Let's know Islam (194)
Today we are going to continue the topic of the Day of Resurrection with a focus on the issue of the ultimate fate of individuals.
Undoubtedly, the life of every individual mirrors his/her thoughts and beliefs. The acts of every person depend on his/her way of worldview. The worldview of individuals may be superficial or deep. After all, the divine messengers have come to change our worldview. Their goal was to help us recognize the world as it is. The divine schools give us spectacles to not just look at this world but have a wider view about the world to come and the events pertaining to the afterlife. For sure, this will enable us to discern death and the other world better. Human beings, from any given nation, race and ethnicity, will end in death. Death is the inevitable fate of everybody.
Islam aims at illustrating the right path and the way to the eternal bliss. In the view of Islam, human beings have the power to choose their eternal destiny. Experts of religious issues maintain that there are different factors which determine the ultimate fate of man. Among them, mention can be made of evil moral characters such as arrogance, selfishness, excessive love of the world and its trappings, insistence on sins and instability in thoughts and beliefs. The danger that threatens such persons at the moment of death is that they die while they have lost their faith.
It is noteworthy that being good or bad persons cannot always guarantee that they will have good or evil end. Sometimes, a divine grace may raise a sinner from the nadir of evilness to the zenith of dignity and righteousness. On the contrary, a great sin or moral vice may take a person down from a lofty position to the lowest state so that he ends in hell and the divine wrath.
Horr ibn Yazid Riyahi is one of the individuals who was altered and changed the course of his life due to a sudden decision. During the uprising of Imam Hussein (AS) in Karbala, Horr was one of the top commanders of Yazid's army. But he changed all of a sudden, joined Imam Hussein, served the Imam's cause and was martyred by the Godless hordes of Yazid. The reason why he changed suddenly is that, deep in heart, he had respect for the family of the Prophet and he refused to insult the Prophet's daughter, Lady Fatima Zahra (SA).
Imam Ali (AS) says, "The real happiness is that the human affair ends in happiness; and the real misery is that the human affair ends in misery."
The happy ending is so important that even the divine messengers and saints were always concerned about their end and appealed to God to grant them a happy end. For instance, Prophet Joseph, after many trials and tribulations, said to God, "You are my guardian in this world and the Hereafter! Let my death be in submission to You, and unite me with the Righteous."
Prophet Joseph demanded this when he was at high government positions. Indeed, he doesn’t ask God to safeguard his rule but he wants to die in submission to God and join the rank of the Righteous.
Among the outstanding people who were in the front of the infidels and oppressed but then were altered, were the magicians of Pharaoh. The noble Qur'an has mentioned the confrontation of Prophet Moses with them in many ayahs. They appointed a day for rivaling with Moses. Then they cast their ropes while Pharaoh and his mobs were present. Then Prophet Moses cast his staff. It miraculously turned into a huge serpent and swallowed their ropes which looked like snakes.
The magicians, seeing this miracle, were astounded. They found out that this cannot be a work of magic. Therefore, they professed the righteousness of Moses and professed his creed. This is explained in ayahs 120-122 of surah A'araf, "And the magicians fell down in prostration. They said, 'We have believed in the Lord of the worlds, the Lord of Moses and Aaron.'"
At this moment, Pharaoh understood that the belief of the magicians in Moses and his creed would have dangerous consequences for his misrule. So, he threatened them with painful tortures saying, "Surely I will cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and then I will surely crucify all of you."
But the magicians said, "Indeed, we shall return to our Lord. You are vindictive towards us only because we have believed in the signs of our Lord, when they came to us. Our Lord! Pour patience upon us and grant us to die in submission to you."
Thus, the magicians of Pharaoh had a happy ending.
One of the persons who had an evil ending was Bal'am Baura. He was a prominent scholar among Israelites. He lived at the time of Prophet Moses and had reached the position that his invocations were immediately answered by God. But, due to worldly desires and attachment to transient pleasures, Satan misled him and he was inclined toward Pharaoh and joined the rank of the enemies of Moses. Thus, he had an evil ending.
Imam Ali (AS) said to his elder son, Imam Hassan (AS), "My Son! Do not disappoint any sinner [from the divine mercy]; as so many a sinner who has had good ending while many good-doers turned toward corruption in the end of their life and went to the hellfire. My Son! So many a transgressor who was salvaged and so many an obedient servant who collapsed and was destroyed."
The reason for this much of change is that man is free to choose between good and evil. The Satan will never quit tempting and enticing human beings. Human being is always subject to temptations and devilish instincts. That's why the faithful keep asking God, "Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and absolve us of our misdeeds and make us die with the pious."
The faithful appeal to God for a happy and good ending. This world with all its ups and downs has a termination and what is important is the end of our life.