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Saturday, December 20, 2008

A PERSON TO GO TO HELL WILL NOT STRIVE FOR PARADISE

Imam-i Ghazali says in his book Kimya-i Sa’adat:

As for the question, “What use is it for a person who is to go to Hell to strive,” this word is right in one respect, while it is wrong in another respect. It is right because it brings ruination to the person who says it. For, the sign of having been predestined for Hell in the eternal past is the occurrence of this question in mind and consequently one’s not working and sowing one’s seeds. He who does not sow the seeds in the world cannot harvest in the Hereafter. What signifies that it has been predestined in the eternal past that a person will die of hunger is the coming of the thought, “It will do me no good to eat and drink if it has been written on my forehead that I shall die of hunger,” to his heart. Because he thinks so he does not eat or drink and then dies of hunger.

Likewise, a person who says, “If poverty is my fate what use is it to work?” does not work and certainly becomes poor. But a person whose fate is happiness and wealth thinks and says, “Those who are predestined as rich will work.” This thought of his drives him to work. Then, these thoughts are not meaningless. They occur to the heart on account of the predestination in the eternal past. They cause the predestination to manifest.

The cause of whatever a person is created for will be brought before him. It is not without reason that he is given the work. For this reason it has been purported, “Work! Whatever a person is created for will be made easy for him!” Then everyone, from the situations and actions into which he has been driven, can make a guess about his predestination and what will become of him in the Hereafter.

A student who studies his lessons and who does his duty should deem this state of his as glad tidings, a symptom signifying that he will pass his course and that he will occupy a ranking position in the future. But if the thought, “If my destiny is ignorance, it will be of no use no matter how hard I study,” is brought to his heart, and he does not study but wastes his time; it should be inferred that ignorance is his destiny.

So should the qada [1] and qadar be known pertaining to the situation in the Hereafter. As a matter of fact, it is purported in the sura [2] of Loqman, “The creation of you all in the world and your resurrection in the Hereafter are like the creation and resurrection of one person.” And it is purported in the sura of Jasiyya, “Their states in the Hereafter are like their states in this world.” He who understands this writing of ours well will have tawhid. He will realize that the Shari’at [3], mind and tawhid agree with one another.
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GLOSSARY
[1] qada: the instance of happening or creation of what is predestined; qadar, predestination of everything as Allahu ta’ala has decreed from eternity.
[2] Sura(t): a Qur’anic chapter [a chapter of the Qur’an].
[3] Shari’at: (pl. of Shari’a) i) rules and commandments as a whole of the religion. ii) religion.

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