18 Nisan 2014 Cuma

What are the morals of trade as advised in the Qur'an?

A believer performs every deed in order to earn the good pleasure of Allah. No matter what he is engaged in, he does not let it divert him from his real aim. Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an that trade or commerce does not make believers forget their real goal:

There are men who proclaim His glory morning and evening, not distracted by trade or commerce from the remembrance of Allah and the establishment of prayer and the payment of alms; fearing a day when all hearts and eyes will be in turmoil. (Surat an-Nur, 36-37)

Allah wants believers to be of virtuous character, and believers strive to fulfil the requirements of this character whatever activity they are engaged in. Hence, they are honest, sincere, diligent, fair and modest even while they are conducting trade. Their attention is again focused on the pleasure of Allah and on the limits of what He permits and what He forbids. Besides this, Allah has also commanded believers not to encroach on the rights of others, to give full measure and full weight, and not to cheat people of their belongings (Surah Hud, 85).

In Surat al-Isra’, Allah states that it is better to be honest, to be fair and to please Him by means of exhibiting such good behaviour:

Give full measure when you measure and weigh with a level balance. That is better and gives the best result. (Surat al-Isra 35)

What are the morals of trade as advised in the Qur'an?

What aspects of religion ensure peace and harmony?

Religion, before all else, requires people to live according to their conscience. In an environment where everyone acts conscientiously, there will not be any quarrels, fighting or behaviour that would disturb the peace.

Those who live by Islamic morals have wisdom and common sense; thus their approach to events are also in line with this. Therefore, they always exhibit positive and reassuring behaviour, which make their environment easy and comfortable.

There is justice in Islamic morals. Everybody is given his due perfectly, therefore, no one needs to struggle for his rights or to apply various methods to achieve them. His rights are at any rate protected by other devout and conscientious people in the most decent manner.

Since they fear Allah, people of faith do not get involved in actions which Allah has forbidden, such as murder, suicide or theft. They never do things which they will not be able to account for in the Hereafter.

Where people live by Islamic morals, there is no greed for personal interests. Every man is liable to do the best he can for the common benefit of religion. Therefore, a disturbance that may result from the clash of interests does not exist.

There is no compulsion where religion is concerned. Believers are responsible only to communicate the truths which are revealed by religion.

In addition to these, it is stated in the Qur’an that Allah sends down peace of reassurance into the hearts of believers. This is a great gift of Allah to righteous believers. This fact is related in the Qur’an as follows:

It is He Who sent down serenity into the hearts of the believers thereby increasing their faith with more faith—the legions of the heavens and the earth belong to Allah. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. (Surat al-Fath, 4)

What has been mentioned so far is only a general description of the delightful environment that Islamic morals offer to mankind. Religion produces the most peaceful, the most ideal and the most perfect environment that could ever be in the world, both for the individual and for communities.

What aspects of religion ensure peace and harmony?

Is it sufficient to recite the Qur'an?

Today, many people who characterise themselves as Muslims, in fact, do not know what Allah wants them to do nor how they can be true Muslims. This is because they have not read the holy book that Allah has sent to them even once throughout their lives. However, Allah has sent the Qur’an to inform us why He has created mankind and what He wants us to do. Those who desire to know Allah, and to enter His Paradise earning His good pleasure, should have a thorough knowledge of the Qur’an.

However in societies of ignorance there is an erroneous opinion of the Qur’an. Some of these people merely read the Qur’an, yet do not reflect on the advice that Allah offers them and neither do they follow it. Reading the Qur’an is certainly a form of worship, but the Qur’an is read in order to know Allah and to learn and act upon what He wants. Again, some of these people think that the Qur’an is merely a book of prayers. While praying, they recite the verses they previously memorised, but do not understand their meaning. Allah has given examples in the Qur’an of the prayers of prophets; no doubt the believers should take them as a model. However, it would be a mistake to consider the Qur’an as merely a book of prayers.

The Qur’an was sent by Allah as a guidance for believers, and its clear verses deliver believers from darkness to light. Allah relates this feature of the Qur’an as follows:

… A Light has come to you from Allah and a Clear Book. By it, Allah guides those who follow what pleases Him to the ways of Peace. He will bring them from the darkness to the light by His permission, and guide them to a straight path. (Surat al-Ma’ida, 15-16)

… This is a Book We have sent down to you so that you can bring mankind from the darkness to the light, by the permission of their Lord, to the Path of the Almighty, the Praiseworthy.  (Surah Ibrahim, 1)

An erroneous belief that these people hold about the Qur’an is that it was sent to past nations. Yet despite the passing time, developing technology, or living in the space age or in the computer age does not change anything at all. The greed, passions, opinions and ignorance of people who lived 1400 years ago are identical with those of the people of today or of the people of the future. On the other hand, the source of true knowledge that these behaviours should be replaced with is always the Qur’an. Those who, in order not to obey the Qur’an, assert that it is “the legends of previous people”, are warned of Hell as follows:

When Our Signs are recited to him, he says, “Just myths and legends of the previous peoples!” No indeed! Rather what they have earned has rusted up their hearts. No indeed! Rather that Day they will be veiled from their Lord. Then they will roast in the Blazing Fire.  (Surat al-Mutaffifin, 13-16)

Is it sufficient to recite the Qur'an?

What should one do when the Qur'an is recited?

Allah commands people to seek refuge with Him from satan, be quiet and listen to the Qur’an when it is recited:

When the Qur’an is recited listen to it and be quiet so that hopefully you will gain mercy. (Surat al-A’raf, 204)

Many people do not know about this commandment of Allah, and continue to live their daily lives and to talk with others when the Qur’an is being recited on TV or on the radio. Yet what should be done in such a situation is to be quiet and to listen to it. If silence cannot be maintained under the circumstances, then the TV or radio may be turned off, since to do otherwise would be to neglect what Allah has commanded.

What should one do when the Qur'an is recited?

17 Nisan 2014 Perşembe

How can man escape from the whisperings of satan?

As Allah informs us in the Qur’an, satan’s scheming is always feeble (Surat an-Nisa, 76) He has no authority over those who believe and put their trust in our Lord. Allah has informed believers about what they should do when satan whispers to them and about how to escape from his whispering. Believers, who obey the Qur’an, immediately seek refuge in Allah from satan when he whispers to them. Very quickly they see that the thought crossing their mind is, in fact, a whisper of satan.

Without being distressed at all, they remember Allah and escape this evil trick. The Qur’an informs us of this:

If an evil impulse from satan provokes you, seek refuge in Allah. He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing. As for those who guard against evil, when they are bothered by visitors from satan, they remember and immediately see clearly. (Surat al-A’raf, 200-201)

How can man escape from the whisperings of satan?

What is the provoking whisper of satan?

