بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
ALLAH Almighty says:
“When the Believers saw the Confederates, they said, ‘This is what ALLAH and His Messenger promised us. ALLAH and His Messenger told us the truth.’ It only increased them in faith and in submission.” (The Holy Quran 33:22)
“Those to whom people said: ‘The people great army have gathered against you, so fear them.’ But that merely increased their faith and they said: ‘ALLAH is enough for us and the best of Guardians.’ So they returned with blessings and bounty from ALLAH and no evil touched them. They pursued the pleasure of ALLAH. ALLAH’s favour is indeed immense.” (The Holy Quran 3:173-174)
“Put your trust in the Living who does not, die” (The Holy Quran 25:58) and the Almighty says, “So let the believers put their trust in ALLAH,”
“Then when you have reached a firm decision, put your trust in ALLAH.” (The Holy Quran 3:159)
“Whoever puts his trust in ALLAH ¬ He will be enough for him.” (The Holy Quran 65:3)
“The believers are those whose hearts tremble when ALLAH is mentioned, whose faith is increased when His Signs are mentioned to them, and who put their trust in their Lord.” (The Holy Quran 8:2)
Ibn ‘Abbas (R.A) said, “The Messenger of ALLAH, may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘All the nations were shown to me and I saw a Prophet with a small group, and a Prophet with one or two men, and a Prophet with no one at all. Then an enormous mass was shown to me and I thought that they were my community.
I was told, “This is Musa and his community, but look to the furthest horizon,” and there was an enormous mass. It was said to me, “This is your community. Among them are seventy thousand who will enter the Garden without reckoning or punishment.”‘ Then he got up and entered his house and the people discussed concerning those who would enter the Garden without reckoning or punishment. Some of them said, ‘Perhaps it is those who were with the Messenger of ALLAH,’ while others said, ‘Perhaps it is those who are born in Islam and do not associate anything with ALLAH,’ and they mentioned various things.
The Messenger of ALLAH came out to them and said, ‘What are you discussing?’ They told him and he said, ‘They are those who do not make charms or ask others for charms, and do not seek omens.
They trust in their Lord.’ ‘Ukkasha ibn Muhsin stood up and said, ‘Ask ALLAH to make me one of them.’ He said, ‘You are one of them.’ Then another man stood up and said, ‘Ask ALLAH to make me one of them.’ He said, “‘Ukkasha beat you to it.'” [Agreed upon]
Ibn ‘Abbas (R.A) reported that the Messenger of ALLAH (saw) used to say, “O ALLAH, I submit to you and I believe in you and I have relied on you and I turn to you and I have argued by you. I seek refuge with Your might, there is no god other than You, from Your misguiding me. You are the Living who does not die while jinn and men will all die.” [Agreed upon. This is the version in Muslim.]
‘Hazar Umar Bin Khitab (r.a) said, “I heard the Messenger of ALLAH (saw) say, “If you were to rely on ALLAH as He should be relied on, He would provide for you as He provides for the birds. They go out in the morning hungry and return in the evening full.” [at-Tirmidhi]
Abu ‘Umara al-Bara’ ibn ‘Azib reported that the Messenger of ALLAH (saw) said, “O so-and-so! When you retire to your bed, say, ‘O ALLAH, I submit myself to You and I have turned my face to You. I have entrusted my affair to You and taken shelter with You out of desire for You and fear of You. There is no shelter nor rescue from You except with You. I have believed in Your Book which You sent down and Your Prophet whom You sent.’ If you die during the night, you will die in natural submission, and if you are still alive in the morning, your morning will be good.“ [Agreed upon]
Anas reported that the Messenger of ALLAH (saw) said, “Whoever says, i.e. when he leaves his house, ‘In the name of ALLAH. I have relied on ALLAH and there is no power nor strength except by ALLAH’ will be told, ‘You have been guided, spared and protected,’ and Shaytan will be kept far from him.” [Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa’i and others]
Abu Dawud added, “He, i.e. Shaytan, says to another shaytan, ‘How can you get at a man who has been guided, spared and protected?'”
The outlook of people of faith on death
“Every soul shall taste death. You shall receive your rewards only on the Day of Resurrection. Anyone who is spared the Fire and admitted to the Garden will surely triumph. The life of this world is just the enjoyment of delusion.” (Surah Al ‘Imran, 185)
Death will come upon every man existing in this world at a predestined time in compliance with the verse, “Every soul shall taste death. In the end you shall return to Us”. (Surat al-’Ankabut, 57) Nothing a man possesses, neither property, fortune, status, fame, grandeur nor good looks can ward off death. Death is a law of Allah; no one can escape this absolute and unavoidable fact. As the verse, “Wherever you are, death will catch up with you, even if you are in impregnable fortresses…” (Surat an-Nisa’, 78) reminds us, there has never been anyone who could succeed in escaping from death.
