She doesn't believe

>> Saturday, January 1, 2011

I have this friend who is an atheist but she’s just the sweetest person you can imagine and she’s always trying to help others. Even more than Muslims. Is she really going to go to hell?


Dear Unsure,

This is a question that a lot of us struggle with at one point in our lives. Who is going to go to heaven? Who is going to go to hell?

Honestly, none of us knows for sure. Only God, Himself, knows.

But God did put some criteria down for who is going to be rewarded with heaven….and as politically incorrect as it may sound, atheists are not included, even if they are the “sweetest people” out there.

Why not? The thing is we have to remember that Allah is the Most Just. When we say Allah is Just, we don’t mean it lightly. We mean that in His Kingdom, which spans the heavens and the earth, He is fair to every single creature. We mean He is Just 100% of the time. And on the Day of Judgment, this attribute of His will be highlighted. The Day of Judgment is all about justice and mercy.

Now, let’s look at a person who is an atheist but is a “good” person.

The first thing we have to ask ourselves is: is this person really such a good person? I don’t mean it in an offensive way, either. I know- there are a number of atheists who dedicate their lives to helping others. But, see, here’s the thing. Islam isn’t just about being good to other people. No doubt that is extremely important and I can’t emphasize how important enough. (The Prophet (sallah Allah alayhee wa salaam) stressed helping the vulnerable over and over again.) But who is a Muslim?

A Muslim is someone who decides that Allah will have a say in every single aspect of their life, even the tiniest details.

Essentially, a Muslim is a person who strives to live their entire life following Allah’s Commands. Islam, after all, affects what kind what kind of job we get..where we live….how we eat…who we marry…what we wear…everything.

Is it really fair of Allah to equate someone who did their very best to follow His Commands with someone who didn’t really care? Is it fair to equate someone who gave up their own personal desires with a person who did whatever he wanted? I mean think about it- just take the act of praying. Is it fair for Allah to equate a person who got up very sleepily in the dawn and made wudoo in the freezing water with someone who slept soundly and didn’t have a care in the world? And this happened again and again and again…. Now think about every single time a Muslim has to do something he or she might not really feel like it? And think about the opposite- how many times a Muslim can’t do something he wants to because Allah forbade it. Do you see what I’ m saying? How is it fair to all of us if atheists were given the same reward we were promised?

And equally important, no matter how good or kind this person was to other people, how did they show respect to their Creator? To Allah?

Let me give you an example and to Allah belongs the Most Exalted Examples.

Let’s say a father has three sons.

His eldest son, Sammy, is an A+ student who volunteers at a soup kitchen every weekend. Not only that but he mows his elderly neighbor’s lawn every month. Sam seems like the perfect kid. Only one thing… he got really mad at his dad once and since then, he’s stopped talking to him. He still lives with his dad, eats his food, and everything but he doesn’t pay him any attention.

On the other hand, there’s Ahmed, Sammy’s younger brother. He’s a B+ student who tutors his classmates for free. Ahmed always tries to make his dad happy and though he sometimes messes up, he always apologizes.

Finally, there’s Rashid, who is a D student. He respects his dad a lot but he’s always getting into trouble with everyone else.

How do you think Sam’s dad feels? Do you think they’re equal? Probably not… Out of the three, Ahmed is probably his father’s favorite. As kind as Sammy is to other people, he’s not really treating his dad that nicely even though his dad has more rights over him. Similarly, as good as Rashid is to his dad, he still upsets his dad since he’s always getting into trouble with the neighbors. At the end, each of these will get what they deserve.

Allah is the Most Forgiving. He is also the Most Loving. But He is also Just. And He’s made it very clear that a person who chooses not to believe is going to be punished in the HereAfter.

You know why?

Because they chose disbelief…

See, Allah didn’t just leave us here without anything. He programmed us. Every single one of us was born on the fitrah and we have a conscious that lets us know when we do something right and something wrong. But equally important, Allah left signs in our selves, all around us, and in the Quran that point to His Existence and to the fact Islam is the right religion. A person who chooses to ignore all of that is responsible for that decision.

Allah says in the Quran: 
Have you made the providing of water for the pilgrim and the maintenance of al-Masjid al-Haram equal to [the deeds of] one who believes in Allah and the Last Day and strives in the cause of Allah? They are not equal in the sight of Allah. And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people. (19) 

The other thing- an atheist helps others without thinking he will be rewarded in the HereAfter. Remember, he doesn’t even believe in a Herefater. So what does he get from helping others? He gets a good feeling. That’s what is so remarkable- the very act of giving gives someone a good feeling, a sense of happiness- that is indescribable. Besides a good feeling, he/ she gets a good reputation, which is another blessing.

And don’t forget the fact that God already bestowed millions of blessings on this person… from their eyesight to hearing a baby’s giggle.

So you see- God is Just and you can rest assured that your friend has already gotten ‘rewarded’ for it and she will be rewarded for it in different ways in this LIFE.

Now, instead of worrying about your friend, why don’t you try to talk to her more about Islam? :P :P

Lots of love,

3 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Abez January 3, 2011 at 8:34 PM  

AssalamuALaikum Little Aunty, sorry to be so late in replying to your comment. You may cross-post whatever makes you happy. :)

Little Auntie,  January 4, 2011 at 4:02 AM  

Heheh, way ahead of you Abez! I posted a link to it in the newly "Auntie Recommended" Section :)

Y'all check it out. It's awesome :) ma'shaAllah.

Anonymous,  January 4, 2011 at 5:04 PM  

I really love this post Auntie :)
I have similar experience with Unsure...

I had 3 gay friends. They are gays. They pray 5 times, fasting on Ramadhan, contributed so much to society, but they are veru actively gays. I don't use the term here but please understand what I meant by actively gays.

They think they will be gone to janna because God is fair. There are many non-gay muslim people who does not contribute to society at all. :)

But let us imagine, will Allah reward them the same? The ones who committed zina (gayly)without any sense of remorse (at all) and the ones who struggle in a mixed society to protect their chastity? Of course not. Allah is The Most Just.

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