March 23, 2014
By Saeed Qureshi
The God of Muslims is extremely sensitive or we Muslims have portrayed him sensitive. He is described as to be incessantly prying and watching every move, intention and act of Muslims for the last 15 centuries. The almighty God and his appointed angels are always compiling and updating a record of good and bad believers among the Muslims.
Ostensibly, for the non- Muslims the maintenance of such a record is not necessary as they are out of the pale of Islam and definitively would be the fodder of the hell-fire.
The steadfast practicing Muslims are always geared towards pleasing and placating God in every possible manner: from wearing a dress to performing wudu (ablution), to saying prayers and observing other elements of faith. They are fearful of God lest he gets offended and on the Day of Judgment dispatches them to the hell whose torment is beyond description.
For orthodox and less knowledgeable Muslims, God can be annoyed even for not covering the head while praying or putting the left step first while entering the mosque. Islam’s religious edifice is patently premised on the fear rather than love of God. If there is a mention of love or mercy of God then it is invariably bracketed with fear and rage of God.
The Muslims’ entire life is dedicated to praying to the creator of the universe to earn his (God is a male or has masculine traits) pleasure and mercy. From cradle to grave round the clock, a Muslim’s life is governed by countless prayers and rituals.
On the birth of a Muslim, a religious obligation of uttering a prayer in his ears and on the death another prayer is observed for forgiving the sins of the deceased and to give him or her abode in the paradise.
The body decays in the grave or blown to pieces in case of a bomb blast or sunk in water. Yet the belief ordains that the soul resides in a limbo (Barzakh) till it returns to the body on the Day of Judgment. This is the inexorable power of belief based upon the fear of hell and allurement for the paradise.
The Muslim clergy, clerics and preachers keep frightening the Muslims about wrath of God who according to them gets annoyed on a slight negligence of the Muslims towards the basic obligations and attendant surfeit of rituals alike. Now the number of prayers, beliefs and obligations differ from sect to sect within the fold of Islam. A Wahabi detests veneration of the saints, the spiritual godfathers or graves or even tombs for being frivolous and out of the pale of Islam.
On the contrary the followers of Qadria or Naqshabandi or Chishtia and Brelvis sects would harbors beliefs that run counter to the beliefs and articles of faith of other sects in Islam. They repose divine powers in the mediums, mystics and shamans that range from healing the sick to exorcising the bewitched persons and to having a child.
In our religious books and in sermons of the clerics and preachers delivered in mosques, the emphasis in invariably on hell and heaven. The burning and torturing of sinner in hell is graphically described almost in every sermon.
The torrent of words and flurry of the phrases of the fiery narrators is spine-chilling and create indescribable fear in the minds of the listeners as if
God was very touchy, revengeful and extremely barbaric lord of the world.
The Muslims preachers’ day in and day out dwell on the limitless fury, revenge and displeasure of God and reminding the faithful the hellfire and the torture to be administered in that most horrific place. A religion can preferably prosper and would be more acceptable if its foundation is not laid on enticement or punishment which means heaven and hell.
The pictorial and minute illustration of the doomsday is terrifying as well. The Muslims believe that the soul leaves the body at the time of death and lives in a purgatory and would enter the body on the Day of Judgment or the final day of human existence. The purgatory is a temporary abode of soul where it would stay to reenter the dead body of a Muslim on the last day.
Historically, the Christians of the second century borrowed and integrated into Christianity Greek philosophy and terminology like Trinitarian doctrine (three dimensional God) and immortal soul. The Greek immortal soul implied a need for various destinations for the soul: heaven, hell-fire, purgatory, paradise limbo.
But manipulating such teachings it became easy for the priestly class to keep their flocks submissive and in fear of the hereafter and to extract gifts and donations from them. Finally after a long time it was accepted. Same manipulative tactics have been adopted by the Muslim preachers to tame the Muslims to this day for personal clout and benefits.
The scrutiny and test of a Muslim starts from the grave no matter how pious and righteous one may have been throughout his life. According to the dogma both males and females will have to face a tough pre-questioning session with two horrific looking angels. The angels would beat him if he gives wrong answers.
Is this belief not superfluous and could be introduced to instill fear of grave: a dark and narrow ditch? There doesn’t seem to be any need of interrogating the deceased in the grave when there will be the main Judgment Day with almighty God sitting upon the throne of justice. It connotes that man will first be reborn in the grave and for the second time when an angle will blow the bugle.
On the day of the Judgment (Dooms Day) for exclusively Muslims (no other religious followers are mentioned) would come alive and run towards a limitless vast field to receive the good or the bad award from the almighty God. Now God is described to be sitting on a throne (like a mighty king) and the judgment would be administered during a long day which would be unbearably hot and indescribably suffocating.
Why a day is chosen when sun is supposed to be above the heads equal to the length of a pole and quarter? The judgment as matter of grace could be handed out in a serene and pleasant climate.
Now the science has proven that if the Sun comes down even by a fraction of a millimeter, the solar system would come to a naught. It surmises that it is the replay of the spectacle of a worldly king sitting on a throne and making the decisions.
Why the monarch would be under the canopy and the subjects exposed to roasting sun? After all the Muslims faithful who had forsaken their mundane and worldly comforts and pleasures during their transitory sojourn upon the planet earth ought to be treated kindly and within an environment of order and serene conditions.
The luxuries and enjoyments of the world are mostly forbidden for Muslims as these are supposed to be immoral and make one sinful in the eyes of God.
The Islamic traditions hold that there will be an unimaginable chaos in the colossal ground and every one would be in a state of panic and utter agony to receive the final verdict: favorable or unfavorable. I personally believe that God is kind and compassionate and cannot dispense justice in roasting heat and stifling suffocation.