Satan approaches man from all directions, aiming to distract him from the path of Allah. He plays various tricks on man in order to achieve his goal. Satanic suggestion is one of these tricks. Satanic suggestions are delusions, doubts cast in the heart, vain hopes, disturbing thoughts or words whispered by satan in order to keep people occupied with vain things, and to divert them from matters that they really should be preoccupied with. This characteristic of satan is related in the Qur’an as follows:

Say: “I seek refuge with the Lord of mankind, the King of mankind, the God of mankind, from the evil of the insidious whisperer who whispers in people’s breasts.” (Surat an-Nas, 1-5)

Satan whispers to man against the Qur’an, desiring to prevent him from thinking soundly and to keep him occupied with illusions about his religion that will be harmful to him both in this world and in the Hereafter. He attempts to cause the person to lose his self-confidence by the influence of senseless and inconsistent ideas projected as the person’s own thoughts. One who does not hold to the Qur’an has no protection against this trick of satan, and becomes distracted by his whisperings and starts to waver. These whispers corrupt one’s knowledge of religion, and causes the individual to consider Allah in a manner inappropriate to His exaltedness and causes him to be in continual doubt. As a result of this, instead of pondering on the greatness of Allah and on the meaning of his life in the world, he wastes his time with things that are of no benefit either to himself or to other people. Consequently, satan achieves success with this person, whose unawareness of the Qur’an and remoteness from Islamic morals lead him to endless punishment. It is stated in the Qur’an that unbelievers and wrongdoers are always susceptible to the influence of satan, and act under the direction of his whisperings:

Shall I tell you upon whom the satans descend? They descend on every evil liar. They give them a hearing and most of them are liars.  (Surat ash-Shu’ara, 221-223)

What is the provoking whisper of satan?

How do angels take people in death?

Death is a sort of transformation in dimension. The connection between the soul of the person and his worldly body becomes severed when he dies. Beginning from the moment man dies, he passes to a dimension where he can see the angels of death. This transition is also the beginning of man’s eternal life. Along with passing to a different dimension, the person sees the angel who has come to take his soul, who even talks to him. However, not everybody is taken in death in the same way. What the angels who come to take the soul of believers do and say is entirely different from those who come to take soul of the unbelievers.

The angels take the soul of believers in a virtuous state, saying “peace be upon you!” At the same time they give the glad tidings of Paradise they will enter. (Surat an-Nahl, 32)

On the other hand, the angel who comes to take an unbeliever in death beats his face and his back when he least expects it (Surah Muhammad, 27)They pluck his soul out harshly, while the unbeliever’s legs are entwined together (Surat al-Qiyama, 29) When the angels stretch out their hands to him, they give him the news of the punishment of humiliation and fire, which will last forever. (Surat al-An’am, 93)

How do angels take people in death?

How is extravagance referred to in the Qur'an?

Allah has forbidden His servants to be extravagant, revealing what the criterion should be when spending:

Those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor mean, but take a stance mid way between the two. (Surat al-Furqan, 67)

Muslims spend everything they have in the way of Allah and in the way that would please Him most. They do not forget that what they have is what Allah has given them as a blessing and that they are not the real owners of any of it. When they have to make sacrifices they spend everything they have as commanded by the Qur’an; yet when expenditure is unnecessary they avoid spending even a single penny wastefully. Allah, in the Qur’an, has commanded believers to give their goods to those in need, but not to squander them:

Give your relatives their due, and the very poor and travellers but do not squander what you have. Squanderers are brothers to the satans, and satan was ungrateful to his Lord. (Surat al-Isra, 26-27)

On the other hand, avoiding extravagance should not be misunderstood to mean avoiding the gifts of Allah. He states in the Qur’an “… eat and drink but do not be profligate. He does not love the profligate.” (Surat al-A’raf, 31) In this verse Allah has told believers to enjoy His gifts, and has forbidden them only to spend wastefully. Today, however, in societies remote from Islamic morals, extravagance is not paid the attention it is due. In restaurants and houses, plates of food and huge amounts of bread, fruits and vegetables are thoughtlessly thrown away. But Allah has forbidden extravagance, whether in significant or insignificant amounts. Therefore people should try to find a way to make use of all such provision before they spoil, instead of throwing them away saying, “this has gone off” or “we cannot use this”. Only in this way can they give these gifts their due; otherwise the result is scarcity and ingratitude to Allah.

How is extravagance referred to in the Qur'an?

14 Nisan 2014 Pazartesi

How do believers behave when they are given wealth?

A believer knows that Allah is the real owner of the entire Kingdom, and that He gives sovereignty to whoever He wills. Therefore, he does not become insolent and arrogant because of what he has, but thanks Allah for what He has bestowed on him and spends what he has in the way that would please Him the most.

In the Qur’an, Allah makes an example of a man of wealth and property. That man owns gardens which are remarkably fertile. However, boasting of what he possesses, he pretends not to understand that it is Allah Who has given these to him and becomes ungrateful. His companion, who is a believer, warns him about this attitude of his as follows:

His companion, with whom he was debating, said to him, “Do you then disbelieve in Him Who created you from dust, then from a drop of sperm, and then formed you as a man? He is, however, Allah, my Lord, and I will not associate anyone with my Lord. Why, when you entered your garden, did you not say, ‘It is as Allah wills, there is no strength but in Allah?’ “…  (Surat al-Kahf, 37-39)

As exemplified in the verse, the behaviour of believers is to remember Allah and give thanks to Him for the gifts given to them.

How do believers behave when they are given wealth?

Can man be assured of entering Paradise while he is in this world?

No one can be sure of entering Paradise while he is still in the world. Allah tells us that man should be filled both with fear and with hope stating “… pray to Him with fear and hope…” (Surat al-A’raf, 56) Everyone should try to attain the good pleasure of Allah by trying their utmost to fulfil the commands of the Qur’an, and by implementing the good conduct approved by Allah in every moment of one’s life. In return for these efforts he can hope for Paradise, yet can never be absolutely certain of it.


Can man be assured of entering Paradise while he is in this world?

Who takes satan as a friend?

The most significant aspect of satan is that he promised that he will divert mankind from the path of Allah. Therefore, anyone who rejects belief in Allah and His messenger, who tries to hinder people from the way of Allah, opposes Allah and the religion, or causes people to forget Allah, the Hereafter and the religion, is the supporter and friend of satan. However, these people will be bitterly disappointed both in the world and in the Hereafter because of what they do. Allah has stated that satan would aim to mislead mankind, and related the end of those who make him their friend as follows:

What they call on is a rebellious satan whom Allah has cursed. He said, “I will take a certain fixed proportion of Your servants. I will lead them astray and fill them with false hopes. I will command them and they will cut off cattle’s ears. I will command them and they will change Allah’s creation.” Anyone who takes satan as his protector in place of Allah has clearly lost everything. (Surat an-Nisa, 118-119)

Who takes satan as a friend?

