By Fatima Ariadne
Some people are very annoying in their over-confidence that because of their shahada and statement of ”laa ilaaha ilallah” they can survive hell no matter how much of evil and sinning they are. They depend too much on hadith that says that anyone who has a grain weight of ”laa ilaaha ilallah” will not be forever in hell.
Somehow, this abused hadith becomes a shield and license to legalize whatever sin and evil these ”shahada muslims” are doing. And to feel safe from God’s justice. As if God the Most Knowing and Most Just can be put a blindfold upon with merely a shahada or ”laa ilaaha ilallah” recitation, without looking further to one’s deeds.
I’m not here to reject hadith and acting like ”Hadith rejector Quranist”. But it is my intention that any part of Hadith should never be abused to legalize sin or evil, leave alone to seek loophole so we can feel safe from Allah while sinning.
This kind of people keep saying that ”even if we go to hell, we will only be in hell for several days”. It’s always ”several days”! Somehow it reminds me of a verse,
”And they say: “The Fire shall not touch us except for a few numbered days:” Say: “Have you taken a contract from Allah, for He never breaks His promise? Or is it that you say (assume) about Allah what you do not know?” (Quran 2:22)
Although the verse speaks about Israelites when the verse was descended, the message of this verse speaks to us all. Quran on the core reminds us, ”several days in hell? Sure you are just making assumption?”
But saying ”I’ll only be several days in hell” is itself an arrogance toward Allah. Even if you hide it in your heart, Allah is Most Knowing and what you harbor in your heart is an arrogance toward Allah, to challenge that you can stand His punishment as if shahada alone can nullify your evil in His court.
My good friend Adora, she laughed out loud as usual when I told her about how some people out there are so confident about surviving hell for several days. She said very good points, although in her typical sarcastic style.
”Those people are nuts and hilarious, I swear. Next time one of ”shahada muslim” comes to you, just confront him : can you sit quiet on a burning stove for 4 minutes? If I tell that guy, put your naked butt on a fiery barbeque grill for 30 minutes and I’ll pay you $1000 cash, would you take that challenge to get the money? Although at the price of your butt become the smelliest cooked barbeque in the whole wide world?
I’ll bet you that guy will scream at your face, ”go to hell!”. Ah well, you don’t want to sit on a hot stove for 4 minutes, nor making your own butt a cooked barbeque even for $1000. Even burning your finger to a candle fire for minutes is already a suffering on itself. Chances are, you’ll use the money to get to hospital instead of…. well, some other use involving opposite gender?
If you can’t even stand the petty fire heat in worldly life, so what made you so confident of standing the hell punishment very strong enough? It’s arrogance to say you can stand a hellfire. Hadith told us that the worldly fire is a watered down version of hell fire. So don’t imagine the hell fire is similar like any fire you see in worldly life.
As for ”several days”, it’s relativity. Hasn’t Allah revealed like these?
”…And indeed, a day with your Lord is like 1000 years of those which you count.” (Quran 22:47)
”The angels and the Spirit will ascend to Him during a day which the extent is 50,000 years.” (Quran 70:4)
So if they really touched hell, then God forbid, ”several days” in hell or in afterlife for that matter, one day in hell might equal to thousands years or even millions years, who knows?
When the cosmos is created, sure the definition of day is not like how we define a day. Now that the planets are established, we calculate day based on planet rotation and revolution toward the sun, the orbit length et cetera. But when the cosmos is still dark matter or before dark matter, how was the day being defined?
So how we define ”one day” which is based on this established planet astronomical calculation, is not the same with how Allah defined a day of matter. Because before there is existence, Allah had already existed. Before time and space, Allah had existed because He is Al ‘Awwal, beginningless and uncreated.
Therefore it’s not very strange that Quran is telling us that 1 day of reckoning with Allah is equal to our 1000 days. Why not? If time dilatation exists, sure other kind of timing may exist and can exist. Cosmos is vast and ”one day” in other part of cosmos is not 24 hours where each hour is 60 minutes. That’s just our earth definition.
