How to Save Our Souls from Hellfire? Part 4
The crisis in moral immunity
Every man and woman has to live in a physical as well an ideological environment. Both the environments are infested with serious killer diseases. The physical illness kills the body; and the ideological illness kills the soul. Cholera, typhoid, pneumonia, malaria, cancer, stroke, AIDS are the examples of a few among numerous physical illnesses. Paganism, idolatry, atheism, racism, secularism, nationalism, fascism, materialism, colonialism, imperialism are the example of some grave ideological diseases. The physical illness doesn’t take one to the hellfire, but the ideological illness certainly does. And the most crucial difference lies in the severity and longevity of the suffering. The physical illness may cause extreme pain and agonies, and at the worst can predispose to early death. But such pain and agonies entirely end at death. On the other hand, the pain of the ideological or spiritual illness truly starts after the death; and never dies out. It takes the diseased to the hellfire for an endless period. Can a man with sanity and wisdom ignore or pay blind eye to such a fateful issue of moral disease? In fact, a man’s real blindness or deafness is proven by such a blind approach to such a serious issue. For this type of morally sick people, Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la has special narrative: “Deaf, dumb and blind, therefore they do not return (to the Truth)” –(Sura Baqara verse 18). Hence, the prognosis of such moral illness is very poor; if not cured, takes the victim to the hellfire.
Healing of any physical illness is important. But is it comparable to the importance of healing the spiritual or ideological illness? If healing of the spiritual or ideological illness is branded trillion times more important than treating the physical illness, even then it will not truly reveal the seriousness of the matter and the real importance. How the bodily pain or agonies for few days and months –caused by a disease can be compared to burning in hellfire for an infinite period? Any attempt of comparing the bodily pain with the endless burning in hellfire is indeed an utter madness. And it is greater madness to prioritise the treatment of physical illness to treatment of the ideological or spiritual illness. Only with such insanity people can ignore the endless life of akhera (the hereafter) and paves the way towards hellfire. In fact, such madness runs epidemic in the world; and the modernity has only intensified such madness. Hence, curing physical illness gets the fullest attention; but treating the ideological or spiritual illness remains out of the focus. This is indeed the ancient jaheliya (ignorance) in modern form. What can be more important and lifesaving than bringing some sense to such extreme insanity?
Humans’ greatest failure is not in scientific invention, but in understanding the most fundamental truth and setting the right priority in life. Such failure has been the mother of all moral failures in all ages. As a result, men and women have been easily seduced by the glittering worldly life; and lost interest in saving their infinite life in akhera. What can be more catastrophic than this? Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la treats this issue quite differently; the most important issue of humans receives the highest priority in His prescription. This is indeed the manifestation of His greatest Wisdom. Not a single prophet was sent, nor a single Divine Book was revealed to teach how to treat physical illnesses or make scientific discoveries. These are much lesser issue than protecting people from hellfire. Hence more than hundred thousand prophets were appointed and several Divine Books were revealed to cure the spiritual or ideological illnesses and take them to paradise. To continue with the same Divine mission, the holy Qur’an is the final and the most comprehensive prescription. Therefore what the Divine prophets, the holy Qur’an and other Revealed Books have contributed to the benefit of the mankind will remain incomparable in the whole human history. Even if said: it worth more than trillion times the total benefits of all the scientific inventions, still remains inadequate to describe the real worth of the Divine project!
The moral AIDS
The body needs strong immunity to fight against the physical diseases. The AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) virus kills body’s such inherent potential; therefore allows common bugs an easy entry into the body and brings quick death. On the other hand, the enhanced immunity through vaccination could save millions of life from killer diseases like cholera, TB, small pox, diphtheria, polio, etc. The physical illness doesn’t make people animal. But the people with reduced moral immunity (moral AIDS) quickly turn worse than the animals. They get quickly infected with evil ideas. The animal doesn’t do World Wars or use atom bomb or build gas chambers, but these human animals do. With moral AIDS, the pre-Islamic Arab could bury their own daughter alive. Such illness doesn’t show any sign of abating. Hence the most developed world power like USA could occupy and kill millions of innocent people in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan and could set up Abu Gharib and Guantanamo Bay torture cells.
