It is natural to feel strongly that people who do evil and injustice should be held accountable immediately. Every person who has suffered injustice, irrespective of financial or social status, almost certainly wants the perpetrator of injustice to be punished. Every normal person would like the robber or the rapist, for example, to be taught a lesson. Although we see numerous cases where Allah’s justice is served immediately in this life, we also know that many escape punishment and seem to go on enjoying their lives. In such cases, one may question why God (Allah) (SWT) allows this to happen. The answer to this question lies in understanding the purpose and reality of this worldly life.
Per Islamic belief, the final justice will be meted out by Allah (SWT) the Most Wise, on the Day of Judgment. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran:
“And be afraid of the Day when you shall be brought back to Allah. Then every person shall be paid what he earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.”
Quran (Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 281)
After a person dies, he will be resurrected on the Day of Judgment along with the rest of the mankind. It is possible that a person receives part of his punishment in this world. However, as promised by Allah, accounts will be finalized justly only in the Hereafter. So, God the Almighty (Allah) may not punish a robber or a rapist in this world but He will surely hold him accountable on the Day of Judgment. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran:
“Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing).”
Quran (Surah Aal-e- Imran, Verse 185)
Besides, we also know that mankind is sinful by nature. No one is completely clean. If Allah had to punish everyone in this life, this world would be an empty place. He says in the Quran:
And if Allah were to seize mankind for their wrong-doing, He would not leave on it (the earth) a single moving (living) creature, but He postpones them for an appointed term and when their term comes, neither can they delay nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment).
Quran (Surah An-Nahl, Verse 61)
So, Allah out of His Divine wisdom may choose to punish certain evil acts in this world and in some cases, He may give the perpetrators respite until the Day of Judgement when all accounts will be fully settled.
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