Why can't anyone other than a believer be taken as a friend?

People who do not have sincere faith in Allah, who do not comply with His limits and do not fear Him can never be friends to believers. Certainly good relations based on respect may be established with these people but it is not possible to have close friendship with them. A believer who seeks the friendship, love and pleasure of Allah, surely, considers only those whom He takes as friends his friends. He knows that the contrary could lead to the loss of the friendship and pleasure of Allah. Allah has warned believers against such behaviour as follows:

You who believe! Do not take the disbelievers as friends rather than the believers. Do you want to give Allah clear proof against you? (Surat an-Nisa, 144)

Apart from this, it is also technically impossible to take those who do not believe as friends. Before all else, most of them are not reliable. Faithfulness and loyalty in friendship cannot be expected from a person who does not mind losing the friendship of Allah. Undoubtedly, such a person would abandon his friend, should this friendship collide with his personal interests. What is more, he would not hesitate to betray this “friend” when it suited his interests.

Unbelievers can never be truly self-sacrificing, because their entire lives and mentalities are based on selfishness. They are not concerned with the reckoning of their so-called friend in the Hereafter, hence they do not urge him to what is right or discourage him from wrong in order to protect him from Hell. More concisely, they do not possess the attributes that a friend should possess. In a verse Allah reveals as follows:

You who believe! Do not take any outside yourselves as intimates. They will do anything to harm you. They love what causes you distress. Hatred has appeared out of their mouths, but what their breasts hide is far worse. We have made the Signs clear to you if you use your intellect.  (Surah Al ‘Imran, 118)

Why can't anyone other than a believer be taken as a friend?

Who are the true friends of the believers in this world?

Allah is the friend of believers. He is the protector and guardian of believers who take Him as their friend, and who seek only His good pleasure. There is the aid and support of Allah behind all the deeds of the believers. Every act that believers perform, seeking the pleasure of Allah, results in an absolute goodness. It is stated in one verse that “Allah is with those who fulfil their duty and with those who are good-doers.” (Surat an-Nahl, 128) In another verse Allah gives the good news of His support to believers as follows:

Allah is the Protector of those who believe. He brings them out of the darkness into the light… (Surat al-Baqara, 257)

Besides this, believers are the friends and protectors of one another. They invite each other to goodness and forbid evil. They aim to direct each other to Paradise, and to raise each other’s rank in the Hereafter. Allah has informed believers in the Qur’an whom they should take as friends:

Your friend is only Allah and His Messenger and those who believe: those who establish prayer and pay alms, and bow. As for those who make Allah their friend, and His Messenger and those who believe: it is the party of Allah who are victorious!  (Surat al-Ma’ida, 55-56)

Who are the true friends of the believers in this world?

Will the efforts of the unbelievers result in anything?

The verbal or physical opposition that unbelievers put up against the messengers of Allah and believers never results in anything positive. This is because Allah has declared that it is only His followers who will be the uppermost both in this world and in the Hereafter, stating ”… you shall be uppermost if you are believers” (Surah Al ‘Imran, 139)

We see that unbelievers have carried on their struggle against believers all throughout world history. Yet all these struggles have always come out in favour of the believers. This is what Allah has promised. Allah has mentioned this in the Qur’an as follows:

Allah has written, “I will be victorious, I and My Messengers.” Allah is Most Strong, Almighty.  (Surat al-Mujadala, 21)

Will the efforts of the unbelievers result in anything?

Why have unbelievers cast aspersions on all prophets throughout history?

The fact that prophets always communicate the religion of Allah never pleases unbelievers. This is because people who understand and fulfil what they are told demonstrate a change in themselves and move away from the superstitious systems of the unbelievers. For instance, since they know that they should fear only Allah after they become believers, it is no longer possible to frighten them with any other thing. Since they always consider the benefits of the religion in every action they take, it becomes very difficult to intimidate them or lead them astray. These people, no matter what the conditions are and no matter what they are offered in return, do not hesitate to say what is right and just, and do not diverge from what they believe to be right.

This annoys unbelievers, because it endangers their personal worldly interests. For instance, whereas unbelievers try to live and make others live according to their own ideas, believers who adhere to the example of the prophet follow only the commands of Allah. They teach people the inappropriateness of the ignorant system that unbelievers live in, and the beauty of the religion which will bring peace and happiness to people both in this world and in the Hereafter.

For these reasons, in every age, unbelievers have attempted to hinder messengers by using various methods. Examples of this are related in the Qur’an. By means of inconsistent and irrational arguments, unbelievers attempt to deny what Allah’s messengers convey. They try to stop them with verbal threats. When verbal means fail, they try to make believers revert from the right way by means of real physical methods. However none of these methods works; they can never bring forth convincing evidence against the truths that messengers and sincere believers convey; nor can they put forward ideas that successfully oppose ideas based upon truth.

In many verses Allah has given examples of the verbal assaults of unbelievers, and of groundless allegations they made against prophets:

The ruling circle of those of his [Nuh's] people who disbelieved said, “This is nothing but a human being like yourselves who simply wants to gain ascendancy over you. If Allah had wanted He would have sent angels down. We never heard of anything like this among our ancestors, the earlier peoples. He is nothing but a man possessed so wait a while and see what happens to him.”  (Surat al-Muminun, 24-25)

What is he [i.e., Nuh] but a man who has invented a lie against Allah? We do not believe in him. (Surat al-Muminun, 38)

… But they said [for Musa], “A lying magician.”  (Surah Ghafir, 24)

Allah relates in one verse that such aspersions have almost been a tradition among unbelievers:

Equally, no Messenger came to those before them without their saying, “A magician or a madman!” Did they bequeathe this to each other? Indeed they are an unbridled people.  (Surat adh-Dhariyat, 52-53)

Why have unbelievers cast aspersions on all prophets throughout history?

Were messengers sent to every past nation?

Allah has informed us in the Qur’an that He sent a messenger to every past nation. Allah’s messengers have invited their people to the religion of Allah, showed them the right way, conveyed the prohibitions of Allah, explained to them the closeness of death, the reason for their existence in the world and the existence of Paradise and Hell. With the justice of Allah, all mankind was warned and given good news by means of His messengers. This is a very important point which shows that everybody has heard the call of Allah, and that people will not be able to plead ignorance in the Hereafter. Allah enlightens mankind about this point in the following verse:

We have sent you with the truth bringing good news and giving warning. There is no community to which a warner has not come.   (Surat Fatir, 24)

Were messengers sent to every past nation?

13 Nisan 2014 Pazar

What should one do when one makes a mistake or forgets?