A believer must not have any space for any corruptive belief in his or her mind. To prevent such invasion, a believer needs to boost up his moral immunity. For that, he needs regular immunisation through Qur’anic knowledge. It is so crucial that seeking Qur’anic knowledge was made compulsory from day one of the prophet-hood; and iqra (read) was the first word of Qur’anic revelation. Other obligatory rituals like salah, fasting in Ramadan, haj, zakat came much later. And the moral immunity of a believer goes on continuously increasing with the sustained supply of the Qur’anic knowledge. Otherwise it dies out. In absence of such immunity, people get quickly infected with moral illness and die a moral death; thus turn worse than the worst animals. The prophet sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Every child is born as a Muslim, but later on turn to other faith according to the parental cum environmental influence.” Hence every child needs adequate immunisation with Islamic education, otherwise the chances of getting lost in an anti-Islamic deluge is quite high.
In absence of Qur’anic knowledge, people turn intellectually blind. Such blindness has catastrophic consequence. They can’t see the Divine Truth, nor can see even the dazzling signs of Allah Sub’hana wa Tala that are spread everywhere. Those who die with such blindness, they indeed will be raised with the same blindness in the hereafter and far deviated from the right path. So, it is revealed, “And whoever is blind in this life, he shall also be blind in the hereafter; and more deviated from the way.” –(Sura Isra, verse 72). The whole purpose of education is to remove such intellectual blindness. For that (baseerah), one needs Qur’anic knowledge. The secular education –whatever high it may be can’t do that. This is why the people even who win the Noble Prize can’t discern the Truth from the falsehood. Nor can they read the signals of Divine roadmap. This is why the secularised people can’t make any fair appraisal of their own moral failures. Nor do they foresee the conceivable failure in akhera prior to their death.
The ideological invasion
The body’s intrinsic immunity against invading bugs is a gift of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’ala. All men and women possess it. Likewise, every man and woman is indeed embedded with nafse lao’ama (admonishing soul) from the very beginning; it helps discern the right from the wrong from day one of the conscientious life. It gives immunity against ideological or spiritual illness; it is indeed an invaluable endowment from the Almighty. Thus, every human is born with the full potentials to continue as a good Muslim. But such inherent immunity needs to be nourished and adequately enhanced through acquiring the Divine knowledge from childhood; otherwise it gets quickly killed in the corruptive ideological environment. In such context, Islam is unique from other religions. The holy Qur’an –the last and the final version of Divine revelation is the sole and the un-corruptible treasure of such knowledge. And to supplement and compliment the holy Qur’an, Islam has the benefit of another great repository of Divine knowledge: it is the huge prophetic tradition. Since the prophet’s deeds and decisions were indeed the expression of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la’s Wish to promote His Cause, a true believer can’t deny the significance of his tradition. To ensure the moral or spiritual upbringing, Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la asks every man and woman to obey both the treasures –the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Moreover, Islam has other obligatory Divine prescriptions to constantly build up the moral immunity: these are the regular ibadah like salah, fasting, haj, zakat and jihad.
A Muslim with his normal moral immunity is expected to survive with the fullest expression of faith even amidst the most virulent ideologies –as did the early Muslims. In those days, they didn’t have the luxury of having an ideologically or politically protected environment as should be desired in an Islamic state. In fact, they grew up in societies infested with highly infectious moral or conceptual illnesses. In such hostile environment, the Islamic survival of the early Muslims was only possible due to their strong ideological immunity –build-up by the Qur’anic knowledge and the prophetic Sunnah. But now the Muslims are making history by succumbing to moral death or ill-health. The ideological cum spiritual immunity couldn’t grow in the void of Qur’anic knowledge. With such depleted immunity, people quickly die their spiritual death; therefore fail to survive as true Muslim. Hence they survive as secularist, nationalist, socialist, capitalist, communist, atheist, monarchist and other forms of deviants; but not as a true Muslim. So, the ideological, political, judicial, cultural and economic territories of the Muslim countries stand fully occupied by the evil ideologies; true Islam and the true Muslims stand stranger in their midst. These so-called Muslims have indeed turned the most obedient foot-soldiers of anti-Islam to spread and protect these moral illnesses in the Muslim World. Therefore, the arch enemies of Islam need not recruit any new soldiers from the non-Muslims to fight war against Islam.
The tragedy of moral deficiency
The whole world now stands in a huge mess: it looks exhausted of any remedy for the current calamities. The progression of immune deficiency now threatens not only the physical entity, but also the intellectual and spiritual entities. In fact, the same moral deficiency overwhelms the whole world. As a result, the culture of building atom bombs, hydrogen bombs, chemical bombs, biochemical weapons, gas chambers, ballistic missiles and other weapons of mass destruction has got huge popularity all over the world. Due to such moral deficiency, the extreme cruelty and the massive destructiveness could have been deeply integrated in the culture of so-called modernity! Hence the occupation of Palestine, eviction of its people, bombing the cities like Gaza, Rafah and Kobani, and killing millions of innocent people in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan do not raise any condemnation in any international forum! Through utter inaction, even the UNO and other international bodies stand complicit to it. On the ears of spiritually dead people, even the great prophets like Musa (alaihis salam) and Isa (alaihis salam) with all great miracles couldn’t make any impact. The same is true with the secularised modern man. Due to their moral death, they have lost the insights. Hence, the overhanging vast universe appears to them only as wonder; they don’t find any reason to think about its Creator and the accountability to Him.
