As God loves those who are his friends and supporters, when they disobey His authority, they are immediately punished with the Gods Wrath for their actions until they are reminded, as the Qur’an states:
وَلَوْ تَقَوَّلَ عَلَيْنَا بَعْضَ ٱلْأَقَاوِيلِ لَأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُ بِٱلْيَمِينِ
“Had he invented against Us any sayings, We would have seized him by the right hand.”1
Likewise, if the believers do wrong it will not be long before they are punished.
However, if the infidels do wrong, Allah SWT gives them reprieve, and for every opportunity of reprieve they receive, they perish:
وَتِلْكَ ٱلْقُرَىٰٓ أَهْلَكْنَـٰهُمْ لَمَّا ظَلَمُوا۟ وَجَعَلْنَا لِمَهْلِكِهِم مَّوْعِدًا
“And those cities, We destroyed them when they did evil, and appointed for their destruction a tryst.”2
If there is no hope in their reform, their accountability is postponed until the Day of Resurrection and their pact is full.
إِنَّمَا نُمْلِى لَهُمْ لِيَزْدَادُوٓا۟ إِثْمًا
“We grant them indulgence only that they may increase in sin.” 3
Let us have a look at one example:
If a drop of tea drops on your glasses, you would immediately wipe it off and clean it. However, if a drop of tea falls upon your white shirt you may wait until you get home to change in to clean clothes.
But if a drop goes on the carpet which you walk upon you might leave it, for example, until spring cleaning season before you would give it a wash.
Likewise, Allah SWT treats everyone on an individual basis and based on transparency or dimness of the individual, his or her punishment may be delayed.