Are You Aware You Are Living
In A False World?
Reason is the most important distinguishing feature between believers and unbelievers. Reason, an intellectual gift from Allah, is a characteristic of servants who believe in Him. It develops in proportion to an individual's faith and fear of and submission to Him. Fear of Allah and sincere faith endow the individual with an understanding which allows him or her to act in accordance with the good pleasure of Allah at every moment of his or her life. Using their conscience, such people choose to behave in the manner most compatible with the Qur'an, as a result of which they acquire a high standard of behavior which prevails throughout their lives. Allah has revealed this mercy on believers in the Qur'an:
You who believe! If you fear [and respect] Allah, He will give you discrimination and erase your bad actions from you and forgive you. Allah's favor is indeed immense. (Surat al-Anfal, 29)
On the other hand, no matter how clever an unbeliever may be, so long as he lacks faith, he can never possess the reason with which to correctly comprehend the nature of the world in which he lives, nor what he needs to do as a consequence. That is because reason is a very different thing to intelligence; it cannot be acquired by hard work and experience, nor by solving mathematical problems or by occupying one's self in complicated academic processes. Reason is a power of comprehension and understanding which comes about by the will of Allah and belongs only to those who have faith. Allah has revealed in many verses of the Qur'an how deniers lack true reason. Some of these read as follows:
... Those who did not believe invented lies against Allah. Most of them do not use their intellect. (Surat al-Ma'ida, 103)
The likeness of those who do not believe is that of the beast which, call out to it as one may, can hear nothing but a shout and a cry. Deaf–dumb–blind. They do not use their intellect. (Surat al-Baqara, 171)
The worst of beasts in Allah's sight are the deaf and dumb who have no intellect. (Surat al-Anfal, 22)
One of the principal reasons that unbelievers imagine this world they live in to be real, forget about the Hereafter and seek only to fulfill their earthly desires is that, as revealed in the verses, they have "no intellect." They therefore imagine that their whole lives are restricted to this world. Their narrow-minded perspectives on events and other judgments are nearly all directed towards this world. They see only the superficial aspects of the life of this world, are unable to comprehend its true purpose and spend their lives being totally forgetful of the Hereafter. Allah reveals the following about such people in the Qur'an:
They know an outward aspect of the life of this world but are heedless of the Hereafter. Have they not reflected within themselves? Allah did not create the heavens and the Earth and everything between them except with truth and for a fixed term. Yet many people reject the meeting with their Lord. (Surat ar-Rum, 7-8)
However, the fact is that via the verses of the Qur'an, Allah has provided information about the true face of the life of this world and has warned people not to be seduced by it.
To humanity the love of worldly appetites is painted in glowing colors: women and children, and heaped-up mounds of gold and silver, and horses with fine markings, and livestock and fertile farmland. All that is merely the enjoyment of the life of this world. The best homecoming is in the presence of Allah. (Surah Al 'Imran, 14)
The life of this world is nothing but a game and a diversion. The Hereafter is better for those who guard against evil. So will you not use your intellect? (Surat al-An'am, 32)
In other verses, Allah has reminded people that they are ignoring the Hereafter, where they will spend their real lives:
No indeed! But you love this fleeting world and you disregard the Hereafter. (Surat al-Qiyama, 20-21)
There can be no doubt that such behavior will inflict eternal losses upon those who do not reflect upon the magnitude of Allah's words.
Imam Ghazali, a worthy Islamic scholar and man of high wisdom, once issued a reminder on this subject, describing how the transitory blessings of this world were dull and worthless compared to those to be granted by Allah in the Hereafter. Ghazali called upon people to seek the good pleasures of the Hereafter:
… In contrast to those peoples' stations, the ranks of the rulers in this world are small and dull—incomparably so. Allah speaks thus of the sultanate of the Hereafter, "Seeing them, you see delight and a great kingdom [sultanate]" (Surat al-Insan, 20).
Elevate the goods of the Hereafter, which Allah has described as such a great sultanate! Full well you know that the world and those things in it are few and worthless. Life is short, the span of the blessings of this world is short and very brief. Yet we muster our souls and possessions to acquire that very little and enjoy it for so short a time. Some of us achieve this, and others fail but envy those who do. They never look to see how they endanger their souls and possessions to acquire this. (Imam Ghazali, Minhajul Abidin, p. 319)
Real Life Lies In The Hereafter
It is through the guidance of the Qur'an that people learn the purpose behind their creation. They understand how they should serve Allah and they appreciate the truths about life itself. As set out in the preceding pages, we are informed in the Qur'an that "the true life" is that of the Hereafter. As revealed in the verses, therefore, the world we are living in at present is merely a "diversion," "a place of trial." When a person crosses over to the life of the Hereafter, all that will remain of this world will be brief memories in his or her mind. Compared to the Hereafter, the life of this world resembles "the blink of an eye," as in the following example:
Imagine that you are sitting happily by the banks of a river one lovely spring day.
Imagine that a light breeze makes the air cool and refreshing. Can you hear the delightful sound of the bubbling waters? Can you see the wonderful flowers, each more lovely than the last? Imagine that you are talking to a dear friend as you enjoy these beauties; imagine you are smelling the pure scent of the flowers on the air and listening to the sweet chirping of the birds. Imagine that as you are enjoying all these sensations you then wake up and find yourself lying in bed. In such a case, you would realize that everything you imagined to be real was in fact nothing but a dream: a figment of your imagination, which suddenly evaporated.
Let us now imagine the same situation after you have woken up. Let us assume that you really are talking to a dear friend, enjoying all those sights and sounds by the banks of a sublime river.
If someone were to ask "which of the two would you prefer?" after you had experienced both, you would of course say, "the one after I had woken up." The reason is that what goes on in our dreams remains in our dreams and benefits a person nothing in real life. Nobody can seriously feel sorrow at what he or she has lost in a dream since he or she knows that these have no effect on real life. No matter how much delight a person takes in a dream, this can never give as much pleasure as when he or she is awake and in the real world.
