неделя, 1 август 2010 г.

Paradise and Hell

Almighty Allah created Paradise and Hell to serve two completely different purposes: Paradise is the precious commodity that Allah offers His servants so as to encourage them to be obedient and righteous in the hope that Paradise will be their eternal abode. Conversely, Hell is the unbearable torment with which disbelievers as well as disobedient servants are threatened so that perhaps they may pay heed and turn back to the right path.

However, seeking to forget this difficult test, the majority of people nowadays, especially the sinful among them, tend to always refer to the divine attributes of forgiveness and mercy, thereby trying to convince themselves that they will surely be forgiven and admitted to Paradise no matter what they do, for the Lord Whom they worship is All-Merciful, All-Compassionate (My mercy embraces all things…) (Al-A`raf 7:156)

They, however, plead ignorance of the fact that Allah's mercy is shown to certain types of His servants; this is clear when the verse is read to its end (My mercy embraces all things; therefore, I shall ordain it for those who have taqwa and pay the poor due and for those who believe in Our revelations.) (Al-A`raf 7:156) Hence, it is a conditional mercy, so to speak.

To those who have no fear of Almighty Allah and think that the whole matter is only about mercy and forgiveness, Allah issues this warning:

(Announce (O Muhammad) to My servants that verily I am the Forgiving, the Merciful. And that My doom is the dolorous doom)
(Al-Hijr 15:49-50)

No doubt, the believer ought to always remember that Allah possesses unlimited mercy; this will give him a great hope that should he repent, he will be welcomed and his repentance, if truly sincere, will be received by a Most Merciful Lord. But if the love and hope as well as the abundant rewards awaiting the believers in the hereafter did not drive the servant to turn to Allah, then the fear would.

An unwise person may cause himself to lose a great opportunity with no expression of regret, but no matter how unwise or even mindless the person may be, he would never enter a blazing fire willingly. The unwise among us may sacrifice great rewards and gains, but when they are threatened with unbearable torment, they will most likely seek to get out of their blissful self-deception and repent.Imagine that students are going to an exam and are told that if they do very well they will get high marks, and if they do extremely badly, they will not reach this level, but still they will not flunk. Few may exert the necessary effort to get the high marks, but the majority will find it needless to make such an effort, for they will succeed anyway.

I met some people who expressed their admiration for the misleading statement: "My Lord, I do worship You not out of fear from Your Fire!" In fact, Almighty Allah praises His pious servants and His Prophets and Messengers in many Qur'anic verses for their fear of Him. For example, Almighty Allah says ((And it is said): This is what you have been promised, [Paradise]. (It is) for every penitent and heedful one, who fears the Beneficent in secret and comes with a contrite heart.) (Qaf 50:32-33) Allah says in another verse (Lo! They used to vie one with the other in good deeds, and they cried to Us in longing and in fear, and they were submissive to Us.) (Al-Anbiyaa' 21:90)

People are not required to live in dreadful fear all the time. On the contrary, a believer in this context should be like a bird that has two wings, each of which is indispensable: Hope and fear. Like rides, they carry believers along the way to the hereafter. Therefore, the believers should lead their lives in worship of Almighty Allah in the true sense of the word, aware that their Lord will show mercy to them and forgive them if they prove to be believing, sincere, and obedient servants; but, if one fails to do so in arrogance or indifference, one should expect wrath and torment on the Day of Judgment, and one should, in this case, blame no one but one's own self.

Therefore, the servant should hasten to please his All-Appreciative Creator and eschew anything that may displease Him and quickly and sincerely repent if he or she sins, as all of us commit sins. What is so serious, however, is the false belief held by some that this test we are put to is easy to pass and forget that it requires hard struggle against one's baser self, worldly desires, and Satan. Indeed, there is an all-important purpose behind our creation, as revealed in the glorious Qur'an:

(And in no way did I create the Jinn and humankind except to worship Me.) (Adh-Dhariyat 51:56)
(Deemed you then that We had created you for naught, and that you would not be returned to Us?) (Al-Mu'minun 23:115)
(Lo! We [Allah] tested those who were before you. Thus, Allah knows those who are sincere and knows those who feign.) (Al-`Ankabut 29:3)

(Surely, We have warned you of a near torment on the Day when a person will look at whatever his hands have forwarded, and the disbeliever will say, "Oh, would that I were dust!") (An-Naba' 78:40)

Has fear penetrated your heart now? Be sure to make best use of it and to transform it into a force driving you toward Allah's pleasure and Paradise. Naturally, people dislike and turn away from what they fear. However, the more you fear Almighty Allah, the more you love, respect, obey, and draw closer to Him.

Quoted from: islamonline.net

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