Channel: Jamal Badawi
Series: Jamal Badawi - Muslim Beliefs
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In the name of God the benevolent the Merciful, the creator and Sustainer of the universe, I greet you with the greetings of all the profits from Prophet Abraham to Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him assalamu Aleikum, which means peace beyond to you. Welcome to the Islam and focus program. I'm your host Hamad Rashid. Today we have our concluding program on the topic of the day of judgment and life after death. Next week, we'll begin a new discussion, we'll be looking at whether or not we control our own lives, or whether or not our lives are predetermined for us. I have with me back on the program today, Dr. Jamal Badawi of St. Mary's University. Welcome to Islam
and focus, brother Jamal. Thank you. I wonder if before we get into the meat of today's program, perhaps to make it easier for those who may not have seen our program last week, if you could just very quickly summarize or highlight our discussions on this topic last last week. Certainly.
We talked about a number of issues last time. One was the accountability. And then we mentioned that all human beings will stand before God, they will be giving their book of deeds, those who will be receiving that book in the right hands, that means symbol or signal that they are saved or that the good deeds exceed the bad deeds, and those who received the book and their left hand or behind their backs, then this would also be a sign that their evil deeds are more. So there is a kind of scale or balance to weigh those deeds. We try to emphasize also that
this doesn't mean that the accountability is that mechanical, exactly one for one. We mentioned the various quotations from the Quran, the Word of God indicating that accountability is done with full justice and fairness, actually, with generosity, as we quoted also from the Quran, that for one evil deed, you get just one recorded against you for one good deed, you get a multiplier of 10, sometimes 70, sometimes 700, depending on your intentions. So one gets a lot more reward actually, then punishment
we indicate is also that there is a great deal of room for grace, that we don't really enter Paradise just because of our deeds. But after all, Grace also is for those who tried to seek it, he exerted some effort to get it.
We mentioned that after this accountability, people would pass over the Assad, which is a kind of narrow path.
Some would fall into the Hellfire, and those with good deeds will be unable to make it through without much difficulty.
And then we went on giving some description brief description, as it appears in the Quran. Of the two abodes final destinations Hellfire paradise, about Hellfire we mentioned that whatever is mentioned about it in the Quran, indicate that it is not your kind of place. It's a very, very grim place, very painful.
It's beyond the tolerance of anyone, it's very hard to tortious and worst of all, that people who go there do not die or live so they just continue in this constant state of of punishment as a punishment for rejection of God, and ignoring his message sent through his messengers and prophets.
And then we talked also about the other place where I think everybody should really be striving to get into the description of paradise. We indicated that the Quran gives a description that we as human beings can comprehend and understand. Talking about food, nice claws, adornment, all kinds of enjoyment pure
concerts or spouses. And the Quran also talks about the good wives in this life are good spouses joining their husbands or wives and paradise and having all kinds of Felicity there.
But despite of that, we indicated
Also that this description, the material as it might appear, at least in our own minds is not all something to make us appreciate the kind of joy that is there. We indicated that according to the Quran, and the saying of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, nobody can really understand or perceive the extent of joy that one will get in paradise. It's something indescribable, but just to give us a hint, the Quran talks about other rewards other than material rewards like the competing in the company of the fewer with the angels, the martyrs and pious people. In the Quran, chapter nine talks about the pleasure of God, which would be even a lot more satisfying than all of those.
And above all, the climax in Paradise, according to chapter 75 is the removal of all this human perceptual barriers to the point where we would be able to see God and enjoy closeness with him.
I'd like to begin our program today by looking at the situation of those people who
end up in that place that hopefully not too many of us will end up in and
and in those who go to hell,
will they stay there forever? Or is there some chance but
some may be taken out of hell after some time. some but not all. There are references in the Quran that for those who rejected God, who were really dread written to wicked,
that they would stay there forever. As the one verse in the Quran says, Let me see how he does not die. They're called Live. And other verses of Quran uses the term that gives a sense of eternity highly Dean as he has been there forever, constantly.
However, it is quite possible that some people will die with lots of evil deeds and sins, but still with some remains of faith in or goodness in their hearts. In which case there is a reference to that one of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, he says that, and the Day of Judgment, after those people get purification by going to the Hellfire
to pay for their wickedness or their sense,
that after while, God Allah will ordain the angels telling them take out of the Hellfire, anyone who believe that there is no deity, but me that there is no deity but Allah God.
Even if he has the an atom's weight of faith, or goodness in his heart, which means that no matter how sinful the person may be that faith and believe in the oneness of God in itself, would lead eventually to taking the person away from the from the hellfire.