Man is created weak; he may forget things or may make mistakes. Not to forget and not to be wrong are peculiar only to Allah. What is important is to act on it when one remembers what is right. Allah gives an example of this behaviour in Surat al-An’am as follows:

… And if satan should ever cause you to forget, once you remember, do not stay sitting with the wrongdoers. (Surat al-An’am, 68)

As stated in the verse, one may, unawares or as a result of forgetting, behave in a way which is not good. That is why it would be inappropriate to feel sad or to be anxious because of things forgotten or because of mistakes made. What believers should do in such cases is to take refuge in the infinite mercy and forgivingness of Allah, and to pray as He has advised us in the Qur’an, “… Our Lord, do not take us to task if we forget or make a mistake…” (Surat al-Baqara, 286) 

What should one do when one makes a mistake or forgets?

How can one consider Allah with the consideration that is due to Him?

From the moment we wake up, we meet with the gifts that Allah has given to us. We can breathe, see, hear and think, our hearts beat, our cells are renewed. When we are hungry, we eat, enjoy the flavour and become stronger. When we are thirsty, we can quench our thirst. We can speak.

These are but a few of the gifts bestowed by Allah on mankind. The real important thing for a person who is aware of these gifts is to measure Allah with His true measure. Allah is the Glorious One, He is the Owner and Creator of everything. One needs to try to know Allah, reflecting on Him with His exalted attributes. Allah mentions the greatness of His glory in the Qur’an as follows:

They do not measure Allah with His true measure. The whole earth will be a mere handful for Him on the Day of Rising, the heavens folded up in His right hand… (Surat az-Zumar, 67)

In the universe, from the creation of man to the stages of the occurrence of the Day of Rising, from the creation of the heavens to the existence of the seas and the mountains, there is a magnificence and infinite power, which belong to Allah alone, Who possesses all knowledge.

Allah has sent mankind revelations and prophets. He makes Himself known to us both by the matchless knowledge and artistry manisfested in every living thing that He creates, and by means of His books and prophets. The responsibility of mankind is to think as profoundly as one can in order to measure the exaltedness and greatness of Allah with the measure that is due to Him.

How can one consider Allah with the consideration that is due to Him?

What are the advantages of reflecting on created things?

Unlike people who refrain from thinking, one who thinks that everything is created by Allah, sees His traces in every detail, and understands that everything is specifically created for mankind.

For example, reflecting on the exquisite systems possessed by living beings, including mankind, and remembering that the planet he lives on and the whole universe has been built by a supreme power, brings the person to a better knowledge of Allah. This softens the heart of the individual, and enhances the respect, love and awe that he feels for Allah. His faith increases, since he sees the signs of Allah’s power and exaltedness in all living things, from trees to birds, to ants, to butterflies, and in every mechanism of their beings. Allah draws attention to the fact that only people who reflect will see and appreciate the evidence of the truth that is all around them:

In the creation of the heavens and earth, and the alternation of the night and day, and the ships which sail the seas for people’s benefit, and the water which Allah sends down from the sky—by which He brings the earth to life when it was dead and scatters about in it creatures of every kind—and the varying direction of the winds, and the clouds subservient between heaven and earth, there are Signs for people who use their intellect. (Surat al-Baqara, 164)

A person who has certain faith in Allah comprehends that the world is not without a purpose and that there are important things he should reflect on. He knows that everything given to him is what Allah has bestowed on him, for which he gives thanks. He always thinks about the Hereafter and asks for forgiveness in order to be protected from the terror of that day.

The most important point about thinking is surely the fact that it is a gain which everyone makes with his own personal efforts. No one can force another to think. That is why one who thinks thoroughly helps only himself. Allah points out in the Qur’an that only people who reflect will take proper heed of the events they encounter, and that people who pay attention in this way can save their eternal lives. Allah states that some people avoid being reminded, and therefore will end up feeling endless regret:

Remind, then, if the reminder benefits. He who has fear will be reminded; but the most miserable will shun it, those who will roast in the Greatest Fire and then neither die nor live in it.  (Surat al-A’la, 9-13)

What are the advantages of reflecting on created things?

What is the loss of those who refrain from thinking?

In the Qur’an, Allah, advises man to think. In many verses He gives examples and asks “will you not pay heed?”

In fact, man has many opportunities in a day to take heed, to see the handiwork of Allah, to grasp the proofs in His creation and to praise Him with the understanding due to His glory and greatness. People who do not think, however, would fail to appreciate the importance of these openings, since to them they appear to be no more than ordinary events occurring in the flow of daily life.

For example, when such a person has an accident or catches a disease, it does not occur to him that it might be a special condition given to him to make him turn towards Allah. Yet, in the Qur’an, Allah mentions the hardships inflicted on people in order to make them think:

Do they not see that they are tried once or twice every year? But still they do not turn back. They do not pay heed. (Surat at-Tawba, 126)

Ignoring such reminders are disadvantageous only to the person himself. Furthermore, this would be only one of the innumerable losses incurred because of failure to reflect.

One who does not think cannot recognise the beauty that surrounds him. He cannot take pleasure in the subtleties of Allah’s creation. He cannot grasp the proofs of the existence of Allah, the Creator of everything, and His exaltedness. This is the loss of a significant gift for man because he who cannot grasp that Allah is the Creator of everything of beauty in the world has only little faith, if any, in the Hereafter. Since he assumes that everything in this world will vanish with death, it is not possible for him to experience a genuine enjoyment of these temporary things either. On the contrary, he sees these pleasures merely as things that he will ultimately lose some day. This leads to feelings of distress and anxiety, instead of enjoying the gifts that Allah has bestowed on him.

What is the loss of those who refrain from thinking?

What prevents deep thinking?

One’s attention may easily be distracted from a particular subject by other things. While thinking about an important matter, one may find oneself distracted by the ordinary things one intends to do the following day, or even by the pen one is holding in one’s hand. Such distractedness hinders one from profound thinking.

Besides this, if a person does not have sufficient knowledge about a subject, the results of his thinking can only go so far. However, this need not represent a permanent obstacle to profound thinking. So long as one knows where to look and how one should go about it, one can always enhance one’s knowledge if necessary.

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Certainly one of the most significant barriers to proper thinking is over-familiarity with things and looking at things from a fixed perspective. A person who has constantly seen certain things happening since the day he was born will regard all these events as nothing unusual if he does not reflect on them thoroughly. Since he is used to seeing them everyday, he will be unable to appreciate the exceptional signs of creation in living things. He will not think about the ant, for instance, who easily carries 200-300 times its own weight for many metres, which means that he will never reflect on who has given the ant this physical mechanism which enables it to perform such hard work. By the same token, it will never dawn on him even for a single instant, that he could never achieve a comparable feat of strength. Another example might be the fine details in the structure of a bird’s wing. He does not realise that the wing mechanism of the bird is an eminently unique work of creation. On the other hand, a person who is capable of thinking deeply can arrive at far reaching conclusions by taking up and examining even a single feather. He may even discover many significant new details ranging from the order in the feather, to the structure of the material that the feather is made of. His examination of this single feather can reveal to him the evidence of Allah’s creation.

