Planning for the hereafter
For any gain, it needs good planning and its full execution. In life, no gain is effort-free, pain-free or cost-free. People work hard, invest money, spend long years, and even fight bloody wars for worldly gains. But such gains are very short-lived. Sometimes one may not achieve any gain either; all efforts and sacrifices may lead only to loss, failure, death or disaster. But loss or failure in the worldly life is nothing in comparison to loss and failure in the endless life in the hereafter. In worldly life, even extreme pain or sufferings end at some point, at least at death. But pain and suffering never die in hellfire. Hence nothing is more crucial than saving souls from hellfire. Hence no planning is more important than planning for the hereafter; and no preparation is more rewarding than preparation for the infinite life there.
But the question arises: how to plan for the hereafter? No plan can be made in the darkness of ignorance; it needs the proper understanding of the subject. Hence for planning for the hereafter, one needs the knowledge of heaven and its roadmap. Also needs to be aware of the hellfire and the dreadful alleys that ultimately feed that fire. And it is more crucial that he or she must know how to find and follow the roadmap for heaven and get saved from the hellfire. But such knowledge has never been the subject of science and technology. It was never been the domain of human invention either. In the past, men and women only could made disastrous mistakes in such venture. The true knowledge comes only from the Divine revelation and the holy Qur’an stands as its final version. Hence, seeking the Qur’anic knowledge is obligatory. Secondly, to get saved from hellfire one must follow the footsteps of those who have already been certified for their success in such mission by Allah Su’hana wa Ta’la. They are the prophets and the companions of the prophets -especially those worked with the last prophet Muhammad sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam.
Qualifying for the mercy
Men or women can’t save their souls from hellfire only by their own deeds. No one can claim a space in heaven as a return of his or her efforts, even all assets of the world will not be the right price for that. Such a huge gift comes only as a reward from Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. It is a token of His great mercy and forgiveness. But to qualify for such a huge mercy and forgiveness, one must attain the minimum competence for that. In fact, acquiring such competence must be the most important agenda of life. Life’s all efforts, all ibada and all sacrifices must be focussed on acquiring such competence. And it can only be initiated by fully aligning one’s personal agenda with the agenda of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. Humans possess only two options: either to align with the agenda of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la or with Shaitan. There exists no third option. Apart from the party of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la and the party of Shaitan, there exists no third party either. The agenda of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la is very clear: He wants that Islam must overwhelm over all other religions or faiths. Any human who wants to be in heaven can’t be aloof or alienated from such mission. It is revealed: “It is He who sent His messenger with guidance and religion of Truth to overwhelm it over other religions and faiths although those who associate others with Allah dislike it” –(Sura Saf, verse 9). The same revelation came in Sura Taubah, verse 33 and in Sura Fatah, verse 28.
To achieve such a Divine objective, Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la has His Own plan of execution. Prophet Muhammad sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam was sent as the messenger and the holy Qur’an was revealed as the Book of guidance to show the whole mankind the right path of execution. To qualify for the Divine mercy, a Muslim must take part with all of his potentials in the execution pathway. In the holy Qur’an it has been described as a business that can save believers from hellfire. And a business always entails investment of life and assets; and only after the investment generates profit. The profit comes as a place in the garden of heaven. All Muslims need to take this business as the lifelong mission. It is jihad in the way of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la; and demands investment of life and assets. It is the only route that takes people down to the heaven and saves from the hellfire. The real success thus comes to believers’ life. To bless His servants with such success highly emotional call comes from Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la: “O you who have believed, shall I guide you to a transaction that will save from a panful punishment? It is that you believe in Allah and His messenger and fight in the cause of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la with your wealth and lives. That is best for you, if you should know.” Can a true believer ignore such a call of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. If anyone denies such call, can he or she remain Muslim? Whoever responds to His call and joins the fight, Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la gives him or her a huge promise. Not only all the sins will be forgiven, will be given a place in heaven, too: “He will forgive for your sins and admit you to heaven beneath which rivers flow and pleasant dwellings in garden of perpetual residence. This is the great success,” –(Sura Saf, verse 9-12). Hence in jihad, a believer sees the gate of Jannah. So, what else can be the sure way of saving souls from the hellfire?
The paradigm shift
Any profound change or revolution in life –whether moral, social or political owe to a total shift in paradigm that brings revolution in belief, behaviour, character and attitude. Such shift is indeed the engine of personal or societal changes. With such a shift in the model of thoughts, even an average man can turn into an epoch-making revolutionary or a man of great piety. Those who made the finest civilisation on earth in the early days of Islam are indeed the people who underwent such a profound paradigm shift. The industrial revolution of the West too, indeed owes to such paradigm shift. The Western people used to believe in Ptolemy’s proposition that the Earth is flat like a plate. Hence, they were very frightful of falling out of the edge of the Earth into the hellfire lying underneath. Such a model of thought restricted the deep sea journey of the Europeans –especially at nights. Copernicus generated a new model of thought. He told that the Earth is not flat, rather round like an egg; hence ruled out any chance of falling out into hellfire by navigation over its surface. Columbus became a firm believer in the new concept of Copernicus and got an intellectual incentive to discover an alternative route to India through navigating from the western flank of Europe –instead of travelling towards the east. Such a shift in paradigm led to the discovery of America, Caribbean islands and many other resourceful lands that hugely contributed to the emergence of Europe as an economic and military super power.
Cont on page 2.....