The Bitter Consequences of Sin

Imaam Ibnul-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

It is essential to know that sins and acts of disobedience are, necessarily, very harmful.
Their harm effects upon the heart are akin to the harmful effects of poison upon the body,
 though the effects vary in their levels and intensities. So is there any evil or harm in this world,
or in the Hereafter, except that it is due to sins and disobedience? So what was it that expelled
 the two parents (i.e. Adam and Eve) from Paradise; the home of delight, bliss, splendor and joy;
to the home of pain, sorrow and misfortune?

What was it that expelled Iblees from the heavenly realms, causing him to be rejected and cursed;
 transforming him both inwardly and outwardly, so that his form became ugly and hideous - his inner
 form more hideous than his outer - replacing his nearness with remoteness, mercy with curse,
his beauty with ugliness, from being in Paradise to being in the blazing Fire, from having faith to
 being an unbeliever, from having the patronage and friendship of Allaah, the Praiseworthy
Guardian, to being the greatest enemy and opponent, from glorifying and praising Him to
committing acts of unbelief, shirk, lies, deception and shamelessness, from being adorned
 with faith to being clothed in the garment of unbelief, sinfulness and disobedience, causing
 him to reach the deepest depths of despicability, plunging down in the sight of Allaah as far
 as it is possible to plunge; causing the anger of Allaah the Exalted to be upon him, making him
an outcast - despised and humiliated - so that he became a leader for every sinner and criminal
, becoming pleased with leadership for himself, after having reached the station of worship and
nobility? O Allaah, we seek refuge in You from opposing Your command and falling into what
You have forbidden. What was it that caused the people of the earth to drown, to the extent
that the water rose above even the mountaintops?

What was it that caused the violent winds to overcome the people of ‘Aad, such that it flung them
 down dead upon the face of the earth - as if they were lopped-off palm trunks - and it destroyed
whatever dwellings and crops it came across, thus making them an example for nations until the
Day of Resurrection? What was it that caused the piercing shrieks to be set loose upon the
Thamood people, such that their hearts were severed within their very bodies, by which they all
perished? What was it that caused the town of the homosexuals to be raised up and turned upside
 down, such that they were all destroyed? Then stones from the sky pelted down upon them so that
they suffered a combined punishment, the like of which was not given to any other nation! And for
their brothers will be its like; and it is not far off from the transgressors! What was it that caused the
 clouds of punishment to overcome the people of Shu’ayb, such that when these clouds were above
 their heads it rained scorching fire upon them?

What was it that caused the Pharaoh and his people to be drowned in the ocean, and caused their
souls to be transported to the Hellfire, so their bodies drowned and their souls burned?

What was it that caused Qaaroon, his dwelling, wealth and family to sink down into the earth? What
 was it that caused the destruction of those generations after Noah, and how they were afflicted with
 various punishments that caused their annihilation? What was it that caused the destruction of the
companions of Yaa Seen, with the clamorous shout, which destroyed them? What caused there to
be sent against the Children of Israa’eel enemies of great strength and might, plundering their homes,
 killing their men, enslaving their women and children, burning their dwellings, seizing their wealth,
and then returning again a second time, destroying what was rebuilt after the first onslaught?
What was it that caused the various types of punishments to be set loose upon the Children of
Israa’eel? Killing them, enslaving them, destroying their land and at times causing them to be
oppressed by kings, whilst at another time causing them to be transformed into apes and swine -
and finally the Lord took an oath that:

“He would certainly keep on sending against them, until the Day of Resurrection, those who will
inflict them with a humiliating torment.” [Sooratul-A’raaf 7:167]  Imam Ahmad said: al-Waleed Ibn
 Muslim related to us; that Safwaan Ibn ’Amr related to us; that ’Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn Jubayr Ibn
 Nufayr related; from his father, who said: “When Cyprus was conquered and its people were
dispersed and they started weeping to each other, I saw Abud-Dardaa sitting alone and weeping. 
So I said to him: O Abud-Dardaa! What makes you weep on this day that Allaah has granted strength 
and honor to Islaam and its people? So he said: Woe be to you O Jubayr! How insignificant the creation
becomes to Allaah when they turn away from His command. In front of us is a nation who were evidently
 powerful and who had dominion, yet they abandoned Allaah’s Command, so look what has become
 of them.” [2] ’Alee Ibnul-Ja’d said: Shu’bah Ibn ’Amr Ibn Murrah informed us; I heard Abul-Bukhtaree say:
I was informed by someone, who heard the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying: “The people
 will not perish, until they have no excuse left for themselves.” [3] Imaam Ahmad (d.241H) reports in his
Musnad, from the hadeeth of Umm Salamah, who said: I heard Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi
 wa sallam) saying: “When acts of disobedience become widespread in my Ummah, then Allaah may
send punishment upon them all from Himself.” So I said: O Allaah’s Messenger! Even if there are righteous
 people amongst them that day? So he replied: “Indeed!” So I said: How will that be? He replied: “They
 will be afflicted with what afflicts the people, then they will move on to the forgiveness of Allaah and
 His good pleasure.” [4]

[1] ad-Daa‘ wad-Dawaa‘ (pp. 65-67)
[2] Saheeh: Related by Imaam Ahmad in az-Zuhd (1/86) with an authentic chain of narration;
 as stated by Shaykh ’Alee Hasan al-Halabee in his verification of the book. (p. 67).
[3] Saheeh: Reported by Ahmad (4/260) and Aboo Daawood (no.4347) with an
authentic chain of narration.
[4] Reported by Ahmad (6/304) and one of its narrators is Layth Ibn Abee Sulaym, who is weak.
 However the hadeeth is established due to further supporting narrations.
Consult Silsilatul Ahaadeethus-Saheehah (no. 1372) of Shaykh al-Albaanee