Assalamualaikum. That means 'Peace be unto you!'. One of the best form of greetings in the world.
For those of us who choose to be Muslims, it is fard @ obligatory on us to wish our fellow Muslims with the additional ' Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh'. Meaning ' With the Mercy and Blessings of Allah'.
Those who have yet to learn of this wondrous form of greeting, ought to do a bit of study and research about this matter. You will greatly benefit from it. Insya Allah ~ God Willing.
My topic for today is concerning our life here as Muslims. My article's title adding the phrase' Between Heaven and Hell' literally means just that.
That even those of us who claim to be Muslims aren't exactly guaranteed a place in Heaven for as human beings who are exposed to the dictates and circumstances of this worldly life, we too are not free from committing sins and errors.
The only thing that differentiates us from those who are stoic Disbelievers @ Kaffirs are what we attempt to do to redeem ourselves in the Eyes of Almighty Allah with regard to our acts of worship and penance.
To put it in a nutshell, you can safely conclude that each and every one of us are practically caught between the Yin and Yang of life. Like a swinging pendulum of fate that determines our final position in the scales of our deeds.
There is just no guarantee that we can be safe from being thrown into the burning pits of Hellfire that He, the Almighty has prepared for us if we screw up during this temporal existence here on Earth.
No one is safe. Literally.
I recall reading about how Archangel Jibril Alaihis Salam returned to Rasulullah Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam after viewing Jannah @ Paradise and stated to our Beloved Prophet that the conditions to enter Heaven were just so demanding that it would be almost a miracle for any humans to enter it if just based upon our deeds.
Except for the Maghfirah @ Forgiveness of Almighty Allah.
Then I remember reading about Jibril Alaihis Salam relating to the Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam that no one would be safe from Narrul Jahannam ~ the burning Hellfire for it being surrounded by all that we so love and lust about.
Yes! This is the reality of our life.
We are not safe from sin. Even, those of us who say that we are Muslims.
We who are believers in Allah, His Prophets and Messengers, the Angels, the Holy Scriptures, Doomsday and our Destiny ~ Qada' and Qadr.
For we sin. We succumb to our lusts and secret desires. Only thing is that most of us are great pretenders. We put up a facade of being holy moly when deep down in our hearts, there might be raging desires.
Such are the internal conflicts that is unleashed almost on an incessant continuous struggle between our own nafs and efforts to rectify our errors!
Daily. At almost every interval. Between our prayers. Our good deeds. Our good intentions. Our daily efforts to redeem ourselves.
We commit sin both knowingly and otherwise.
We take life lightly and at times fool ourselves that we are good.
We beguile ourselves with the notion that since we are Muslims, we are destined to enter the Heavens.
That my dear readers depends on our efforts to cleanse and purify ourselves by seeking His Forgiveness.
Each and every prayer that we extend to Allah is asking for atonement for our sins. That's what prayers are for. Whether He accepts such prayers and acts of worship are entirely up to Him, our Creator.
We who have attained some sort of understanding concerning our faith often delude ourselves into thinking that just because we have been keeping to our daily prayers, we are safe from Hell.
Thinking and rational Muslims will know and realize that such rationalizing can just turn out to be nothing but a serious delusion.
Believing in Allah and all the other aspects of our Iman @ Faith alone is not a guarantee that we will get a green ticket to Paradise. No sirree.
In these times, we are often faced with the spectre of human audacity where we are often mistaken into believing that just because we support this and that Islam oriented party or grouping, we are guaranteed of Paradise.
Is Paradise that easy to enter?
What criteria do we think that entry into Allah's Heavens demands or expects from us?
Study the Quran and Hadiths. Do our research.
Are the Heavens so easy to access?
Many a scholar and pious one are on record of having fallen from God's graces.
The Alims become Zalim and end up amongst the losers. I myself do not dare lay claim to being infallible.
Not in any second or moment. All I can do is hope. Hope and pray that He Who Knows me Inside Out will have it in Him to forgive this mere speck of dust that He chose to create and let me come to be.
I cringe in fear and shudder to think as to what my fate will be for I know that I too have my fair share of screw ups and errors?
When I listen to Raihan, singing their heart-wrenching nasyeeds with such straight to the heart lyrics, my tears flow when I try to reflect upon my sins.
The lyrics in Malay ~ 'Dosa dosa ku bagaikan pepasir dipantai'. My sins are (as much) as the grains of sands on the beach.
How many grains of sands do you think that a beach contains?
Is there anyone here who can dare claim to be free from having committed any such errors or sins?
It doesn't matter as to who you are or claim to be?
Who is there that dares to pound his or her chest and claim to be sin free?
I doubt that there will ever be any.
Even the Blessed Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam stood in prayer for hours at end till his blessed feet swelled up and his tears flowed endlessly till he wet his beard.
That's the Holy Prophet. One who is maksum ~ the infallible. His only error was immediately reprimanded by The Almighty when Rasul Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam 'frowned' when the blind Sahabah @ Abdullah ibni Maqtum entered and sort of disturbed a meeting that the Blessed Prophet was having with a few pagan Makkan Arab Qureisyhi chieftains!
That reprimand stands eternally on record in the first few verses of the Surah Abasa.
When even the Blessed Greatest and Final Prophet and Messenger of Allahu Ta'ala gets reprimanded in such an eternal manner, who the hell are we if compared to him?
Yet there are so many today out there going about so smug and pontificating like strutting peacocks claiming to be amongst those who will enter Paradise!
Not a fat chance ... save for the Maghfirah @ Forgiveness of Ar Rahman!
All that we can possibly do is to keep up with our prayers and ask for His Forgiveness sincerely.
At each and every opportune moment and second that we can get.
If our life ends just when we are in the midst of committing a sin, who is there who can guarantee us a safe passage beyond the gates of Jannah if not to end up in the burning pits of Hell?
That my dear brothers and sisters is the ultimate reality of this temporal life we are currently living in.
We who are mere mortals are drawn naturally to all that is attractive and pleasurable to us.
Its in our blood.
Our natural born instincts.
Those who claim otherwise are only fooling themselves.
Good luck to each and every one of you including yours truly.
May we be safe from ending up there when the pendulum of fate points to ' Sorry mate! You are going to Hell!'
May Allah safe us from our own selfs.