Rejection of Truth is a sure loss. Life of this world is nothing but play and pastime -The abode of the Hereafter is the best for the pious.
قَدْ خَسِرَ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِلِقَاء اللّهِ حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءتْهُمُ السَّاعَةُ بَغْتَةً قَالُواْ يَا حَسْرَتَنَا عَلَى مَا فَرَّطْنَا فِيهَا وَهُمْ يَحْمِلُونَ أَوْزَارَهُمْ عَلَى ظُهُورِهِمْ أَلاَ سَاء مَا يَزِرُونَ
31. "They indeed are losers who deny the meeting with Allah until, when the hour comes on them all of a sudden, they will say: 'Alas for us, for what we neglected in it!' And they shall bear their burdens on their backs; now beware, evil is that which they bear! "
The purpose of "meeting of Allah" is the spiritual meeting and inner intuition in the Hereafter. The reason of it is that all of the dependences of man unto wealth, position, and relatives will be ceased from him there, and, by facing with the divine reward and retribution, he will perceive the absolute
Regret is for losing merits and interests, while remorse is for damages coming forth.1 However, in the Hereafter regret is useless. That is why sins will be burdens on the shoulder of the sinners. They feel their evil consequence like a heavy load on their back, especially when they see the scene of the Divine punishment.
Therefore, evil is the burden that will be stored for the evil doers! The verse says:
The Holy Prophet (S) said:
"A loser is the one who is neglectful of improving his Hereafter's affair."2
Imam Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (as) said:
"How much loser the one is who possesses no merit in hereafter."3
وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلاَّ لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَلَلدَّارُ الآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ
32. "And the life of the world is naught but play and pastime, and certainly the abode of the Hereafter is better for those who keep from evil; have you then no sense?"
If the life of this world does not be considered as a field for the coming world, it becomes a toy, and human beings will be busy, as children, with play things such as property, position and so on. Their status can be resembled to the scene of a theater where a person appears in the guise of a king, another one plays in the function of a servant, and the third one becomes a minister therein.
After some while, all the clothing and functions will be set aside and these persons actually find out that it has been only a play or a film wherein they had a role of playing.
The resemblance of the world to 'play and pastime' is found in the following aspects:
A) The lifetime in this world is short as the length of the time of a game.
B) Similar to a game, which contains of pleasure and tiredness, the world is also a combination of sweetness and bitterness.
C) Some neglectful aimless persons take playing games as their businesses.
Anyhow, when the Creator of the world knows the negligence of man from the coming world and being busy with the present world as 'play and pastime', why do we not believe in it?
This world, without observing the next world, is dangerous; but if this world be used as a pass way, towards the next world, and also a preliminary field of planting the plants of goodness for the coming world, it can be a place of development.
It should be noted, of course, that the cause of development, and reaching the blesses in the Hereafter, is virtue.
The verse says:
Imam Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (as) said:
"Allah, the Glorified, has distributed among people nothing better than wisdom."4
Again, he (as) said:
"The best bounty is the bounty of intellect."5
Also, the Imam (as) said:
"Avoid (vain) pastime and play, chaffy words, too much laugh and joke, and futile statements."6
قَدْ نَعْلَمُ إِنَّهُ لَيَحْزُنُكَ الَّذِي يَقُولُونَ فَإِنَّهُمْ لاَ يُكَذِّبُونَكَ وَلَكِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ بِآيَاتِ اللّهِ يَجْحَدُونَ
33. "Indeed We know that what they say surely grieves you. Yet verily it is not you (that) they belie, but the unjust deny the Signs of Allah."
It is cited in the occasion of revelation of this verse that the enemies of the Prophet (S) knew him as truthful and trustworthy person. But they said if they confirmed him, their tribe and their rank would be despised. Or, they said that Muhammad (S) was truthful, but he imagined that he was revealed to. They rejected the divine verses in such manner.
Rejecting the Prophet (S) is the same as rejecting Allah (S.w.T.). It is similar to the allegiance with the Prophet (S) that is allegiance with Allah.
The opponents of the Prophet (S) are adversaries of Allah. Thus, we should not be sorry.
The fruit of rejecting the Divine verses and the saints of Allah is being unjust both to themselves that they do not believe in the truth, and to the Messenger of Allah that they grieve him (S), and to Islam, and to generations.
