What are the advantages of belief in the Hereafter for the society and individuals?

The Details of the Question

What are the advantages of belief in the Hereafter for the society and individuals?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Belief in the Hereafter is one of the essentials of Islamic creed. According to Islam, there is a Day of Judgment when everyone is going to be called to account for their good deeds and evil deeds in a divine court and they are going to be either punished or rewarded. The twenty-eighth verse of surah al-Baqarah says: “How can ye reject the faith in God?- seeing that ye were without life, and He gave you life; then will He cause you to die, and will again bring you to life; and again to Him will ye return.” 

Belief in the Hereafter is the first condition of living a peaceful and happy life in worldly life. Those who do not believe in the Hereafter are poor people who do not recognize any moral values and disturb individuals’ and society’s peace and safety. In societies in which people do not have faith or have weak faith, all kinds of evil works such as lying, theft, fornication, murder and immorality can be performed freely; and eventually these societies collapse. 

Humankind desires immortality, wants to live with their beloved ones, beauties and delights of the world eternally. We see that soul seeks eternality and can satisfy its thoughts and imagination only with it. It provides joy of life for a person who lost a beloved one to think and believe that he is going to live with him eternally one day. One can find strength to endure the pains of all negative incidents he comes across in worldly life, unfairness, cruelties and injustice, incurable illnesses and disorders only in believing in the Hereafter. It is the biggest consolation for a person to think that everyone is going to be punished for what they have done, when he is wronged. It is a great haven for those who are disabled from birth to think that enduring it with the help of belief in the Hereafter is going to be rewarded.

Yes, one who believes in the Hereafter knows that he is going to be called to account for whatever he has done, big or trivial, and he is going to be either punished or rewarded in the end. And thus, he leads his life in accordance with this.

In Risale-i Nur Collection, only four of the hundreds of proofs that belief in the Hereafter is the most important essential of social life and individual lives and the basis of happiness and perfection are stated as follows: 

The First Proof: It is only with the thought of Paradise that children, who form almost half of the mankind, can endure all the deaths around them, which appear to them to be grievous and frightening, and strengthen the morale of their weak and delicate beings. With the thought of Paradise, they find hope in their vulnerable spirits, prone to weeping, and may live happily. For example, thinking of Paradise, a child may say: “My little brother or friend has died and become a bird in Paradise. He is flying around Paradise and living more happily than us.” The frequent deaths before their unhappy eyes of other children like themselves or of grown-ups will otherwise destroy all their resistance and morale, making their subtle faculties, such as their spirits, hearts, and minds, weep together with their eyes; they will either decline utterly or become crazy, wretched animals. 

Second Proof: It is only through the life of the hereafter that the elderly, who form half of mankind, can endure the proximity of the grave, and be consoled at the thought that their lives, to which they are firmly attached, will soon be extinguished and their fine worlds come to an end. It is only with the hope of eternal life that they can respond to the grievous despair they feel in their emotional child-like spirits at the thought of death. Those worthy, anxious fathers and mothers, so deserving of compassion and in need of tranquility and peace of mind, will otherwise feel a terrible spiritual turmoil and distress in their hearts, and this world will become a dark prison for them, and life even, grievous torment. 

Third Proof: It is only the thought of Hell-fire that checks the turbulent emotions of youths, the most vigorous element in the life of society, and their violent excesses, restraining them from aggression, oppression, and destruction, and ensuring that the life of society continues tranquilly. If not for fear of Hell, in accordance with the rule ‘Might is right,’ in pursuing their desires, those drunken youths would turn the worlds of the wretched weak and powerless into Hell, and elevated humanity into base animality. 

Fourth Proof: The most comprehensive centre of man’s worldly life, and its mainspring, and a paradise, refuge, and fortress of worldly happiness, is the life of the family. Everyone’s home is a small world for him. And the life and happiness of his home and of family are possible through genuine, earnest, and loyal respect and true, tender, and self-sacrificing compassion. This true respect and genuine kindness may be felt due to the idea of the members of the family having an everlasting companionship and friendship and togetherness, and their parental, filial, brotherly, and friendly relations continuing for all eternity in a limitless life, and their believing this. One says, for example: “My wife will be my constant companion in an everlasting world and eternal life. It does not matter if she is now old and ugly, for she will have an immortal beauty.” He will tell himself that he will be as kind and devoted as he can for the sake of that permanent companionship, and treat his elderly wife lovingly and kindly as though she was a beautiful houri. A companionship that was to end in eternal separation after an hour or two of brief, apparent friendship would otherwise afford only superficial, temporary, feigned, animal-like feelings, and false compassion and artificial respect. As with animals, self-interest and other overpowering emotions would prevail over the respect and compassion, transforming that worldly paradise into Hell. 

