Man’s Accountability

Once we have become clear in our minds that the after-life truly exists, we realize that the sole aim of our earthly existence should be to strive for success in the life to come, for, unlike the present ephemeral world, the Hereafter is eternal and real. What we understand by suffering and solace in this world cannot be compared with the suffering and solace of the Hereafter.

Man’s Trial

Man is being tested in this world to see what response he offers in certain given situations. It is man and man alone who is being tested in this way. An inanimate object, such as a stone or a piece of wood, would not find itself re¬quired to give responses to varying sets of circumstances. Man, on the other hand, is an aware, sensate being, who is stirred by the situations he faces in life, and who reacts to them mentally and physically, in word and in deed.

Life after Life

There are many instances in Hadith literature of the unerring justice of divine retribution for, in the life after death, man will be rewarded or punished strictly in accor¬dance with the virtues or vices of his deeds in this world.

Hereafter of Tomorrow

Now let us look at the Hereafter from another point of view. I once had occasion to visit a senior official, and as we sat on the lawns of his palatial bungalow, he suddenly exclaimed, “Maulana Sahib, you don’t know how bad our life is! Tomorrow I have to be at the airport before sunrise to welcome a foreign dignitary, and not only shall I have to deprive myself of sleep, but I shall have to welcome him with smiles — and that in spite of the fact that he is somebody I despise!” This simple anecdote shows there are two sides to the lives of those in high office.