So don’t imagine being ”several days in hell” means you will just endure something like n x 24 hours. That ain’t gonna work, silly. God’s calculation doesn’t follow anyone’s assumption.”
After all, by saying so, you have underestimated Allah. Because deep beneath the layer of intention of saying ”I will only be several days in hell because I have shahada”, the deeper meaning of that phrase can secretly be ”I am strong enough to endure God’s punishment, so there is nothing to worry about it”, or worse ”No matter how evil I am, I can cheat God’s justice with my shahada”.
But Allah is the Most Transcendental God whose justice cannot be cheated by any assumed loophole. Yes, even if that is your apparent belief. Due to our limitation of senses and resources, we may only able to ”judge by the apparent”. But Allah the Most Knowing will never ever ”judge by the apparent”.
”Or do those who commit evil think they can outrun Us? Evil is what they judge!” (Quran 29:4)
Imagine your heart and deeds are a big book of many chapters, for example 10,000 chapters. You may strongly display chapter 1-20, hiding chapter 21-60, while being unaware of the rest of chapters because it lies deep buried your subconscious and even lower than it. You might ignore and doing self-denial that chapter 9000 exists, for instance, although you can feel it on the surface.
While you or other people are unaware of your hidden chapters, Allah reads every single chapters of you with no single dot or iota left. Hidden, subtle, apparent, all of them with no anything left. Whether you keep it in light or in shadow or gray area, Allah reads them all and He will expose you in Day of Reckoning. Whether you underestimate His reckoning or not, or even disbelieve it. Allah’s justice is for everyone.
And that is Divine Judgement and Divine justice. Maybe like my friend said : God’s calculation doesn’t follow anyone’s assumption. And certainly, Divine calculation or justice is not following anyone’s presumption or lust-based suggestion.
Dare touching this fire for ”only” 30 minutes?
That’s why as Quran says, ”We know what dark suggestions his lower self made to him, for We are closer to him than his jugular veins”.
In one side, this is revelation of Allah’s spiritual closeness to His servant that He is closer to you beyond your wildest imagination. But the second another meaning of this verse, is that Allah is Most Knowing of His creation more than His creation knows about himself.
In Quran, many times it was repeated that Allah will not wrong a servant even a dzarrah (i.e. smaller than a single grain’s weight). Allah will recompense anyone’s deeds even a dzarrah weight and Allah will never cheat or fail in balance of justice. If Allah is Most Justice or Al ‘Adl, then His justice will apply to anyone unconditionally and transcendentally, muslim or not muslim.
So imagine these factors : heart, deeds, and statement of belief like shahada be it hidden and apparent.
Put this first analogy.
You are married to a person. But he is abusive and often beat you for unjust reason. Then after he beats you violently, he said ”I love you”. Indeed, the act of abuse doesn’t nullify the marriage contract. But can you still love the spouse the same way again after he acted violently and unfairly? How can the physical abuse mirroring the act of love? And making the ”I love you” statement worthwhile?
Of course any sane person will say ”no”. Likewise, you stated a statement of imaan but committing big sins and then saying or believing at the same time ”Even if I’m a sinner who goes to hell, I will only endure hell for several days because I recited shahada.” Is this not underestimating Allah? How can underestimating Allah’s justice be the act of imaan?
A robber is coming to your house to rob you and the robber is in the same religion as you. What will you do? Will you call the police, or will you serve him tea and give him nice massage just because he is muslim just like you?
Any sane mind will surely answer ”I will call police so the robber will be caught and jailed. Serving him with tea and massage are very too much for this scroundrel!”.
Likewise, if you are reacting this way although the robber is muslim like you, know that Allah will not blindly give His paradise and hoor ‘ayn to filthy wicked person **just because** he embraces His religion. Although sins except kufr akbar doesn’t nullify someone’s muslim status, how can Allah let such a person free without recompensing his evil act?
You went to a department store bringing cash $400. You want to buy clothes.
