How to Save Our Souls from Hellfire? Part-2
Planning for the hereafter
For any gain, it needs good planning and its full execution. In life, no gain is effort-free, pain-free or cost-free. People work hard, invest money, spend long years, and even fight bloody wars for worldly gains. But such gains are very short-lived. Sometimes one may not achieve any gain either; all efforts and sacrifices may lead only to loss, failure, death or disaster. But loss or failure in the worldly life is nothing in comparison to loss and failure in the endless life in the hereafter. In worldly life, even extreme pain or sufferings end at some point, at least at death. But pain and suffering never die in hellfire. Hence nothing is more crucial than saving souls from hellfire. Hence no planning is more important than planning for the hereafter; and no preparation is more rewarding than preparation for the infinite life there.
But the question arises: how to plan for the hereafter? No plan can be made in the darkness of ignorance; it needs the proper understanding of the subject. Hence for planning for the hereafter, one needs the knowledge of heaven and its road-map. Also needs to be aware of the hellfire and the dreadful alleys that ultimately feed that fire. And it is more crucial that he or she must know how to find and follow the road-map for heaven and get saved from the hellfire. But such knowledge has never been the subject of science and technology. It was never been the domain of human invention either. In the past, men and women only could made disastrous mistakes in such venture. The true knowledge comes only from the Divine revelation and the holy Qur’an stands as its final version. Hence, seeking the Qur’anic knowledge is obligatory. Secondly, to get saved from hellfire one must follow the footsteps of those who have already been certified for their success in such mission by Allah Su’hana wa Ta’la. They are the prophets and the companions of the prophets -especially those worked with the last prophet Muhammad sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam.
Qualifying for the mercy
Men or women can’t save their souls from hellfire only by their own deeds. No one can claim a space in heaven as a return of his or her efforts, even all assets of the world will not be the right price for that. Such a huge gift comes only as a reward from Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. It is a token of His great mercy and forgiveness. But to qualify for such a huge mercy and forgiveness, one must attain the minimum competence for that. In fact, acquiring such competence must be the most important agenda of life. Life’s all efforts, all ibada and all sacrifices must be focussed on acquiring such competence. And it can only be initiated by fully aligning one’s personal agenda with the agenda of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. Humans possess only two options: either to align with the agenda of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la or with Shaitan. There exists no third option. Apart from the party of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la and the party of Shaitan, there exists no third party either. The agenda of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la is very clear: He wants that Islam must overwhelm over all other religions or faiths. Any human who wants to be in heaven can’t be aloof or alienated from such mission. It is revealed: “It is He who sent His messenger with guidance and religion of Truth to overwhelm it over other religions and faiths although those who associate others with Allah dislike it” –(Sura Saf, verse 9). The same revelation came in Sura Taubah, verse 33 and in Sura Fatah, verse 28.
To achieve such a Divine objective, Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la has His Own plan of execution. Prophet Muhammad sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam was sent as the messenger and the holy Qur’an was revealed as the Book of guidance to show the whole mankind the right path of execution. To qualify for the Divine mercy, a Muslim must take part with all of his potentials in the execution pathway. In the holy Qur’an it has been described as a business that can save believers from hellfire. And a business always entails investment of life and assets; and only after the investment generates profit. The profit comes as a place in the garden of heaven. All Muslims need to take this business as the lifelong mission. It is jihad in the way of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la; and demands investment of life and assets. It is the only route that takes people down to the heaven and saves from the hellfire. The real success thus comes to believers’ life. To bless His servants with such success highly emotional call comes from Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la: “O you who have believed, shall I guide you to a transaction that will save from a panful punishment? It is that you believe in Allah and His messenger and fight in the cause of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la with your wealth and lives. That is best for you, if you should know.” Can a true believer ignore such a call of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. If anyone denies such call, can he or she remain Muslim? Whoever responds to His call and joins the fight, Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la gives him or her a huge promise. Not only all the sins will be forgiven, will be given a place in heaven, too: “He will forgive for your sins and admit you to heaven beneath which rivers flow and pleasant dwellings in garden of perpetual residence. This is the great success,” –(Sura Saf, verse 9-12). Hence in jihad, a believer sees the gate of Jannah. So, what else can be the sure way of saving souls from the hellfire?
