From the punishment of sins: Sins turn the heart away from a sound and upright condition to a state of illness and deviation. The owner of such a heart is not able to benefit from the nourishments intended to give him life and usefulness. Sins affect the heart like diseases affect the body. To the contrary, sins ARE the diseases of the heart.

The only cure for these disorders is to abandon them. All agree that the hearts do not bring about good unless they are connected to their owners. And, the heart does not connect with its owner unless it is sound and upright. Furthermore, it is not sound and upright until the diseases are removed and there occurs a desire to return to good health.

The heart is healthy ONLY, when it is functioning in contrast to its desires. In other words, desires are the sickness of the heart and opposing them is the cure. Also a deep-rooted illness either kills or nearly kills (the heart).

On the other hand, he who restrains himself from (following) his desires, the Paradise is his permanent resting place. Accordingly, in this life, he will dwell in (the happiness) of a temporary paradise. However, the happiness of this abode is not comparable to that of the next life. Only he, whose has been in pursuit of such an outcome, believes in this. However, he does not believe that the statement of Allaah,

“Verily, the righteous are in a state of happiness and the unrighteousness are in a Hell-Fire,”

Sooratul Infitaar (82):13-14

is limited to the blissful and torment of the next life.

To the contrary, the dwelling places of the servant of Allaah are three: the Dunyaa, Barzakh (the grave) and the final abode, the Hereafter. Thus, the obedient live in a state of reward and ease, while the disobedient reside in punishment and difficulty.

Is this happiness only in the heart? Is the punishment only in the heart? What punishment is worse than the existence of worry, grief and fear in someone’s heart? What is worse than a servant of Allaah turning away from his Lord and the chance to enter the Paradise, because of his attachment to something other than Allaah? Then, subsequently, this sinner is separated from Allaah.

On all sides of him there is isolation. This is due to the fact that everyone who attaches himself to something other than Allaah and has love for it; the Most High imposes a punishment upon that person. In this life, they experience the agony of their punishment three times. First, he is tormented by the anticipation of being punished before the occurrence of the actual punishment. Secondly, when it reaches him, a part of that punishment is the servant’s fear of being deprived of something or being passed over. (Blessings, reward, happiness, etc.) Lastly, when the things he enjoys ARE (by Allaah’s permission) taken from him, there is an indication that his punishment has been intensified.

As for the Barzakh (life in the grave), the punishment in this abode connects the sinner to the punishment he will suffer in the final separation. The separation to which there is no hope of return. He is cast into the agony of knowing that the greatest happiness has escaped him on account of his own doing. This one was preoccupied with seeking his own desires and worldly pleasures. The unfortunate soul experiences the grief of being shielded from Allaah and he feels the pain of sorrow that rips apart the hearts. Stated in another way, pain, sorrow, and grief will function in the soul of the destitute, just as the insects and worms will run through their bodies. This condition continues until Allaah reunites the bodies with their souls. At this occurrence, the punishment is transformed into a more bitter suffering.

Consider this: What is this ruin in comparison to the heart which lies in wait filled with the joy, happiness, contentment and yearning for his Lord? This fortunate soul lies in a state of pure delight with the love of Allaah and the mentioning of His name. The disobedient residents from among the people of the Dunyaa, departed from the world without having tasted the true pleasantry of living in that life. If the kings and sons of kings knew the happiness (of the righteous souls in the grave) they would fight them for it with their swords in hand. In the Dunyaa, there is a paradise. He, who does not enter it, does not enter the permanent Paradise of the Hereafter.

  • Transcribed from: Sins and their Punishments || Ibn ul-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (rahimahullaah)
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