Could you please explain the Surah of an-Nisa, 147th verse; “What can Allah gain by your punishment, if ye are grateful and ye believe?” What can we do in order that we would be grateful?

The Details of the Question
Could you please explain the Surah of an-Nisa, 147th verse; “What can Allah gain by your punishment, if ye are grateful and ye believe?” What can we do in order that we would be grateful?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

“What can Allah gain by your punishment, if ye are grateful and ye believe? Nay it is Allah Who recogniseth (all good) and knoweth all things.” (an-Nisa 147)

O human beings! If you are grateful and believe, what can Allah gain by torturing you? Because Allah threatens His servants by torment in order to avoid His servants from unbelief and blasphemy (Kufr) and leading them to belief and gratefulness. So once a person has belief and gratefulness towards his Creator, why would Allah (SWT) punish His servants?

As a matter of fact, Allah (SWT) is All-Recognizer and All-Knower: He is compassionate, that is, He gives great rewards in return for a little bit of worshipping. That is, Allah is the mighty one who is appreciator, He appreciates His servants’ gratefulness and belief. Then, how it is possible to think people would be deprived of reward and gratification who had embraced Allah’s religion and way of belief?

So, torment is the result of insisting on denial and unbelief and man’s disobeying the orders of Allah (SWT) and it is also an issue of divine wisdom. The creation of existence is because of divine compassion; so gratefulness and belief is the way of it too. As people who escape from Allah (SWT) by denial and unbelief go astray from this way and break what the Creator set up and fight with Him so they go away from the compassion of Allah.

As going away from the property of Allah is impossible, torment is the necessary result of going away from Allah. Actually, this result is classified based on the difference and superiority between what is right and wrong, good and bad, beautiful and ugly. It is part of the mutual relationship between the necessary existence of Allah and impossibility of having a partner.

Then, there will be no reason for torment when the road to approach Allah is followed with gratitude and belief even if it is followed after denial and unbelief. Allah, who is All-Recognizer and All-Knower will definitely give the reward of gratitude and belief. Those who follow denial and belief after gratitude and belief and deviate from Allah and from the way of Allah will be tormented; those who follow the way of gratitude and belief and go toward Allah even if it is after denial and unbelief will definitely reach the mercy of Allah. Therefore, it is not permissible to say, “I have fulfilled my duty” while life goes on and to assume pride against Allah by deviating from gratitude and belief and following the way of disrespect, denial and unbelief; similarly, it is not permissible to be hopeless by saying, “I have always followed the way of denial and unbelief; I have committed many sins; there is no way of salvation from now on” and to turn away from repentance and salvation though it is not too late. It is necessary to repent and give up sins immediately and follow the way of gratitude and belief. Allah appreciate those who are grateful and who thank him; and He knows everything best. 

Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır Tefsiri

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