The paradigm shift
Any profound change or revolution in life –whether moral, social or political owe to a total shift in paradigm that brings revolution in belief, behaviour, character and attitude. Such shift is indeed the engine of personal or societal changes. With such a shift in the model of thoughts, even an average man can turn into an epoch-making revolutionary or a man of great piety. Those who made the finest civilisation on earth in the early days of Islam are indeed the people who underwent such a profound paradigm shift. The industrial revolution of the West too, indeed owes to such paradigm shift. The Western people used to believe in Ptolemy’s proposition that the Earth is flat like a plate. Hence, they were very frightful of falling out of the edge of the Earth into the hellfire lying underneath. Such a model of thought restricted the deep sea journey of the Europeans –especially at nights. Copernicus generated a new model of thought. He told that the Earth is not flat, rather round like an egg; hence ruled out any chance of falling out into hellfire by navigation over its surface. Columbus became a firm believer in the new concept of Copernicus and got an intellectual incentive to discover an alternative route to India through navigating from the western flank of Europe –instead of travelling towards the east. Such a shift in paradigm led to the discovery of America, Caribbean islands and many other resourceful lands that hugely contributed to the emergence of Europe as an economic and military super power.
The recipe for the finest civilisation
Humans’ behaviour, attitude, deeds, values and morality are indeed the expression of their inner beliefs. When the model of thought changes the man or the woman also changes in their outward expressions. Hence a Muslim and a pagan are always culturally, morally, politically and intellectually dissimilar. When the dissimilarity disappears, it means he or she is no more a true believer; rather proves to be de-Islamised. A man and woman can be Muslim only after a profound shift in his or her conceptual model. Real purification of thoughts and deeds (tazkiyah) indeed starts from there. Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’lan will never give a man or woman access to His holy paradise with the unholy pagan or any un-Islamic paradigm. It is the protected territory only for the purified ones. Islam indeed owes all its past glory to the huge paradigm shift -caused by the Qur’anic revelation. The Qur’anic model of thought helped the Muslims to look at the life, the mission, the vision, the successes and the failures quite differently than the non-Muslims. Such a realisation caused a full transformation of their life. On such a conceptual premise, Islam worked as the perfect recipe for building the best humans, the best culture, the best morality, the best judiciary and the best civilisation on earth.
The pagan Arabs didn’t have any problem with belief in Allah. They not only believed in Allah, but also named their sons as Abdullah, Obaidullah, Abdur Rahman –meaning slave of Allah. But they didn’t believe in the hereafter; nor did they believe in the udgement Day. Hence they didn’t have any restraint on their personal and tribal whims to check mischiefs on earth. Such non-belief in the hereafter was the stumbling block to bring any moral revolution in them. They were the true secularist. They were engaged only in achieving the worldly gains and were totally unmindful of the hereafter. But the prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam) planted the most powerful seed of the ground-breaking moral, social and political revolution on earth. He could engineer a total shift in paradigm by inculcating the belief in resurrection in the hereafter and a sense of accountability for all accomplished deeds in the court of Allah Sub’han Wa Ta’la.
On the Day of Judgement, faith in Allah Subhana wa Ta’la alone will not be sufficient. Faith needs to show its full expression through good deeds. Such a belief on accountability worked as the most powerful motivational force in the whole human history. The holy Qur’an nurtured the concept that life on earth is nothing more than a brief period of trial. Hence all successes or achievements in this life are only trivial. The ultimate success is the success in the hereafter; and it wholly depends on the success in the worldly trial. Such a fear of accountability makes a believer deeply akhera-conscious. As a result, such believers become fully and consistently focussed only to do good deeds and avoid the wrong. Hence for a believer, the whole life turns a huge powerhouse for good deeds.
Such a concept of resurrection and accountability in the Day of Judgement was new to the Arabs. Their conversion to Islam didn’t bring any change in their names; but brought huge change in their belief, behaviour and deeds. They were the people who were very corrupt and quarrelsome; and were engaged in all sorts of mischiefs. But after the conversion to Islam they become altogether different. They engaged in doing good deeds day and night –only with the intention to increase their treasure in the akhera. They were fully ready to sacrifice their time, wealth, energy and even their life in the way of Allah Subhan Wa Ta’la. Even the most powerful head of the state (khalifa cum amirul mu’minin) in the contemporary world would wake up in the middle of night to carry a sack of flour to the needy. He would also share his camel with his servant in 6 hundred miles journey from Medina to Jerusalem. By alternate term, he would ask his servant to take his seat on the camel and he would himself carry the rope in the front. Before or after the advent of Islam, did any such event ever happen in the whole human history? In examination hall, no wise man waste a single minute in gossiping or sightseeing. He spends all his ability and opportunity only to increase his score. That also happens in the life of a true believer. With such a shift in paradigm, indeed, the households, the societies and the whole state transform into all-time active industries of massive good deeds. That happened truly in the early days of Islam. Each individual turned to be a powerful engine to bring an all-inclusive revolution in the early days of Islam. The Muslims thus made the unique history by building the finest civilisation on earth.
