Thursday, September 24, 2009
At this point, you are not alone in the room where you are reading this book. Even at times when you think you are alone you have never really been alone. Allah's appointed angels are constantly monitoring and inscribing everything that you do. The moment you say a word they write it down. Your every step, every thought, everything that you do, including obligations which have been postponed, are all recorded without omission.
These angels do not discriminate between minor or major actions. Even when you are asleep they are constantly with you. They fulfil their obligations without error. They are never forgetful or erroneous, they carry out their task faultlessly. By the same token, your appointed angels of death are also waiting. What are they waiting for? For your predestined time to be fulfilled. When your appointed time of death reaches you, it is they who will take delivery of your soul.
As well as these, there are other witnesses which we have not yet mentioned, the ones you do not think about, these are your secret witnesses; your hands and skin. On the Day of Judgment, all these witnesses will congregate, and with Allah's permission they will speak and give their testimony about you. If you happen to be one of those who did not fear Allah, or if you were not a cautious person they will, testify against you.
Humanity has been created to worship Allah and is constantly being tested. A person's temporal existence on average is about sixty years, it is not much time before one is eventually brought before Allah to give account for every second of one's life. When everyone learns of what they have earned on Earth through the evidence provided by these witnesses, Allah will then decide on the kind of eternal life appropriate for them. If a person possesses good deeds he will be given his Book in his right hand and that person will be eternally saved. However, if he is among those whose Books are given in their left hands, he will then say:
… If only I had not been given my Book and had not known about my Reckoning! If only death had really been the end! My wealth has been of no use to me. My power has vanished. (Surat al-Haqqa: 25-29)
From here on he will be apprehended, dragged facedown and taken to Hell, never to be released.
The reason behind this terrible end, is that people never imagined that their every action would be recorded and would one day be revealed and accounted for, hence they passed their lives carelessly without fearing Allah or His warnings. A person such as this who does not possess a definite form of belief in the Hereafter, in the Day of Judgment or in a terrorizing place of punishment for wrong actions and careless behavior, like Hell, will not mind ignoring Allah's boundaries.
This is why fear of Allah is a very strong indicator of faith in Allah and an important indicator of what to expect in the eternal Hereafter. The only way to safety is founded upon fearful awareness of Allah and scrupulous caution.
The Day of Judgment is a fearsome reality to be reflected upon with awe so that it becomes impossible to remain unaffected by it. However, this fear is only applicable to people of faith and is a particular type of fear because Allah has described what will happen on the Day of Judgment in numerous Qur'anic verses; the scribes, witnesses and the enormous congregation of people. This is an absolute certainty, which is unconditionally accepted by true believers who are fearful of facing such a terrifying ordeal.
Everything you do is immediately recorded, even as you are reading this book. You are fast approaching the day when you will be called by Allah to account for your actions. So we hope to be amongst those who have earned Allah's pleasure through fearful awareness of Him:
... Take provision; but the best provision is taqwa of Allah. So have taqwa of Me, people of intelligence! (Surat al-Baqara: 197)
(Taqwa means consciousness, awe or fear of Allah, which inspires a person to be on guard against wrong action and eager for actions which please Him. In this book, it will be translated as "fearing Allah" or "guarding against evil" or "righteousness" according to the context.)
Know that the state of one's religious and worldly affairs depend upon soundness of one's reflection. Anyone who has a share of it has an abundant share of everything good. It has been said : 'An hour's reflection is better than a year's worship.' 'Ali, may God ennoble his face, has said: 'There is no worship like reflection.' And one of the gnostics; may God have mercy on them all, said: 'Reflection is the lamp of the heart; if it departs the heart will have no light.' Reflections by Imam Al-Haddad (ra)