Yet it should be noted that one does not necessarily need to have great knowledge in order to break free from the common, habitual way of thinking. It would be sufficient to take a careful look at the living things one is surrounded by, the sky or one’s own body. Allah draws attention to this point in the Qur’an with an example as follows:

Have they not looked at the sky above them: how We structured it and made it beautiful and how there are no fissures in it? And the earth: how We stretched it out and cast firmly embedded mountains onto it and caused luxuriant plants of every kind to grow in it, an instruction and a reminder for every penitent human being. And We sent down blessed water from the sky and made gardens grow by it and grain for harvesting and soaring date-palms with layered spathes, as provision for Our servants; by it We brought a dead land to life. That is how the Emergence will take place. (Surah Qaf, 6-11)

What prevents deep thinking?

How can one think deeply in daily life?

Man thinks about so many things during the flow of daily life. For example, he may think about the things to be done on that day, where to go, the pleasant or the unpleasant things said about him, what he has done or will do at his job or school, or about long term plans. Many such thoughts may keep one’s mind busy during the day. These are surely necessary thoughts, yet they should occupy the person only as is necessary because there are much more important subjects on which man needs to reflect, things that concern one’s eternal life.

Man should first think about how he and all the living beings that surround him have come into existence and how they continue to exist. Following this he should reflect on the attributes of Allah, Who created all these beings out of nothing and who maintains their existence. Then he should consider why our powerful and knowledgeable Lord, created him and what He wants him to do. He should develop the resolve to fulfil the commands of Allah in the best possible manner. In the meantime, he should always remember and act with awareness of the inescapable end which awaits him; death and the Hereafter. He should avoid frivolous thoughts, behaviour and speech which would distract him from these urgent matters, leading to heedlessness and thankless pursuits that are of no advantage to him in the next life.

The mental capacity of man is, in fact, very great. What is important is to know how to use it and not to let unnecessary thoughts occupy one’s mind.

One can reflect on these important matters while continuing with daily life. One can even consider each separate topic quite deeply in relation to the relevant Qur’anic verses. For example, a person who spends 9 or 10 hours a day at work or at school encounters so many things that he could think about during that time; different people whose characteristics are described in the Qur’an, or factors concerning the various circumstances he may find himself in throughout the day. One’s daily experiences give rise to hundreds of thought-provoking matters such as heeding the voice of one’s own conscience, not giving way to the urges of the self, struggling with feelings of jealousy, striving for modesty, putting trust in Allah and trying to be steadfast. Furthermore, one can ponder on these subjects in such a way as to increase the profundity of one’s understanding. Therefore, the important point is to seize these opportunities whenever they present themselves.

In addition, one can also give thought to the kind of things that we often take for granted, varying from the blossoming of plants, to birds flying in the sky, from the benefit of the oxygen we breathe, to our hearts which continuously beat. One who has an enquiring mind that does not stop at the most obvious or facile explanations, will start to think deeply. Allah states in the Qur’an that believers are people of reflection:

In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, there are Signs for people with intelligence: those who remember Allah, standing, sitting and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth [saying]: “Our Lord, You have not created this for nothing. Glory be to You! So safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire.”  (Surah Al ‘Imran, 190-191)

How can one think deeply in daily life?

How can one call to the religion of Allah?

To communicate Islamic morals and good conduct to people is a command of Allah:

Let there be a community among you who call to the good, and enjoin the right, and forbid the wrong. They are the ones who have success. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 104)

In one verse Allah commands us to “Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair admonition…” (Surat an-Nahl, 125) Calling to the religion of Allah is done by means of spreading the commands of the Qur’an with “wisdom and fair admonition”. During this communication process, topics such as the existence and unity of Allah, and His matchless perfection in creation are explained so that the respect, love and fear that the person who is invited to religion has for Allah are enhanced. How a right acting person should react to events is described in detail.

The nature of man’s existence in this world is that he is tried here, that death is near, that he will be judged after death, and that he will either enter Paradise or Hell according to this judgement. All of this is also explained by showing how Allah has prepared the Garden and the Fire with His infinite justice, it is ensured that the listener will strive to avoid coming to an evil end. If people who learn about Allah, the Qur’an and the Hereafter through these descriptions act according to their consciences, then they will try to fulfil the commands of Allah to the best of their ability.

How can one call to the religion of Allah?

How is the creation of mankind related in the Qur'an?

Allah gives ample information in the Qur’an about the creation of mankind. Most of this information contains facts that could not be known by the people of that time, but have recently been discovered by modern science; which is one of the innumerable scientific miracles of the Qur’an. Information given in the Qur’an about the creation of mankind can be summarised as follows:

The nutritive fluid called semen, which contains sperm, is not composed only of sperms. On the contrary, semen is composed of a mixture of different fluids. It is pointed out in the Qur’an that semen is a “mingled” fluid. This fact was recently revealed through the aide of modern science.

We created man from a mingled drop to test him, and We made him hearing and seeing. (Surat al-Insan, 2)

Only one of the millions of sperms in the semen fertilises the ovum. In other words, the essence of man is not the whole semen, but only a little part of it. It is stated in the Qur’an that man is not created from the whole semen, but from a mere part of it as follows:

Was he not a drop of ejaculated sperm? (Surat al-Qiyama 37)

Without wasting any time, the “zygote”, the cell resulting from the union of the sperm and the ovum, starts duplicate to become a “piece of flesh”. The zygote does not spend this developmental stage in a cavity, but clings to the mother’s uterine wall and sticks there by means of its extensions, like roots anchoring a plant to the ground. This fact, which has been recently revealed, was described in the Qur’an centuries ago:

Recite: In the Name of your Lord Who created, created man from alaq [i.e., something that clings] (Surat al-’Alaq, 1-2)

The womb is filled with the “amniotic fluid” surrounding the zygote which has started to develop. The importance of this fluid in which the foetus grows is to protect the foetus from external impact. The fact that the foetus develops in a secure place is also mentioned in the Qur’an:

Did We not create you from a base fluid, then place it in a secure repository for a recognised term? (Surat al-Mursalat, 20-21)

Allah has given information about some of the stages of man’s creation in Surat al-Muminun. Today it is a biologically proven fact that the developmental stages of man are exactly the same as what is described in the Qur’anic verses:

We created man from the purest kind of clay; then made him a drop in a secure receptacle; then formed the drop into an alaq (embryo) and formed the alaq into a lump and formed the lump into bones and clothed the bones in flesh; and then brought him into being as another creature. Blessed be Allah, the Best of Creators! (Surat al-Muminun, 12-14)

How is the creation of mankind related in the Qur'an?