In the same way, the life of this world is dream-like, very short and transitory when compared to the Hereafter. Like returning from the world of the imagination to the real world on awakening from a dream, the life of this world which seems so real now will shortly come to an end and your real, eternal life will begin in the Hereafter. This is how the Qur'an describes how people realize that they stayed only a short time in the life of this world:
He will say: "How many years did you tarry on the Earth?" They will say: "We tarried there for a day or part of a day. Ask those able to count!" He will say: "You only tarried there for a little while if you did but know!"(Surat al-Muminun, 112-114)
In another verse, Allah has warned people by revealing that rather like the harvest which sprouts with the rain but then turns dry and brittle, the life of this world is a place of deception and will inevitably one day come to an end:
Know that the life of this world is merely a game and a diversion and ostentation and a cause of boasting among yourselves and trying to outdo one another in wealth and children: like the plant-growth after rain which delights the cultivators, but then it withers and you see it turning yellow, and then it becomes broken stubble. In the Hereafter there is terrible punishment but also forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure. The life of this world is nothing but the enjoyment of delusion. (Surat al-Hadid, 20)
That being the case, to ignore this reality and to become embroiled in transient blessings of this world, and then to suffer the inevitable turmoil, would be an error of the most grievous nature. Believers know that the blessings of this world are a gift from Allah and must be used as means with which to attain His approval. In return for this godly approach, Allah makes everything that believers do auspicious and rewards them with eternal Paradise in the life of the Hereafter.
Those who make do with this world and who are unable to see its true face make little or no effort to attain the Afterlife. Since they imagine the world they live in to be real, they unwisely make all their plans with it in mind. Although Allah sometimes bestows blessings on them in the light of His wisdom, a severe loss still awaits them in the Afterlife, where they will experience their real lives. Allah has revealed the situation of these people, in the life of this world and that of the Hereafter, in the Qur'an:
If anyone desires to cultivate the Hereafter, We will increase him in his cultivation. If anyone desires to cultivate this world, We will give him some of it but he will have no share in the Hereafter. (Surat ash-Shura, 20)
... Say: "Enjoy your unbelief for a little while. You are among the Companions of the Fire." (Surat az-Zumar, 8)
No indeed! We have given these people enjoyment, as We did their fathers, until life seemed long and good to them. Do they not see how We come to the land eroding it from its extremities? Or are they the victors? (Surat al-Anbiya', 44)
Leave them to eat and enjoy themselves. Let false hope divert them. They will soon know. (Surat al-Hijr, 3)
People should pay attention to these reminders in order to stay clear of such a fate in the Hereafter.
The Beauties Of This World Are Imperfect And Flawed
This world is dream-like. In the same way that the taste and feeling of satisfaction imparted by the apple one eats in a dream are nothing compared to those of the apple one eats when one is awake, so the pleasure one receives from this world's actions is a poor man's version of its equivalent in the Hereafter. In the Qur'an, Allah warns people against the deceptive nature of the life of this world:
... Allah's promise is true. So do not let the life of this world delude you and do not let the Deluder delude you concerning Allah. (Surah Luqman, 33)
Allah created man from clay and breathed His own soul into him; in other words, He created man from "nothing." Allah knows all of the characteristics of human beings and He is fully aware of their earthly desires. He knows of their weaknesses, wishes, the things they enjoy or need, their doubts and fears, in short everything, better than they do themselves. Allah reveals how close He is to us in another verse:
We created man and We know what his own self whispers to him. We are nearer to him than his jugular vein. (Surah Qaf, 16)
Human beings always feel a deep longing for perfection in their souls. As a requirement of the testing they undergo, Allah, Who knows all their desires and passions, has created the life of this world with flaws and imperfections alongside its countless blessings. People, if they wish to be spiritually successful, must strive to overcome these imperfections and rid themselves of flaws in order to pass the test erected in front of them by the Lord. However, one must always bear in mind the fact that it is still impossible for them to achieve the desired level of perfection. Allah has made this perfection unique to Paradise and to those of His servants deserving of bliss.
In the life of this world, a struggle with a great many more imperfections is necessary just in order to survive; human beings, without exception, need to eat every day, sleep, protect themselves from illness, wash and take care of themselves. In exactly the same way, they need to use their reason and conscience at all times in order to protect themselves from the evils of earthly desires and to exhibit proper moral values.
As revealed in the Qur'an, "He is Allah—the Creator, the Maker, the Giver of Form. To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Everything in the heavens and Earth glorifies Him. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise." (Surat al-Hashr, 24), Allah's creation is flawless. Our Lord has the power to accomplish all and to create everything He so desires. Yet He encourages human beings to think by creating flaws and imperfections in the life of this world.
When considered in its components and compared to the perfection of the life of Paradise, the wisdom in the imperfections in the life of this world can be more easily comprehended. To give an example, no matter what, an individual can go no longer than two or three days—if that—without sleeping. There then follows a gradual loss of consciousness and that person loses all touch with reality. Similarly, a person who goes several days without washing becomes dirty and will feel an immense physical discomfort. A person also needs to feed and look after him or herself on a regular basis in order to survive. Falling ill is another serious imperfection. That is because human beings are so helpless that even a germ or virus, so small as to be invisible to the naked eye, can result in sickness and oblige the individual to do nothing but rest for weeks on end. In such an event, the person becomes weak and takes little pleasure from most things. The individual concerned will no doubt become highly dependant on the help and care of other people.
On account of His infinite compassion, our Lord has also created the means by which people can overcome the imperfections they encounter in the life of this world; foodstuffs which confer strength and power, materials which can be used for cleaning and bodily maintenance, and medicines capable of curing illness are all manifestations of Allah's compassion for and protection of His creatures.
Alongside such physical imperfections in the life of this world, there are also spiritual ones: the way a person's heart may be troubled, and feeling of doubt or fear are examples of this. Moreover, earthly passions are never satisfied for long; an activity embarked on with enormous enthusiasm soon becomes wearisome. These are all just some of the imperfections specially created by Allah in this world.
However, let us also note that although the spiritual difficulties in the life of this world turn into great suffering for those without faith, believers live far distant from them. Human beings are created with a great many negative features in their desires; yet faith and a fear of Allah will shelter them from these evils and the weaknesses of their own passions, their own worldliness. Binding oneself to Allah with sincere faith and submission prevents a person from suffering such spiritual troubles as fatigue, despair and sorrow. On the other hand, the above-mentioned spiritual difficulties result in horrible crises for non-believers.