The verse says:
وَلَقَدْ كُذِّبَتْ رُسُلٌ مِّن قَبْلِكَ فَصَبَرُواْ عَلَى مَا كُذِّبُواْ وَأُوذُواْ حَتَّى أَتَاهُمْ نَصْرُنَا وَلاَ مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِ اللّهِ وَلَقدْ جَاءكَ مِن نَّبَإِ الْمُرْسَلِينَ
34. "Messengers indeed have been denied before you, but they were patient on being denied and hurt, until Our help came unto them; and there is none to change the words of Allah, and certainly there has come to you some information about the messengers."
The former prophets and their patience should be our models. The destruction of old nations such as: the people of Hud, the people of Salih, the people of Lut and some others, who belied the truth, should be taken an example of Allah’s way of treatment is to send messengers, and people are free to accept them or not.
Then, He punishes the disbelievers and assists the messengers in their way of invitation.
It is certain that the opponents neglect no effort against the Truth. They belie it and hurt, but Truth is always victorious.7 Moreover, Allah’s way of treatment is not changeable.
The Qur'anic term /kalimat/, mentioned in the holy verse, means 'Allah’s way of treatment'. The evidences for this meaning are the following holy verses:
وَإِن كَانَ كَبُرَ عَلَيْكَ إِعْرَاضُهُمْ فَإِنِ اسْتَطَعْتَ أَن تَبْتَغِيَ نَفَقًا فِي الأَرْضِ أَوْ سُلَّمًا فِي السَّمَاء فَتَأْتِيَهُم بِآيَةٍ وَلَوْ شَاء اللّهُ لَجَمَعَهُمْ عَلَى الْهُدَى فَلاَ تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ
35. "And if their turning away is hard upon you, then if you can seek a hole into the earth, or a ladder to heaven, so that you bring them a sign (they will not believe); and had Allah willed, He would have gathered them all to the guidance; so be not you of the ignorants."
The occasion of revelation of this verse indicates that pagans told the Messenger of Allah (S) that they would not believe in him unless he could make an opening in the earth so that a spring should gush for them, or he could climb up the sky: And they say:
Haply, the verse points to the kind of their inappropriate requests that even if he seeks a hole in the earth or climbs up a ladder unto the sky, confronting himself with difficulties, it will be useless in this regard.
There is no deficiency in the Prophet's invitation, but these people are arrogant and obstinate. So, he ought not sympathize with them so much for guiding them.
"And if their turning away is hard upon you, then if you can seek a hole into the earth, or a ladder to heaven, so that you bring them a sign (they will not believe)....."
Yet, in order that no one imagines that Allah is not able to make them surrendered, the Qur'an immediately continues saying:
But it is clear that such a forceful faith is vain. The creation of humankind is for the purpose of a development that is based on authority and free-will. It is only in the situation of free-will that the value of 'believers' comparing with 'disbelievers', and 'good doers' compared with 'evil-doers' is recognized.
Then, the verse says:
This holy concluding phrase means that the Prophet (S) should not be restless so that he might lose patience and perseverance. He ought not to be worried about them more than the required measure because of their infidelity and polytheism, but he ought to know that the right way is the same one that he paves.
No doubt the Prophet (S) was aware of these facts, but the Lord, as a remembrance and in order to comfort His Prophet (S), tells him these matters.
إِنَّمَا يَسْتَجِيبُ الَّذِينَ يَسْمَعُونَ وَالْمَوْتَى يَبْعَثُهُمُ اللّهُ ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُونَ
36. "Only those accept who hearken, and (as for) the dead, Allah will raise them up; then unto Him they will be returned."
The Qur'an has repeatedly resembled the rejecters of Truth as the dead and the deaf. For example, Surah An-Naml, No.27, verse 80 as well as Surah Ar-Rum, No.30, verse 52, are cited as this:
Human beings are free to choose their own path, whether it is right or wrong.
Hearing the truth and accepting it, is a sign of the existence of the spiritual life and alertness in a person. The person, who is in lack of spiritual life and does not accept the truth, is dead, because the animal life, which is usually rendered into eating and drinking to survive, is something that all living creatures possess, too.