Are there any signs that characterise hypocrites?

Allah has described various characteristics of the hypocrites in the Qur’an, and has warned the believers against this group of disbelievers. For this reason, the features of these vicious, furtive people are obvious to anyone who knows the Qur’an well. A cautious believer who is familiar with the Book of Allah never misses the signs of the hypocrites, who have sickness in their hearts. No matter how hard they try to conceal them, the signs they bear of their disbelief reveal themselves in their actions, in their speech and in the way they react to events. Believers cannot name a person who reveals such signs as a “definite hypocrite“, but would be cautious of this person. Some of the signs that help to identify hypocrites are mentioned in the verses below:

The hypocrites think they deceive Allah, but He is deceiving them. When they get up to pray, they get up lazily, showing off to people, and only remembering Allah a very little.  (Surat an-Nisa, 142)

The verse makes it clear that seeking to impress people by their behaviour and trying to show off are signs that can be perceived by believers. It is stated in a verse of the Qur’an that the real face of these people will ultimately be revealed and if Allah wills, they will be known by their features and by their manner of speech:

Or did those with sickness in their hearts imagine that Allah would not expose their malevolence? If We wished, We would show them to you and you would know them by their mark and know them by their ambivalent speech. Allah knows your actions.  (Surah Muhammad, 29-30)

Are there any signs that characterise hypocrites?

11 Nisan 2014 Cuma

Who are the hypocrites?

Hypocrites are defined in the Qur’an as people who pretend to believe, when in fact they don’t, and who hope to take advantage of the believers among whom they live. Allah has informed us that hypocrites are corrupt people, who attempt to cause dissension among believers. In other words, they secretly aim to disturb the peace and harmony of believers. On account of this trait of theirs, they are described as “hypocrites” (munafiqun), meaning those who bring dissension and corruption (nifaq).

Another significant attribute of the hypocrites is that their real character only shows itself when the believers are facing difficulties, but at no other time do they reveal themselves. These people, who think that they are deceiving the believers are, in fact, themselves deceived. In the verse below Allah mentions the mistake that the hypocrites make:

Among the people there are some who say, “We believe in Allah and the Last Day”, when they are not believers. They think they deceive Allah and those who believe. They deceive no one but themselves but they are not aware of it. There is a sickness in their hearts and Allah has increased their sickness. They will have a painful punishment on account of their denial. (Surat al-Baqara, 8-10)

Allah has promised them the most painful punishment since they have demonstrated how vile they are. Out of arrogance and for the sake of some worldly benefit, they rejected faith after accepting it, even though full knowledge about religion and the Hereafter had been conveyed to them and even though they knew the messenger and lived together with believers. Their punishment is also because they attempted to cause dissension, were hostile to the messenger and to the believers, and provoked the unbelievers into acting against the believers:

The hypocrites are in the lowest level of the Fire. You will not find anyone to help them.  (Surat an-Nisa, 145)

Who are the hypocrites?

How can the heart and eyes of a person be sealed?

The commands of Allah are clear in the Qur’an and anyone who is aware of them should fulfil these commands. If a person does not behave as he should in spite of being aware of Allah’s guidance in the matter, then it means that he does not pay heed to his conscience. Therefore, his heart becomes hardened, his reason and conscience decline and after a while he can no longer see right from wrong. He cannot understand what is described in the Book of Allah and cannot see the truth. He cannot even perceive the end that awaits him.

Allah, in His verses, states that the hearts, ears and eyes of those who prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter, who use fallacious arguments to deny Allah’s Signs, who fabricate lies against Allah, who only obey their lower selves, who become disbelievers after believing, who prefer to stay behind at the time of battle and who do not want to spend their wealth in the way of Allah although they are rich, will be sealed up and there will be heaviness on them. The Qur’an also states that these people are the people of Hell:

Allah has sealed up their hearts and hearing and over their eyes is a blindfold. They will have a terrible punishment. (Surat al-Baqara, 7)

Those are the people whose hearts, hearing and sight Allah has sealed up. They are the unaware. There is no doubt that in the Hereafter they will be the losers.  (Surat an-Nahl, 108-109)

How can the heart and eyes of a person be sealed?

How does one emigrate to Allah?

To emigrate to Allah means to turn only to Allah and live in the way He wills, leaving all past wrongdoing, wrong thoughts or habits, in short, leaving behind everything that does not accord with a proper understanding of Allah and His Book.

The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was a Muslim who emigrated to Allah, quitting the life style of his people once he saw the truth. The Prophet Lut (pbuh) is another messenger who turned towards Allah, showing a virtuous character like the Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh). This conduct of the Prophet Lut (pbuh) is related in the Qur’an as follows:

And Lut believed in him [Ibrahim]. He said, “I will emigrate to [the service of] my Lord. He is the Almighty, the All Wise.” (Surat al-’Ankabut, 26)

How does one emigrate to Allah?

Is it enough for one to have a chaste heart and to be benevolent in order to enter Paradise?

Every person or every society has its own understanding of “goodness” and “kindness”. It is “goodness” for some people to raise children to a high educational standard, or to be a member of a charity for some others, or to work for an animal-rights movement for others.

Deceiving themselves in this way, people try to escape their true responsibility. In fact, everyone well knows that on the Day of Reckoning he will be judged according to whether he followed the Qur’an or not. However, as he avoids following the commands of Allah, he pretends to be ignorant of this fact. One who does not run away from this responsibility and who accepts the reality that he is accountable according to Qur’anic criteria knows that the real meaning of “goodness” can only be found in the Qur’an since the Qur’an contains the commands of our Creator Allah. “Having a chaste heart” is not what one essentially needs in order to gain Paradise, but to strictly follow the Book which contains the commands of Allah. In other words, living in one’s own world, without causing any harm or being covetous of the property, wealth or honour of others does not qualify one for Paradise. In addition to these things, one also needs to possess other good traits and attributes that Allah has specified in the Qur’an.