But mind you, some people use that in an erroneous
sense. Yes. And somebody might say, Okay, well, you know, if I'm only going to the Hellfire for a couple of days, let me enjoy my life here. Why do I have to sacrifice or discipline myself? Let me enjoy my life here. And then chocolate, I spent a couple of days in Hellfire and get out of it.
And what they forget, first of all, is that nobody knows how many days or years
this state of punishment will continue. What is even more serious is What is it? What even is a day? We think that the day is 24 hours, we know that under severe punishment,
every second becomes lackeys.
And thirdly, according to soccer, and also, for example, in chapter 22, verse 47, it says, one day with your Lords could be like 1000 years of what you count.
There's even a more horrifying figure.
In one verse in the Quran, it says a day,
which is equivalent to 100,000 years.
So if one is trying to say, let me enjoy my life here, it's only a couple of days. Just be careful what that day
could look like the reference, for example, in chapter 32, in chapter 72, this relative counting of days,
so But on the whole, like I said, If, according to the saying of the Prophet, peace be upon him, that God will still
overshadow with his mercy, those simple people who still had some trace of faith and goodness in them.
Another related question to this is I'd be curious to know the Islamic
A viewpoint on the
question of intercession.
Do Muslims who believe in intercession or somebody being able to intercede with the God on their behalf or for others? Is this an acceptable Islamic law there's a concept in Islam of intercession but not intermediary.
The equivalent Arabic term before intercession is shut out.
There is an AI saying not intermediary, because if you look in the definition of the word intermediary, it sounds like somebody standing between two other people
with full presentation or trying to reconcile
two persons together.
This is totally alien to Islamic thinking, because a Muslim believes that there is no intermediary between man and God, even great messengers and prophets, according to Muslims, great figures like Prophet Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad peace be upon them. A Muslim does not regard them as intermediary, between man and God that the relationship between the human and his creator is direct. Those great prophets came to guide us to help us cement and establish our personal relationship
but in succession in a sense of pleading with God on behalf of someone not to have an authority that is the difference between, you know, intermediary intercession, the intercessor is somebody who doesn't have any power on his own. But he pleads with God For example, on behalf of other people who might be sinful or might need some help this in that limited sense, it is admitted with this shefa and Islam.
But this again should be put in the proper perspective.
It cannot contradict one important principle that has been emphasized in the Quran in numerous places, that each person every soul will be held in pledge of its own deeds, that each person is responsible for himself.
One cannot throw the blame
on other people to pay for his center his difficulties, this isn't very important for us, but we are given the faculties are given the guidance through profits, everybody has to stand on his
own merits. But even if that merit might be imperfect, because of course, our human
deficiencies and shortcomings
we find that the Quran opened the doorway for repentance, and correcting the situation directly between the person and God without any intermediary without any confession, as a matter of asking one who has the authority to forgive.
And the Quran makes it clear that everything could be forgiven, no matter how big the sin may be, except for one thing. One thing that the Quran says can never be forgiven. And that is to associate others with that. And the question is, actually one verse in the Quran says, in Allah Allah Al through unusual curvy, oil film, Edwina Delica,
that God will not forgive
anyone who associate others with him or associate or attribute divine attributes to other than God, or share, believe that others share the divine attribute. And then it says
wildflower meadow energetic and he forgives anything that's less than that for, for whomever he wishes or he pleases. Another qualification also, for this intercession, to make sure again, it's not taking a sense that other people, for example, might
have used to think is that even the intercession here must be given after permission has been given by God and chapter two, for example, in the Quran,
it says that
Mandela is falling in love is nobody can intercede with God on behalf of anyone else, except by his permission by the permission of God. So this is another important qualification.
And finally, that this intercession again cannot be on behalf of anyone.
It has to be on behalf of someone who is accepted by God.
He could be sinful, could have lots of sins, but still he's acceptable, I get at least that in his own heart, there was some trace of faith and goodness.
We find that in numerous places in the Quran, for example, in chapter 21, verse 28, that those people who make the intercession can do it only on behalf of people who are accepted by God. So with this qualification is there's this and of course, the most
clear intercessors in that limited sense, of course, would the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him? Because he said that actually one of his saying that he would be doing that but again, not on behalf of everybody for those who deserve it.
I'm interested in getting your opinion.
I've oftentimes encountered people over the years, who make the point that they know that they're going to be saved or that there's gonna they're going to obtain salvation. Can a person know for sure whether or not he or she is going to
go to Paradise, while we're still living, you know, our normal lives here on Earth, before we go into the Day of Judgment.
One, this is an interesting and important question. But to start with,
instead of just giving you an opinion, on my opinion, I just refer directly to one important thing of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and then draw a lesson from that.
One time he was telling his companion, he said, none of you will enter into paradise, because of his or her good deeds.
