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Qur’ans Perspective on Choice and Consequence

 BY: MANSOOR ALAM

The Qur’an says that those who deny their Allah-given power of freewill and freedom of choice are denying their self, and those who deny the power of Allah (and seek power elsewhere) are denying the existence of Allah:

وَلِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِرَبِّهِمْ عَذَابُ جَهَنَّمَ وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ

(67:6) –for, suffering in hell awaits all who are [thus] bent on blaspheming against their Sustainer: and how vile a journey’s end!

The punishment of Hell after death will be known in the Hereafter. But we all know what kind of hellish humiliation and subjugation surround those nations that do not have (or do not consider having) the power of free will. Even their domestic laws and policies are made by other nations essentially making these other nations their Masters. What could be a greater hell than this?! Allah has called the gatekeeper of Hell Master:

وَنَادَوْا يَا مَالِكُ لِيَقْضِ عَلَيْنَا رَبُّكَ قَالَ إِنَّكُم مَّاكِثُونَ

(43:77) – They will cry: ‘O Master! Would that thy Lord put an end to us!’ He will say, ‘Nay, but ye shall abide!’

Although subjugated nations keep calling themselves sovereign powers that is a lie. What an awful hell it is that they live in! This is a strange thing. The Qur’an has repeatedly mentioned جہنّم (Jahannam) in connection with punishment for crimes. It also saysجحیم (Jaheem) for hell in some places and النار (al-Naar) in other places. Here it says جہنّم (Jahannam) (67:6).

The description of جہنّم (Jahannam) that is given here by the Qur’an in metaphorical terms is of a maximum security prison indicating the severity of the crime. It says that when they will be thrown in it then loud sounds of agony and cry of pain and terror will be heard; that Hell would be furiously erupting with fire (67:8), as if it is full of rage. From this we can sense the severity of the punishment and the intensity of the crime described by the Qur’an.

تَكَادُ تَمَيَّزُ مِنَ الْغَيْظِ كُلَّمَا أُلْقِيَ فِيهَا فَوْجٌ سَأَلَهُمْ خَزَنَتُهَا أَلَمْ يَأْتِكُمْ نَذِيرٌ

(67:8) – well-nigh bursting with fury; [and] every time a host [of such sinners] is flung into it, its keepers will ask them, ‘Has no warner ever come to you?’

Therefore, there is no greater crime than abandoning or denying one’s freedom of choice. This is the ONLY exclusive gift from Allah bestowed to human beings. Allah has called this gift His divine energy. This makes humankind uniquely special in comparison to all the other creations. By denying this Allah-given unique gift one degrades one’s own humanity.

It is to accept humiliation. That is why the punishment is so severe. Now, after this, the Qur’an says that when the soothsayers and astrologers and their followers will be thrown in hell wave after wave then the gatekeeper master of hell will ask them: Didn’t someone come to warn you of the consequences of such beliefs and ideologies? Didn’t someone tell you that this is شرک (shirk) and کفر (kufr)?

Fulfillment of Two Conditions Before Destruction

The Qur’an has said repeatedly that no nation is destroyed by Allah’s law unless two preconditions are met: 1) that a message must be conveyed to them that their behavior is leading to their destruction. This is called warning. And 2) that they should have the ability to understand that message. What a fair judge is Allah!? How unique are these conditions! – The message must have reached people and that they should have the ability to understand the message. An insane cannot commit crime. One cannot hold him accountable.

From Live Dust to Dead Dust

They will be asked: Didn’t someone come to tell you what your place is as a human being in the Universe that you turned yourself from full of life (live dust determining your own destiny) to dead dust (subject to predetermined fate)? Didn’t someone come to warn you? The Qur’an says they will say: Yes! Certainly he came to warn us but we didn’t listen.

All the prophets that came before Prophet Muhammad ﷺ were messengers that warned their people. After them, their true followers performed this duty of warning. But Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is the last Prophet. He was told to warn people through the Qur’an (7:2). Since no more prophets will come after him, the warning will continue through the Qur’an by the Prophet’s Ummah (امّہ).

The Obligation of the Prophet’s ﷺ Ummah (امّہ)

When the Qur’an has been preserved forever, and the Prophet’s امّہ (Ummah) has been made the inheritor of this Book. Then there is no need of any prophet to come to fulfill this duty of warning people. Now, it is to be done through the Qur’an.

The Qur’an is protected and exists in its original unaltered form. And since the Prophet’s امّہ (Ummah) has been made the inheritor of this Book, it is therefore obligatory on this امّہ (Ummah) to fulfill this duty. But when this امّہ (Ummah) itself is guilty of crime (of not fulfilling its duty) then how can it warn others?

In any case, this was the question the guard (مالک ‘Maalik’ of Hell) asked these people being driven to Hell: whether or not a Warner came to you? This does not mean that the guard was asking if a prophet came or not? It means that since Allah’s Book was there, then, was there no one who fulfilled this duty and conveyed its message to you? Please notice how important is this duty that has been entrusted to this امّہ (Ummah)!

Those deprived of intellect and thought The Qur’an (7:179) says that those who do not use their Allah-given intellect to understand His message, it is clear from their demeanor that they are destined for hell. Who are these people?

They have the ability to understand but they do not use it. The Qur’an is talking about of the people of hell. It is talking about choice. If it was the case that they did not have the ability to think then it would not be a matter of choice. They would, in that case, be helpless. But the Qur’an starts with لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ i.e., they have mind but they do not use it to think.

A Warning from the Qur’an

This is the first thing. Qur’an then goes on: They have ‘eyes’ but they do not use them to ‘see’. Then it says: they have ‘ears’ but they do not use it to ‘hear’. They remain dumb, blind, and deaf. They do not use their intellectual and mental powers to think and to understand the Quran. Now, it is obvious who these people are who are preparing themselves for hell. These are the people about whom the Qur’an says:

وَلَقَدْ ذَرَأْنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الْجِنِّ وَالإِنسِ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ لاَّ يَفْقَهُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لاَّ يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ آذَانٌ لاَّ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا أُوْلَـئِكَ
كَالأَنْعَامِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْغَافِلُونَ

(7:179) – And most certainly have We destined for hell many of the invisible beings and men who have hearts with which they fail to grasp the truth, and eyes with which they fail to see, and ears with which they fail to hear. They are like cattle -nay, they are even less conscious of the right way: it is they, they who are the [truly] heedless!

These are the people who are subject to Allah’s law: “Not using mind and power of critical thinking leads to hell”. These people are not using the faculty of intellect that was given to them. They are preparing themselves for hell.

The Qur’an says that when you find such people, know that they are companions of hell; that they have now been identified in this very world as companions of hell – as the verse (7:179) exemplifies. On the other hand, our current man-made شریعہ (Shariah) forbids critical thinking and using intellect in matters of دین Din (Islam).

Now it should be clear why the Qur’an says that those who do not use their faculty of intellect and their very demeanor tells that they are companions of hell. But the Qur’an goes further. It tells that these people are not humans but animals. No! Actually, they are worse than animals (7:179).

Source: IslamiCity

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