Allah informs us what real goodness is and who the real Muslims are in a verse as follows:

It is not a virtue to turn your faces to the East or to the West. Rather, the truly virtuous are those who believe in Allah and the Last Day, the Angels, the Book and the Prophets, and who, despite their love for it, give away their wealth to their relatives and to orphans and the very poor, and to travellers and beggars and to set slaves free, and who establish prayer and pay alms; those who honour their contracts when they make them, and are steadfast in poverty and illness and in battle. Those are the people who are true. They are the people who guard against evil.  (Surat al-Baqara, 177)

The measure of goodness in the sight of Allah is explained with an example in another verse as follows:

Do you make the giving of water to the pilgrims and looking after the Masjid al-Haram the same as believing in Allah and the Last Day and striving in the Way of Allah? They are not equal in the sight of Allah. Allah does not guide wrongdoing people. (Surat at-Tawba, 19)

Those who believe and emigrate and strive in the Way of Allah with their wealth and themselves have a higher rank with Allah. They are the ones who are victorious. (Surat at-Tawba, 20)

Is it enough for one to have a chaste heart and to be benevolent in order to enter Paradise?

Is everything I think about known to Allah?

Allah knows about everything, including what one is thinking about because one of the attributes of Allah is “Al Habir” (All-Aware), which means that Allah knows the inside truth and concealed aspects of everything. One can hide one’s thoughts from the people who surround one but not from Allah. As stated in the verse, ”Allah—Him from Whom nothing is hidden, either on earth or in heaven.” (Surah Al ‘Imran, 5) In another verse it is stated as follows:

He is Allah in the heavens and in the earth. He knows what you keep secret and what you make public and He knows what you earn.  (Surat al-An’am, 3)

Man is dependent on time and space, whereas Allah is exalted above all these deficiencies. It is Allah Who creates time, space, all mankind and all the events that people see occurring. He alone determines the fate of everyone and everything. Therefore, Allah knows man inside out, including all our thoughts. As stated in the Qur’an, ”…He knows what the heart contains.” (Surat al-Mulk, 13)

Is everything I think about known to Allah?

Is satan continuously trying to misguide man?

Satan is endlessly occupied in trying to misguide man from the path of Allah. He does not cease from it even for a single moment and tries all kinds of methods. He approaches man via his weaknesses, trying to make him behave the way he wants him to. It is related in the Qur’an that satan will actively strive to delude mankind:

… Satan wants to misguide them far away.  (Surat an-Nisa, 60)

He [i.e., satan] said [to Allah], “By Your misguidance of me, I will lie in ambush for them on your straight path. Then I will come at them, from in front of them and behind them, from their right and from their left. You will not find most of them thankful.” He [Allah] said, “Get out of it, reviled and driven out. As for those of them who follow you, I will fill up Hell with every one of you.”  (Surat al-A’raf, 16-18)

Satan is the greatest enemy of mankind. He strives to keep mankind away from Islamic morals by means of whisperings and presenting right as wrong and wrong as right. As stated in the above verse, he seeks to prevent people from being thankful to Allah. Those who follow satan, however, as declared in the Qur’an, will certainly be the losers. That is why people should be alert to the sly ambushes of satan and studiously avoid obeying him.

It should be remembered that satan can influence only those who do not have sincere faith. People who have certain faith in Allah, have certainty about the Hereafter and the Day of Reckoning and are not affected by satan’s attempts to influence them. If ever they feel such an effect, they immediately take refuge in Allah. Allah states that Satan is extremely weak against believers:

As for those who guard against evil, when they are bothered by visitors from satan, they remember and immediately see clearly.   (Surat al-A’raf, 201)

Satan himself, admits that he would not have a misguiding power over believers who are sincerely devoted to Allah. This fact is stated in the Qur’an as follows:

He said, “My Lord, because You misled me, I will make things on the earth seem good to them and I will mislead them all, every one of them, except Your servants among them who are sincere.”  (Surat al-Hijr, 39-40)

Is satan continuously trying to misguide man?

How does one take one's self as one's god?

One who unwisely takes his self to be his god is one who considers his self-interests and his comfort more important than the common interests of the religion, whereas a truly and sincerely devout person takes only Allah as his god and acts only in ways that would please Him. This applies to all conditions. Such a person would never ignore the benefits of the religion and the limits of Allah even when he is sick, or suffering hardship or even if his self-interests would be completely ruined.

However, if a person cannot make even a minor self-sacrifice for the sake of religion, or if he prefers what appears fine to his self leaving the religion aside when he faces a difficulty, then this person is seeking to please his self and thus has taken his self as a false deity. Allah describes those who, in deviance, take their own selves to be their god in the Qur’an as follows:

Have you seen him who takes his whims and desires to be his god—whom Allah has misguided knowingly, sealing up his hearing and his heart and placing a blindfold over his eyes? Who then will guide him after Allah? So will you not pay heed? (Surat al-Jathiyya, 23)

How does one take one's self as one's god?

10 Nisan 2014 Perşembe

What will the spiritual environment of Paradise be like?

Paradise is a blessing that Allah bestows on believers in return for their good behaviour and good actions which they performed in the world. It is stated in the Qur’an that in Paradise, where all kinds of beauty are presented, there is nothing at all to disturb people:

- There is complete security,

- There is no rancour or hatred,

- There is no chatter or lies,

- There is no tiredness or weariness,

- There is no fear or sadness,

- There are sweet and lovely people,

- There is no growing old, everybody is of the same age,

- Paradise is a place where people will be surrounded by the greatest pleasures.

What is listed here is certainly only a few examples which illustrate the security and peace of Paradise. Allah declares that whereas unbelievers will suffer indescribable torment, believers will be in a great physical and spiritual comfort and peace:

You will see the wrongdoers afraid of what they have earned, when it is about to land right on top of them, whereas those who believe and do right actions will be in the lush Meadows of the Gardens. They will have whatever they wish for with their Lord. That is the great favour.  (Surat ash-Shura, 22)

What will the spiritual environment of Paradise be like?

What will life in Paradise be like?

Descriptions of Paradise in the Qur’an use terms that are familiar to us from the world we live in. Residences in Paradise are described, magnificent furniture and dazzlingly beautiful goods are mentioned. Besides these, descriptions are given of the jewellery and the garments worn in Paradise, and of the food and drink provided there. Great emphasis is placed on the surpassing beauty and incomparable magnificence of what the believers will enjoy. It is also declared that, in Paradise, man will be given anything that he may think of and beauties that he cannot even imagine. The biggest difference between the life of this world and the life of Paradise is undoubtedly the fact that none of the imperfection of this world exists in the Garden. Some of the delicacies and wonders of Paradise are mentioned as follows:

- A great and magnificent kingdom,

- Lofty chambers and residences,

- Raised couches,

- Finest garments made of silk and brocade,

- Bracelets made of gold and silver; jewels and pearls,

- Gardens with rivers flowing under them,

- Cool, refreshing shade,

- Platters and cups of gold,

- Couches lined with rich brocade,

- Green quilts and exquisite rugs,

- Rivers of milk whose taste will never change, rivers of honey of undiluted purity,

- Vessels of crystalline silver and many others…

Paradise is evidently a place of extraordinary perfection where man can find the greatest of pleasures. Allah relates in a verse of Qur’an the splendour of Paradise as follows:

Wherever you look, you will see pleasure and great dominion. (Surat al-Insan, 20)

What will life in Paradise be like?

