Word 27: Rewards in the Hereafter are proportional to beliefs and actions
Word 27: Rewards in the Hereafter are proportional to beliefs and actions
Anyone who thinks deeply on the following verses of the Holy Quran will understand that the rewards in the Hereafter are proportional to our beliefs and actions.
“On that Day, no soul will be wronged in the least, and you will be recompensed only for what you used to do” (Ya-Sin:54).
“And whoever brings an evil deed, they will be cast down on their faces in the Fire. (And it will be said to them) “Are you being recompensed anything except what you used to do” (An-Naml:90)?
“Are not the disbelievers paid for what they used to do” (Al-Mutaffifin:36)?
“And give glad tidings to those who believe and do righteous good deeds, that for them will be Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise). Every time they will be provided with some fruit therefrom, they will say: “This is what we were provided with before,” and they will be given things in resemblance” (Al-Baqara:25).
The above verses clearly indicate that the rewards in the Hereafter are proportional to deeds. Humans are creating their heaven and hell based on their actions in worldly life. Have we seen wheat harvested from barley seed?
In the past, we discussed that a material thing is made of different particles. If the particles are separated from each other, the thing will no longer exist. For example, if we separate all the pages of a book, the book will not exist. Another example is if we separate hydrogen molecules of water from oxygen molecules of water, we will not have water and similarly for other material things. We also explained that our soul is simple and immaterial and is not made of particles so it will not be destroyed like material things. Meaning we will exist forever. We will be separated from the material body and will get the proportional body of the Hereafter.
The unity of perceiver and perceived will prove the rewards in the Hereafter. As we said we would not be able to perceive things (material or immaterial) until their truths/meaning/forms become united with us. Since we know and perceive ourselves then we will know and perceive those things. Even the word unity is not good to use because unity is between two things but in reality, there is only us and our perceptions and those perceptions would be our essence itself. Our soul is our knowledge and actions.
“As for those who are guided, He increases them in guidance, and He has granted them their righteousness” (Muhammad:17).
“And when the believers saw the confederates, they said, “This is what God and His messenger have promised us, and God and His messenger have told the truth.” And it only increased them in faith and submission” (Al-Ahzab:22).
“Those who responded to God and the Messenger, despite the persecution they had suffered. For the virtuous and the pious among them is a great reward. (172) Those to whom the people have said, “The people have mobilized against you, so fear them.” But this only increased them in faith, and they said, “God is enough for us; He is the Excellent Protector” (Aal-i-Imran:72:73).
The above verses say, “increased them in faith, submission, and guidance”. So, we can increase by faith or submission. From here we can conclude the unity of faith with ourselves. In other words, faith becomes our essence.
In the Hereafter our actions emerge for us. This is happening right now but since we are busy with material senses inputs, we do not notice them. Meaning, a truly righteous mystic and perfect human with opened divine vision can see we are eating fire while we eat from unlawful money. As we said many times our good and bad actions make heaven and hell respectively. Mulla Sadra said, “People think souls are in heaven and hell, but I say, heaven and hell are within souls”. Our Nafs is the farm for the Hereafter, if we plant good seeds here, we will harvest them in the Hereafter. Actions convert to rewards instantly. For example, a person practices painting so, in the end, he becomes a professional painter as his reward. So, people go to the heaven or hell that they made.
We have three levels in a human’s existence and each of them has a heaven and a hell just for that level. The first level is related to the actions and ethics of a human and has a heaven and a hell scaled appropriately for that level. The second level is related to behavior, habits, attitudes, and has a scale appropriate for that level. The third level is beliefs which also has a scale appropriate for that level and is the highest level of them all. Now, you will understand the following hadith from Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A): “If someone has done many bad deeds and loves us, he/she will go to heaven.” Meaning, that he/she is safe in heaven at the beliefs level, but that does not mean that he/she will not be punished for the bad actions and bad habits that he/she did in the first (actions) and second (habits) levels. The better the person’s actions, habits, and beliefs; the more he becomes like Prophet Muhammad (S) and would be closer to pure heaven. That is why we have a lot of traditions that highlight the superiority of knowledge compared to actions without knowledge. There is a tradition that someone asked an Imam: “If someone did many bad deeds during his lifetime, let’s say 70 years, why does he have to stay in hell forever?” Imam replied: “Because his intention was to do that action forever as long as he was alive.” (The question was related to the level of action; the reply was from a higher level).
