THE ADVERSE EFFECTS OF SIN
Sheikh Abdur Rahman ibn al-Jawzi رحمه الله has stated that sometimes a sinner who is healthy and wealthy imagines that he is immune from punishment. But he is undergoing punishment although he does not realise it. The Ahlullāh have mentioned that if a second sin is committed after the first then it is in fact a punishment for the first sin. Similarly, to be granted the opportunity to follow up a pious deed with another good deed is indicative that the first virtuous deed has been rewarded.
Sometimes, punishment is implied as is related of a scholar of the Banū Isrā’eel who said to Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله; “O Lord, how many times have I disobeyed You but You have not punished me!” The scholar heard a voice; “How many times were you punished but you never perceived it. Did I not deprive you of the sweetness of supplication?” If anyone ponders carefully with a sincere heart, the reality will certainly become apparent.
Someone asked Sheikh Wahb ibn al-Ward رحمه الله; “Will a sinner perceive the sweet taste of obedience?” He replied; “A sinner apart, even one who intends to commit a sin will be deprived of the savour of obedience. He who slackens the bridle of vision loses insight and he who fails to check his tongue is deprived of the clarity of his heart. He who fills his belly with doubtful food, darkens his inward side, is deprived of the ability to worship in the night and to savour the delight of supplication.” Only they realise these things as punishment who takes an account (MUHAASABAH) of their self (Nafs) from time to time. In this way, the return for pious deeds and Taqwa is received promptly.
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم has said; “The look at a female stranger is one of the poisonous arrows of Shaitān. If anyone keeps his sight away only for the sake of Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله then He will grant him a faith (Īmān) whose sweetness he will feel in his heart.” This is but a glimpse of the hidden reward for a pious deed.