The holy Qur’an could work as the only effective antidote to moral or spiritual AIDS through ages. It proved its huge efficacy against the most virulent conceptual and ideological viruses in the early days of Islam. This is why Islam could spread with astonishing speed over the vast area of Asia, Africa and Europe; and could make civilizational changes. But it is extremely catastrophic that such Divine antidote has been denied access to education and cultural systems even in Muslim countries. How a diseased man can expect cure when he refuses the treatment? The Qur’anic prescription only gets recited for some reward in the hereafter, but not for getting guidance in the worldly affairs. As a result, Islam in its original form does not survive anywhere –even not in any of the Muslim countries. The Qur’anic code of life thus survives only as a bunch of some cultural rituals. Is it not an ugly act of dishonouring Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la and His Divine prescription? Disease begets disease -thus becomes true in the Muslim life. So, the moral illnesses that usually flourish in the pagan or kuffar countries also thrive in the Muslim World. The Muslims are so much deviated from the Divine path of enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong that some of the Muslim countries even top the list of the most corrupt countries in the world!
The only savior
The mankind now faces a real crisis of a credible saviour. Christianity –though claims to be the Divine religion has already succumbed to sinful practices of the ancient pagans. Hence in the Christian World, nothing is forbidden. The Christian Europe and America have proved to be the fertile breeding ground of colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, secularism, fascism, racism, ethnic cleansing, wars, World Wars, atom bombs, gas chambers, weapons of mass destruction and other evil ideas and practices. Christianity has failed to show an iota of immunity against such lethal ideological diseases. Like gambling, drinking, usury, free sex and pornography, now the ugly sins like homosexuality and same sex marriage also got the legality in almost all the Christian countries. Other religions too, do not show any credibility either. On the contrary, the holy Qur’an has proved its worth as the most powerful as well as the most credible civilizational force in human history. In the past, other religions could only covert people and build churches and temples, but there exists no Christian, Buddhist, Hindu or Jewish civilisation. Only Islam could build its own civilisation with the highest moral standard.
While reviewing a civilisation, the mode of living, the quality of buildings and palaces, the type of pottery and monuments, the art and culture, the type of human habitat, the tools of production, the science and technology play important role. But the most important markers of a civilisation are the quality of humans, the human values, the law, the rule of law, the judiciary, the equality, the moral highness of people, the status of women, the status of the minority, the economic justice, the distribution of wealth and the most importantly the spiritual highness. In all such areas, Islam surpassed all other civilisations that have ever emerged on earth. Other major religions didn’t make any venture in such civilizational enterprise. The ancient Egyptians built pyramids. But they also built a system of severe oppression, exploitation and subjugation. They kept hundreds of thousands of people as slaves; killed their sons and exploited their women. The minority Jews were not given even the right of survival; so Allah Su’hana Ta’la needed to send Musa (alaihis salam) to release them from their oppressive clutches. The Western civilisation did wonders in scientific discoveries; but they also surpassed all other civilisations in brutal occupation, mindless exploitation, blood sheds, ethnic cleansing and genocides. In fact they added new dimensions to brutal barbarity. They filled the world not only with lethal ideologies, but also with the weapons of mass destruction and warfare. Only in two World Wars, they killed more than 75 Million. With so many ugly blemishes on the body, can anyone in the West claim to be a part of any civilizational enterprise?
Whatever the Muslims achieved in the past owe to the holy Quran. It is the only rope of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la (hablillah) that sets the strongest link for getting the Divine guidance and blessing. The Qur’anic knowledge builds up the insights to the extent that the true believers can foresee not only the blind alleys and the futility of the worldly life, but also the enlightened siratul mustaqeem up to the gate of paradise. So, they do not lose the heavenly track; rather stick to that at any cost. It is called taqwa. Since it is the only connection between the mankind and Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la, Al-Qur’an is not an exclusive possession of the Muslims. It is the greatest gift for the whole mankind; and Islam exists as the sole recommended religion for all men and women. The holy Qur’an reveals: “This day (the day of revelation of this verse on the day of Arafah , the 9th day of Dhul Hijjah in the year of 10 A H) I have preferred for you your religion and completed My favour upon you and chosen for you Islam as the religion” –(Sura Maida, verse 3).
