Those the angels take in a virtuous state. They say: “Peace be upon you! Enter Paradise for what you did.”(Surat an-Nahl: 32)
Believers live a good life in this world, are not overcome with fear or pessimism, and have a healthy and comfortable spiritual life. Since those who believe seek Allah’s pleasure, we learn from the Qur’an that they have won His special assistance, support, and protection; their misdeeds will be removed from them and that they will be rewarded according to the best of what they did; and they will not be wronged. Since they “purchase” the next life in exchange for this life, they have made what the Qur’an calls a “good bargain.” Allah is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him.
But what will happen to them at the end of their lives? Where and when will Allah meet them at the hour He has appointed for their death? Neither believers nor unbelievers know where and when they will die. This fact is explained in Surah Luqman in these words:
Truly Allah has knowledge of the Hour, sends down abundant rain, and knows what is in the womb. And no self knows what it will earn tomorrow, and no self knows in what land it will die. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Surah Luqman, 34)
Together with this, the Qur’an informs us how death will come to believers, how their souls will be taken, and what will happen at the moment of death. As far as we know, believers experience death as a very gentle passage, like a momentary change in dimension. Just like the person whom Allah causes to be “as dead during his sleep” (Surat az-Zumar, 42) and wakes up the next morning to a new day when believers die, they will be taken out of the worldly dimension and pass to the next dimension (Certainly Allah knows the truth.)
Allah announced this gentle and easy passage in Surat an-Nazi’at, 2, where He points to the appointed angels and says “those who draw out gently.” Another verse tells about the angels’ conversation when they come to take a believer’s soul: Those the angels take in a virtuous state. They say: “Peace be upon you! Enter Paradise for what you did.” (Surat an-Nahl, 32)
The following verse describes a believer’s death:
The greatest terror will not upset them, and the angels will welcome them: “This is your Day, the one that you were promised.” (Surat an-Anbiya’, 103)
Clearly, believers who have led a good life in this world will have a beautiful and easy death, and their life in the next world will begin when they are met by angels. From that moment on, all of their relations with this world will cease, and they will be sent to an appointed place where they will come before Allah’s Presence. As it was from the beginning, so it continues: comfort and ease await all believers.
[ALLAH’S Quran 3:189 – Shakir] “And Allah’s is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and Allah has power over all things.”
The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) has said :
[Bukhari, Book #54, Hadith #514] “Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “If one says one-hundred times in one day: “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, the Alone Who has no partners, to Him belongs Dominion and to Him belong all the Praises, and He has power over all things (i.e. Omnipotent)”, one will get the reward of manumitting ten slaves, and one-hundred good deeds will be written in his account, and one-hundred bad deeds will be wiped off or erased from his account, and on that day he will be protected from the morning till evening from Satan, and nobody will be superior to him except one who has done more than that which he has done.”
[ALLAH’S Quran – 42:40]
[Principle #1:] An evil act should be retaliated by an equal act [eye for an eye]; however,
[principle #2:] God rewards those who pardon and lead a righteous life.
[Principle #3:] God does not love the wrongdoers [who retaliate excessively].
The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) has said:
[Malik’s Muwatta, Book #43, Hadith #43.21.15a] “Retaliation is between women as it is between men. That is because Allah, the Blessed, the Exalted, said in His Book, ‘We have written for them in it that it is a life for a life and an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, and an ear for an ear, and a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds, there is retaliation.’ (Sura 5 ayat 48) Allah, the Blessed, the Exalted, mentioned that it is a life for a life. It is the life of a free woman for the life of a free man, and her injury for his injury.” Malik said about a man who held a man fast for another man to hit, and he died on the spot, “If he held him and he thought that he meant to kill him, the two of them are both killed for him. If he held him and he thought that he meant to beat him as people sometimes do, and he did not think that he meant to kill him, the murderer is slain and the one who held him is punished with very severe punishment and jailed for a year. There is no killing against him.”
Almighty Allah said: “Say (O Mohammad -Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to mankind): “if you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic monotheism, follow the Qur’an and Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” Qur’an 3:31.
[2. Surah Al-Baqarah : Ayah 195]
“Surely Allah loves the doers of good.”
[2. Surah Al-Baqarah : Ayah 222]
“Surely Allah loves those who turn much (to Him), and He loves those who purify themselves.”