We cannot appoint a guard for everyone but we can place guards of consciousness full of belief in the Hereafter in people’s hearts. Then instead of anarchy, despotism and cruelty, obedience, respect and justice will rule in the society. Individuals, families, constitutions, communities and even the whole world will live in peace. (Abdulkadir IŞIK) 

After this short explanation, we can enlarge upon this subject a little more: 

What belief in the Hereafter, in the Day of Judgment when everyone is going to be punished or rewarded, and in the eternal life earns individuals and society:

After belief in Allah, organizing life and providing collective peace for society depends on belief in life after death.

One who does not believe that he is going to be called to account for what he has done cannot be thought to be straightforward. On the other hand, one who keeps in mind that he is going to be called by Allah in the otherworld to account for every step he takes, one whose each behavior is an expression of an account, one who treats his each word, each listening and each inclination in his heart with sensitivity of accounting to Allah will have a highly organized life. 

“In whatever business thou mayest be, and whatever portion thou mayest be reciting from the Qur'an,- and whatever deed ye (mankind) may be doing,- We are witnesses thereof when ye are deeply engrossed therein. Nor is hidden from thy Lord (so much as) the weight of an atom  on the earth or in heaven. And not the least and not the greatest of these things but are recorded in a clear record.” (Yunus, 10:61)

That is to say; all behaviors and actions are being recorded by angels. Everything we do, big or small, hidden or obvious, anything that we consider small but considered big by Allah or anything we consider big but considered small by Allah, are recorded. Observers watch and record all we do and Allah who is “DAYYAN” (the One who judges people based on their deeds) is present everywhere, waiting for the Day of Judgment. 

A life that is led with this spirit and consciousness becomes straightforward; a society that is consisted of individuals who live within this spirit and consciousness becomes peaceful and a family having this spirit and consciousness turns their home into a garden of paradise. 

Yes, there is only one way through which humankind can quit their craziness; it is the belief in resurrection after death. And it is only the belief in resurrection and that can stop the craziness of youth, that can prevent them from nonsense-talking, that can be a source of hope for elderly people who become more disappointed and offended with every step they take towards death and that can light up the flames of happiness in the vulnerable hearts of children. 

Everyone, from young ones to old ones, from women to men and from just ones to unjust ones, needs to believe in the resurrection as they need water they drink and air they breathe in. Drinking this sherbet called belief in the resurrection means also drinking peace slowly. For this reason, all intellectuals who work for peace and safety of the humankind and aim to provide peace for them should evaluate this issue from this point of view. Establishing true peace, happiness and comfort for individuals, families, society and the humankind altogether depends only on believing in the afterworld where all deeds – significant or insignificant - are going to accounted.

The Quran says:

Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it! And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it.” (az-Zalzalah, 99:7-8).

This verse declares that even a good deed of an atom’s weight will have its reward and even an evil deed of an atom’s weight will have its punishment and it infuses into people this feeling of responsibility. When people have got this belief, we can tell them, “do whatever you want”. Actually, practices and realities express that everything done will have a response. One who adopts this point of view feels the need for doing things which will not make him ashamed in the otherworld. 

A child, with his weak, vulnerable soul, can find a peaceful life only by believing in the resurrection. Anyone who evaluates his childhood from this point of view and who remembers his childhood years will admit this conclusion. Yes, a child has got a vulnerable heart. And a child is incapable of evaluating incidents happening around him and coming to a conclusion. And he cannot lose himself in entertainment. For this reason, he feels anxiety of death more than adults. The world of a child whose parents have died is destroyed. All the stars lighting up his inner world fade away and the sky of his heart sinks into darkness. Everyone who has got a heart can feel this. 

