By Muneeb Nasir
During the early days of Prophet Muhammad's, peace be upon him, messengership, Muslims faced constant pressure, threats, and abuse.
Allah's early revelations aimed to fortify the early believers with eternal principles of faith. These revelations taught them and teach us that the power of any faith comes not from coercing critics and dissenters but from the moral integrity and the intellectual and spiritual strength of the believers.
Allah's message encourages viewing the world from the vantage point of the Hereafter, which instills in the Muslim consciousness a desire to derive and magnify benefits from this fleeting world for their benefit in the everlasting Afterlife.
As one of the early scholars states, "Do not calibrate your actions according to the world being finite. Do not construct your morality upon momentariness."
In our fast-paced modern era, we often feel helpless, disconnected, and disjointed amidst the rapid events unfolding around us. These are the times when we need to fortify our faith.
Our lives are punctuated by a constant digital presence, disrupting our moments of silence. We no longer experience things in real time or truly live life with consequences. Instead, we are obsessed with capturing moments with digital devices, missing the very essence of those moments.
The Qur'an aptly captures this phenomenon, stating, "We have created many jinn and people who are destined for Hell, with hearts they do not use for comprehension, eyes they do not use for sight, ears they do not use for hearing.." (Qur'an, 7:179).
We desire experiences without truly living in the present, without considering the future or the consequences of our actions.
Our belief in the Afterlife has become tenuous.
However, viewing the world from the vantage point of the Hereafter should instill in us a desire to derive and magnify benefits from this fleeting world for our benefit in the Afterlife.
Allah's early revelations to Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, including Surah Al-Infitar (Chapter 82), touch upon the belief in the Hereafter and the denial of the Day of Judgment.
This Surah begins by vividly portraying apocalyptic imagery that resonates with us today.
The Qur'an describes this scene, "When the sky is torn apart; When the stars are scattered; When the seas burst forth; When the graves turn inside out." (Qur'an, 82:1-4)
In our age, we can witness glimpses of this imagery, seeing tornadoes ripping through the skies or tsunamis sweeping away homes and upturning graves in real time.
After portraying this dramatic picture, Allah reminds us, "Each soul will know what it has done and what it has left undone." (Qur'an, 82:5)
On the Day of Judgment, we will come to know how we have spent our lives and what we have done with them. We may regret the missed opportunities for acts of generosity and goodness.
Allah gently questions our ungratefulness and forgetfulness, asking, "Mankind, what has lured you away from God, your generous Lord, who created you, shaped you, and proportioned you in whatever form He chose?" (Qur'an, 82:6-8).
Allah reminds us that we cannot escape His awareness and that everything is being recorded, as stated in this chapter of the Qur'an, "Yet you still take the Judgment to be a lie! Over you stand noble recorders who know what you do." (Qur'an, 82:9-12).
Allah presents the future that awaits us: a Day of Resurrection when we will join a great gathering. On that day, we will be asked about the actions of each hour and every minute detail of our lives in this world.
The Qur'an states, "The good will live in bliss; And the wicked will burn in the Fire; They will enter it on the Day of Judgment; And they will find no escape." (Qur'an, 82:13-16).
Allah emphasizes the magnitude of the Day of Judgment, where no soul can intercede for another. On that day, all authority belongs to Allah alone.
The Qur'an states, "What will explain to you what the Day of Judgment is? Yes! What will explain to you what the Day of Judgment is? The Day when no soul will be able to do anything for another. On that Day, command will belong to God." (Qur'an, 82:17-19).
The Day of Judgment will be a day when we stand alone before Allah. This is the day we should spend our entire lives preparing for. It should occupy our attention, and our resolution should be to prepare well for this day and not to fail. For if we fail, our entire life will be deemed a failure.