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  • Raya Shokatfard


Updated: Nov 2, 2020

By Raya Shokatfard

In part 3 we focused on the importance of the righteous deeds and correct belief. We also, pointed to the fact that much of the dismay at religions may be lack of knowledge and misjudgments of the religion itself.

It is crucial to emphasize the importance of correct knowledge of the religion, followed by action engulfed by strong faith. All of these elements are necessary for a true seeker to achieve success in this world and the Hereafter.

The newcomer to the religion may think that they are just beginning to gain knowledge and their faith and actions have some ways to go. They are correct in this thought.  But, the first step is the desire to know the truth, followed by gaining knowledge; putting knowledge to work by acting upon it; and finally developing faith by stages.

Desire is the driving force for forward movement. As the person advances in this life’s journey, love, fear and hope in the Creator are developed which are important elements of building faith. Action and faith intermingle as the knowledge increases and, at some stage, the believer is unaware of what comes before the other. The person’s entire being would be emerged in the light of belief, joy, obedience and ecstasy—the kind that does not involve drugs, but pure faith.

So, why is this so easy for a believer to achieve and such a burden for the doubtful mind?

The answer is not too difficult to guess. For the doubtful, blame the religion to justify wrong actions.

For example, adult kids are hasty to condemn religion as well as their parents for restrictions that are/were put on them. They love their freedom. Once they leave the parents’ supervision, in most cases, they take their freedom into their own hands. One may see horrendous consequences of such actions. Yes, such individuals would hardly acknowledge that the restrictions would have saved them much of lost time, decency, integrity and honor.

Such elements are no longer important as the faculty of judgment has turned from following God’s laws to one’s own desires and whims. Grieving parents can live only with hope of change in their kids’ outlook in life and their return to their Creator as well as their realization of their need for the one who gave them life and all that they possess.

Some such adults would claim that their so called new life includes many activities that are prohibited in the religion and the two would not mix. If the desire to return to God is not there, there would be no reason to give up their fun activities. No motivation = no return to religion = possible blame on religion to justify their lifestyle. This includes adults of any age as well.

For the reluctant mind, no reason will work to bring him back to the religion. Yet, deep inside, every human knows their own wrong actions. To cover it up, there must be someone or something to blame. Better yet, why not blame religion? There is certainly plenty of evidence to justify this claim for the one who needs it.

A wise person however, would realize that no blame on anyone, anything or any system will avail him on the Day of Judgment against God’s decree.

God says in the Quran what can be translated as: {Whoever goes right, then he goes right only for the benefit of his ownself. And whoever goes astray, then he goes astray to his own loss. No one laden with burdens can bear another’s burden…} (Al-Isra’ 17: 15)

God also says:  {Whosoever does righteous good deed it is for (the benefit of)his ownself, and whosoever does evil, it is against his ownself, and your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) slaves.} (Fussilat 41: 46)

He also says: {And no bearer of burdens shall bear another’s burden, and if one heavily laden calls another to (bear) his load, nothing of it will be lifted even though he be near of kin…} (Fatir 35: 18),

Would anyone with a fair sense of judgment deny the justice of God? Would blaming of any kind avail the person from facing his own reckoning in the Hereafter? Of course NOT! The responsibility of any person is exclusively his, since he has free will, choice and sanity, he is able to distinguish between good and evil.

Only it is by realizing this mind-awakening thought can a human being begin to take responsibility for his morality, conduct and belief – not according to his whims, but according to the divine wisdom and decree.

Such awareness brings about the feeling of accountability before God and keeps him from false hope by putting his trust in others to help him. He would realize the warning of God {So today (Day of Judgment) none of you can profit or harm one another.} (Saba’ 34: 42)

And also the number of negligent and carefree people will not reduce the burden of his responsibility, so it is not a valid excuse for one to join them in this life.

God says, what can be translated as: {And everyone of them will come to Him alone on the Day of Resurrection (without any helper, or protector or defender)} (Maryam 19: 95)

So, those individuals who avoid the advice of parents and sincere friends to return to God and the religion should realize that this chance of getting help or listening to advice is only available in this world. There will be a day when a soul which has a heavy load of sins would look for a close person to help, but it will be turned down.

God says: {…No person earns any (sin) except against himself (only), and no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another. Then unto your Lord is your return…} (Al-An’am 6: 164)

He also says:  {O mankind! Be afraid of your Lord (by keeping your duty to Him and avoiding all evil), and fear a Day when no father can avail aught for his son, or a son avail aught for his father. Verily, the Promise of Allah is true, let not then this (worldly) present life deceive you, nor let the chief deceiver (Satan) deceive you about Allah.} (Luqman 31: 33)

Also: {Neither your relatives nor your children will benefit you on the Day of Resurrection (against Allah). He will judge between you. And Allah is the All-Seer of what you do.} (Al-Mumtahanah 60: 3)

In that great day everyone is busy to save himself without paying attention to anybody else; as what God says in the Quran, what can be translated as:{(Remember) the Day when every person will come up pleading for himself, and everyone will be paid in full for what he did and they will not be dealt with unjustly.} (An-Nahl 16: 111)

A person with even a weak faith, would tremble, if he really pondered upon these warnings from the Creator of mankind and the universe – the one who sent messengers to all mankind out of His mercy and compassion for our success in this world and our final destination.

A sincere truth seeker would think twice to justify ungodly actions when he realizes that not one will avail him in “the horrifying” day. He would look at those whom he befriends and develop close relationship with. Will they save him on that Day?

God says:  {Though they shall be made to see one another, the Mujrim (Criminal, Sinner) would desire to ransom himself from the punishment of that Day by his children, and his wife and his brother, and his kindred who sheltered him, And all that are in the earth, so that it might save him.} The answer comes from God:{By no means! Verily, it will be the Fire of Hell!…} (Al-Ma’arij 70: 11-5),

Hopefully, it may be clear by now that religion has a purpose and that is to guide and warn people to the correct way, so as to not face the severe punishment on the Day of Judgment and instead enter the ever-lasing paradise. Individual responsibility is the key to such success and no blame on others will avail the skeptic. He is given free choice and he would choose as per his own freewill.

So, dear reader take heed about your judgment, thoughts, decisions and the path you take, as God swears in the Quran what can be translated as: {Nay, and by the moon, And by the night when it withdraws, And by the dawn when it brightens, Verily, it is but one of the greatest calamities. A warning to mankind, To any of you that chooses to go forward (by doing righteous deeds), or to remain behind(by committing sins), Every person is beheld (accountable) on his own deeds.}(Al-Mudathir 74: 32-8)


Published on Reading Islam on Thursday, 12 January 2011

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