Striving for Excellence in Taqwa & Character

I came across this verse in the Quran (4:147) and wondered about its meaning:

{What would Allah do with your punishment if you are grateful and believe? And ever is Allah Appreciative and Knowing.}

In my searches I found a youtube clip explanation by Dr Ratib Al-Nabulsi that I liked and wanted to share with you. However, as it is in Arabic I have put below a rough translation.

I have to mention an important note here. It sounded to me that the young man was seeking a spiritual remedy to the doubts caused in his heart by his difficult situation. It is from Islamic teachings that one seeks the appropriate course of action from specialists either for their physical, mental and spiritual ills while keeping his or her heart attached to the creator of causes, God the all-mighty.

The speaker begins by saying:

I met a young man. He told me that he was a line engineer who studied in Romania in Europe and works in a large factory in Damascus. This young man was complaining to me that he suffered from seizures while driving, which is dangerous, or on public transport or on the road or at his home on a daily and weekly basis and between 3 and 5 times.

The young man continued by saying: “I feel crushed. Why is this happening to me?”

The speaker explained that as far as he knows seizures are caused by a fault in the brain; that is a serious condition. However, the speaker felt that that was not the answer the young man was looking for. The young man wanted to know why would God do this to him?

The speaker continues:

I met the young man at home to explain and read the verse: {What would Allah do with your punishment if you are grateful and believe?}. The young man listened with so much attention that exceeded my expectation and asked me for the meaning of the verse.

I (the speaker continues) said: “It is absolutely impossible that God would afflict his servant with a difficulty that would distress him as long as that servant is steadfast on the path of God and the evidence is this verse, {What would Allah do with your punishment if you are grateful and believe?}”

The young man showed great care and took out a pen and paper and began to write and asked me what he should do. I mentioned to him to complete the prayers on time; lower his gaze; control what his tongue utters and regulate his senses of eyes, tongue and ears.   I mentioned almost forty things he should do.

The speaker continues:

After the young man left, I felt that I got myself into a predicament; perhaps this man’s condition is incurable and I just promised him that if he is steadfast on the path of God his condition will improve.

I normally run a class on Fridays and the following Friday the young man attended commenting that that was the first seizure free week in his life. The speaker felt that he had owned the world (out of happiness for the young man).

The young man kept attending the classes Friday after Friday and the speaker was overwhelmed with happiness that by implementing this verse the young man had succeeded in abating his seizure episodes. However, on the sixth week the young man did not attend the class and I concluded that he must have suffered a seizure. I was very worried.

On the seventh week the young man attended the class and said to me: “Do not worry about your principle. I am the one who fell short with God and my seizure returned”

The speaker concludes:

Know that if God promises, His promise will be fulfilled. If God promised a good life, an abundance of substance, a peaceful life, tranquillity, promised wisdom then know that God would rather destroy the universe than not fulfil those promises. If they are not fulfilled then it is our fault.  We have to accuse ourselves because God has no need for our punishment and the verse is clear:

{What would Allah do with your punishment if you are grateful and believe? And ever is Allah Appreciative and Knowing.}

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