One of my siblings died in my childhood. Every time I visited his grave, I would open my eyes and beg to Allah saying “O Allah, please bring him back to life so that I can see his beautiful face once again!” Now, if you take away this belief in the resurrection after death from thousands of people like me having this psychological mood, with what will you heal this painful heart and how will you extinguish this fire? No, no way… Nothing can heal it and it will be impossible for you to extinguish that fire. It is only the belief in the resurrection that can console this child writhing in pain and sorrow. When his beloved ones depart this world one by one, it is only the belief that they have gone to Heaven that can console this little one and saves him from this unbearable sorrow. Pass-away of a beloved elderly one, or even of a younger one, whom he is accustomed with and thought he could not do without them, leaves an incurable wound in his vulnerable heart. It is such an incurable wound that only one thought can ease it: 

He is gone, or taken away; but, God opened the doors of Heaven for him. Now, he is flying like birds in the gardens of paradise. When I die, I am going to fly like him, too.” 

If the one who died is an elderly person, he will think as follows: “He is dead. But, he is going to take me into his arms and caress me there.” And they are these thoughts that will fill the gap of separation and longing opened by death and will be the cure for his bleeding wound. 

Do you long for peace? You can find it neither with factory chimneys fuming all around the world, nor by organizing journeys from stars to stars. The true peace is the peace that depends on this belief and faith. Yes, this peace, which is based on the principles of resurrection after death, is the true peace. 

Aged people… Aged people who are approaching death with every step they take… While grave is waiting for them with its door open for them, and while they are running towards it at the highest speed, with what can they find consolation? What can console them? With what can they get over the sorrow caused by seeing the white hairs amongst their hair that they see in the mirror every day? How can they compensate for the spiritual gap caused by this situation? How can they eradicate the scars of people – their children, their grandchildren, their friends and relatives – whom they saw off for the otherworld throughout all this time until they reached this age? How can you console them when youth, health, career and position left them with a terrible scar in their souls? Every material thing which you present to them as a consolation will leave another terrible scar in their souls when they lose them and this will always go on like this. Therefore, there is only one cure with which all people including the aged ones can find peace: Believing in the resurrection after death!... Persuading people that grave, which awaits them to swallow them like a monster waiting its terrible mouth open, is indeed the door of the corridor leading to the gardens of Paradise in the otherworld!... Presenting as departure lounges in order to get into those gardens of Paradise!... Describing it as a place where mercy and salvation roam!... And all of these will be a source of consolation for them. 

The Quran reports prophet Zachariah saying:

O my Lord! Infirm indeed are my bones, and the hair of my head doth glisten with grey: but never am I unblest, O my Lord, in my prayer to Thee!” (Maryam, 19:4). And then, it narrates his asking Allah for giving him a good child, and describes the outcry of a person who is ready to depart this world in a poetic harmony. It is one of the miraculous aspects of the Quran that it puts this outcry coming from soul in a unique way. Anyone who is conscious will feel such an awesome outcry in his soul when he listens to his heart and sees a bitter smile on his heart’s lips. And the only cure to console him in this situation and to ease this outcry in his soul will be belief in the Hereafter. This belief and faith whispers to his ear the following words, with its life-giving breath:

You have completed your lifespan. You have fulfilled your duty. The Infinite Mercy who sent you down onto this world is not going to waste you anymore in these deserts and is going to endow the boons, which He prepared for you, upon you by taking you to His presence.”

Yes, this news and others bearing the same meaning will enable those aged people taste peace and happiness because they are getting ready for leaving for the otherworld, which is the true homeland. 

A large part of the social life consists of young people. These aggressive young people whose lives are full of nonsense turn life into a hell. On the other hand, young people from whose lives gush out light like the Companions, whose faces show happiness, all of whose actions remind Allah and in whose eyes Paradise shines turn this life into an exact Paradise. Yes, young people will find their true personalities by believing in the resurrection. When belief in the resurrection and the feeling of life after death are taken away from their hearts and minds, they will become the source of unrest for the humankind. If the humankind is restless today, it is because of the youth whose each stage of life is full of craziness and nonsense. While pedagogues and educators were trying to find solution for it, they deepened and deteriorated the wound and made it incurable due to their treatments. However, the cure of this wound is belief in the resurrection after death. Actually, the real solution is possible by enabling those young people to take their every step with the belief that they are going to account for their each step in the presence of Allah and by bringing them up with this consciousness.

Hazrat Umar was going to mosque. In front of him, was a child running to mosque very fast. He accelerated his steps, approached the child and asked him:

- O Child! Prayer is not an obligation for you. Why are hurrying to mosque so excitedly?

The child answered:

“-O the leader of the believers! A child died in our neighborhood yesterday!... 