Do the people of Paradise and the people of Hell see each other?

Allah mentions in the Qur’an that the people of Paradise and the people of the Fire will see each other and narrates the dialogues between them. Seeing each other brings a great increase in gratitude for those in Paradise, while for those in Hell it increases their yearning and regret. It is stated in the Qur’an that the people of Paradise see those in Hell. A part of the dialogue between them is narrated as follows:

One of them will say, “I used to have a friend who would say to me, ‘Are you one of those who say that it is true: that when we have died and are turned to dust and bones, we will face a Reckoning?’” [And] he will add, “Would you like to look [and see him]?” So he will look down and see him in the midst of the Blazing Fire and say, “By Allah, you almost ruined me! If it were not for the blessing of my Lord, I would surely be [now] among those who are given over [to suffering].” (Surat as-Saffat, 51-57)

The Companions of the Fire will call out to the Companions of the Garden, “Throw down some water to us or some of what Allah has given you as provision.” They will say, “Allah has forbidden them to the disbelievers.” (Surat al-A’raf, 50)

Do the people of Paradise and the people of Hell see each other?

What will the unbelievers be given as food and drink in Hell?

The companions of Hell, who are removed from the mercy and grace of Allah on account of their excesses in the world, will not be given any blessing in the Hereafter. Unbelievers who will meet only the punishment of Hell will call out to believers, begging them to throw down some of the blessings that are endlessly bestowed on them (Surat al-A’raf: 50). Nevertheless, instead of these blessings which are forbidden to them, the unbelievers will be given food which chokes, causes pain, and in no way satisfies hunger, and drinks which intensify their thirst. What is more, although they are of no good to them, they will long for this agonising food and drink.

Descriptions in the Qur’an of the food and drink that are prepared for unbelievers in Hell convey the indescribable punishment and the sickening horror of their situation:

The tree of Az-Zaqqum (Surat ad-Dukhan: 43-46) and bitter thorny bush (Surat al-Ghashiyya: 6-7) are among the food of Hell. Scalding water (Surat al-Waqi’a: 54-55), pus to drink (Surah Ibrahim: 16-17) and exuding pus (Surat al-Haqqa: 36) are among the drinks of Hell.

What will the unbelievers be given as food and drink in Hell?

Are there any other punishments in Hell apart from the Fire?

Allah informs us in the Qur’an that unbelievers will be flung into Hellfire, and will have garments of fire and tar. (Surat al-Hajj, 19) Yet the punishment of Hell is not limited to fire:

- There are cudgels made of iron (Surat al-Hajj, 21),

- people will be yoked together in chains (Surah Ibrahim, 49),

- they will be dragged along and will have shackles and chains around their necks (Surah Ghafir, 71),

- the punishment of boiling water will be poured on their heads (Surat ad-Dukhan, 48),

- they will wear shirts of tar (Surah Ibrahim, 50),

- they will be flung into a narrow place in it, shackled together in chains (Surat al-Furqan, 13),

- they will be firewood and fuel for Hellfire (Surat al-Jinn, 15, Surah Al ‘Imran, 10)

What is listed here is in fact only a small portion of the types of punishment of Hell. In Hell there are punishments that are so painful that no one on earth can ever imagine. Besides the regret they feel, the spiritual pain that Allah inflicts on the companions of the Fire will everlastingly burn their hearts. Allah draws attention to this spiritual pain in the Qur’an as follows:

And what will convey to you what the Shatterer is? The kindled Fire of Allah reaching right into the heart. (Surat al-Humaza, 5-7)

Are there any other punishments in Hell apart from the Fire?

Will remorse in Hell be of any benefit?

Allah informs all mankind through His messengers and His revelations about what they should do. He does not destroy any city without giving it prior warning as a reminder (Surat ash-Shu’ara, 24) Everyone lives long enough to take heed and to learn what to do. People who persist in their unbelief despite being cognisant of everything they have to do and having enough time to be mindful, thus, deserve to stay in Hell forever. However, having entered Hell, these people will feel a deep regret for what they did in the world, which cannot possibly be compensated for. Begging to return to the world in order to compensate for the things they did will be of no help to the unbelievers, for they refused to grasp the opportunity they were given before and will have missed their chance forever. Allah relates the helplessness of these unbelievers in the Qur’an as follows:

They will shout out in it, “Our Lord! Take us out! We will act rightly, differently from the way we used to act!” Did We not let you live long enough for anyone who was going to pay heed? And did not the warner come to you? Taste it then! There is no helper for the wrongdoers.   (Surah Fatir, 37)

Will remorse in Hell be of any benefit?

Who will enter the Fire?

In many verses of the Qur’an those who will enter Hell are classified with certain characteristics. Some of the characteristics of these people can be listed as follows: those who disbelieve in Allah; who associate others with Allah; those who take other gods together with Allah; those who claim to be god (Surely Allah is beyond that); those who take others as false gods, saviours or guides instead of Allah; those who hinder men from the path of Allah; those who look for crookedness in the path of Allah; those who conceal any of the revelations of the Book of Allah; those who prevent His name from being celebrated; those who devour the wealth of orphans wrongfully; those who do wrong to people; those who devour usury; those who slayed the prophets unjustly; those who slay those among men who enjoin justice; those who oppose the messengers of Allah; those who kill men deliberately; those who devour the property of men by false means; those who treat their religion as a game and a diversion; those who make a mockery of Allah’s Signs and of His messengers; those who do not believe that they will be raised up and do not believe in the Hereafter; those who do not believe that they will be gathered to Allah; those who are pleased with the life of this world and are content with it; those who do not strive to perform the prayers that Allah ordains for them without any acceptable excuse; those who do not fear Allah in the way they should fear Him; those who do not establish regular prayer; those who devise evil plots; those who cause corruption; those who seek discord; who deny Allah’s Signs; those who are too proud to worship Allah; those who slander believers; those who spread fornication; those who conceal the truth and are liars; those who do not preserve the limits of Allah; those who consume forbidden foods; those who do not give full measure and full weight with justice; those who are arrogant, tight-fisted, coarse, selfish, ungrateful, treacherous, boastful, indecent and obdurate…

Allah has announced that every unbeliever who possesses these attributes and remains so until death will enter Hell and will be repaid with painful punishment for what he used to do. It is stated in Surah Qaf as follows:

Hurl into Hell every obdurate disbeliever, impeder of good, doubt-causing aggressor, who set up another god together with Allah. Hurl him into the terrible punishment.  (Surah Qaf, 24-26)

Who will enter the Fire?