Tuesday, October 21

We, the human beings occupy a unique place in the universe. By virtue of possessing a human body, man is part of the material world. Thus, he is as much subject to natural laws as is any other object in the universe. Birth, growth, decay, and death of the human body are natural processes and so are governed by the laws of nature. But man is also endowed with a self or ego which expresses itself as free will, and freedom of choice is inherent in the self. Since the self is a special gift given to mankind by God, it is not part of the material body of man. Although it uses the body as a vehicle for its expression, it is not bound by space and time and, therefore, not subject to any physical laws. Since the essence of self is freedom of choice, the Divine Will in the sphere of man performs this function as guidance and not control, and human beings are free to accept or reject His guidance. The Qur’an is very clear on this point:

"The Truth has come from Allah. Then whoever will, let him accept, and whoever will, let him reject." (18:29)

But this freedom of choice brings with it the responsibility of making that choice. No one can escape this responsibility and evade the results of his own actions. The Qur’an says:

"Verily, the grip of thy Rabb is severe." (85:12)

No one can bear the responsibility of someone else:

"Whoever accepts guidance, it is only for his own self, and whoever goes astray, does so to his own loss. No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another." (17:15)

"Whoever commits wrong, commits it only against himself." (4:111)

"Every soul draws the consequences of its acts on none but itself. No bearer of burdens can bear the burdens of another." (6:164)

It is also important to note that the results of one’s actions cannot be wiped out or washed away. They are entered on the credit and debit side of the ledger kept by Him:

"And on every man We have fastened his record around his neck; and We will bring forth to him, on the day of judgement, a book which he will see wide open." (17:13)

We can easily see from this verse that sins cannot be washed away no matter how much one tries. The whole idea of washing sins away is contrary to the fundamental principle of the Qur’an—the law of requital and accountability. A negative deed (i.e., sin) can only be countered by a positive (i.e., righteous) deed.

"Verily, good deeds annul ill deeds." (11:114)

That is, sins can only be compensated by good deeds and not washed away by rituals. Remember the debit and credit sides of everyone’s ledger (as mentioned in the verse 17:13). So sins are entered on the debit side and can only be annulled by balancing them with good deeds on the credit side.

Excerpts taken from Dr.Mansoor Alam's explainaton on 'Insha'allah'.

more to be followed, soon...insha'Allah! ;)


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