during the night. The righteous works wipe out the evil works. This is a reminder for those who would take heed.
[29:45] You shall recite what is revealed to you of the scripture, and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), for the Contact Prayers prohibit evil and vice. But the remembrance of GOD (through Salat) is the most important objective.* GOD knows everything you do.
Attributes of the Righteous
[3:133] You should eagerly race towards forgiveness from your Lord and a Paradise whose width encompasses the heavens and the earth; it awaits the righteous,
[3:134] who give to charity during the good times, as well as the bad times. They are suppressors of anger, and pardoners of the people. GOD loves the charitable.
[3:135] If they fall in sin or wrong their souls, they remember GOD and ask forgiveness for their sins - and who forgives the sins except GOD - and they do not persist in sins, knowingly.
Misunderstanding some verses or singling out a verse without considering the whole scripture might result in some confusion. A clear example of that is the MISAPPLICATION of 4:78-79 and 42:30 where we learn that good things come from God while bad things are caused by us. These verses emphasize that nothing bad comes from God. When God blesses us with a nice car, a provision from God, then, we run a red light and cause an accident , a bad thing from us, this simply means that God did not cause the accident, but it was caused by our careless driving which is our own action. This has nothing to do with sinning, punishment, belief, or disbelief, but it shows that people get themselves in trouble by misbehaving. Misinterpreting these verses and titling what God is stating as a "punishment for a specific sin" reflects a selective application and lack of knowledge of the entire context of Quran and of God's decreed systems and teachings.
The brain wash that has been conducted by traditional scholars could lead us, submitters, into adopting the same old wrong beliefs. An example of that is the belief that the Most Merciful remits the sins by punishing His believers. This is an erroneous and dangerous belief as it is not based on Quran, minimizes God’s grace, and contradicts His mercy. Believers need to realize the correct understanding of God’s words and cherish His compassion and kindness. God promises His servants who strive to lead a righteous life, and repent for their mistakes to remit their sins. He also issued for us that the righteous deeds wipe out any evil ones (11:114). Never a verse in the entire Quran that states that the remission of believers' sins could be through any kind of punishment. How could they believe so when the correct meaning of “remit” is actual forgiveness with no penalty or casulity whatsoever. This is one of the great signs of God's grace that believers need to value and embrace.
[4:31] If you refrain from committing the gross sins that are prohibited for you, we will remit your sins, and admit you an honorable admittance.
[11:114] .... The righteous works wipe out the evil works. This is a reminder for those who would take heed.
[42:25] He is the One who accepts the repentance from His servants, and remits the sins. He is fully aware of everything you do.
Other serious confusing issues are in regard of abandoning the mission as God's messengers and the verse that explains the special responsibility of the prophets' wives. These specific cases should not be generalized and should not be applied to all the believers. Prophet Jonah or prophet Joseph cannot be treated like ordinary believers. Prophet Muhammad was threatened by God's severe punishment if he ever utters any teachings besides what God has revealed to him:
Muhammad Forbidden from Issuing
Any Religious Teachings [69:44] Had he uttered any other teachings.
[69:45] We would have punished him.
[69:46] We would have stopped the revelations to him.
[69:47] None of you could have helped him.
[33:30] O wives of the prophet, if any of you commits a gross sin, the retribution will be doubled for her. This is easy for GOD to do.
[33:31] Any one of you who obeys GOD and His messenger, and leads a righteous life, we will grant her double the recompense, and we have prepared for her a generous provision.
When we regard the very specific punishments that God has issued in Quran for very specific social crimes, we then understand if the prophet’s wife, for example, commits adultery, she will face 200 lashes, double the number of lashes for the regular believer.
Out of His immense grace, God kept us in the light about these specific punishments. They are very specific and well-defined by God in the scripture as whipping for adultery, marking the hand of the thief, whipping those who accuse chaste women without producing witnesses, segregation for homosexuality, and the capital punishment. Other options the Most Merciful has specified for us is atoning for some violations such as feeding 10 people or fasting for violating the oath, freeing a slave for estranging the wife or freeing a believing slave for killing a believer by accident.