The only road for salvation
Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la doesn’t want to see failure for His beloved human creation – the finest of His all creations. Nor does He wish any injustice to them. So it is revealed: “And Allah doesn’t want any oppression (julm) to this world (for His creation).” –(Sura Al-Imran, verse 108). He wants to see them succeed both in this world and also in the hereafter. But the key to success lies exclusively in discovering the Divine Truth and rightly following the revealed roadmap (siratul mustaqeem)–as has been repeatedly revealed in the holy Qur’an. Such crucial announcement was made in the very beginning of the holy Qur’an: “The people, who are upon the guidance from their Lord, they are those who are the successful.” –( Sura Baqara verse 5). But in all ages, humans showed their ugliest failure in discovering the Truth and discerning the right roadmap from the wrong. Hence many of the finest scientists or thinkers turned to be the ugliest sinner. World’s worst weapons of mass destruction are the inventions of them.
Getting the right guidance must be the most important single agenda in life. Success or failure in life wholly depends on it. But humans can’t be their own guide: here lies their inherent incompetence. He or she always needs the Divine guidance. So, Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la takes the job of guiding humans on His Own. He reveals: “Inna alainal huda”; that means: “Surely Ours is it to guide the people”.–(Sura Al-Lail, verse 12). Humans’ duty is only to follow correctly the revealed guidance; hence it becomes a great violation and an ugly sin to innovate religion or ideologies in the name of guiding people. Even the Divine prophets didn’t possess such a right of innovation. They were the messenger only to carry the Divine message to the people. It is indeed a seditious intrusion into the solemn and exclusive domain of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la to invent any religious dogma or roadmap. All fake religions and the deities are indeed the products of devilish innovations and symbols of rebellion against Almighty Lord; hence routes to the hellfire.
For any human, no other knowledge is more important than knowing this revealed roadmap; and no other task is more crucial than strictly adhering to it. The holy Qur’an has been revealed to deliver such knowledge and to show that roadmap (siratul mustaqeem). And Islam made it obligatory to seek Qur’anic knowledge to secure their salvation both here and in the hereafter. All religious rituals in Islam like recitation of Qur’an, five times prayer, month-long fasting in Ramadan, yearly zakat and haj are indeed the indispensable parts of the Divine training to generate full adherence to the roadmap. The unaided and unguided men or women can never know or make the right selection of the roadmap on their own. Such failure owes to ignorance of Divine knowledge. In knowing the Divine knowledge and the roadmap, the science and technology -with all its miraculous advancements did not and will not help them either. Humans will never enter hellfire for their failure in science and technology, but for failing to follow the Qur’anic roadmap. Therefore, Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la never send any prophet or reveal any Book to teach science and technology, rather sent more than a hundred thousand prophets and revealed several Divine Books to show the right path of true success -both here and in the hereafter. And the holy Qur’an called it siratul mustaqeem (the straight path). It is revealed in all divine Books and finally in the holy Qur’an. Whoever wants the ultimate success both here and in the hereafter possesses no other option but to follow this Qur’anic roadmap. All other ways are in fact the devilish innovation only to take the people down the fabricated route to hellfire.
The life changing issue: the intention of survival
Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’ala created men and women only to work as His full-time and all-time khalifa (viceroy) on earth. This is the key role for all men and women that need to be fully accomplished. In the court of the Almighty Lord, all actions are judged by the attached intentions (niyah) to it. –(Sahih Al-Bokhari). Like all other deeds, humans’ survival too, must have a guiding intention (niyah). Highness or lowness of a human is indeed judged on that intention. In fact, niyah in survival is the central as well as the most crucial point of life: around which life’s mission and vision must revolve. A Muslim may differ from a non-Muslim on numerous issues, but the core issue of difference is in the intention of survival. It makes him ideologically, politically, culturally, spiritually an altogether different human from a non-Muslim. A Muslim must know this central point of his survival and must not detach from it on any occasion; otherwise his whole survival will be in a wrong way and with a wrong purpose to meet only a disastrous failure in the hereafter. It is so crucial that Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’ala needed to give clear guidance on it. Hence He reveals: “Say (O Muhammad): Surely my prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Lord of the worlds.”–(Sura An’am, verse 162) . For a believer, it is indeed a life-changing announcement from Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’ala. A Muslim is required not only to pray for Him, but also live only for Him. He needs to sacrifice his time and wealth for Him, and moreover needs to die for Him. In fact, the level of commitment and perseverance to pursue such a motto truly tells the level of faith of a believer.