[3. Surah Aal-e-Imran : Ayah 76]
“Yea, whoever fulfills his promise and guards (against evil)– then surely Allah loves those who guard (against evil).”
[3. Surah Aal-e-Imran : Ayah 133-136]
“And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord; and a Garden, the extensiveness of which is (as) the heavens and the earth, it is prepared for those who guard (against evil). Those who spend (benevolently) in ease as well as in straitness, and those who restrain (their) anger and pardon men; and Allah loves the doers of good (to others). And those who when they commit an indecency or do injustice to their souls remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their faults– and who forgives the faults but Allah, and (who) do not knowingly persist in what they have done. (As for) these– their reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and gardens beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them, and excellent is the reward of the laborers.”
[3. Surah Aal-e-Imran : Ayah 146]
“And Allah loves the patient.”
[3. Surah Aal-e-Imran : Ayah 148]
“And Allah loves those who do good (to others).”
[5. Surah Al-Maidah : Ayah 42]
“And if you judge, judge between them with equity; surely Allah loves those who judge equitably.”
[5. Surah Al-Maidah : Ayah 54]
“O you who believe! whoever from among you turns back from his religion, then Allah will bring a people, He shall love them and they shall love Him, lowly before the believers, mighty against the unbelievers, they shall strive hard in Allah’s way and shall not fear the censure of any censurer; this is Allah’s Face, He gives it to whom He pleases, and Allah is Ample giving, Knowing.”
[5. Surah Al-Maidah : Ayah 93]
“On those who believe and do good there is no blame for what they eat, when they are careful (of their duty) and believe and do good deeds, then they are careful (of their duty) and believe, then they are careful (of their duty) and do good (to others), and Allah loves those who do good (to others).”
[9. Surah At-Tawba : Ayah 7]
“Surely Allah loves those who are careful (of their duty).”
[9. Surah At-Tawba : Ayah 108]
“And Allah loves those who purify themselves.”
[49. Surah Al-Hujurat : Ayah 9]
“And act equitably; surely Allah loves those who act equitably.”
[60. Surah Al-Mumtahana: Ayah 8]
“Surely Allah loves the doers of justice.”
[61. Surah As-Saff: Ayah 4]
“Surely Allah loves those who fight in His way in ranks as if they were a firm and compact wall.”
Allah Ta’ala is One. There is no one equal to Allah Ta’ala, either in being, qualities, actions, commands, or names. Allah Ta’ala is “Waajibul Wujood”, in other words, His Existence is compulsory. His destruction is impossible. Allah Ta’ala always was and always will be. The term used to define the continuous existence of Allah Ta’ala is “Qadeem”. “Qadeem” means “that which always existed and will always exist”.
Allah Ta’ala is not dependent upon anyone or anything. The entire universe depends on Allah Ta’ala. Like Allah Ta’ala, His Qualities are also “Qadeem”. With the exception of Allah Ta’ala and His Qualities, everything else is “Haadith”. “Haadith” means “a creation or that which was created by Allah Ta’ala”. Any person who says that Allah Ta’ala’s Qualities are “Haadith” or says that any creation is “Qadeem” is a misled person.
Allah Ta’ala is neither anyone’s father, not is He anyone’s son. Allah Ta’ala does not have a wife. Anyone who shows Allah Ta’ala to have a father or for Him to be anyone’s son or to prove that Allah Ta’ala has a wife is a Kaafir (non-believer). If anyone thinks or imagines this to be possible, then that person he is misled and irreligious.
Allah Ta’ala is present and in existence. The term used to define this is “Hai”. Everyone’s life and existence is in the control of Allah Ta’ala. He gives life and causes death to whomever He pleases.
It is also not necessary that everything in the power of Allah Ta’ala should come into existence even though it is possible for it to come into existence. An example of this is that if Allah Ta’ala wills, He may create a mountain made from solid gold, but there is no such mountain. However, if Allah Ta’ala wishes, then it will exist even though it does not exist at present.
