Allah determines period and mode of operation of everything in this world. This principle applies to operation of Allah’s ‘rehmah’/mercy also in this world. Drifting away with bad deeds, human being usually pins his/her hope in Allah’s ‘rehmah’/mercy which is believed to be overshadowing and erasing all bad deeds committed by human beings. In the succeeding lines we would see Allah’s ‘rehmah’/mercy is not without principles and is associated with determined period and mode in case of erasing human bad deeds in this world.
It may be noted that Allah’s ‘rehmeh’ has various forms e.g. shining of the Sun and the Moon; blowing of hot and cold air currents; growth of all kinds of vegetation; beautiful panoramic views spread all around; all natural systems; all revealed social systems; granting of various emotions- each emotion may have soothing effect, if applied with right time, place, and degree; granting of physical faculties; availability of various relationships; all divine guidance; and above all person of our Nabi (saw). In short every moment and matter of an individual’s life has been ensured to be covered with Allah’s ‘rehmah’/mercy. This is what has been mentioned in Quran. “Say, "To whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and earth?" Say, "To Allah." He has decreed upon Himself mercy…..” (al-anam-12). But all forms of Allah’s mercy/’rehmah’ operate in this world for limited/ determined period for every individual; when the period expires, the related form of mercy/’rehma’ remains no longer available to be availed by that individual. Similarly every form of Allah’s mercy operates in a specified mode; every individual can avail a form of Allah’s ‘rehmah’, keeping within the mode specified to avail that form of ‘rehmah’/mercy.
Allah’s mercy/ ‘rehmah’ associated with forgiving/ignoring human’s bad deeds is also operated in two stages in this world; the first stage relates with specific period and the second stage relates with specific mode. After the specific period expires, concerned individual remains no longer able to avail Allah’s mercy to get his related bad deed forgiven/ignored in this world (except within specific mode). In other words, for every individual and every bad deed, there is a specific period; after expiry of that period, Allah’s mercy to get that bad deed forgiven/ignored cannot be availed by that individual in this world (except within specific mode). Quran says: “Leave them alone, to enjoy and to please themselves: let (false) hope amuse them: soon will come to know” (al-hijr-3). From this verse, it is evident Allah’s mercy to delay punishment in this world for bad deeds comes to an end after expiry of specified period. This specified period may vary for every individual and for every deed. Such bad deeds of which specific period of Allah’s mercy has been expired, can only be got forgiven/ignored by keeping within specific mode. The mode of operation of Allah’s mercy to forgive/ignore bad deeds is based on ‘repentance’ and rectification of deeds by the concerned individual. “And when those come to you who believe in Our verses, say, "Peace be upon you. Your Lord has decreed upon Himself mercy: that any of you who does wrong out of ignorance and then repents after that and corrects himself - indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful" (al-anam-54).
From this verse, it is evident that bad deeds are forgiven/ ignored by Allah in this world, if the wrong doer repents over his bad deeds and corrects his conduct in future.
From the foregoing, we may conclude that Allah’s mercy operates with specific period and specific mode to forgive/ignore bad deeds in this world. This specificity of period may vary for every person and every deed; but specificity of mode is the same –i.e. repentance and rectification of deeds. As long as specific period continues, Allah does not punish for related bad deeds in this world; but when the specified period expires, the concerned individual is punished for related bad deeds, if he does not take resort to ‘repentance’ and ‘rectification of deeds’. (it may be noted that an individual is not fully punished for his bad deeds in this world; full punishment is given in ‘ukhra’). Repentance and rectification of deeds is the mode through which Allah’s mercy operates till last breath of human being. Even after death Allah’s mercy operates but not through mode of ‘repentance and rectification of deeds’; rather through mode of our Nabi’s (saw) ‘shafa atun’/ intercession or through selective good deeds of the concerned person. Many wrong doers will be forgiven through our Nabi’s (saw) intercession or on the basis of some highly appreciated good deeds done by such wrong doers.
We may further conclude if any person/ nation is not being punished for its wrong doings, and they are being blessed with affluence in this world, it does not necessarily mean they are Allah's dear ones; it may be that specified period of Allah's 'rehmah' regarding their bad deeds is still running. When the specific period will come to an end, they will be condemned for their bad deeds in this world, if they do not repent.