Despite receiving the final orders from God to live either in paradise or hell, the faithful will have to cross a bridge that the Muslim demagogues describe as sharper like a razor and thinner than the hair. Incidentally that strange bridge could be crossed by those riding over the back of a lamb that the intended dwellers of the paradise had sacrificed in the material world?
Underneath that bridge would be the inferno of hell and those who will not be able to cross will fall down in that despite having divine decree for the paradise. One wonders if it would be the same paradise where Adam and Eve and the chief of the angels Satan lived together before they were exiled to the earth. Does it make any sense?
Why a Muslim faithful has to wait till eternity for his deeds to be adjudicated? Why not immediately after his soul leaves his body? If man the favorite creation of God, can sort out unlimited data in computer in faction of seconds, is there no speedy system with the creator for automatically updating the data of good or bad deeds?
Is it not possible for the lord of the universe to deliver the awards to the recipients in a jiffy instead of handing over to them one by one? Doesn't it look like a monarch of olden times rewarding or punishing his subjects?
It is like belittling the omniscient and Omni-present creator of universe in which the light travels and the contours of the universe expand at a terrific speed of 186,000 miles per second? It looks odd that the God who can create trillions of galaxies in the vacuum will sit on a chair and hand over the judgment to the harassed people?
Instead of waiting for the final assemblage on an un-revealed day, a pious person should go to the paradise and the wicked in the hell immediately after the death.
The description of hell and heaven seem to be serving the taste and temperament of the Arabs than the rest of the human beings. The honey, the fruit, the sweet fragrant water, milk and nice dwellings have been deficient in the Arab peninsula. Yet these delicacies and luxuries were plentiful in other parts of the world for instance in the Mediterranean coastal regions.
The attraction of beautiful women and polygamy among the Arabs is well known and this aspect would be everlastingly taken care of in the promised paradise. But while other religions don’t emphasize upon the hell-fire or a horrific “dooms day: in Islam it is the cardinal belief as part of other six major beliefs for proclamation of faith.
During his life span in this world, a Muslim is ordained to remain a subdued, harassed and meek individual. One remains unaware that the rigorous religious obligations he or she was practicing were the right ones to please God and entitle them a place in the blissful paradise.
In the meantime the Satan is free to use his enormous powers to astray and misguide the humans from the path of God. According to the scriptures God has granted unlimited powers to Satan to mislead the human beings who are the favorite creation of almighty God.
The powers and capabilities of humans are colossally limited and are no match to the limitless powers of Satan bestowed upon that sinister being by God himself. It is like creating a lamb and leaving it before a leopard.
If this is a test to enter the paradise then it is between two grossly unequal rivals: one without powers and the other equipped with such amazing powers as to enter the mind and body and blood of the human beings. But this kind of tussle is exclusive to the Muslims only.
In Christianity The God ( also called father) is loving and compassionate and not a revengeful or indulgent lord who keeps constant vigil or unremitting watch over the human beings for a razor-thin judgment to be given on an appointed yet most agonizing day. In Islam the main emphasis is placed on God’s powers and unquestionable submission to him.
In Christianity God or Jesus’ love is a perquisite for salvation and to live in the everlasting blissful Kingdom of God. The resurrection and salvation would take place simultaneously. The reincarnated Jesus would establish the Kingdom of God on earth which is the exact prototype of the Muslims’ paradise to be situated somewhere in Heaven.
Christians believe in collective Resurrection of mankind and Kingdom of God on earth at the end of day. They don’t believe in hellfire, purgatory or immortal soul. As narrated earlier these beliefs entered Christianity under the Greek influence after 2nd century C. E. The belief in resurrection emanates from the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his death at the stake. The dead after resurrection will enter the Kingdom of God to be commanded by Jesus from heaven and figuratively from earth.
The entry into the Kingdom of God has one pre-requisite and that is to have belief in Jesus as the anointed son of God. For Christianity, salvation is only possible through Jesus Christ. In their beliefs there is no element of God’s surveillance on the human beings by way of placing two angels on both shoulders for perpetually writing humans’ good or bad deeds.
In Hinduism one of the principal beliefs is Moksha: liberation or release from the grinding wheel of rebirths and different existences. The second main belief is Karma that postulates that one reaps of what one sows in a supposedly former existence. The third paramount belief is the reincarnation that stipulates that each personal soul passes through many reincarnations and possibly hell.
It must strive to merge with the supreme reality called Brahman. For the Hindus hell and heaven are intermediate waiting places before the soul gets its next reincarnation. As such it means that during the process of reincarnation the soul passes through countless stages including hell and heaven.
The Doctrine of the resurrection of dead is considered as the central doctrine of Judaism. It is ultimate resurrection of dead at the end of time. Today while the immortality of soul is accepted by all factions of Judaism, the resurrection of dead is not. Some Rabbis hold that there will be a judgment day following the resurrection of the dead.
Others hold that there is no need for that because the Day of Judgment happens every year on Rosh Hashanah (Yom-Hadin). Yet others profess that this accounting and judgment happens when one dies. Other Jews factions believe that the last judgment only applies to other nations and not the Jewish people.
According to Talmud, God judges who has followed His commandments and who does not and to what extent. Those who do not "pass the test" go to a purifying place Hell (analogous to the Muslims’ Purgatory) to "learn their lesson". But this does not imply the eternal damnation.
However, “after the rise of the modern Judaism in 18th and 19th centuries, and holocaust, the Jews began to view messianic message as a liability and merely reinterpreted it as a new age of prosperity and peace”.
(Excepts from Mankind’s Search for God)