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By Alveena Salim

I’ve often thought about this whenever I’ve gone through hardships in my life.
Only recently I’ve learnt that when one is truly being punished for their sins, the last thing they want to believe is that is God is punishing you for your wrong doings.

In the past, whenever calamities would befall the early Muslims, they’d automatically believe that it was due to their sins. Our pious predecessors used to say: “By Allah! If I committed any sin, I would see its consequences on my family and my steed.”

Sheikh Abdul Qadir al-Jillani once said that ones behaviour during the trial gives you a strong clue as to why the trial was sent. And when one is being punished for their sins, a sign of which is the person’s lack of patience and much restlessness and complaining during the trial.

This is because the sinner enters a state of anger and bitterness. They feel wronged by God and feel they are undeserving of the punishment that is being afflicted on them. In many cases, they become convinced that the calamity is a test and not a punishment because in their head, they haven’t done anything that deserves the punishment of God.

When one feels like that, know that it is a punishment from God.

Many years ago, I suffered from ill health. At the time, my mother suggested that the trial that I was suffering from could be due to my sins. I immediately lashed out on her; I felt angry that she suggested such a thing. In my head, I didn’t do anything majorly wrong to be hospitalised for 10days. It was only many years later that I realised that my mother spoke the truth. I also knew exactly what sin I was punished for.

And yes, I fully deserved to be punished for it.

Is it wrong to assume to know Gods plan and feel convinced that we’re being punished or should we always assume that the calamity is a test? Or should we not give it any thought either way?

Have you ever felt ‘punished’ for your sins?

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