A statistical scientist told me before that Allah’s scale is multi-variate not uni-variate!!
This simply means that there are a lot of factors that contribute in your reward/punishment. For example, fasting in non-islamic country may be more rewarding than fasting in an Islamic country as it is harder to fast while most people around you are eating and drinking. The same applies when you fast 17 hours in a hot day, it will definitely be more rewarding than fasting a short winter day for 12 hours or so.
Also, if you are the only member in your family who prays, your prayers may then be more highly rewarded compared with someone whose family prays the obligatory and non-obligatory prayers. The same thing is applied for punishment as well. For example, if someone commits a crime while all his/her family members are criminals, the punishment for this person may be less than another whose family are good people. This is why the punishment for a married person who commits Zina (adultery) is harder than it is for another one who is not married. The reason that for the single person, it is harder to control his/her desires compared with a married one.
Even human judges sometimes give different punishments to exactly two crimes according to the condition associated with the crime; for example the age of criminal or if it is their first time to commit crimes. Thus, if this happens from the human judges, don’t we expect a much fair treatment from Allah; the fairest judge who knows and hears everything, who knows our intentions and whatever going inside and around us even better than ourselves. This may explain why the companion Ali Ibn Aby Taleb said if they told me in the day of judgement that your parents will judge your deeds, I won’t accept.
As an evidence to this idea, let’s read this hadith of prophet Mohammed (May peace be upon him) that once he was sitting with his companions and they found him crying. They asked “Oh! messenger of Allah; why do you cry?”. He said “I miss my brothers”. The companions said “Oh! Messenger of Allah, aren’t we your brothers?”, He said “No, you are my companions. My brothers are those who will come after me and believe in me although they didn’t see me. If one of them makes a good deed, it is rewarded as 50 times. The companions asked “50 times compared with one of them or one of us?”. The prophet said ” No, 50 times compared with one of you. This is because you find others who help you to do the good while they don’t find anybody”.
The conclusion is that it is not the deed itself; actually it is how hard/easy it is for us to make this deed.
The harder the good deed is, the more rewarding it is.
Writer: Dina Said; August 12- 2010
Edited by: Maha Shouman