The Most Wise, the Compassionate, never leaves His believers in the dark, wondering about what is a test and what is not!!. To the contrary, He specified that believers are tested by adversity and prosperity with no limits or restrictions, throughout their lives until they move to Paradise. NO SUCH THINGS AS ADMISSION TESTS OR SUFFERING to pay for sins or purify our souls, period. When the Most Merciful keeps us enlightened about putting us to the test, we better be prepared to be tested at all times. Believers must study the Quran well and learn what the Supreme cares to deliver for His servants in His scripture by His own words, not through traditions and man-made footnotes and interpretations:
[21:35] Every soul will taste death, after, we put you to the test through adversity and prosperity, then to us you ultimately return.
[47:31] We will certainly put you to the test, in order to distinguish those among you who strive, and steadfastly persevere. We must expose your true qualities.
[29:11] GOD will most certainly distinguish those who believe, and He will most certainly expose the hypocrites.
[2:155] We will surely test you through some fear, hunger, and loss of money, lives, and crops. Give good news to the steadfast.
[2:156] When an affliction befalls them, they say, "We belong to God, and to Him we are returning."
[29:2] Do the people think that they will be left to say, "We believe," without being put to the test?
[29:3] We have tested those before them, for GOD must distinguish those who are truthful, and He must expose the liars.
Not only did God tell us about testing the believers and redeeming their souls through their repentance, and through all of their righteous deed, but He specifically taught us that His punishment is EXCLUSIVE for the disbelievers:
[33:73] For GOD will inevitably punish the hypocrite men and the hypocrite women, and the idol worshiping men and the idol worshiping women. GOD redeems the believing men and the believing women. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
The System [6:44] When they thus disregard the message given to them, we open for them the gates of everything. Then, just as they rejoice in what was given to them, we punish them suddenly; they become utterly stunned.
Most People Make the Wrong Choice [7:96] Had the people of those communities believed and turned righteous, we would have showered them with blessings from the heaven and the earth.. Since they decided to disbelieve, we punished them for what they earned.
- Believers shall study the scripture carefully and learn about the Most Gracious and His infinite mercy. They must reverence His attributes and His systems. If they believe He is the Forgiver, they better trust that He forgives the sins of his repenting servants. Be He glorified, the Most Wise, the Clement, the Most Merciful who promised His servants forgiveness and mercy, and never stated that He would punish them to "pinch" them, get them back on track, or to remit their sins. They must give up traditional beliefs, seek refuge in God from the devil and put their trust in their Lord, and in His divine promises.
- Believers always recognize their sins, ask God for forgiveness, repent, reform, and not only does God forgive them, but He also transforms these sins into credits. He also remits and overlooks other sins, and makes specific ones atonable.
- Whoever thinks that the Most Gracious punishes His servants, let him study Quran and increase his knowledge about chapter 29 detailing the testing for believers and the punishment for the disbelievers. Let him recite 2:155, 2:214, 3:154, 6:42, 7:168, 18:7, 21:35, 22:53, 23:30, 25:20, 39:49, 47:31, 76:2 and many more about believers being tested by adversity and hardship. Why would any enlightened believer who carefully studies the word of God confuse God's tests with punishment? and based on what?
- Testing is a great blessing and a privilege from the Almighty to toughen the believers and augment their faith. By being patient and steadfast, they earn more credits and attain higher ranks. Through testing, the believers' hearts soften, their souls thrive, and they draw nearer (7:168) by striving, imploring, and persevering.
- Based on the entire context of the Quran, we should conclude that 4:78-79 and 42:30 are simply teaching us that nothing bad comes from God. It is always our own choices and actions that sometimes result in harmful things (as a consequence). This should never be confused with or classified as "a punishment/pinch from God for a specific sin!". This a blasphemous concept as it contradicts the many issued systems in Quran about God's forgiveness, acceptance of repentance, remission of sins, purification & redemption of our souls and the exclusiveness of punishing the disbelievers in this life and in the Hereafter.
- God blessed us with the knowledge about specific punishments for specific sins and about the unforgivable sin. He sent down His beacon with all this knowledge leaving no room for conjecture or doubt about what is a test and what is a punishment or who is tested and who is supposed to be punished.
- Believers should rejoice in God’s forgiveness and their hearts should be full of trust and reassurance that God promised them nothing but testing and complete forgiveness and redemption:
If He accepts the repentance, forgives and remits the sins, overlooks some, and transforms others into credits, what would God punish His servants for?!
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.