With all these flaws and imperfections He has created, Allah reveals to us the false face of this world which He has created solely to test us in our faith. The individual thus longs for a life in which there is no imperfection, in which everything is flawless and complete—for Paradise. In Paradise, people will live forever with no troubles of any kind, never becoming weary and never become bored of that which they are given by Allah. As He reveals in the Qur'an:
They will say, "Praise be to Allah Who has removed all sadness from us. Truly our Lord is Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Thankful: He Who has lodged us, out of His favor, in the Abode of Permanence where no weariness or fatigue affects us." (Surat al-Fatir, 34-35)
In another verse, Allah has revealed that in Paradise believers will find everything their hearts desire:
The angels descend on those who say, "Our Lord is Allah," and then go straight: "Do not fear and do not grieve but rejoice in the Garden you have been promised. We are your protectors in the life of this world and the Hereafter. You will have there all that your selves could wish for. You will have there everything you demand." (Surah Fussilat, 30-31)
Since unbelievers do not believe in the existence of the Hereafter, they vainly try to fulfill this aspect of their desires from the life of this world. They wrongly think that the more blessings of this world they can acquire, the happier they will be. Therefore, as revealed in the verse, "Leave the person I created on his own to Me alone, him to whom I have given great wealth, and sons who stay with him, and whose way I have smoothed. Then he wants Me to add yet more!" (Surat al-Muddaththir, 11-15), they chase after the offerings of this world with great passion and cupidity.
However, the fact is that no number of material items will bring a person the happiness he or she seeks. That is because the emptiness in the hearts of unbelievers which they seek to fill with material values actually stem from the fact that they lead their lives far distant from Allah. Allah has created human beings in such a way that they can only find peace by remembering Him. Someone who fails to remember Allah wastes his or her life. Such people erroneously imagine that goods, property, rank or fame guarantee great happiness.
Only in the Hereafter will they realize the ultimate hollowness of the efforts they expended in this world. In return for their rejection of Allah in this world, they will encounter bitter suffering in the next. This is such a horrendous torment that they will happily give up all that was dear to them in this world to be freed from it: their families, their friends, the goods they were so deeply attached to and which they sought to add to by working day and night. Allah has revealed the situation of the unbelievers in the Hereafter:
If every self that did wrong possessed everything on Earth, it would offer it as a ransom. They will show remorse when they see the punishment. Everything will be decided between them justly. They will not be wronged. (Surah Yunus, 54)
If those who did wrong owned everything on Earth, and the same again with it, they would offer it as a ransom to save themselves from the evil of the punishment on the Day of Resurrection. What confronts them from Allah will be something they did not reckon with.(Surat az-Zumar, 47)
... They can see each other. An evildoer will wish he could ransom himself from the punishment of that Day, by means of his sons, or his wife or his brother or his family who sheltered him or everyone else on Earth, if that only meant that he could save himself. But no! It is a Raging Blaze... (Surat al-Ma'arij, 11-15)
It is those who have faith and who live for the good pleasure of Allah who will be saved both from the troubles of this world and the eternal suffering in the Afterlife. In the Qur'an, Allah gives those who demonstrate that morality the news of a pleasing life in both this world and the next:
Anyone who acts rightly, male or female, being a believer, We will give them a good life and We will recompense them according to the best of what they did. (Surat an-Nahl, 97)
The great Islamic scholar Abdul-Qadir Gilani has also reminded people not to be led astray by the distractions of this world but to work to gain our Lord's approval and the Afterlife, and that in the event he has exhibited such moral values, a person will find the most auspicious of everything in the Hereafter:
Let not your main endeavors be such simple things as eating, drinking, dressing up and getting married. (That is because these are not ends in themselves, but means to achieve ends. Do not confuse the means with the ends.) Where is the endeavor of the heart and the secret? That is what one must know and find. Have no doubt but that this is nothing other than a desire for Allah. This must be your labor and your most important concern. In that event let your most sincere and serious endeavor be the Lord and the things in His sight…
The Hereafter is the opposite of this world. The Creator is the opposite of the people. Know how to turn from this world to the Hereafter, from people to the Creator…
Everything you abandon in this world you will find in a more auspicious form in the Hereafter. Be as ready as if you had but one more day to live…" (Abdul-Qadir Gilani, Gonul Incileri Ikazlar (Warnings of the Pearls of the Heart), translated into Turkish by Celal Yildirim, Bahar Yayinlari, pp. 27-29)
Passion And Desire Are Obstacles To Happiness
Allah reveals in the Qur'an that people's earthly desires contain two distinct elements. One of these is the "conscience," which commands what is good and prohibits what is evil; the other is fujoor, which commands what is evil. The word fujoor means engaging in sin and rebellion: telling lies, turning one's back on what is right, disobeying just laws, moral collapse and that which is an affront to godliness. In other words, the concept referred to here as fujoor includes all the negative features of the human ego. In the Qur'an, Allah reveals that He has inspired both fujoor and conscience, which impels human beings to avoid the former:
And [I swear by] the self and what proportioned it and inspired it with fujoor [depravity] or taqwa [sense of duty], he who purifies it has succeeded, he who covers it up has failed. (Surat ash-Shams, 7-10)
The second important feature of immoral desires drawn attention to in the Qur'an is "passion" and "greed." Someone who contents himself with the life of this world and fails to consider the Hereafter is devoted to all he possesses with "passion" and "greed." He or she starts to live as if death and the Afterlife were far away. In fact, in societies which live far removed from the moral values of the Qur'an, peoples' passions are praised and honored. The more people are attached to the life of this world and the more efforts they make to attain its benefits, the more they are esteemed by others who share the same twisted mindset. Yet this is a grave error. Of course, a person must strive to have a pleasant life and must always seek to do his or her best. Yet that determination and will must be directed at the kind of life approved of by Allah. Otherwise it would be a terrible mistake, in forgetting our Lord, Who gives them all they possess, for people to be caught up in worldly desires and to live a life far removed from the moral values of the Qur'an.
Attention is drawn to unbelievers' passionate attachment to the things of this world in the verse, "And you have an insatiable love of wealth" (Surat al-Fajr, 20). In another verse, "The enjoyment of this world is very brief. The Hereafter is better for those who guard against evil" (Surat an-Nisa', 77), Allah reminds us that the blessings people are so passionately fond of are the enjoyment of the life of this world. The word "enjoyment" in this context means worthless things, ultimately condemned to vanish. The blessings of this world which people so greedily desire are false and worthless compared to those of the Hereafter.
