By Maira Imtiyaz
Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia
A few days ago, I was watching an Islamic lecture online and one particular fact mentioned in it, struck me hard. A fact that I probably did not know before and had never thought about that way. The speaker asked the audience if they knew what the biggest punishment for the people of Hell was. Obviously we all think that the punishment for the people of the Hell is the never ending torment. But this is not it. Their biggest punishment would be that those people will never be able to see Allah ( سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), their Creator. Never! This hit me like a rock. It was hard for me to imagine not being able to see the one who created me.
Being born a Muslim, I always learnt that I should strive for the ultimate destination, which is Jannah. However, this fact was totally pushed at the back of my mind as I got busy with my life, and with no time to think about it, my attitude gradually changed. I started believing that no matter what I do in life, Allah would ultimately and forgive me. I had been so wrong. The lecture reminded me that the most important goal of a Muslim’s life is actually to be able to do good so that we can meet Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) in Jannah.
I started asking myself, how is it that we yearn for Jannah and all its hidden blessings, yet never crave for a meeting with Allah? Nobody says “do good deeds so that one day you can meet Allah’’. Why is it so? This is because we are too engrossed in this Duniya. Our robotic cycle of life prevents us from making Allah our priority. We keep chasing one worldly goal after another, and the list never ends as the goals keep changing with each passing phase of life. This is one of the reasons why we never consciously make an effort to develop our love for Allah ( سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), or to think about whether we will get a chance to see Him in the Hereafter or not.
With time I realized that my worship is more of a ritualistic routine, rather than a spiritual bond with Allah. I slowly came to the conclusion that appreciation of blessings is a necessary building block for developing our love for Allah and nurturing this bond. We forget to praise Allah for everything that he gives us and for all the good that we experience. We (including me) need to open our eyes, heart and mind to feel Allah’s presence in everything around us.
Allah mentions in Surah Al-Ankabut:
”And this worldly life is not but diversion and amusement. And indeed, the home of the Hereafter – that is the [eternal] life, if only they knew.”
(Al- Qur’an, 29: 64)
Allah has clearly pointed out not to delude ourselves in this world as Paradise is the eternal life that is worth chasing. Yet, we chase after the Dunya passionately and ignore the Hereafter.
The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) described that no blessing of Jannah will be dearer to the people of Jannah than to meet Allah( سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), and to be granted the capacity to look at His Face .
Suhaib (رضي الله عنه) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “When the inhabitants of Jannah enter Jannah, Allah, the Glorious and Exalted, will say to them: ‘Do you wish me to give you anything more?’ They will reply: ‘Have You not made our faces bright? Have You not brought us into Jannah and delivered us from the Hell?’ And Allah will remove the Veil. The (dwellers of Jannah) will feel that they have not been awarded anything dearer to them than looking at their Rubb.”
(Muslim Book 20, Hadith 1896)
Allah describes the faces of people of Paradise in Surah Al- Qiyaamah:
“[Some] faces, that Day, will be radiant, looking at their Lord.”
(Al- Qur’an, 75: 22-23)
I hope we all are among those lucky ones that day. It is easy to paint a magical picture in our minds after reading the above mentioned verses from the Quran and the Hadith. However, the journey to that destination is incalculable and difficult. It is only possible to experience that moment of eternity if we make Allah a priority in all the moments of our life, and remind ourselves and others to strive for that ultimate grand meeting.