That's good deeds in itself,
is not sufficient. So they looked at him and said, even you, or messenger of Allah, messenger of God, he said, Even me,
unless God's showered me with his mercy.
Now he is a man who is not only a prophet, but also the, the, the final prophets, the most one of the most beloved prophets of God. And he teaches people spiritual humility, by telling them that even me, I don't guarantee to go to Paradise, I have to depend on the grace and mercy of God. This is an important lesson to learn.
If a person while he's still living on, Harrison has to struggle against evil within himself, and struggled against even within society knows for sure that he's got the carte blanche.
But you can just you got the tickets. for admission, nobody can take it from you.
This could lead, at least in the case of some, some papers may not for some people, it may lead to what you might call spiritual arrogance. Admit it.
It could also weaken the
tendency to sacrifice and discipline oneself and do good deeds, because I've made it I got the admission, Tickets are available. So this could lead to a great deal of danger. And of course, knowing human nature, and the need always to keep
carefully and to keep on guard. The next there's quite a dangerous kind of thinking.
In fact, this does not mean that a person would feel constantly an anxiety that no matter how much I believe, no matter how many good deeds, I am uncertain, I don't know whether I'm going or not. This doesn't mean that because again, the Quran makes it clear that the promise of God is true. That is not misleading, as to the assessment, discipline ourselves and conduct a good life, as he ordained, according to us on his own definition, is just just to encourage us to do good, but we know for sure that his promise will be true. He gave the criteria in the Quran, which include believe good deeds, and of course praying for the grace and mercy of God. So a person may feel in his own heart that so
long as he or she is following that light as there is a kind of inner peace and tranquility, but not to come and say your life. Regardless, I've made it and also there is one realistic question to it. Suppose a person now in this particular day and moment is a good believer, pious person?
Can anyone know for sure whether the person may towards the end of his life goes through some commotions? Yes. And he goes back from the belief and he dies as an unbeliever and as such go to hellfire.
How can anyone tell about someone who might be bad now an evil and wicked that in the later part of his life, he might repent to God and he's accepted and then he goes to paradise. So it's very dangerous just to simply start classifying and say right, because of paying lip service or saying I believe, for answers, belief in itself has to be confirmed and translated into action one has always to be on guard. So the idea is not anxiety, but it has to be always on guard. And to make sure that it's not just an easy
path, one has to struggle to keep steadfast on that I'd
like to touch on another similar situation, oftentimes, for people will make the claim that
they alone are going to be going to paradise because of their particular beliefs. While other people perhaps who don't share those particular set of beliefs or their particular religious tradition, we'll be going to the hellfire.
I'm interested in the Muslim attitude towards this kind of
assertion or argument?
I remember being asked myself the question that that same very similar question also, from someone who says, you know, you're a Muslim, do you believe as a Muslim that because you're a Muslim, that you people are going to paradise and then those who are not Muslims are going to the hellfire. My first response to him was this.
Who told you
that a person by claiming to be a Muslim, or believe in Islam believe in God and His Messenger and his books and all that, that he has a carte blanche to paradise.
That was my first approach. And then I quoted this hadith that I mentioned before that even the Prophet was teaching us humility by saying, I was not just not just going to paradise, but because of my deeds.
Number one, so So then, any Muslim who tells you that I am sure that I'm going to Paradise is spiritually arrogant. Because there's no evidence of that in the Quran, the Word of God or this another? One can say I'm trying my best to follow the path that God promised would lead to agenda but I don't know, I could try and but that's different from the I'm going to paradise notice. That's one thing. Secondly, I told him, when you tell me, people, for example, who don't share a particular please? How about those who died in the past before hearing about those prophets, about those who died before they heard about Prophet Jesus peace be upon him, but Prophet Mohammed or others? Are
they to be condemned? Also, because they don't share a particular dogma? You are telling me now or I'm telling somebody else now?
Or is it a matter that should be left to the judgment of God, about how they tried their best to respond to their innate nature of knowledge of God and try to do as good deeds as they could?
That's one thing. Thirdly,
I said that, when you talk about this, classifying people, thou shalt go to Paradise, thou shalt go to Hellfire,
arrogantly taking for ourselves a power that belongs to God?
Aren't we really associating others with God by taking this or claim this divine attribute of final judgment to ourselves?
Who am I, as a human being who cannot guarantee myself even for sure to go to Paradise, to say that this go here, and this will go there, I can say the criteria.
Whoever follows that path, but I can't say for sure, because I don't know. I can't enter into people's hearts.
criteria, as I said, has been given.