In the above verse, Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la made an explicitly clear and serious announcement; and it is for the whole mankind. He made Islam the only recommended religion cum saviour for the whole mankind. To attain paradise, one needs a correct and complete road map; there must not be any gaps in it. And in the above verse, Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la announced the completion of such a roadmap. Hence, the roadmap in the holy Qur’an is quite unique and inclusive; it covers not only the ritual and the spiritual aspects of life, but also the politico-cultural, social, familial, judicial, educational, economic and even the military dimensions. So, no gap is left to fill in with the ingredients from alien ideas.
The culture of refinement
The belief in Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la and in the day of judgement works as the most powerful mover in Muslim’s life. The migration instantly starts not only from the occupied political or cultural premises of the Devils, but also from corruptive beliefs, faiths and practices. It generates continuous ascension in terms of achieving higher moral qualities. Thus a culture of refinement instantly starts in Muslim lands and societies. And Islam obligates to establish Islamic state and its administration, mosques, prayers, schools, judiciary, jihad and other necessary institutions to excel in such a process of purification. In such aspects Islam is unique; no other religion possesses such a holistic approach for remodelling humans’ thought, behaviour, character and deeds on such a huge scale. The Arabic word tahjeeb also give the same connotation of “culture of purification”. If such purification doesn’t happen in a Muslim’s life, then it is indeed a sure marker that some non-functional or dysfunctional elements work in his or her muslimness.
A Muslim must add some discernible value not only to its agricultural, mineral or industrial goods; rather the highest level of value must be added to his own life. As a result of such value-adding process, a believer becomes a refined man with a high level of iman, taqwa and moral immunity. He or she also shows a very high spirit for doing the good and forbidding the wrong; and turns a life-long fighter (mujahid) in reconstructing the state and community on the prophetic line. A Muslim sacrifices not only his assets, but also his life in the way of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. Only this way the Muslims emerge as the significant civilizational power –as happened in the past. Such a combatant believer in the way of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la gets adorned with the Divine qualities fit for entering into the paradise. In fact, paradise comes to Muslims’ life as a final prize for successful completion of the refinement process. Those who withdraw from such an Islamic process, they indeed opt for a corruptive way down to the hellfire.
Islam’s methodology of individual and societal change is based on the True knowledge that directly came from Allah Sub’hana wa Tala. So, it is altogether different from the other faiths. Christianity spread over whole Europe and large part of Asia and Africa through brutal force of Roman King Constantine and other rulers. It happened more than 300 years after Jesus; and the peaceful methodology of Jesus didn’t have any role in such spread. In the name of religion the genocidal massacre was so huge that the non-Christians didn’t get any chance to survive. The total annihilation of the Muslims in Spain after 7 hundred years of Muslim rule is a revealing testimony. Almost the total absence of pagans and other non-Christian in the so-called Holy Roman Empire gives another example. But Islam didn’t need any help of a brutal king or ruler; its strength lies in its midst. Islam taught the Divine concept of the sociological change and it was revealed: “Tell O Muhammad! Everyone act according his own format; and your Lord best knows who is best guided in the path.” –(Sura Isra, verse 84). First thing must be done first; hence for changing a man’s belief and deeds it needs to bring a change in his format (shakela). And the format –as mentioned in the above verse that decides human’s acts and behaviour and the ultimate submission to right path is not his or her physical format, neither is the race or the ethnicity. It is the ideological format –the pattern of his belief. It is indeed the paradigm of his thought. Hence those who want to bring changes in individual’s attitudes, deeds and character and make his follower of the right path (siratul mustaqeem) must start working on his ideological makeup. So it needs deep ideological intervention and not brutal force. For that, the holy Qur’an is the most powerful and most effective instrument. And Allah Sub’hana wa Tala showed His Sunnah: He started His works with the revelation of the holy Qur’a. It showed the amazing success; and in fact it is unique in history.
Hence entering into Islam or to be a Muslim has a serious implication in one’s life. It is not mere a change of name or attire, but a total annulment of pre-Islamic thoughts and pattern of living. It also means total integration with the Qur’anic process of refinement. Otherwise Islam doesn’t enter deep into the heart. It entails entering into an intensive and incessant process of purification; thus it prepares people for the paradise. It is indeed the greatest blessing to be the part of such a Divine process. One can’t achieve such piety or purification by accepting other religion or adapting a solitary ascetic life. When a pagan accepts Christianity, unlike a Muslim he or she doesn’t need to abandon his or her pagan way of eating, drinking, dressing or celebration. Rather, the pagan culture gets integrated into Christianity. Christianity thus embraced paganism, not the otherwise.