Allah Ta’ala is the possessor of all excellence and all good. Allah Ta’ala is pure and free of all those things, which have shortages (defects). In other words, for Him to possess any defect is “Muhaal”. “Muhaal” is “that which will never be possible, that which can never be”. Allah Ta’ala is free from lies, tyranny, ignorance, and shamelessness. These qualities are totally “Muhaal” for Allah Ta’ala. To accept that Allah Ta’ala has the power to lie is to show Allah Ta’ala to have a defect and to reject Allah Ta’ala.
Existence, Power, Hearing, Seeing, Speech, Knowledge and Intention, etc. are the Divine Qualities of Allah Ta’ala. The Hearing, Seeing, and Speech of Allah Ta’ala, however, does not depend on ears, eyes or tongue, since these are all human organs and Allah Ta’ala is free from all human forms. Allah Ta’ala hears the softest of softest sounds and sees the smallest of smallest objects. He sees even that which cannot be seen under the lens of a microscope, but His sight and Hearing are not only limited to these things. He Sees and Hears everything.
Like His other Qualities, His Speech is also “Qadeem” and not “Haadith”. Whosoever accepts the Quran-e-Azeem to be a creation, according to Imam-e-Azam Abu Hanifa (radi Allah anhu) and the other Imams (radi Allah anhum), such a person is a Kaafir (non-believer) and his infidelity is also proven from the Sahaba-e-Kiraam (radi Allah anhumul ajma’in).
Allah Ta’ala’s Speech is free from sound. The Holy Quran that we recite and write is “Qadeem” and without sound. Our recitation, our writing, and our voice is “Haadith”. In other words, our recitation is “Haadith” and that which we recite is “Qadeem.” Our writing is “Haadith” and that which we have memorized is “Qadeem.”
The Knowledge of Allah Ta’ala encompasses everything, be it partial, complete, existing, or non-existing. Allah Ta’ala always knew everything, knows everything, and will always know everything. Objects change, but the Knowledge of Allah Ta’ala does not change. He has knowledge of the trouble and the fears of the heart and there is no limit to His knowledge.
Allah Ta’ala is aware of all that which is hidden and apparent. “I’lm-e-Zaati” (Divine Knowledge) is His unique Quality. Any person who proves I’lm-e-Zaati, be it hidden or apparent for anyone accepts Allah Ta’ala is a Kaafir (non-believer) since such Divine Knowledge refers to that which was not given to anyone.
Allah Ta’ala is the Creator of everything, be it an object or its actions. He is the One who gives sustenance. Angels, etc. are only means.
Allah Ta’ala is free from space, place, time, shape, movement, and stoppage. Allah Ta’ala is free from everything which is Haadith.
If Allah Ta’ala wishes, then He can make small objects large and large objects small. He gives respect to whom He wills and disgraces whom He wills. He gives and takes whatever He wishes. Whatever He does is totally fair and just. He is free and pure of tyranny. He is the Most Exalted and High. He engulfs everything and nothing engulfs Him. To give benefit and loss is in His Power. He is the Lord of everything. He answers the call of the oppressed and He punishes the tyrants and oppressors.
Nothing takes place without His will. He becomes pleased with the good and displeased with the bad. His Mercy is such that He does not command any work that is not in the capacity of the servants. Allah Ta’ala is the Lord. He may do as He pleases and commands whatever He wishes.
Allah Ta’ala has promised Jannat (Paradise) to the Muslims, and He has promised Jahannum (Hell) to the Kufaar because of their disbelief. His promises never change. With the exception of polytheism (associating partners with Allah Ta’ala) and infidelity, He may pardon any major or minor sin as He wishes.
Allah Ta’ala’s every action consists of great wisdom whether we are aware of it or not. His actions are not dependent on any reason. He has, with His knowledge, created on the earth a means for everything.
Allah Ta’ala has created eyes to see, ears to hear, fire to burn and water to quench thirst. If Allah Ta’ala desires, then the eyes may hear, fire may quench thirst and water may burn. If He does not will, then a person may have a hundred thousand eyes and still not be able to see a mountain in bright daylight. There may be a million fires and even one straw of grass will not burn. An example of the above-mentioned statement is when Hazrat Ibrahim (alaihis salaam) was thrown into the fire. What a great fire that was which the Kaafirs had prepared to put him into! The heat of this fire was so intense that nobody could go near it and they had to use a catapult to throw him into it. It was then that Allah Ta’ala commanded: “O Fire! Become cold and peaceful on Ibrahim.” The fire immediately became cold on Hazrat Ibrahim (alaihis salaam).