The verse addresses the Holy Prophet (S) implying that he should take care of the truth-seekers, and dealing with disbelievers is referred to Allah who will call them to account on the Day of Resurrection. It says:
وَقَالُواْ لَوْلاَ نُزِّلَ عَلَيْهِ آيَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِ قُلْ إِنَّ اللّهَ قَادِرٌ عَلَى أَن يُنَزِّلٍ آيَةً وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ
37. "And they say: While has not a Sign been sent down to him (Muhammad) from his Lord?' Say: 'Verily Allah is able to send down a Sign, but most of them do not know'."
Upon the occasion of revelation of the verse, it has been cited that some of the chiefs of the Quraysh, seeking for excuses, told the Prophet (S) that merely the Qur'an was not enough to work as his miracle.
They wanted him to bring some miracles similar to what Jesus, Moses, Salih and Prophets like them had brought.8
The Prophet (S) who reminds people of the miracles of the former prophets, of course, can surely bring the like of those miracles himself; otherwise he might not remind people of them so that they ask him for something similar to them.
Moreover, as the Islamic literature, that he recorded by Shi'ites and Sunnites scholars denote, the Messenger of Allah had some other miracles besides the Qur'an, too.
The main purpose of bringing miracles is showing the sign of Allah’s infinite Power and the particular relation between Allah and His Messenger, not necessarily responding to the endless wishes of the obstinate people. Of course, sometimes miracles come forth to answer to people's request, too. The verse says:
However, a great deal of pretexts should not be listened to. The Qur'an says:
By the way, it should be noted that if these sorts of demands, which are produced obstinately, be replied fully and then they do not believe, all of them will be faced with the Divine punishment and will be destroyed. The reason is that this manner is the utmost dishonour unto the Holy Presence of Allah, His Messenger, His revelations, and His miracles. So, at the end of the verse, it says:
وَمَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ فِي الأَرْضِ وَلاَ طَائِرٍ يَطِيرُ بِجَنَاحَيْهِ إِلاَّ أُمَمٌ أَمْثَالُكُم مَّا فَرَّطْنَا فِي الكِتَابِ مِن شَيْءٍ ثُمَّ إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ يُحْشَرُونَ
38. "And there is no creature (that walks) on the earth nor a bird that flies with its two wings, but they are communities the like of you, We have not neglected anything in the Book, then unto their Lord shall they (all) be mustered."
This verse speaks about Resurrection and the general assemblage of all living creatures, i.e. all kinds of animals, in Hereafter. At first, the verse says:
Thus, similar to human beings, each kind of animals and birds are a community by themselves. That is, they also have knowledge, awareness, and perception in their own conditions, and they know the Lord Whom they glorify and sanctify as much as they are able to, although the standard of their perception is lower than that of human beings.
Then, in the next phrase of the verse, the Lord says:
"….We have not neglected anything in the Book...."
And at the end of the verse, the statement is:
".... then unto their Lord shall they (all) be mustered."
Hence, the verse warns the polytheists that the Lord, Who has created all groups of animals and supplies their necessities and who watches whatever they do, has appointed a resurrection for them entirely. How is it possible that He does not appoint a resurrection and a gathering for you? And, as some pagans say, there would not exist anything beyond this life and death?
No doubt that the first condition of reckoning and rewards is the existence of intellect and awareness and, thereafter, duty and responsibility come forth.
The adherents of this idea believe that the life of many animals continues with an interesting and surprising regularity that denotes to their high level of perception and awareness. There are a few persons who have heard no words about ants, bees, their formicaries, their beehives and their wonderful order and their surprising system.
It is certain that we cannot simply count it as a phenomenon resulted from instinct. Natural disposition is usually the source of monotonous and constant activities. But the deeds that are not predictable in some specific conditions, done as reactions, are more similar to perception and awareness than instinct.
For example, when a lamb, which has never seen a wolf in its life, sees that savage animal for the first time, it recognizes well that this enemy is dangerous. So, the lamb tries to defend and to save itself from the danger by any means that it can find.
Apart from all of these, there are recited some meanings in a lot of verses of the Qur'an which can be counted as a considerable reason for the existence of perception and awareness in some animals.
For instance, the story of ants and their escape from the army of Solomon; the story of the hoopoe when it came into the zone of Sheba and brought some exciting news for Solomon, are a few evidences to this claim.
In Islamic literature, there are also many traditions upon the resurrection of animals, including as follows:
It is narrated from Abu thar who says: "We were at the presence of the Prophet (S) where, in front of us, two goats bunted each other.
