Some years back, in my misguided days, I told a dear friend, “I think Allah is punishing me.” She answered, “Be thankful He is punishing you now and not later.”

“We have tried them as We tried the owners of a certain garden, who swore that they would harvest its fruits in the morning and made no allowance [for the Will of Allah or for the poor]: a disaster from your Lord struck the garden as they slept and by morning it was stripped bare, a desolate land. Still they called each other at daybreak, ‘Go early to your field if you wish to gather all it fruits,’ and went off, whispering, ‘No poor person is to enter the garden today!’ — they left early, bent on their purpose — but when they saw the garden, they said, ‘We must have lost our way! No — we are ruined!’ The wisest of them said, ‘Did I not say to you, “Will you not glorify Allah?”’ — they said, ‘Glory be to Allah, our Lord! Truly, we were doing wrong!’ — and then turned to each other in mutual reproach. They said, ‘Alas for us! We have done terrible wrong, but maybe our Lord will give us something better in its place: we truly turn to Him in hope.’ Such is the punishment [in this life], but greater still is the punishment in the Hereafter, if only they knew.”

The Qur’an
Sura 68, The Pen, verses 17–33

The translation of Qur’an recited is that by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem.

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