Those Deceived By The False World Are Always Troubled
Every event people experience throughout their lives, every word they speak, every image they see: they are all created by Allah, the Lord of the Universe. Knowing this and living by the comfort this knowledge inspires is one of the greatest joys of life and faith. People who are aware of Allah's dominion over the entire universe, who know that He will always create what is best and most auspicious, behave in a submissive and accepting way. Their hearts are therefore always at ease. They know that Allah creates everything in the light of a specific destiny, with goodness and wisdom, and act in all they do with the confidence this knowledge brings with it. This submissive attitude of believers is revealed in another verse:
Say: "Nothing can happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is our Master. It is in Allah that the believers should put their trust." (Surat at-Tawba, 51)
No matter what may befall them, believers, who know that everything is under the control of Allah, never fall into despair in the face of any trouble or difficulty. They always try to see the positive aspect of everything. Everything a person will think or say throughout his or her life is set out down in the minutest detail by Allah before he or she is even born. The individual encounters these events set out for him or her when the time is right. Since believers know that everything in their destiny has been created in such a way as to have an auspicious conclusion, they are always submissive to that destiny and feel secure and at ease. In the Qur'an, Allah has revealed:
Nothing occurs, either in the Earth or in yourselves, without its being in a Book before We make it happen. That is something easy for Allah. That is so that you will not be grieved about the things that pass you by or exult about the things that come to you. Allah does not love any vain or boastful man. (Surat al-Hadid, 22-23)
Those who are unable to comprehend these truths wrong themselves by being taken in by the enjoyment of this world. Since they make the mistake of thinking that events take place independently of Allah, they seek means of intervening in them. The way that events may appear to be going "badly" or "against them" is a source of constant sorrow and inescapable discontent for such people. On account of these erroneous beliefs, they are constantly stressed out; they lie awake at the slightest trouble, their nerves suffer and they undergo physical and spiritual harm. They resort to various means to rid themselves of these difficulties; they may seek relief by taking part in amusements of various sorts or by not thinking at all. Yet, it is impossible for such measures to bring them true peace and happiness. That is because, as revealed by Allah in the verse, "Those who believe and whose hearts find peace in the remembrance of Allah. Only in the remembrance of Allah can the heart find peace" (Surat ar-Ra'd, 28). A person can only find peace by turning to Allah, submitting to our Lord and living by the moral values He ordains.
Although Allah has shown people the way to free themselves from dissatisfaction and to experience true happiness, those who deliberately turn their backs on this merely "wrong themselves." Allah reveals the situation of such people in another verse:
Allah does not wrong people in any way; rather it is people who wrong themselves. (Surah Yunus, 44)
In the same way that unbelievers who look for comfort and peace—to escape the stress and problems they suffer and to restore their good spirits—fail to find what they seek in this world, they also suffer a loss in the Hereafter which cannot be revoked. As they turn from the path of Allah, the things such people seek are described in the Qur'an as serving no other purpose than "increasing their ruin" in the Afterlife:
We did not wrong them; rather they wronged themselves. The deities they called upon besides Allah did not help them at all when Allah's command came upon them. They did nothing but increase their ruin. (Surah Hud, 101)
It must not be forgotten that in many verses of the Qur'an, Allah has revealed that He forgives people and accepts their repentance. A person may make many mistakes until finally becoming aware of these truths. Yet the important thing is to understand that he or she is on the wrong path, repent and attempt to live by the moral values ordained by our Lord. It is revealed in the Qur'an, in an address to his people by Prophet Salih (as), what they needed to do to attain the good pleasure of Allah:
To Thamud We sent their brother Salih. He said: "My people, worship Allah! You have no deity apart from Him. He brought you into being from the earth and made you its inhabitants. So ask His forgiveness and then repent to Him. My Lord is close and quick to respond." (Surah Hud, 61)
Our Lord also reveals, in another verse, that He will respond immediately to any prayer:
If My servants ask you about Me, I am near. I answer the call of the caller when he calls on Me. They should therefore respond to Me and believe in Me so that hopefully they will be rightly guided. (Surat al-Baqara, 186)
Unbelievers: They Weary Themselves And Labor In Vain
Nearly all people try to succeed in something in the life of this world. No matter how different the areas they interest themselves in may be, human beings all have one common aim: to be recompensed for their efforts and labors. Those who ignore the Hereafter believe that being rewarded for their labor in this world is worth all the problems involved.
However, the fact is that these people are ignoring one very important factor: the approval of Allah. What actually makes an action and its outcome valuable is Allah's approval of that individual and the action partaken in. Any effort expended or success achieved in an activity undertaken without aiming at His approval is only temporary, just like the life of this world. For that reason, Allah has described the efforts expended by unbelievers and such things as they do as "mirage." When these people proceed to the Afterlife they will see—unless Allah in His Mercy wishes otherwise—that all their labors and the efforts they took such joy in are all empty:
But the actions of those who do not believe are like a mirage in the desert. A thirsty man thinks it is water but when he reaches it, he finds it to be nothing at all, but he finds Allah there. He will pay him his account in full. Allah is swift at reckoning. (Surat an-Nur, 39)
As we have seen, unless a person acts bearing the approval of Allah in mind, even if he does the most important thing in the world, this may still be of no worth in the Lord's sight. So long as a person fails to act in conformity with the approval of Allah, the esteem felt for him or her by all those around or his or her recognition as a performer of good deeds cannot prevent those actions proving empty. This is how Allah describes in the Qur'an the position in the Hereafter of those who imagine that they are doing good deeds:
People whose efforts in the life of this world are misguided while they suppose that they are doing good. (Surat al-Kahf, 104)
After death, the misguided soul will come to realize that all that he chased after with such enthusiasm is ultimately worthless in comparison to the blessings of the Hereafter. This will be a cause of immeasurable and eternal disappointment. Learning that a lifetime's efforts have all been for naught will make a general regret become an eternal regret. Allah describes the position of such people in the Hereafter in the following terms:
But such people will have nothing in the Hereafter but the Fire. What they achieved here will come to nothing. What they did will prove to be null and void. (Surah Hud, 16)
There can be no doubt that nobody will wish their lifetime's endeavors come to nothing. The solution therefore is to strive not for a transitory world but for the true, eternal life of the Hereafter. If a person aims at attaining the approval of Allah in all that he or she does and expends all his or her endeavors in order to live by the moral values ordained by our Lord, then he or she may hope for full recompense for even the slightest good deed. In one verse Allah reveals the advice given by Prophet Luqman (as) to his son:
[Luqman said:] "My son, even if something weighs as little as a mustard-seed and is inside a rock or anywhere else in the heavens or Earth, Allah will bring it out. Allah is All-Pervading, All-Aware." (Surah Luqman, 16)
In another verse He reveals that He will increase from His favor to the right actions performed by believers:
As for those who believe and do right actions, He will pay them their wages in full and will give them increase from His favor. As for those who show disdain and grow arrogant, He will punish them with a painful punishment. They will not find any protector or helper for themselves besides Allah. (Surat an-Nisa', 173)
What a person on the wrong path therefore needs to do is to repent before it is too late and to turn to our Lord:
Respond to your Lord before a Day comes from Allah which cannot be turned back. On that Day you will have no hiding-place and no means of denial. (Surat ash-Shura, 47)
Allah Punishes The Unbelievers, Both In This World And The Next
By Allah's will, people caught up in the false face of the world are not just recompensed for their errors in the Hereafter but during the life of this world also. Even the wealthiest or seemingly most knowledgeable person in the world will generally find no happiness in these attributes if he or she fails to live by the moral values of the Qur'an. On account of their denial, Allah fills the hearts of such people with unease, spiritual discomfort and restlessness. Although they live surrounded by blessings which appeal to their earthly desires they still take no real pleasure in them. No matter how happy and content they may appear, this is generally deceptive.