To believe that Allah Ta’ala enquires from someone (His creation) is total Kufr and against the teachings of the Holy Quran and the Ahadith.
The Aqeeda of the Ahle Sunnat Wa Jama’at is that the Knowledge of Unseen which is possessed by Allah Ta’ala is His Personal Knowledge and He does not gain it from anyone.
Some persons believe that Allah Ta’ala has the power to speak a lie. (Allah forbid). The Aqeeda of the Ahle Sunnat Wa Jama’at is that Allah Ta’ala does not lie and He does not possess the power of lying. This is proven by the Quranic verse: “Whose word is more truthful than that of Allah”. (Part 5, Verse 15)
Imam Fakhrudeen Raazi (radi Allahu anhu) said that it is not permissible upon any Muslim to even think that Allah Ta’ala can speak a lie. He said that for one to think in this way would remove one from the folds of Imaan. (Tafseer Kabeer)
To tell a lie is a defect for the personality of Allah Ta’ala and for there to be a defect in the Power of Allah Ta’ala is “Muhaal” (Totally impossible). (Tafseer Kabeer) Allah Ta’ala is pure from all defects. (Tafseer Baidhawi) There is none more truthful than Allah Ta’ala and for Allah Ta’ala to tell a lie is impossible. (Tafseer Khazin) Any person who shows Allah Ta’ala to possess a certain quality which is not worthy of His Being, or to show Allah Ta’ala to have a defect or impatience, then he is a Kaafir. (Fatawa Alamgiri)
THE mind of a person, worn out with age, is occupied with many questions. These are actually important questions to consider and answering them truthfully is essential to understanding all aspects of life: “What is the purpose of this life that passes so quickly? Why should I remain positive with all the age-related problems I have? What will the future bring?”
The possible answers to these questions fall into two major categories: those given by people who trust Allah and those given by disbelievers who do not trust Him.
Someone who does not trust Allah would say, “I spent my life chasing vain pursuits. I have put 70 years behind me, but to tell the truth, I still have not been able to grasp what I lived for. When I was a child, my parents were the centers of my life. I found all happiness and joy in their love. Later in life, as a young woman, I devoted myself to my husband and children. During that time, I set many goals for myself. Yet by the time they were achieved, each of them proved to have been a passing whim. When I rejoiced in my success, I headed toward other goals and they occupied me so that I did not think about the real meaning of life. Now at 70, in the tranquility of old age, I try to find out what was the purpose of my past days. Is it that I lived for people of whom I have only dim memories now? For my parents? For my husband whom I lost years ago? Or my children whom I see rarely now that they have their own families? I am confused. The only truth is that I feel close to death. Soon I will die and I will become a faint memory in people’s minds. What will happen afterwards? I really have no idea. Even the thought of it is frightening!”
There is surely a reason for why a person falls into such hopelessness. That is simply because he or she cannot comprehend that the universe, all living things and human beings have purposes to fulfill in life.
These purposes owe their existence to the fact that everything has been created. An intelligent person notices that plan, design and wisdom exist in every detail of the infinitely varied world. This draws him to recognition of the Creator. He further concludes that since all living things are not the consequences of a random or mindless process they all serve important purposes.
In the Qur’an, the last surviving revealed guide to the true path for humanity, Allah repeatedly reminds us of the purpose of our life, which we tend to forget, and thereby summons us to clarity of mind and consciousness. “And He it is Who has created the heavens and the earth in six days and His Throne was on the waters, that He might try you, which of you is best in deeds….” (11: 7)
This verse provides a full understanding of the purpose of life for believers. They know that this life is a place where they are tried and tested by their Creator. Therefore, they hope to succeed in this test and attain the good pleasure of Allah and hence the Paradise.
However, for the sake of clarity, there is an important point to consider: those who believe in the ‘existence’ of Allah do not necessarily have true faith; they do not put their trust in Allah. Today, many people accept that the universe is the creation of Allah; yet, they little comprehend the impact of this fact upon their lives.
Therefore, they do not lead their lives as they should. What these people generally regard as the truth is that Allah initially created the universe but then, they believe, He left it on its own.