The source and the assurance of  the right way is only arranging life in accordance with a day that everything is seen and recorded to be accounted. Although all occurrences and actions happening in the universe are organized by a collective power, human beings are responsible for and have to arrange their life with their own self-control. If one uses this self-control properly, Allah, with His mercy, will respond to all of his/her bodily desires and provide him/her with gardens of paradise adorned with houris, ghilmans and servants.

As a matter of fact, self-control is the manifestation of Allah’s mercy and compassion. Heaven is the manifestation of His mercy and compassion as well. In this sense, when one uses self-control, which is a requirement of Allah’s mercy and compassion, properly, he will see the reward of this in the form of a manifestation of Allah’s mercy and compassion again.

Yes, organizing life in accordance with the Hereafter and always remembering the day when all that is hidden will come into light will enable individuals, families and societies with peace and especially young people to find the right way; they will live an organized and disciplined life and they will not spoil the peace of others. 

Sahl bin Sa’d reports: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was told that a young person confined himself to his house and kept crying. The Messenger went to his house. When he entered the house, the young man jumped up with joy and hugged the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). However, he fell down by his feet after a short time. The young man was dead. The Messenger’s eyes filled with tears and uttered the following words: 

Prepare your friend for burial. Fear of Hell frightened him to death. I swear upon Allah, in whose hands is my very self, Allah will protect him from Hell.”

And for such as had entertained the fear of standing before their Lord's (tribunal) and had restrained (their) soul from lower desires. Their abode will be the Garden.” (an-Nazi’at, 79:40-41).

One who is anxious about accounting in the presence of the Lord and organizes his life in accordance with this anxiety is safe in the presence of his Lord. The Owner of the Infinite Mercy harbingers in a hadith: “I do not give two securities and two fears at a time.”

Who is anxious here finds salvation there. Do you know anything else other than this principle that can stop the craziness of the youth? Do you know a circle or frame that can protect people? If your answer is negative, you should be in a positive stage. All educators and pedagogues should listen to this principle and put it into practice in life. Young people mean everything. If we evaluate the issue from Hazrat Umar’s point of view, who said “A nation without young people is ruined.”, when he saw a young man who severely objected to injustice, we conclude that the existence of young people who are adorned with sublime feelings is the source of life for social life. Such a nation is capable of building new civilizations. Otherwise, it will be the vice versa. In this sense, the most important factor in the development of a nation is the youth, but a youth full of belief in the Hereafter. In short, believing people will be able to build a peaceful world and only believing people will have the right of leading a peaceful life on the earth… the youth either ruins or builds a nation. A nation either dies or comes into life with its youth.

A large part of the humankind is made up of patients, downtrodden people and sufferers. Belief in the resurrection has got a significant effect on their souls, too. A sick person, approaching death every day and running towards grave, can find hope only in seeing that grave as a corridor opening to the otherworld. If he does not consider grave a road leading to happiness and a means of reaching infinity, he will never be happy. He consoles himself with this against headaches, backaches, cancer and gangrene and he can protect himself against the pain caused by Hazrat Azrael’s hands, which he feels on his neck from time to time, only with the help of this belief. Yes, he will be consoled and forget his illness by saying “Yes, I am going; nobody will be able to stop me here… But, I will regain my health and immortal youth and I am going to the land of Allah, where everybody will return to some day.” For this reason, when believers submit their souls to Allah, they have got a smile resembling rose bud on their lips, for they reunite with their Beloved One; and they submit their souls to Him like this.

When the time of death came for him, the Prophet (pbuh), took his hands off Hazrat Aisha’s hands and said: “O my Allah, now I desire the other world.” And, one day before it, he said: “Allah presented two options to a servant; worldly boons as many as he wants and the boons with Him. The servant chose the ones with Allah.”

The servant who was supposed to choose between the worldly boons and the boons with Him was himself. He took his hands off Hazrat Aisha’s hands and desired to be with the Sublime Companion. Similarly, a well-built person like Hazrat Umar put his head on the ground in the ruins and expressed his longing for the far away (otherworld) by saying “O Allah, take this responsibility off my shoulders, I cannot carry it anymore.”

Belief in the Hereafter meant an otherworld where thousands of beauties would manifest and longing to see the Infinite Face beyond them, which made them speak these words and evoked this desire in their hearts.

As for the downtrodden people who could not save their honor from cruel and unfair people and who were eager to take revenge… They can be consoled only by thinking of the day when they will submit those who wronged them to Allah and by thinking of the rewards that will be endowed upon them. Actually, the downtrodden people, the wronged ones know it for sure that the unfair treatments made here will not be left without punishment… A major court will be set up and everything will be accounted with all details. Wrongdoers will have their punishment and wronged ones will have their rewards.