One clothes displayed is priced $200 since it’s coming from certain famous brand, but the clothes is torn and tattered in some hidden places, and dirty. Looks like the store didn’t keep it well, despite being from famous brand known for its exclusive image.
Second clothes came in price $80, but the model is very ideal according to you, the fabric material is high quality and can linger up to 30 years.
Which clothes will you choose? Any sane mind will choose the second type of clothes without doubt. Consider the price tag $300 vs $80 is an apparent piety or displayed piety known to public.
You went to market bringing cash to buy fruits. Are you going to trade your hard-earned money in exchange of any fruit which is rotten and spoiled?
Then you buy a fruit that seems beautiful outside. But found out it’s just the peel that is beautiful and thick. The fruit content is very thin, and even has worm. Are you not disappointed?
Just like you’ll never want to trade your hard-earned money to get rotten fruits, Allah will not give His paradise in recompense of rotten deeds and rotten hearts, albeit covered well in display of piety. Paradise is not that cheap.
The only fair recompense of a robber who robs you, is him getting jailed for a long time. You won’t ever serve the robber a tea or commanding your daughter to give him massage. Likewise, paradise and hoor ‘ayn are only for the pure of deeds and pure of heart. Not for those who think that their deeds are purified automatically just because he embraces muslim identity, saying laa ilaaha ilallah, or certain sect of Islam.
So even if you believe that an atom of shahada can save you eventually from hellfire, remember that Divine Justice is far bigger and larger transcending your shahada. Allah is more visionary than your short-sighted assumption regarding Him. And Allah’s Justice doesn’t fail anyone in the afterlife, and no one can skip from Allah’s comprehension even a dot.
Even if you think you have a key to paradise, the key can be crooked or broken. And crooked or broken key cannot open any door.
In worldly life, in order to enter a house you must get the owner’s approval. Likewise, paradise only belongs to Allah as its sole owner. So if He doesn’t approve you and if you just coming to His presence in feeling of heart and mindset of underestimating Him or His court, how can you find Him be pleased to you?
“The Day when there will not benefit (anyone) wealth or children. Except who comes to Allah with a clean heart.” (Quran 26 : 88-89)
Allah is Al ‘Adl, the Best Judge
Think of worldly life judge. The good fairest judge will ensure validity of all evidences before deciding a suspect must go free, jailed, or having death sentence. No good judge will say to a suspect criminal, ”you go free forever” despite the evidences have strongly proved his criminal act — unless the judge is corrupt. But Allah is not a corrupt judge!
No good judge will make verdict ”you go to jail for 20 years” based on questionable evidence. And no good judge will give death sentence to a person who stole a fruit.
If the worldly life judge will assess every evidence in-depth to decide a suspect’s life or penalty according to their deeds, then keep in mind that Allah is the Best Judge that will assess you in a way that no one can.
To let free a criminal in this world is injustice, to jail an innocent is injustice, and to give punishment which is too heavy or too light is also injustice.
While it is part of Allah’s decree that He shall never be unjust :
”The Word changes not in My presence, and never shall I commit (even) the least injustice to My Servants.” (Quran 50:29)
”But how (will they fare) when We gather them together against a Day about which there is no doubt, and each soul will be paid out just what it has earned, without any injustice?” (Quran 3:25)
”And to all are (given) degrees according to the deeds which they (have done), and in order that (Allah) recompense their deeds, and no injustice will be done upon them.” (Quran 46:19)
So instead of underestimating Allah and feeling safe in your sins from Him, let us amend our way so that in the court of Allah’s presence, we really deserved to be called ”servant of Allah” or ”muslim” not just in a name. After all, a fragile cardbox house is not a mansion even if you put a text on its wall, ”this is a mansion”.
A message from Rasulullah Muhammad, salallahu ‘alayhi wassalaam,
”A wise man works modestly toward the hereafter, while the foolish man follows his lowly desire and yet expecting blessings from Allah” (Bukhari)