The unease experienced by unbelievers spreads into every area of their lives. Their failure to appreciate the might of Allah, to think about destiny and look on events with a positive eye, and to exhibit proper moral values all guarantee trouble for them. Moreover, since they are unable to understand how the moral values of the Qur'an offer the individual a perfect and peaceful life, they imagine that everyone in the world suffers just the same troubles as they do. Yet those troubles in fact stem entirely from their own imperfections. Allah has revealed in the Qur'an that on account of their denial, there is suffering for those who turn aside from the true path, in this world and the next:
... Anyone misguided by Allah has no guide. They will receive punishment in the life of this world and the punishment of the Hereafter is harsher still. They have no defender against Allah. (Surat ar-Ra'd, 33-34)
When we examine various aspects of the lives of unbelievers, the unhappiness which encompasses such people is clear to see. We can see how all-encompassing and influential this trouble is. Some peoples' greatest dream from childhood is to make a lot of money, become rich and spend that money howsoever they choose. This is so important to them that they will make any sacrifice to achieve that end. When their student years come to an end and they begin to find themselves undertaking serious responsibilities, they imagine that they are now in a position to deal with the difficulties life may confront them with.
Since they fail to consider that it is Allah Who gives human beings their daily bread and Who grants blessings and takes them away as He wishes, they wear themselves out in order to achieve such transitory benefits as wealth or position. They are essentially defeated by their own worldview. Much of the time, they are forced to give up things they love as they strive for this end which they believe will bring happiness and contentment. They may eventually attain the enjoyment of this world at the end of this chase for glory, through so much difficulty and trouble. Yet the outcome is again no different. In addition to all the trouble they experience in attaining their desires, they also begin to feel uneasy out of a fear of losing them. They have no idea how to be happy with what they have and make do with those blessings in their possession. They constantly complain about the situation they are in and lament over the things they do not possess. Even the sight of someone wealthier, more cultured, more talented or apparently better looking than themselves is sufficient to undermine their morale.
They make great efforts not to allow their state of mind to show. They seek distraction and amusement and to free their souls from trouble in a variety of activities. They may indeed sometimes achieve happiness on a temporary and superficial level. At such times, they are happy on the surface; yet this is not a permanent happiness. They feel massive doubt and fear yet they are so careful not to show this to the world. Indeed, even if they forget their woes for a time, they can at any moment fall victim once again to despair, pessimism and sorrow because they do not submit themselves to Allah. When a jovial businessman suddenly remembers his debts; or a student regrets his poor marks; or the elderly look back on their lost youth; or the bereaved recall happy times they spent with their deceased friends—these thoughts can give rise to sorrow and numbness. And it is similarly sobering for any of them when they realize that death, the inevitable end, is approaching.
Whether these people are rich or poor, old or young, attractive or ugly makes no difference. Someone obliged to labor under difficult conditions from morning to night is in exactly the same position as another person who enjoys total well-being and has no need to assume any responsibilities at all. They constantly experience the difficulty of being unable to enjoy true interest, concern, love and affection from those around them. Since they imagine that the tasks they perform regularly every day and the responsibilities they bear will never come to an end, they feel a great weariness in their bodies, minds and hearts. They are indeed aware of how monotonous and meaningless their lives are and their inability to find a solution is a cause of major restlessness.
So long as they fail to believe in Allah, people in that position can never escape their doubts and troubles. They unequivocally fail to seek shelter in Allah. They do not abide by the road He has set out. They seek to adapt themselves to the lives they lead and regard troubles and difficulties as normal parts of life.
In truth, Allah is punishing the unbelievers for their deeds with all these troubles they experience while they are still alive. Since they ignore the life of the Hereafter, their true life, and turn to the false things of this world, the sufferings of this world are never-ending for them.
As revealed in the Qur'an: "So Allah made them taste disgrace in the life of this world and the punishment of the Hereafter is far worse if they only knew." (Surat az-Zumar, 26)
Even greater suffering awaits them in the Afterlife. They will realize the truth of the Hereafter but having ignored it in this world, it will be of no use to them whatsoever. They will be recompensed with the curse and torment of Allah for their deeds:
The Companions of the Garden will call out to the Companions of the Fire: "We have found that what our Lord promised us is true. Have you found that what your Lord promised you is true?" They will say: "Yes, we have!" Between them a herald will proclaim: "May the curse of Allah be on the wrongdoers, those who bar access to the way of Allah, seeking in it something crooked, and reject the Hereafter." (Surat al-A'raf, 44-45)
False Values Of A False World
Those people who forget the Hereafter and imagine this world to be the be-all and end-all of existence have constructed for themselves a moral system far removed from that of the Qur'an. They may sometimes give the appearance of behaving in line with the attitudes ordained in the Qur'an but even while doing so, they still act with a worldly desire. For instance, people with such a view regard such virtues as truth, honesty, sincerity, helpfulness, humility, self-sacrifice and loyalty as means of looking good to those around them and assuming a specific place amongst them. They adopt certain modes of behavior with that end in mind. Yet that behavior is artificial and transitory since it is built on worldly interests. People who adopt a modest and altruistic approach towards their friends may turn into most proud, hypocritical and selfish individuals the moment they realize that this provides them with no advantages.
Moreover, people who live in such a way are constantly calculating their own interests. Before doing anything, they ask themselves, "What will people say if I do this, what will they think about me, what advantage can I attain from this behavior?" This is an indication that they are considering their own, their spouses', and their friends' wishes and desires, not the approval of Allah. Under such circumstances, virtues such as love, sincerity, goodness, friendship, compassion and patience cannot be permanent, and one sees only false versions of these, not the originals. All there is are temporary feelings that the society of the ignorant built on their false values, turning solely in the direction of the life of this world.