The Muslims are going downhill in terms of their character, behaviour and deeds. They also stand far away from the right path (siratul mustaqeem). Such a decline does not owe to the holy Qur’an or Islam. Rather it owes to the fact that the Qur’anic knowledge and prophetic Sunnah have not been allowed to shape the ideological format of the Muslims; instead the viruses of secularism, nationalism, racism, liberalism, monarchism, and other diseases were injected into the Muslim mind –that too in the name of education. So the ideological makeup of the most of the Muslims is badly damaged; and it stands no more Islamic. Therefore, how such a deformed Muslim can achieve the desired moral purification and follow the Divine roadmap? So they stand markedly deviated. Hence the greatest damage to the Muslim ummah has been inflicted not by the brutal army of invasions, rather by the ideological infiltration. The colonial occupation has formally ended; but the intellectual premise of the Muslims still stands heavy occupied by the evil ideologies. So the downhill course hasn’t ended either.
The danger of the detachment
The Muslims’ detachment from Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la is also very huge. And it is immensely catastrophic. It deprives not only from the victory and honour, but also from the Divine guidance. A believer’s muslimness is his constant connectivity with Allha Sub’hana wa Ta’la. Any detachment from Him jeopardises all efforts to save souls from the hellfire. It is revealed: “Whoever holds fast to Allah, he indeed is guided to the right path.” –(Sura Al-Imran, verse 101). So it is explicit that the Divine guidance comes only through attachment to Him. So, the danger of detachment is crucial. It brings deviation from siratul mustaqeem and takes down the route to hellfire. However, attachment to Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la doesn’t mean reciting His holy names and compliance with the prayer rituals; rather full adherence to His Book of Guidance -the holy Qur’an in every sphere of life. And the detachment from the holy Qur’an not only detaches from Islam, but also detaches from Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. Such detachment is quite visible in the Muslim World. Only with such deep detachment, the Muslims could be so arrogant and rebellious to ignore sharia, khelafa, Muslim unity, jihad and other basics of Islam. Such detachment is enough to damage the direct link of getting help from Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. Loss of such linkage is indeed the greatest deprivation of the Muslims today: no amount of gas, oil, manpower or other assets could compensate it. It is the real problem of today’s Muslims. This is why about 1.3 billion Muslims stand powerless, helpless and excluded in the stage of world politics. In such a state of deep detachment, how can one save his soul from hellfire?
Success or victory comes only as a sanction from Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la, hence a small army can win against a huge army. It is revealed: “There is no victory except from Allah.” –(Sura Anfal, verse 10). But the key to success or victory still lies in the human’s hands. To qualify for blessing from Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la, it needs sincere intention (niyah), efforts and sacrifice. Humans get reward in the hereafter only for such intention and efforts, not for any achieved victory. A man who hasn’t ploughed any land, or hasn’t sowed any seeds, how can he expect a harvest? Mere intention or supplication doesn’t work. Whoever starts doing something with good intention; only then can expect the Divine blessing. It is revealed: “And for those who strive hard for Us, We shall surely guide them in Our ways; and indeed Allah is most surely with the doers of good.”–(Sura Ankabut verse 69). Therefore, whenever a Muslim makes sincere efforts in His way receives the promised help from Him. And if Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la helps, who else can defeat him?
Because of their faith and commitment, the early Muslims received help in all fronts from Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la; hence could easily defeat the Romans and the Persians empires and emerge as the number one world power. They didn’t fear anybody except Him. The Almighty Lord asks the believer: “Don’t fear people, fear Me.” Whoever strives to seek the Qur’anic knowledge and does the practice –not only he starts getting His blessing, rather joins the Divine roadmap to paradise. And whoever engages in jihad in His way, he indeed joins the path of bringing down the promised army of angels on earth. He himself becomes the member of Army of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. And Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la’s blessing is always with His Own army. A believer must understand such power dynamics and the Supremacy of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. It is indeed the key element of the Muslim faith; any disbelief in such decisive Power of the Almighty is indeed the unpardonable blasphemy against Him. But such un-attenuated faith in the Power of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la is missing in most of the Muslims’ political life; they fear the big powers. Hence they do politics, make compromises and forge alliances and do wars to please their global masters and to promote their own secular agenda. So the cause of Islam, sharia, khilafa, Muslim unity and jihad remains deeply neglected. With such neglect of Islamic cause, can anyone please Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la and enter into paradise? 06/09/2015 (To be continued)