This fact is an issue about which people of faith attain a profound understanding. Once they comprehend the certainty and closeness of death, they understand that they need to prepare for the life after death. Fearing an imminent death that may come upon them before attaining the moral perfection Allah demands from His servants and earning His approval, they embrace the religion of Allah with great sincerity and enthusiasm. They lose no time in drawing nearer to Allah and earning His approval, since they realise that they may meet death at any moment. The prayer of believers in the Qur’an is as follows:
… Originator of the heavens and earth, You are my Protector in this world and the Next. So take me as a Muslim at my death and unite me with those who are sincere. (Surah Yusuf, 101)
The people of faith accept death with full submission, since it is a law of Allah. Over and above this, they consider it as a gate through which to attain paradise. Meanwhile, they never forget that they must strive hard to avoid the punishment of hell and earn the approval of Allah. Believers unceasingly feel fear and hope until they meet death. They hope for paradise because they believe. Likewise, they fear hell since they never find themselves self-sufficient.
The severity of the pain and punishment experienced in hell is incomparable to any pain suffered in this world. The torment of fire is of various kinds. The people of hell constantly scream to be saved from fire, they are crammed into narrow places; their hands tied to their necks, they writhe in pain. They are whipped with iron whips. Their hunger and thirst become unbearable. Their pain never abates. This dire situation is exacerbated by profound regret, a feeling of desperation and hopelessness. They wish to disappear for all eternity but to no avail. They are addressed as follows:
Roast in it! And bear it patiently or do not bear it patiently. It makes no difference either way. You are simply being repaid for what you did. (Surat at-Tur, 16)
People of faith continuously contemplate the torment of hell depicted in the Qur’an and turn towards Allah. One of perfected faith always keeps in mind that he can, at any moment, meet the angels of death and thus pass on to the hereafter. His decisions, attitudes, behaviour and the way he speaks reflect his commitment to being worthy of paradise and staying away from hellfire, because no one in this world can be exempt from divine retribution.
Aware that “scales of justice” (Surat al-Anbiya’, 47) will be set up on the Day of Judgement, he does not want to miss an atom’s weight of good. Allah has warned people on this subject as follows:
That Day people will emerge segregated to see the results of their actions. Whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it. Whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it. (Surat az-Zilzal, 6-8)
Similarly, he strictly abstains from any act that would incur the disapproval of Allah, because each act he commits will draw him closer either to paradise or to hell. Nothing exists beyond these two places.
Believers who have a certain awareness of these facts feel constant “fear and hope” throughout their lives. They never forget the state of people awaiting to be taken either to paradise or to hell on the Day of Judgement.
How would someone behave if he were at the crossroads of paradise and hell right at this moment and realised that his eternal life would begin in earnest after his being judged?
Being right on the verge of hell, would he ever dare to display a displeasing attitude, which would immediately be taken into account?
Certainly not! On the contrary, anybody in such a dire situation would do anything to attain paradise and would draw on his wisdom and conscience to display the attitude most pleasing to Allah. Even a person who had never engaged in such a serious effort throughout his life, deeming the Day of Judgement distant from himself, would feel great panic and strive to make up for his misdeeds. But on that day, no time is granted to make amends. The time granted terminates with death and records are thereupon finalised. From that moment on, no one will be requited for anything other than what he has done.
Having an unshakable faith in the hereafter, paradise and hell, and keeping their minds occupied with the remembrance of death, account for the unflagging efforts of people of perfected faith. To avoid fear and regret in the hereafter, they consider themselves as if awaiting Allah’s verdict on them on the Day of Judgement at every moment of their lives. They prepare themselves for the afterlife with clear consciousness and faith, in the manner of one who has seen the beauty of paradise and the horrors of hell with his own eyes and returned to this life. Therefore, in the face of each situation, they strive to display the best attitude, since they know that any minor heedlessness or unscrupulousness may set them on a course of regret for which there is no remedy.
To conclude, the utter conviction of those of faith ensures an unswerving commitment to draw nearer to Allah and to stand in fear of Him. In the light of the verse, “So fear Allah, as much as you are able to…” (Surat at-Taghabun, 16), believers fear Allah as much as they can and hope to be worthy of paradise.
By Harun Yahya