So, the core intention (niyah) of humans’ survival must comply with the preordained Divine assignment as the khalifa (viceroy) of Almighty Lord on earth. More than hundred thousand prophets came to this world to show how to discharge the assigned role. In such context, the prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam) is the last messenger of the Divine chain; and the holy Qur’an is the final book of Divine revelations. The most punishing as well as the most dehumanising ignorance of a man is in fact the ignorance of the assigned role. It is the same jaheliya (ignorance) that takes people directly to hellfire. It kills all the inner incentives of a man or woman to know the Divine Truth and do the right deeds. When such ignorance overwhelms over a country, barbarism, colonialism imperialism, racism, fascism, terrorism, ethnic cleansing and other cruelties become the norm. Such abject ignorance can even flourish amidst huge advancement in science and technology; the jahiliyah of the Western world is indeed the clear proof of it. In such ignorance, even the ancient sins like homosexuality, adultery, obscenity and pornography get the public approval.
The ugliest treachery
Each cell of the human body, every fraction of the human intelligence and every portion of the wealth are the exclusive gift of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’ala. Humans can’t make anything from nothing: they need to use the endowed gift. These are indeed the great amanah (entrusted assets); and all men and women are indeed the custodian of this amanah (trust) and definitely not the real owner. And every amanah comes with the assigned responsibility. The worst khianah (betrayal) of the amanah is to misuse those invaluable Divine endowments to promote personal whims or anti-Islamic agendas. A soldier has the right for a decent survival; hence can spend from the Divine gifts to sustain an honest living as a fighter for enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong. But he or she has no right to abuse or misuse the amanah. Every man or woman is under the Divine Watch for his or her performance. And how to make proper use of life and its invaluable potentials, Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la has given the clear guidance in the holy Qur’an. One can save his or her soul from hellfire only through following the guidance.
Since Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’ala holds the exclusive ownership of our life and all other endowments, no other deity or power has any legitimate right to exploit these amanah (trust). Spending these physical, financial and intellectual endowments in the service of other deity, other power or any anti-Islamic army or anti-Islamic projects of a state or non-state organisation is indeed the criminal denial of the Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’ala’s legitimate right. In Islam it is itself a great aggression (julm) against Him. It is in fact an act of subversion against His Divine vision of bringing supremacy of Islam over all other religions or faiths. It is indeed an act of deploying Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’ala’s gifted wealth in the service of Shaitan and his cronies. It is not only a betrayal of trust (amanah) but also an offensive war against Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’ala; and therefore justifies a holy war (jihad) against these transgressors.
Secularism: the seductive tool
The ultimate failure in life indeed starts with the failure in setting the right goal and the right priorities. Those who get seduced by the short-lived worldly successes fail to set correct goal and priorities. Such seduction is the symptom of the disease called secularism. It disconnects people from an endless life in the hereafter; thus make them unmindful of the infinite success in akhera. In their politics, culture, judiciary, economy and warfare, the Divine guidance has no access or priority. They call such Islamic priority as backwardness. Such secular belief and conceptual framework thus keep the final destination in the hereafter and the signposts of siratul mustaqeem out of the intellectual sight; thereby inflict irreparable and endless harm to the mankind.
Secularism is not a modern concept; rather a doctrine of ancient ignorance that seduced people in the name of wealth, women, pleasures and other worldly gains throughout the whole length of human history. It presents the fleeting worldly life very attractive to the people and makes them forget the endless and deathless ultimate life in the hereafter. Allah Subhana wa Ta’la reveals such crucial problem of these seduced people in the following verse: “As to them, they love the fleeting (worldly) life, and put away behind them a Day (akhira) that will be grievous,”–(Sura Dahr, verse 27). They are not focussed to take the journey to the right place in the hereafter. To tell about the priorities of the secularists, it is revealed: “Nay! But you love the present life. And neglect the hereafter.” (Sura Qi.ama, verse 20-21).
Secularism thus causes the greatest harm to the mankind; it can only generate ultimate losers in the hereafter. In following verse of Sura Al Kahf, Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la tells about some of the common specifics of these ultimate losers: “Say (to them O prophet), shall I inform you of the greatest losers in deeds? These are the people whose all efforts are lost in this world’s life; and they think that they are doing well. These are they who disbelieve in the communications of their Lord and His meeting (in the hereafter); so their deeds become null and void, therefore We will not set up any balance for them on the Day of Resurrection.” –(verse 104-105). It is one of the most ant-secularist verses of the holy Qur’an. It announces stern warning for those who claim to be the successful people on earth, and boast as the best performer in the profession. (To be continued)