unknowingly, their aggression against our service assists atheism. Since unbelief persists, generally they do not receive any blows immediately.
Just as the penalties of those perpetrating small crimes are delivered locally and serious crimes are sent to the high courts, so too, according to the rules, the small errors of believers and close friends are punished swiftly and in part in this world, in order to quickly purify them. But the crimes of the people of misguidance are so great that since their punishments exceed this brief worldly life, as required by justice they are referred to the Supreme Tribunal in the eternal realm, and mostly they do not receive any punishment here.
The Hadith “This world is the prison of the believers and the Paradise of the unbelievers”1 alludes to this truth. That is to say, because the believer receives partial punishment for his faults in this world, it is a place of punishment for him. It is a dungeon and Hell in relation to his happiness in the hereafter. And since the unbelievers will not be released from Hell and they in part receive the rewards for their good works in this world and their large sins are postponed, this world is their Paradise in relation to their life in the hereafter. For in reality and in meaning the believer is also far happier in this world than the unbeliever. A believer’s faith is quite simply like a Paradise in his spirit; while the unbeliever’s unbelief sets afire a sort of Hell in his being.
Glory be unto You! We have no knowledge save that which You have taught us; indeed, You are All-Knowing, All-Wise.(2:32)
Muslim, Zuhd, 3; Tirmidhi, Zuhd, 16; Ibn Maja, Zuhd, 3; Musnad, ii, 197, 323, 389, 485.