The Secret Beyond Matter

Adherence to the values of religion erases all sorts of worldly fears

Not being companions of Allah and putting their trust in Allah, people who do not live by the morals of religion inevitably harbor groundless fears. They constantly go in dread of the future, of being alone, of losing their property and health. They greatly fear having an accident, and most importantly, are afraid of death:

Say: "Death, from which you are fleeing, will certainly catch up with you. Then you will be returned to the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible and He will inform you about what you did." (Surat al-Jumu'a: 8)

For disbelievers, death is certainly a mystery. Even if they do not think about the life beyond, they ponder much on how they will meet death and they remain in the grip of this feeling. They think about all forms of death and feel too terrified to contemplate the possibility that, one day, one of these will befall them. With their having no serious faith in the existence of the hereafter, death becomes utterly frightening. They think they will be reduced to insignificance under the earth and will have no chance whatsoever to go back to life again. Their fear of death is basically oriented around losing worldly joys and being non-existent rather than the reality of the Day of Judgement.

People mostly endeavour to overcome this feeling of being reduced to nothingness by creating monuments to leave behind. This attitude is also stressed in one of the verses:

You construct fine buildings, hoping to live for ever. (Surat ash-Shu'ara': 129)

The very mention of death plunges disbelievers into a state of misery. No matter how hard they avoid the thought of it, they come upon death scenes every day in newspapers and on the TV. The death of people surrounding them or the occurrence of accidents and illnesses elsewhere become constant reminders of the end of this life. Yet, as is their general tendency, they avoid it and do their very utmost not to give so much as a thought to death. If anyone ever attempts to talk about death, they distract his attention and make him forget the approaching end.

That death may come in various forms terrifies them. They do not want to see a graveyard, for instance, nor do they buy a house close to a graveyard to avoid the thought of death. However, no matter in which corner of the world they are, death will lay hold of them one day. This immutable fact is related in the following verse:

Wherever you are, death will catch up with you, even if you are in impregnable fortresses… (Surat an-Nisa': 78)

Death and the hereafter are the two realities of which believers have a sharp comprehension. They spend their lives in anticipation of it. For them, death is actually the bliss of meeting with their Creator and attaining the true abode. They recognise that death is not an end and consequently they fear neither death nor anything else.

Almost all human beings, with the exception of believers, are curious about what the future holds for them. Considering all the unfavourable things which may be experienced all throughout life, they feel concerned. The undesirable events likely to happen in the future make them uneasy and anxious.

Since they never feel secure in putting trust in Allah, they are deprived of such ease. Man is tested by his favors granted by Allah and he is responsible for using these favors for His cause. Yet, due to this fear felt for the future, the majority of people remain in the grip of self-interest. This situation is expressed in the following verse:

Satan threatens you with poverty and commands you to do what is indecent. But Allah promises you forgiveness and His bounty. Allah is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing. (Surat al-Baqara: 268)

One of the perpetual fear man has regarding the future is growing old. As he grows old, he experiences changes in his body; wrinkles appear on his face, his hair begins to fall out and starts turning white, and his sensory organs gradually lose their sensitivity. Each one of these effects of old age terrifies those who are unaware of the morality of religion. In case of a serious illness, they wonder if their children will care for them. They also think about how they will face death one day. Another major concern of elderly people is, having to remain alone after their spouses pass away. They think about how they will manage to live in the absence of their partners.

These are simply the unavoidable fears and troubles one suffers in the absence of faith. For believers, however, the situation is otherwise. They have none of these fears. They believe there is goodness in everything, since whatever happens, it occurs under the control of Allah. They expect no more than Allah's guidance since they consider Allah alone their real protector. Besides, they are aware of the fact that they have nothing to fear in this world. They have only to submit themselves to Allah and always seek His approval. This point of view of the believers is related in the following verse:

Say: "Nothing can happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is our Master. It is in Allah that the believers should put their trust." (Surat at-Tawba: 51)

When one sincerely lives by the principles of Islam, many troubles and sufferings naturally vanish; everyone leads a happy and peaceful life. Religion brings solutions to all concerns. People feel relieved and free from their burdens. That is because they feel the comfort of being aware that every incident one encounters in life is but a test by Allah. In times of trouble, they never forget that they will earn their rewards by putting their trust in Allah. Similarly, when they are granted a favour, they feel grateful to Allah, thereby hoping to attain a benefit in the hereafter. This state of contentment is surely a privilege given by Islamic morals to believers. But, a strong faith, trust in and submission to Allah are essential to enjoy this privilege. Only those who possess these strengths can free themselves from their anxiety. Others, on the other hand, beset by concerns and fears, start to take their punishment while they are still in this world.

2010-04-21 18:23:22

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