Such is the chastisement of thy Lord when He chastises communities in the midst of their wrong: grievous, indeed, and severe is His chastisement.” (Hud, 11:102)

That is to say; once Allah catches a town of oppressors, He catches it severely and grievously. Then, that town is finished. Yes, downtrodden people can take their revenge on wrongdoers and cruel, unfair people only like this and only then can they be consoled.

As for the sufferers and troubled ones… All sufferers and troubled ones, who have been exposed to celestial calamities or earthly calamities, whose fields and gardens have been destroyed by floods or hails, whose houses have been destroyed by earthquakes, whose prosperity have been ruined together with their families and house and the likes, can only be consoled by thinking of the resurrection after death. Actually, according to this belief, all belongings which have gone with calamities are regarded as given charities and the ones who have died are elevated to the degree of martyrdom. They find peace and consolation in this very belief. While their homes turn into mansions in Paradise with belief in the Hereafter, when this belief is taken away from their hearts, they turn into pits in Hell. A house in which a child is deprived of religious feelings and life, in which a youth is addicted to his desires and worldly delights, and in which a sick person, who is expected to die, is writhing in pain is not any different than a ruin for which the owls starts to hoot while people are still in. Their eyebrows are frowned, faces are as dull as walls and the worse, while trying to escape them; the misery of alienating from one’s own self and forgetting oneself in joy and entertainment… So it is possible for the sunlight to shine into this house only through the belief in the Hereafter and the resurrection after death.

If you are thinking of making everyone, from children to the aged ones, happy, try to place belief in the resurrection into their hearts… As a matter of fact, young people will be organized and disciplined then, children will quit misbehaving and the aged ones will live happily as passengers to Heaven, and the lightning of happiness will start to flash in that house and songs of the hereafter will be sung there even before going to the Hereafter and eventually, they will start living on the earth as if they were in Heaven while they are still on the earth.

Countries and towns are also people’s large house. Peace cannot be found in a world where young people are servants of their lower-self, where the aged people are pessimistic and hopeless, and where cruel people listen to the outcries of downtrodden people as if they listen to music. In such a world, towns, countries and nations are restless; because the necessities which would bring on peace have not been met. A prayer has got certain parts which validate it and by accomplishing these parts, prayer is completed and one feels the sweet smile of ascension with his prayer and sometimes, a moment of prayer feels like equal to a life of thousands of years. Similarly, for countries and nations to be peaceful, parts that constitute them should be in accordance with those necessities of peace altogether. An ideal city or site can be established only with an ideal system. Let Plato live his dream in his “Republic”!... Let the daydreamer Farabi try to frame it in his “al-Madinatu’l-Fadila.” They will never be able to build their ideal states because they are deprived of parts which constitute it. Yes, the primary necessity to constitute this peace in life is belief in the resurrection, humiliating worldly life and waiting for the otherworld.

One of the greatest works of the Prophet (pbuh), person of a great sense of balance, is establishing his world system based on the belief of “accounting in the hereafter.” This worldly life is the introduction to the otherworldly life in a sense, a field of preparation for the Hereafter and an opportunity given to the humankind in order to light the flames of hereafter in their hearts. For this reason, this world is called “yawm ad-dunya” and the otherworld is called “yawm al-akhir”. Anything performed in this world will have been performed for the otherworld to come. The Messenger of Allah taught this lesson to everyone, which would light up the flames of comprehension and which would satisfy all hearts. 

Hearts were so full of belief in the hereafter that the Companions looked down on this world and their eyes did not see almost any worldly materials. Here is an example: “Two companions came to the presence of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) because of something which needed to be shared between them. Both of them claimed to have more of it for themselves. Having listened to them, the Prophet said:

-Now, if one of you tells his problem better that the other one and convinces me, he can make me judge on his behalf. I am just a human being like you; I will judge in favor of the one whose evidence is more convincing. However, the judgment in the Hereafter will be done according to the truth. The wrongdoer will have his punishment and the wronged one will have its reward totally there.” Upon hearing this, both of them said:

-O the Messenger of Allah! Give my share to him, too; I do not claim it anymore!”

Later, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) suggested them doing as follows:

-Go and share the property justly, then draw lots to decide who will take which part. And comply with the result of the lots. And renounce your rights for each other.” 