There is a story about the despairing of God’s forgiveness. A narrator said I went to someone’s house, and he invited me for lunch, I was going to eat but I remembered that we are in the month of Ramazan, and we are fasting. I asked the person why you are not fasting. he replied, “I have done a very bad deed and I am in despair of God’s forgiveness and blessing”. One night, a soldier of Haroon Ar-Rashid (one of the biggest kings 1200 years ago) came and said that the king would like to see me, I went to the castle and Haroon asked me how much you obey me? I replied, “I will give my life for you”. King said, “OK, you can leave”. After a while a soldier came again and said that the king would like to see you again, we went to the castle and Haroon asked again how much do you obey me? I replied, “I will sacrifice my life and the life of my family for you”, the king said again, “OK, you can leave now”. This happened another time and Haroon asked me again, “How much do you obey me? This time I replied, “I will give the life of myself and my family for you and I make your obedience my religion”. King replied, “OK, follow this soldier and do exactly as he orders you”. We went to jail and the soldier opened a door, there were 20 children who were descendants of Prophet Muhammad (S). The soldier said you have to kill all of them. I was going to leave the place, but the soldier said, “you promised you will give your life and religion to Haroon”. So, I cut their heads and threw them in the well. The soldier opened another door, there were also about 20 children, so I cut their heads too. Finally, we went to another room, and I saw about 20 more children plus an old man, and I cut their heads. I killed all those people who were the descendants of the Lady Fatimah (A) or Prophet Muhammad (S). Now, I believe that God will not forgive me ever.” The narrator said I described this to Imam Reza (A). Imam replied, “His belief that God will not forgive him is worse than killing all those people”. So, our beliefs are very important. We have said a couple of times that humans are made of their knowledge and actions. Knowledge makes our beliefs or soul, and actions make our shapes in the Hereafter. A narration from Imam (A) says, “Knowledge is the Imam (Leader) of action”. Someone asked Prophet Muhammad (S), “What is the best action?” Prophet replied, “Knowledge!”. The companion asked, “we asked about actions, and you replied “knowledge”?”. Prophet replied, “Because with the knowledge, few good deeds are accepted but without knowledge, even many good deeds will not be accepted”.
Someone came to me and said, “In a dream, I was in the beautiful heaven, but all of a sudden fire came and burnt all those gardens”. I told him this is also in a tradition; your sins are burning your good deeds instantly. All our talking, thinking, imagination, decision, and others will be recorded, so we need to just do good things to make heaven for ourselves. Prophet Muhammad (S) said, “In “Me’raj”(ascension), I saw some angels that were making castles and then stopped for a while then started again. I asked angel Gabriel (A), “Why are they not working?” Angel Gabriel (A) replied, “Because they have not yet received the material for the castles. I asked, “What is the material?” and the angel Gabriel replied, “Remembering God”. Some have asked, “what is the remembering of God”, Prophet replied, “Saying Al-Hamd u Lellah (praise all to God) or Soban Allah (Glory to God)”. Another person asked if this is the case then we have lots of gardens and castles there, the Holy Prophet replied, “If you do not sin to burn them”. “And that man can have nothing but what he does (good or bad). (39) And that his deeds will be seen, (40)” (An-Najm:39:40).
It is possible someone goes to heaven without any good deeds like sorcerers in the story of Prophet Moses. “When the magicians arrived, they said to Pharaoh, “Is there a reward for us, if we are the winners?” (41) He said, “Yes, and you will be among those favored.” (42) Moses said to them, “Present what you intend to present.” (43) So, they threw their ropes and their sticks, and said, “By the majesty of Pharaoh, we will be the winners.” (44) Then Moses threw his staff, and behold, it began swallowing their trickery. (45) And the magicians fell down prostrating. (46) They said, “We have believed in the Lord of the Worlds. (47) The Lord of Moses and Aaron.” (48) He said, “Did you believe in Him before I have given you permission? He must be your chief, who taught you magic. You will soon know. I will cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will crucify you all.” (49) They said, “No problem. To our Lord, we will return. (50) We are eager for our Lord to forgive us our sins since we are the first of the believers.” (51)” (Ash-Shu’ara:41:51). They were killed right after they believed and went to heaven.
Muhammad Mahdi Me’marian
All praise is to God to the extent that He deserves it.