Says the Shaykh Abu Ja'far: Our belief concerning the Promise (al-wa'd) and the Threat (al-wa'id) 1 is that he whom Allah promises a reward for his good actions will certainly receive it. But he whom Allah has threatened with a punishment may have an alternative. If He punishes him, it is His justice; but if He forgives, it is His generosity.2
“And thy Lord is not unjust towards His slaves” (Qur'an 41:46).
And He says, Mighty and Glorious is He:
“Lo! Allah forgiveth not that a partner should be ascribed unto Him. And He forgiveth (all) save that to whom He will” (Qur'an 4:116).
And Allah knows best.
- 1. In the Tawhid there is a whole chapter on the subject, pp. 3257 to 3306. Imam ar-Rida refutes the arguments of the Mu'taziliti that grave sins will not be forgiven by Allah, 3267-8. Even adulterers, thieves and wine-drinkers will be saved, provided they are not guilty of shirk, 329 (last three lines). Cp. also FC, no. 84.
- 2. Compare Fiqh Akbar II, art. 14, MC, 193, fully discussed at p.221, MC, 267, art. 25; BHA, no. 233.