Maulana Wahiduddin Khan I The Sunday Guardian I December 07, 2014
In the present world, man finds himself totally free. However, this freedom does not belong to him as a matter of right, but is rather a test paper. What man has to do is to acknowledge God, and surrender to him — not by compulsion, but by his own choice.
This surrendering before God is without doubt the greatest sacrifice that any man can make. Acknowledging the truth of God is, like making oneself smaller not only to God but to others as well. But this is the very virtue, which will raise man to the highest position. It will take him to the very entrance of Paradise.
The second important thing in this set of requirements is to lead a principled life.
Generally what happens is that man's character is moulded by his emotions — anger, revenge, jealousy, hatred, rivalry, etc. These are the negative feelings that shape man's personality. But what man ought to do is to become disciplined in such matters.
He should not build his character under the influence of external incentives, but by his own decisions he should establish it on the basis of higher principles. This is what is called divine character.
The people of Paradise will, therefore, be the souls who have discovered God, and whose greatest concern is the Almighty.
They submit only to God, and devote their lives to improving their intellectual and spiritual abilities to a high degree. They have shunned the life of falsehood and adhered steadfastly to the way of truth, staying away from hypocrisy and remaining resolutely on the path of sincerity. They have adopted the path of honesty throughout their lives; and have, of their own, imposed the divine discipline upon their words and deeds.
They reserve their feelings of love and fear exclusively for God.