Unique aspect of Hereafter in Islam


Introduction

When religion is discussed, many people first consider different forms of worship. Most religions go into detail on spiritual aspects and other matters related to people''s personal life like funeral after death, rites after birth, marriage, divorce, family affairs, living a healthy and successful life etc. The responsibilities towards our fellow human beings and the consequences of failing in that responsibility are not highlighted and a person is not made accountable for it.

This has led people to believe that they would be forgiven for any transgressions they do on other fellow human beings if they just do the spiritual aspects correctly. For example: a man who swindles public money donates gold and silver to temples and expects his sins against the society to be forgiven. Some take a dip in the holy river to wash away their sins and some confess their sins to a priest to seek forgiveness thinking this will get them the pardon from God.

Islam on responsibilities of Human Beings:

God has divided the duties of human beings into:

  • Duties towards God
  • Duties towards fellow human beings

God has made the importance of our duties towards our fellow human beings explicit in many verses.

A few examples of it from the Quran and Hadith:

Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.

[Quran 4:36]

Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.

[Quran 2:177]

Prophet Muhammad (May peace and blessing be upon him) said:

He will not enter Paradise whose neighbor is not secure from his wrongful conduct.

Sahih Muslim: Book 1: Hadith 74

Prophet Muhammad (May peace and blessing be upon him) said:

None can believe until he wishes good to others what he wishes for himself

Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 13

Prophet Muhammad (May peace and blessing be upon him) said:

He who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of pride shall not enter Paradise. A person (amongst his hearers) said: Verily a person loves that his dress should be fine, and his shoes should be fine. He (the Holy Prophet) remarked: Verily, Allah is Graceful and He loves Grace. Pride is disdain of the truth (out of self-conceit) and contempt for the people.

Sahih Muslim: Book 1: Hadith 164

When we read the verses from Quran and hadith, there can be no doubt that we have a great duty towards our fellow human beings and discharging this duty correctly is very important for our success in the Hereafter.

Accountability for our actions

God will question man for both his duties; however God will not forgive man for the shortcomings in his duties towards fellow human beings, unless the wrongdoer is first forgiven by the one/those he wronged.

This is made evident in the following ahadith:

Prophet Muhammad (May peace and blessing be upon him) said:

Whoever has wronged his brother with regard to his honour or anything else, let him seek his forgiveness today, before there will be no dinar and no dirham [i.e., the Day of Resurrection], when if he has any good deeds (hasanaat), some of his good deeds will be taken and given to the one who was wronged, commensurate with the wrong that he did, and if he does not have any good deeds, some of the bad deeds (sayi’aat) of the one who was wronged will be taken and thrown onto him.

Sahih Bukhari # 2269

Prophet Muhammad (May peace and blessing be upon him) said:

Do you know who is insolvent (bankrupt)? They (the Companions of the Holy Prophet) said: An insolvent man amongst us is one who has neither dirham with him nor wealth. He (the Holy Prophet) said: The insolvent of my community would be he who would come on the Day of Resurrection with prayers and fasts and Zakat but (he would find himself bankrupt on that day as he would have exhausted his funds of virtues) since he hurled abuses upon others, brought calumny against others and unlawfully consumed the wealth of others and shed the blood of others and beat others, and his virtues would be credited to the account of one (who suffered at his hand). And if his good deeds fall short to clear the account, then his sins would be entered in (his account) and he would be thrown in the Hell-Fire.

Sahih Muslim: Book 32: Hadith 6251

The above ahadith clearly shows that people have to be very careful with their duties towards human beings as much as they are careful with their duties to God. A human being will not enter paradise just because he or she prayed and fasted, rather a person has to be good with their fellow human beings as well.

When people realize this unique aspect of Hereafter in Islam and put it into actions, it will pave way for a moral, ethical, loving and a caring society.

Summary

  1. On the Day of Judgment we will be questioned and judged on both the duties namely our duties towards God and our duties towards our fellow human beings.
  2. God will not forgive man for the shortcomings in his duties towards fellow human beings, unless the wrongdoer is first forgiven by the one/those he wronged.
  3. Fulfilling the God given duty to treat our fellow human beings correctly will influence our destination in the Hereafter.
  4. When people start to realize and diligently act on their duties towards fellow human beings, the society will be become more moral, ethical, loving and caring place to live in.

Written by Invite to God team



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