Allah, in the Qur’an, addresses this misapprehension in the following verse: “If you (Muhammad, peace be upon him) ask them: “Who has created the heavens and the earth,” they will certainly say: “Allah”. Say: “All praise and thanks are Allah’s!” But most of them understand not. (31:25)
“And if you ask them who created them, they will surely say, “Allah.” How then are they turned away (from the worship of Allah Who created them)? (43:87)
Due to this misapprehension, people cannot relate their daily lives to the fact that they have a Creator. That is the basic reason why each individual develops his or her personal principles and moral values, shaped within a particular culture, community and family. These principles actually serve as “life-guides” until death comes. People who adhere to their own values always find comfort in the wishful thinking that any wrong actions will be punished temporarily in Hell. The same rationale suggests that eternal life in paradise will follow this period of torment. Such a mentality unwittingly eases fears of the grievous penalty at the end of life. Some, on the other hand, do not even contemplate this issue. They merely remain heedless of the next world and “make the most of their lives”.
However, the above is false and the truth is contrary to what they think. Those who pretend not to be aware of the existence of Allah will fall into deep desperation. In the Qur’an, those people are characterized as follows:
They know only but the outside appearance of the life of this world ( i.e. the matter of their livelihood, like irrigating or sowing or reaping), and they are heedless of the Hereafter. (30:7)
Surely, little do these people grasp the real face and purpose of this world, and they never think that life in this world is not perpetual.
There are some phrases commonly used by people regarding the shortness of this life: “Make the most of your life while it lasts “, “life is short”, “one does not live forever” are phrases always referred to in definition of the nature of this world. Yet, these phrases contain an implicit attachment to this life rather than the next.
They reflect the general attitude of people to life and death. Having such a strong affection for life, conversations about death are always interrupted with jokes or by raising other subjects thus attempting to minimize the seriousness of the matter. These interruptions are always on purpose, a deliberate effort to reduce such an important subject to insignificance.
Mortality is surely a grave topic to ponder. Until this moment in his life, it may well be that the person is unaware of the significance of this reality. Yet, now that he has the chance to grasp its importance, he must reconsider his life and his expectations. It is never too late to repent to Allah, and to reorient all one’s deeds and the conduct of one’s life in submission to the will of Allah. Life is short; the human soul is eternal.
During this short period, one should not allow temporary passions to control one. A person should resist temptation and keep himself away from everything that will strengthen his bonds to this world. It is surely unwise to neglect the next world just for the sake of the temporary joys of this one.
Nevertheless, disbelievers who cannot comprehend this fact spend their lives in vain being forgetful of Allah. Moreover, they know that it is impossible to attain these desires. Such people always feel a deep dissatisfaction and want even more of what they currently possess. They have endless wishes and desires. Yet, the world is not an appropriate arena in which to satisfy these desires.
Nothing in this world is perpetual. Time works against both what is good and what is new. No sooner does a brand-new car go out of fashion than another model is designed, manufactured and marketed. Similarly, someone may crave others’ stately mansions or opulent houses with more rooms than occupants and with gold-plated fixtures, which once he has seen, he loses interest in his own house and cannot avoid regarding them with envy.
An endless search for the new and better, attaching no value to something once it has been achieved, deprecation of the old and placing all hopes in something new: these are the vicious circles that people have everywhere experienced throughout history. Yet an intelligent person should stop and ask himself/herself for a moment: why is he or she chasing temporary ambitions and has he ever gained any benefit from such pursuit? Finally, he should draw the conclusion that “there is a radical problem with this viewpoint.” Yet people, lacking this kind of reasoning, continue to chase dreams they are unlikely to achieve.
Nobody, however, knows what will happen even in the next few hours: at any time one may have an accident, be severely injured, or become disabled. Furthermore, time flies in the countdown to one’s own death. Every day brings that predestined day closer. Death surely eradicates all ambitions, greed and desires for this world. Under the soil, neither possessions nor status prevail.
Every possession with which we are being stingy, including the body, will also vanish and decay in the earth. Whether one is poor or wealthy, beautiful or ugly, one will be wrapped in a simple shroud one day.
Allah enjoins on believers to warn others about these facts, and calls upon them to live only to fulfill His will, as He says in the following verse:
“… Verily, the Promise of Allah is true, let not then this (worldly) present life deceive you.” (31:33)