Allah installs the emotion love in the human heart as He does many other feelings. What a human being needs to do is to direct this emotion in the best possible way: in the light of the recommendations given by Allah in the Qur'an. Since believers take the Qur'an as their guide, they direct their love towards our Lord, the Creator of themselves and all the blessings they enjoy, and towards believers who seek to gain His approval.
However, those who are c aught up in the shenanigans of the life of this world are passionately devoted to the wrong things. For instance, they love "people as they should love Allah." Allah reveals this distorted love of unbelievers thus in the Qur'an:
Some people set up equals to Allah, loving them as they should love Allah. But those who believe have greater love for Allah. If only you could see those who do wrong at the time when they see the punishment, and that truly all strength belongs to Allah, and that Allah is severe in punishment. (Surat al-Baqara, 165)
For example, many unbelievers direct this distorted love to the most materialistic pursuits. Their love for property is passionately devoted to this transitory sphere and the very heart itself is thus infected by the shadows of meanness and selfishness. This attitude of unbelievers is revealed in these terms in the Qur'an:
Truly he is fierce in his love of wealth. (Surat al-'Adiyat, 8)
However, the fact is that Allah has revealed with the verses of the Qur'an that property is a subject of test belonging to the life of this world and has warned people against obsession with the material:
Know that your wealth and children are a trial and that there is an immense reward with Allah. (Surat al-Anfal, 28)
You who believe! Do not let your wealth or children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. Whoever does that is lost. (Surat al-Munafiqun, 9)
Aware of these facts, believers are not taken in by love of worldly goods. Since they know that it is our Lord Who endows them with the blessings they enjoy, this is a means whereby they give thanks to Allah. They use the material means given to them for good deeds which can gain Allah's approval, and seek more in order to use all that they have to please Allah. Prophet Sulayman (as), who was given an enormous treasury, expressed the purposes for which he wanted those blessings:
He [Sulayman] said: "Truly do I love the love of good, with a view to the glory of my Lord." (Surah Sad, 32)
There is no doubt that this virtuous behavior by Prophet Sulayman (as) shows the way in which believers should look at the riches of this world. People should always direct their love towards our Lord, Who protects them at all times and provides limitless blessings, according to His will.
One of the most noticeable signs of false love—love based on values other those of the Qur'an—is the choice of friends. The fundamental logic behind the friendship of those who fail to consider the existence of the Hereafter is generally built upon ensuring the greatest mutual benefit in this world. Both sides have specific characteristics sought by the other and they look for a friend who can offer them material and emotional benefits of various sorts. The aim is to attain respect and prestige in the eyes of wider society.
They attach considerable importance to the physical appearance, family situation, education and abilities of the person they select. Features of proper moral values such as love, respect and loyalty are generally of limited importance to the follower of godless love. In the absence of real love and respect in a friendship, there can of course be no true happiness. This also applies to the conception of marriage held by those who live far removed from the moral values of the Qur'an and, as with their friendships, relationships based on mutual advantage prevail.
However, the exact opposite applies to the believer. A person who believes in Allah loves and respects another to the extent of that individual's faith in and devotion to Him and proper moral values. That person hopes not for worldly interests or a temporary relationship with the other but for an eternal love compatible with the approval of Allah, Who has revealed that He will reward such people, together with their spouses, in the Hereafter:
The Companions of the Garden are busy enjoying themselves today, they and their wives reclining on couches in the shade. (Surah Ya Sin, 55-56)
"My servants, you will feel no fear today; you will know no sorrow." As for those who believed in Our signs and became Muslims: "Enter the Garden, you and your wives, delighting in your joy." Platters and cups of gold will be passed around among them and they will have there all that their hearts desire and their eyes find delight in. You will remain in it timelessly, for ever. That is the Garden you will inherit for what you did. (Surat az-Zukhruf, 68-72)
In societies which live far removed from the moral values of the Qur'an, everyone has his or her own different ideas about the concept of righteousness. Yet the true definition of righteousness has actually been revealed in the Qur'an:
It is not righteousness to turn your faces to the East or to the West. Rather, those with true righteousness are those who believe in Allah and the Last Day, the a ngels, the Book and the prophets, and who, despite their love for it, give away their wealth to their relatives and to orphans and the very poor, and to travelers and beggars and to set slaves free, and who perform prayer and give the alms; those who honor their contracts when they make them, and are steadfast in poverty and illness and in battle. Those are the people who are true. They are the people who guard against evil. (Surat al-Baqara, 177)
… Rather righteousness is possessed by those who guard against evil… (Surat al-Baqara, 189)
The way that some people who live unaware of the moral values of the Qur'an seek to portray themselves as lovers of what is good or as "pure-hearted" is actually aimed at easing their own consciences and gaining the esteem of other people. Whenever any of these people are going to do something good, they generally consider what they will obtain in return. If the person in need of help is well equipped with material means, they act at once, bearing in mind the material gains that this person may be able to confer on them later. When it comes to helping someone of little status or who lacks great material means, the misguided individual will perform a virtual profit and loss calculation. Upon realizing there is little benefit in the relationship for them, they find it more difficult to offer help and do good under such circumstances. Their assistance therefore comes slowly and they behave unwillingly or uninterestedly. Indeed, they may give no help at all.
In addition to all this, some people may also do good in order to make greater demands. They act not with the aim of gaining Allah's approval but from a wish to profit from people or the benefits of the life of this world. People of faith, on the other hand, act in a godly manner, placing their hope in Allah alone. As in all their actions, the aim whenever they perform a good deed is to gain Allah's approval. Our Lord has revealed that the return for this godly behavior for believers is more and better of what they have done:
Those who produce a good action will receive ten like it. But those who produce a bad action will only be repaid with its equivalent and they will not be wronged. (Surat al-An'am, 160)
Say: "Servants of Mine who believe! Fear your Lord. For those who do good in this world there is good and Allah's Earth is spacious. The steadfast will be paid their wages in full without any reckoning." (Surat az-Zumar, 10)
Those who do good will have the best and more! Neither dust nor debasement will darken their faces. They are the Companions of the Garden, remaining in it timelessly, for ever. (Surah Yunus, 26)
Everything in the heavens and everything in the Earth belongs to Allah so that He can repay those who do evil for what they did and repay those who do good with the very best. (Surat an-Najm, 31)
The Qur'an states: "If someone shuts his eyes to the remembrance of the All-Merciful, We assign him a satan who becomes his bosom friend." (Surat az-Zukhruf, 36)
Allah reveals that those who turn their backs on religion become the friends of Satan. In another verse this fact is set out in these words: "Children of Adam! Do not let satan tempt you into trouble as He expelled your parents from the Garden, stripping them of their covering and disclosing to them their private parts. He and his tribe see you from where you do not see them. We have made the demons friends of those who do not believe." (Surat al-A'raf, 27) Satan brings those he makes friends with under his control and directs them in the ways of his own loathsome moral values.
