My recent reading of "Major Themes of the Quran" had enlightened me, amongst others, regarding the matter of hell and heaven, in a sense of their nature of existence. (Oh, and it's an excellent book to read by the way.) Of course I have given much thought about how to avoid ending up in hell, in the same manner of the medical motto "Primum non nocere" or "First, do no harm" except in this context, it's "First do no sin". Even if I don't, I'm sure there are many Men In Kepiah, who absolutely do not look at all like either Will Smith or Tommy Lee Jones, (it's the black suit honey) who would preach hell in order to instigate fear ergo obedience towards Islamic teachings. If you listen to some of them too long, you may end up wondering, who on earth, apart from the prophets will actually not go to hell? What a waste of heaven land. Alas! That is but another story. But you know, there's more to Islam than not committing sins.
I grew up in what seem to a child as a hostile Islamic environment (not at home though), whereby everyone is motivated not so much to loving God, rather to concentrate on not going to hell. Apparently, our whole existence as a human being evolves around not ending up there. Of course, it is a brilliant idea, not to get into hell I mean, but there are other approach towards becoming a good Muslim apart from being motivated by fear, like, I dunno...love perhaps? (and I don't mean the kind of love that attracts the four Men In Kepiah to the privacy of your home either)
"The great mistake that men had made in the approach to the concept of God is that he has often regarded God as the God, not of love, but of terror"
-Abul Kalam Azad-
-Abul Kalam Azad-
In fact,at one point,I remember thinking that going to hell wasn't such a bad an idea after all, since most of the interesting and charismatic people like the Brad Pitt and George Clooney is prophesied to end up there anyway, provided their body guards do not end up there with the same job, then you won't be able to mingle with the stars even when you're in hell. Now that would be an utter waste of time spent in hell.
Well, apparently according to "them", ("them" as in the same bunch who spend more time at every possible quiet corners of the surface of the earth, stalking couples who seek a little quiet time, no matter how innocent it appears to be, leaving no one in the JAKIM or JAIS offices to settle actual problems like hunting down irresponsible divorced husbands to seek for financial responsibility to the consequences of their sperms, for one thing) even if you put millions of dollars into charity, but if you are not a Muslim, you will still end up in hell, because the Muslim God is not "their" God. That is how pack it is hell is going to be, with all these charitable celebrities amongst others. Perhaps in their minds,they are doing God a favor by taking away His job to judge, thinking the extra idle time may give God some rest and time to try out the PS2 games. But again, I have digressed.
"To GOD belongs everything in the heavens and the earth. Whether you declare your innermost thoughts, or keep them hidden, GOD holds you responsible for them. He forgives whomever He wills, and punishes whomever He wills. GOD is Omnipotent." (2:284)
I know now, what I did not know then, that learning to love God yields better results to becoming a good Muslim. Because if you love someone, you will do more out of love, rather than out of fear. Fear only makes you not do anything.
(more about heaven and hell, and a little stand up comedy video to cheer you up when you enter the rabbit hole)
Back to heaven and hell, interesting enough,I stumbled upon these surahs;
"They shall reply, All praise to God Who has kept His promise with us and has given us the earth as inheritance; we will make our abode in it's Garden wherever we will - what an excellent reward for those who do good!" (39:74)
"The day when the earth shall be transmuted into something else and the heavens as well"
"God will then create the next creation"
"We have appointed for you the death and non may excel Us in that We shall transmute(nubaddilu)you models (amthalakum) and re-create you in (forms) you do not know. You already know the present (form of) your creation, so why do you not take a lesson (from this)"
Clearly this indicates that the earth, after destruction will somehow be transformed into heaven. Or perhaps I'm wrong, but, something struck me, and I recall the latest theory of big bang,
According to Paul J Steinhardt and Neil Turok, authors of the book I read not quite recently, titled "Endless Universe"and were also the scientists involved in the WMAP project at it's infancy stage. It said,
"Scientists now believe, that the big bang is not the beginning of space and time, but rather an event that is , in principle , fully describable using physical laws. Nor does the big bang happen only once. Instead, the universe undergoes cycles of evolution. In each cycle, a a big bang creates hot matter and radiation which expand and cool to form the galaxies and stars observed today. Then the expansion of the universe speeds up, causing the matter to become so spread out that space approaches a nearly perfect vacuum. Finally after a trillion years or so, a new big bang occurs and the cycle begins anew. The events that created the large- scale structure of the universe today occurred a full cycle ago, before the last big bang."
There you go. If we refer back to the Quran verses, it makes sense. The earth, just like any other entity in this universe, with the only exception, and that is God, has it's expiry date, just like Gardenia Bread, except it is annoying to have the annoying ones expire longer than they should, considering the negative impact they impose on the benign others, but hey, who are we to say. If energy is transferable from one form to another, or PKR can turn into frogs and join the rest of the UMNO frogs,( and vice versa), or even matter,like carbon (with the exception of graphite) may turn into diamond after undergoing prolonged earthly processes through time, and there is a possibility of diamond, turning into graphite in certain condition that includes deprivation of oxygen, so I guess there is no reason for us to doubt that earth may turn into this beautiful garden for the good people to inherit. So folks, don't keep your diamonds in the bank too long. Bring it out so it can breath, before it completely turn into graphite, and the bank may fire their security forces for the wrong reasons !! Some joker may ask, "Why bother with recycling and saving the world from an impending destruction?". Good question and it deserve a good answer, which is "It would be nice wait in comfort while awaiting for dooms day to happen".
As for hell, well, in the Quran,Hell is described as physical as well as psychological torture, the latter having more impact to these sinners. ( I say "these" because just like you, going to hell is not part of my daily agenda, and I suspect, that even if we try, there may not be enough space for people like me since it will be full of politicians from the beginning of politics). It kind of destroyed this image of hell that I have, after watching the "Matrix". I visualize, that rather than wasting all that fire in an open burning, might as well arrange the hell residence somewhat like those arranged in the film, with wires strap to their brains, simulating the sense of burning. It's when Morpheus said, "If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then 'real' is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.", that made me have this idea. I mean, think about it.
I remember when I was a student, I watched this on a currently absolutely obsolete gadget called the VCR/Play Back, a stand up comedy by Rowan Atkinson better known as Mr Bean. Yes, he does stand up comedy too, and minus the expletives yet it still is funny. It is titled simply, "Welcome to Hell". Finally, it reached You Tube. I leave you with this video and hope you will enjoy a little humor in hell hole..for those of you who have watched this many times, what's another time, right? Enjoy....
...Click here to find out how deep the rabbit hole goes.....