Lesson 45: The Resurrection and the Scales of Justice

A cursory look at the system of creation will reveal to us that everything is systematic and governed by rules.

In the body of man, this system is so delicate that any imbalance would lead to either sickness or death.

For instance, in the structure of the eyes, heart, and brain this order is readily noticeable. The same order, systematization, and justice prevail over all of creation.

Through justice, the skies and the earth have been erected.

An atom is so tiny that millions of them could be located in the point of a needle. Such an atom must be extremely precise and ordered in its structure to allow it to exist for millions of years.

This happens because of the justice and exact calculations that are employed in the construction of an atom.

Is man such an exceptional being as to be free to do what he pleases? Is he free? Or is there something hidden here?

Free will and Freedom in Decision-Making

One distinctive feature that distinguishes man from all other creatures is that he possesses freedom of action. Why has He created him free and given him the freedom of will to carry out what he wants?

The reason rests in the fact that if he were not free he would never develop. This freedom has ensured man’s spiritual and ethical development.

Suppose one is forced at gunpoint to help and assist the needy and carry out those acts which are beneficial to the community. Even though his acts would be naturally useful to everyone no ethical or human perfection or maturity would have taken place.

Whereas, if he had carried out these actions voluntarily and he only did one hundredth of what he could have done, he still would have taken a big stride towards his perfection and development.

Thus, the first condition for spiritual and ethical perfection is to have a free will; man should do good things on his own and not through force. This great asset has been given to man just for this purpose.

Of course, this great asset is like a beautiful flower which is accompanied with thorns which represent the misuse of this free will.

Naturally, it would be quite easy for God to punish a man for his unjust deeds, to inflict him with all sorts of miseries, to make him blind, or dumb, or paralyzed altogether.

Under such circumstances, nobody would dare to do wrong things. But this abstention and piety then would be by force and could never be counted as a point of honor for man, for this piety would have been due to his fear of a great punishment.

Thus, man should be free. He should be exposed to God’s different trials and not be threatened by immediate punishment so that he could show his true worth.

But there remains one issue to be solved. If each person could be free to do whatever he desires, this could negate God’s Justice which governs the world.

That is why we become convinced that there should be a court for mankind in which everyone should be present and be tried to receive punishments if they had wronged others or given rewards if they have been just in their deeds.

Is it possible for Nimrods, Pharaohs, Genghis khans and korahs to commit atrocities carry out all sorts of unjust acts and then go away with no punishment whatsoever?

Could criminals and pious people be equal on God’s scale of justice?

Regarding this, the Holy Qur’an says:

What! Shall We then make those who submit as the guilty? What has happened to you? How do you judge? ( 68:35-36)

and also:

Shall We make those who guard against evil like the wicked? (38:28)

It is a fact that some of the wrongdoers would be at least partially punished in this world for their devilish acts. It is also a fact that the court of conscience exists. It is also a fact that the consequences of one’s unjust and devilish acts would inflict him later.

But if we consider the matter carefully, we will find out that no tyrant or sinner receives a punishment in this world proportional to the degree of his devilish acts. There are some who even escape the consequences of their wrongdoing.

So there should be a universal court in the other world to judge them justly and impartially or else the principle of justice would vanish forever.

Therefore, the acceptance of God and His system of Justice entails the acceptance of the Resurrection and the other world. These two are faces of the same coin.

Think and Answer

1. How is the heaven and the earth based upon justice?
2. Why has the human being been given free choice and will?
3. What would happen if a human being were to receive punishment immediately and directly for an evil deed in this world?
4. Why does the existence of the trial by conscience for our deeds not exempt us from the trial on the Day of Judgment?
5. What is the connection between the justice of the Creator and the Resurrection?