And that's the extent to which the Muslim can say about the Christian, you know, getting into a paradise or that, in fact, we find evidence in the Quran
that says Lo, the Jews, the Christians, the those who associated others with God, or categories, and the Muslims, only God will decide among them, and that they were not supposed to judge people. We are supposed to proclaim the truth, as we understand it, as we are in our hearts convinced of it, to invite our brothers and sisters to the first I was telling the brother, but we are not in a position to judge anyone. We are to be judged ourselves by God.
Just before we close out today's program
with this one, two questions that I want to raise before we talk about the program.
Sometimes you'll hear people ask the question about animals
do animals resurrect in our animals accountable in the same way as mankind?
And understand or some something might be worried about their pets? Yes.
Okay, well, there is one evidence in the Quran that initially in the Day of Judgment, animals also
will come to life. In one verse in the Quran, for example, it says what even when the beasts also are collected, describing the scene, and the Day of Judgment,
but in principle, the animals cannot be held accountable in a sense of going to paradise or Hellfire for the deeds. The reason being is that they are not responsible beings.
Angels for example, are created good, they have no choice but being good. So there is no not much fuss about it.
elements are created without intellect, not intelligence, without intellect without this spirituality that human beings have and power of reason.
So they are not held responsible because God can
Only the human beings and the gen, we discussed this concept of gender for unseen creatures who also like human beings have a choice between good and evil. Only when we had this Faculty of reasoning, we have the freewill, quote, unquote, to do good or evil to believe or not to believe, would we be held responsible for that? The other thing that perhaps one can say, by inference
was that the description of Paradise as indicated in the Quran, and in the saying of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him is that a person would get everything that he or she wants. And sometimes I used to ask myself that question, suppose you get somebody who loves, you know, cats or whatever other pets? Would he be the prior to having this in paradise? And the answer is definitely no, because that would contradict the main nature of Felicity and joy, that one can get in Paradise, but there's no particular reference to that. Okay.
The concluding question for today's program for this
series, and this topic.
I wonder if perhaps you could comment on the
your opinion of the relevance of a belief in life in the hereafter to our day to day existence, in your opinion, isn't just a question of belief or dogma.
It is not merely a dogma. Yeah, actually, if you recall, even in previous series that we discussed about aspects of belief like even monotheism, believe in Prophethood, believe in angels in Revelation of this, as it sounds, as if this is something dogmatic or a matter of belief in belief in the unseen. But we have shown in the various series also how this relates to the day to day life of the individual.
This is not no exception to that, let me give you a couple of torski points just to throw some light shed some light on this issue. First of all, belief in the Day of Judgment is related also to the understanding and belief in ultimate justice.
By ultimate justice, we mean that while we are living on Earth, the few years we are living are the few hundreds or even millions of years that humanity may survive on earth may not be sufficient to achieve ultimate justice. By that to mean that, you will find some people who are evil, wicked, they torture and kill people in large numbers. They are commit all kinds of cruelty throughout their lives and wickedness.
But still, they may die, rich, powerful, without really getting their justice award, they may get some, some kind of punishment in this life, but many, many times they don't get enough
compensation for for what they did. Is that justice,
take the opposite. You will find people who are good, what are pious, what are God fearing? They discipline themselves, they offer all kinds of sacrifice in the service of humanity. But still, they may be under oppression from unjust orders, and they suffer all kinds of pain, and they die in pain, without getting really compensation is that just so in that sense, then there must be some stage in terms of our logic, our understanding the laws of nature, that God has created, that things has to come to a final
conclusion. For example, in the Quran in chapter 45, the Quran says, Do those who commit all kinds of evil think that we can equate them with the believers the same in their life and their death. In chapter 38, again, it makes we can't make people who are corrupt as those who are good at this. And this does not mean of course, that you should not resist oppression and evil. But we're simply saying that you may not succeed if you try, but ultimately, it is up to God to have this ultimate judgment and ultimate justice
The second the most important part is that the belief in the life here after the belief in this ultimate justice, mix the individual life in perspective, give it proper perspective. A person realize that this life is not aimless, that whatever he enjoys or suffers, there is something much more important much beyond that, that he has a particular mission to fulfill on earth. And finally,
that once we as human beings have this
firm belief in the ultimate judgment before God, then we try our best to cement our personal relationship with God. Try to be more spiritually oriented in our approach. And to conclude, this reminds me with a saying of one lady sent Muslim lady sent by the name of Rebecca, when she said, oh my lord, I'm not worshiping
Can you just because I'm afraid of your head fire? Nor am I doing that because I'm aspiring to your paradise. I'm doing that only out of love of the
and the hope of being close to you. In the day of judgment
of Allah Jamal, I want to thank you that we've exhausted our time for today. I want to invite all the viewers of the Islamic focus program back next week when we look at another
in the series of Muslims beliefs, we'll be looking at the question of predestination versus freewill Assalamu alaikum peace beyond you