As it is seen, life was arranged like that with the help of belief in the hereafter. It was such an arrangement that when one committed a sin, he fastened himself on a post and punished himself in this way until he was told that he was forgiven. It was taken so seriously that companions who believed that a sin committed could be washed away only by the blood of martyrdom and thus sacrificed their lives on the way of Allah, without any hesitation and tried to pass away to the hereafter totally pure, with the blood they shed in order to drink the sherbet of martyrdom. Sa’d bin Rabi heard the whisperings of Muhammad bin Maslamah who said that he brought salutations to him from the Messenger of Allah, when he was about to submit his soul at the foot of Mount Uhud. In response to this, Sa’d bin Rabi said: “Give my salutations to the Messenger of Allah. I swear that I am feeling the smell of Heaven beyond Uhud!...” 

Yes, what can it be other than belief in the hereafter that can make one taste this happiness even at the time of death? What mortal opportunity can provide an individual, a family or a society with that happiness? Now, let us report some examples from the Sublime Prophet’s statements in order to be able to comprehend how he, the source of pride for universe, educated his followers about belief in the resurrection:

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stated:

“O people! You will be resurrected barefooted, naked and uncircumcised.” You will come into life again with your all cells, souls and bodies. You will have a resurrection that is both spiritual and physical. The Messenger of Allah continued: “Beware! The first one to be dressed up in the Hereafter is Hazrat Abraham. Beware! On that day, some people from my ummah will be brought as caught from their left sides. I will say: “O Lord! These are my ummah!...” Allah will say to me: “O Muhammad! You do not know what they did after you!.” And then I say, like Hazrat jesus, the Righteous Servant,: “I witnessed them as long as I was with them. When You took me away, You witnessed them. You are the witness of everything. If You punish them, they are your servants actually. If You forgive them, You are the only One who is Mighty and Wise!” 

In a hadith that Ahmad bin Hanbal reported from Hazrat Anas, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:

“The humankind has not witnessed a more violent incident than death since Allah created them. Then, death seems easier than what will happen after death. On that day, they will witness such a violence that they will sweat until their chins. Their chins almost turn into a bridle because of sweat; such sweat that even ships can float in those seas of sweat, if desired.”

The following hadith reported by Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Hurairah gives the details of the hadith above. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) states:

“On the Day of Judgment, people will be resurrected in three categories. The first one of them is the people who established the balance of fear and hope in the world life.” They are the ones who were full of love for Allah all the times and who arranged their works in accordance with the consciousness and comprehension that they will be called to account for them in the hereafter. They are the ones who are hopeful for Allah’s mercy even in hopeless situations. They are the ones who do not fall into sorrow and hopelessness, which are signs of blasphemy, although they fear Allah to the utmost degree. And they are the ones who lead their lives in fear and hope. 

“The second one of them is the people who are on an animal in twos, threes, fours… and tens in order to be able to get into Heaven.” They are trying to arrive in the presence of Allah, with so many people on an animal, with great difficulty. They will go falling down on and off, like they fell down on and off with sins and rebellion in the world life. 

“As for the third category; they will be sent to Hell. (They will follow the compulsory direction following flames coming from Hell.) If they want to have a nap in the afternoon, Hell has a nap with them. If they want to sleep the night, Hell sleeps the night with them. If they want to stay awake till morning, Hell stays with them till morning as well. And whenever they meet the evening, Hell meets the evening with them, too…” 

This is because they carried the seed of Hell in their hearts and souls. They slept with the seed of Hell at nights and woke up with it in the mornings. Therefore, they will be treated in accordance with the way they have lived. That seed will grow into a tree and will not leave them alone. So, the Messenger of Allah educated his followers seriously with this lesson and the likes in a consciousness for the hereafter and especially the companions behaved in an atmosphere as if they witnessed Hell with all its awe and violence and Heaven with all its beauties beyond the curtains, at the Prophet’s time. Yes; the only way to live this worldly life on the right way and virtuously is receiving this education and putting otherworldly moral values into practice in this worldly life. Otherwise, virtuousness and righteousness cannot be imagined in societies made up of individuals who have not got belief in the hereafter. If any trace of virtues are manifested in them, it is nothing but a virtue placed by Allah in their disposition and seed. And it is impossible for them to do otherwise, as it is placed in their dispositions. This impossibility forces them to do such virtuous works. And this is not as precious as the virtues that are gained by striving for them. 

(A. Qadir – Life After Death)

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