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How to know if we are being punished or tested

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Question:

How can a slave know whether he is being punished by Allah due to his wrongdoings or being tested. Meaning facing a difficulty, because Allah loves him?

Zaynab El-Kateb:

When facing a difficulty, if we find ourselves patient and we say Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon ( “Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.”), then it means that Allah willed goodness to us, as this difficulty is a reason to erase our sins and to gain rewards.

If the person faces difficulties with impatience and objections to Allah’s decree then this indicates that this difficulty was only a punishment for him.

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