People who win the friendship of satan instead of the approval of Allah are deprived of a great many blessings. One of these losses is the way that such people never have true friends. Friendship is a blessing given by our Lord to those who take Him as their friend. As revealed in the verse, "Your friend is only Allah and His Messenger and those who believe: those who perform prayer and give the alms, and bow." (Surat al-Ma'ida, 55), Allah grants these people the friendship of devout believers.
Satan's friendship, on the other hand, leaves a person permanently alone. That is because satan tells those he adopts as friends that lies, deviance, rebellion, denial and hatred are pleasant things. People under the influence of satan approach those around them with just that moral understanding. They will primarily act according to their own interests and agenda. Such a person's best friend is him or herself. It is therefore impossible for such people to build true and permanent friendships as alluded to in the Qur'an.
In a society which does not live by the moral values of the Qur'an, it is very hard to find a reliable and sincere friend from whom to seek help, to whom to entrust property or valuables or money or to confide in. Furthermore, this situation has become so widely accepted that many regard it as an immutable fact of life.
It is impossible for people to be at ease in such an insecure environment. That is because even when a friend seems to have been found, there always exists the danger that these "friends" may in fact be acting out of self-interest. This scenario is therefore far removed from true friendship. Some people look upon one another with envy in relation to jobs, cars or homes which they may covet. They may wish to achieve superiority over the other. They therefore take advantage of even the slightest opportunity to locate each others' weaknesses and rise above one another.
People who behave with such an understanding are aware that they are living in a most untrustworthy and insincere environment. They are perfectly aware that they have no friends in the true sense of the word. Yet since they fail to seek a solution by living by the moral values of the Qur'an, they are unable to escape their predicament. Neither will these people who fail to turn to the true path have any friends in the Hereafter. They will find the same uneasy, insincere, insecure environment they experienced in the world but multiplied many times over in the Hereafter. The position in the Hereafter of those who take satan as their friend in this world is revealed by our Lord:
Therefore here today he has no friend. (Surat al-Haqqa, 35)
They will be bundled into it head first, they and the misled, and every one of Iblis's regiments. Arguing in it with one another, they will say: "By Allah, we were plainly misguided when we equated you with the Lord of all the worlds. It was only the evildoers who misguided us and now we have no one to intercede for us; we do not have a single loyal friend." (Surat ash-Shu'ara', 94-101)
Believers' friendships with one another are very powerful and long-lasting. That is because it is their sincere faith in and fear of Allah which bring believers together and make friends out of them. As revealed by our Lord in the verse:
Hold fast to the rope of Allah all together, and do not separate. Remember Allah's blessing to you when you were enemies and He joined your hearts together so that you became brothers by His blessing. You were on the very brink of a pit of the Fire and He rescued you from it. In this way Allah makes His signs clear to you, so that hopefully you will be guided." (Surah Al 'Imran, 103)
Believers are brothers. For that reason, the friendship based on faith continues, by the will of Allah, both in this world and for ever in the life of the Hereafter.
Whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger will be with those whom Allah has blessed: the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. What excellent company such people are! (Surat an-Nisa', 69)
Although the words "endurance" and "patience" are often tied together, they actually represent two different concepts. Endurance has specific bounds and these vary according to the individual. When those bounds are exceeded, a person may abandon his or her moderate and calm approach in favor of various behavioral defects. Patience on the other hand is a moral virtue stemming from fear of Allah, one which does not change with circumstances or events. It is only possible to be patient in the face of troubles or events by comprehending the infinite might of Allah and putting one's trust in Him by seeing the good in all that He creates. True patience is therefore a feature peculiar to believers and an element of good moral values which people who fail to live by the values of the Qur'an can never achieve. Believers are described as patient and submissive in the Qur'an:
[Believers are] those who are patient and put their trust in their Lord. (Surat an-Nahl, 42)
Those who patiently persevere in seeking the face of their Lord, and perform prayer and give from the provision We have given them, secretly and openly, and stave off evil with good, it is they who will have the Ultimate Abode. (Surat ar-Ra'd, 22)
Allah has revealed in the Qur'an that superiority among people rests solely upon godliness (Surat al-Hujurat, 13). In societies in which such elements as faith, fear of Allah and proper morality are ignored, the criteria by which superiority is measured are rather different. These people imagine that superiority lies with the most prominent members of society and can be acquired with the acquisition of goods and property, recognition or fame. Since this perspective is generally shared by most members of such a society, those without goods and property are generally thought of as "inferior" to those who are wealthy and enjoy wide circles of acquaintance.
The manner in which people treat those around them in such societies, the decisions they take, the way they evaluate events, and the conclusions they draw from them are all directly related to the perspective they hold. For that reason, it is impossible to speak of a true idea of justice among people who act in the light of that conception.
Such a thing is out of the question for those who have faith. Believers always act by taking the moral values revealed by Allah in the Qur'an as their yardstick. They therefore always attach the greatest weight to justice and truth. They do not judge people according to worldly values but according to whether they have the requisite fear of Allah and to their moral values. They favor not the powerful and those with material means but always what is right and those in the right. They make no concessions on justice, even if this works against them and those closest to them. They decide not according to earthly values but in the manner ordained by Allah, Who has revealed the yardstick regarding justice in the Qur'an thus:
You who believe! Be upholders of justice, bearing witness for Allah alone, even against yourselves or your parents and relatives. Whether they are rich or poor, Allah is well able to look after them. Do not follow your own desires and deviate from the truth. If you twist or turn away, Allah is aware of what you do. (Surat an-Nisa', 135)
In relation to unbelievers, what has been explained in this chapter reflects only a small part of their self-defeating outlook on life. The basic logic in these peoples' lives operates by bearing only worldly interests in mind. They never wish to consider the existence of the Hereafter and what they will encounter there. When reminded of death and the Afterlife, they usually make all kinds of excuses not to think about them. They never seek to understand that the world in which they live is only a transitory place of testing, and that their spouses, children, families, houses, cars and everything else around them are all parts of that test. Accepting the truth of that would mean relegating their desires for the enjoyment of this world. Those who deny the Hereafter in order not to have to accept this fact are described thus in the Qur'an:
These people say: "There is nothing more than our first death. We will not be raised up a second time. Bring us our fathers if you are telling the truth." (Surat ad-Dukhan, 34-36)
These people will feel an intense and irrevocable sorrow when they find themselves face to face with the truths they denied in this world. This is how Allah reveals that sorrow in the Hereafter of those who rejected this truth:
They will say: "If only we had really listened and used our intellect, we would not have been Companions of the Blaze." (Surat al-Mulk, 10)
In order not to be subjected to the regret described in the verse, every human being must think about these facts before death and shape his or her life in a manner that will be pleasing to Allah. They must grasp the transitory nature of the world we live in and evaluate every moment of their lives accordingly.
