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Am I Being Punished for My Sins by Becoming HIV Positive?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I have committed abominable things (zina) with both women and men for the past 6 years on a regular basis. Last summer I decided that I should change because I was unhappy in this way of life. Two weeks ago I have been diagnosed to be HIV positive. I want to know if you think it bears the signs of punishment for my past numerous wrong doings?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

You should not view this as a punishment but as an opportunity that God has given you to grow in your religion and draw closer to Him.

There are many traditions from the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) informing us of the fact that tribulation expiates the sins of a believer. They include:

(a) The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) said, “A man is tried according to his religion. If he is firm in his religion, then his trials will be more severe. If he is weak in his religion, then he is tried according to his strength in religion. The servant will continue to be tried until he is left walking upon the earth without any sin.” [Tirmidhi, Sunan]

(b) The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) said, “If Allah loves a people, then he afflicts them with trials. Whoever is patient has the reward of patience, and whoever is impatient has the fault of impatience.” [Ahmad, Musnad]

(c) The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) said, “No Muslim suffers weakness, illness, worry, sorrow, vexation, or gloom-even the thorn that pricks him-without Allah thereby expiating some of his misdeeds.” [Bukhari, Sahih]

These traditions, among many others, show us that suffering, trials, and tribulation are all means by which we are given the opportunity to draw closer to God. This is the most important thing to understand when you find yourself in very tough circumstance. When we possess such an understanding, we can approach our circumstances in a positive manner as opposed to being disheartened and turning away from the divine.

Always have a good view of God for He says, “I am as my servant thinks I am.” [Bukhari, Sahih] If we opine that our God is merciful, compassionate, generous, and that these trials that we experience are a blessing from Him, this is how it will be, InshaAllah.

We ask Him to grant you and us good health, well-being, and protection from that which displeases him.

For more: How Do You Distinguish Between a Test From Allah and Punishment?

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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