The Prophet (S) said
'Do you know why they bunted each other?'
The audience answered:
'No, we do not know'.
The Prophet (S) said:
'But Allah knows why, and He will judge between them soon '."
وَالَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا صُمٌّ وَبُكْمٌ فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ مَن يَشَإِ اللّهُ يُضْلِلْهُ وَمَن يَشَأْ يَجْعَلْهُ عَلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ
39. "And those who belied Our Signs are deaf and dumb, in darkness; whomever Allah pleases He leads astray, and whomever He pleases, He sets him on a straight path."
It is true that both guidance and misguidance are in knowledge and power of Allah, but the will of man and the abilities existed in him are effective, too. Besides, the Will of Allah is also based on Wisdom. Holy struggle on the way of Allah is a cause for the Divine guidance, while being unjust toward people is a cause for misguidance.
Therefore, infidelity and hostility are some darkness that causes separation from salvation.
Concealing the Truth is counted dumbness and not hearkening it is deafness, and the fruit of people's rejection is misguidance and Allah’s wrath. The verse says:
However, paving the straight path needs a hearing ear, an impartial tongue and a transparent inward.
قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُكُم إِنْ أَتَاكُمْ عَذَابُ اللّهِ أَوْ أَتَتْكُمُ السَّاعَةُ أَغَيْرَ اللّهِ تَدْعُونَ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ
40. "Say: "Have you considered if Allah’s torment comes to you (in the world) or the Hour (of Resurrection) comes to you, will you supplicate anyone other than Allah, if you are truthful?"
Once more, the Qur'an addresses the polytheists and, in front of them, reasons Divine Unity and monotheism in another way. It reminds them the extraordinary difficult and grievous moments of life, and seeks assistance from their conscience. It asks them whether they consider any shelter save Allah when they forget everything during these moments.
Concerning such people, the verse commands the Prophet (S) to tell them to answer truly that if the punishment of Allah befalls them, or the Hereafter be set up with all its horrors, excitements and terrible events, do they have anyone except Allah to remove their calamities?
The essence of the meaning of this verse is perceivable not only for pagans but also for every one when calamities and painful events come forth unto them.
In ordinary cases, and in minor events, men may eek protection from others than Allah. But, when the event is extraordinarily violent, men neglect everything. At the very circumstance they feel a kind of hope for rescue in the depth of their heart, which originates from a mysterious unknown source of power. This is the very attention to Allah and the reality of Unity.
بَلْ إِيَّاهُ تَدْعُونَ فَيَكْشِفُ مَا تَدْعُونَ إِلَيْهِ إِنْ شَاء وَتَنسَوْنَ مَا تُشْرِكُونَ
41. "Rather upon Him you will call, and He removes that for which you supplicated Him, if He pleases, and you forget what you have associated (with Him)."
A sincere supplication is the gateway toward security from dangers in this life. (Pagan's invocation has no answer in Hereafter.)
Thus, why do you refer to Allah only at the times of danger when you neglect your imaginary gods, and in ordinary circumstances you do not refer to Allah?9 The verse says:
- 1. A tradition narrated from the Prophet (S) indicates that those who are in the Hell Fire will see their places in Heaven and say: "Alas for us." (Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, vol. 1, P. 711)
- 2. Madinat-ul-Balagha , vol. 2, p. 492
- 3. Qurar-ul-Hikam, vol. 1, p. 746
- 4. Qurar-ul-Hikam, vol. 6, p. 90
- 5. Qurar-ul-Hikam, vol. 1, p. 176
- 6. Nasikh-ut-Tawarikh, vol. 6, p. 4
- 7. We recite in some other verses of the Qur'an: "…I will most certainly prevail, I and My apostles ;...(Surah Al-Mujadilah, No, 58, verse 21), "…and helping the believers is ever incumbent on Us," (Surah Ar-Rum, No, 30, verse 47), "Most surely We help Our apostles,"… (Surah Al-Mu'min, No, 40, verse 51), "…and surely Allah will help him who helps His cause…" (Surah Al-Hajj, No.22, verse 40).
- 8. Majma'ul-Bayan, Vol. 3, P. 296 (Arabic version)
- 9. In the Second World War even Khrushof and Stalin, the leaders of Russia, invoked churches and priests asked for victory.