The Leaders Of The False World Who Call Others To The Fire
Right through the course of history, there have been leaders who have misdirected those around them. They have been taken as role models by wider society and their alleged successes have been the subject of envy. These people, who rebel against Allah and reject His verses, have used their material means to turn others away from the path of Allah. Allah refers to these people as "leaders, summoning to the Fire" (Surat al- Qasas, 41) in the Qur'an.
Pharaoh and Qarun, reported to have lived in the past in the Qur'an, are examples of this. In the verses "They followed Pharaoh's command but Pharaoh's command was not rightly guided. He will go ahead of his people on the Day of Resurrection and lead them down into the Fire. What an evil watering-hole to be led to!" (Surat al-Hud, 97-98), Allah reveals how on the Judgement Day Pharaoh will lead his people to the flames.
The common characteristic between Pharaoh—a major deterrent lesson for all the peoples that have come after him—and Qarun is that they possessed great wealth but used it unwisely, treading not on Allah's path but on satan's. As a result, both were punished by Allah. That is because nothing people possess in the life of this world, neither their wealth nor their close friends nor their status in society, can save them from Allah's retribution in this world or the next. For that reason, all the effort people make to deny the truth merely rebounds against their own selves. In the Qur'an, Allah reveals that prominent affluent people who become spoiled in their well-being, such as Pharaoh and Qarun, actually only succeed in establishing an order which works against themselves:
And likewise in every city We set up its greatest wrongdoers to plot in it. They plot against themselves alone, but they are not aware of it. (Surat al- An'am, 123)
Qarun, who boasted of his wealth and property and grew proud against Allah, also suffered a terrible defeat. All that he owned availed him nothing. Qarun's position is revealed thus in the Qur'an:
He [Qarun] said: "I have only been given it because of knowledge I have." Did he not know that before him Allah had destroyed generations with far greater strength than his and far more possessions? The evildoers will not be questioned about their sins. (Surat al-Qasas, 78)
Similarly, Pharaoh's dominion also came to naught in the face of Allah's punishment; Allah destroyed Pharaoh, his palace, all his goods and his army:
… And We utterly destroyed what Pharaoh and his people made and the buildings they constructed. (Surat al- A'raf, 137)
Such was the case with Pharaoh's people and those before them. They denied their Lord's signs so We destroyed them for their wrong actions. We drowned Pharaoh's people. All of them were wrongdoers. (Surat al-Anfal, 54)
All these verses show that no matter how powerful a person may be in the life of this world, all human beings are completely helpless in the face of the might of Allah. Since some people are unable to see the true face of the world, they form an inflated impression of prominent members of society. They sometimes seek to adopt the mistaken behavior of people they admire. They often do this simply on account of the said individual's wealth. These people are often taken as role models and obsessed fans will attempt to imitate them. They may regard such peoples' faulty behavior as justified or even support it, even though it contravenes the general norms of that society. This disastrous mentality was the kind of perspective the people around Qarun possessed. It is revealed in the Qur'an that, impressed by Qarun's wealth, these people said the following:
He [Qarun] went out among his people in his finery. Those who desired the life of this world said: "Oh! If only we had the same as Qarun has been given! What immense good fortune he possesses." (Surat al-Qasas, 79)
As we have seen, leading figures among the unbelievers, who had a negative influence over the societies in which they lived, called on those around them to live by the ungodly system of satan and used all the means at their disposal to lead others to perdition with them. The fact is, however, that Allah has made every individual responsible for living in faith, calling those around him or her to the truth and ensuring that they avoid evil. The opposite will inflict grave responsibilities on that person in the sight of Allah and in the Hereafter. Allah has revealed that people who lead others to denial instead of setting a good example and calling them to the true path may be charged with those peoples' sins in addition to their own in the Hereafter:
So on the Day of Resurrection they will carry the full weight of their own burdens and some of the burdens of those they misguided without knowledge. What an evil load they bear! (Surat an-Nahl, 25)
Once the Judgment comes, the followers of the callers to the Fire will see in the Hereafter fate of those people they adopted as role models in the life of this world—simply on account of their wealth, standing or superior status in society—and will suffer a terrible regret. They will understand that these people whom they imagined to be powerful and superior are actually helpless and powerless.
They, the followers, will seek the help of the followed in the Hereafter just as they did in the life of this world. Both will wish for salvation from the eternal torment of Hell. But they will be powerless to do anything to save themselves. Allah has revealed this discourse amongst the unbelievers in the Qur'an:
When they are squabbling with one another in the Fire, the weak will say to those deemed great: "We were your followers, so why do you not relieve us of a portion of the Fire?" (Surah Ghafir, 47)
Those deemed great will say: "All of us are in it. Allah has clearly judged between His servants." (Surah Ghafir, 48)
All this information provided by Allah in the Qur'an shows how the "leaders summoning to the Fire" assume an enormous responsibility in the life of this world. It explains how they will be punished in the Hereafter. What the individual who becomes aware of these facts needs to do is to employ all the means at his or her disposal in the life of this world in order to attain Allah's approval and mercy. Paradise is Allah's promise. Allah has related the prayers of the believers on this subject:
[Believers are] those who say: "Our Lord, give us joy in our wives and children and make us a good example for those who guard against evil." (Surat al-Furqan, 74)
Allah has also given glad tidings: Those who set good examples to others will move to the forefront, and people who exhibit such moral qualities and draw close to our Lord will be rewarded in Paradise.
And the Forerunners, the Forerunners. Those are the Ones Brought Near in Gardens of Delight. (Surat al-Waqi'a, 10-12)