Sabah kalktığı andan itibaren insanın önüne düşünmesi için birçok imkan çıkar. Örneğin insanın sabah uyanabilmesi çok büyük bir mucizedir.
The Evolution Deceit
Those Things That Need To Be Thought About
Thus far we have mentioned the importance of thinking, the benefits it brings man and that thought is a very important faculty that separates man from other creatures. We have also mentioned the causes that prevent thinking. The main purpose in all this is to encourage people to think and to help them see the purpose of their creation and honor Allah's endless knowledge and might.
The following pages describe what a person believing in Allah should think about the things he encounters during the day, what lessons he can draw from the events he witnesses, how he should thank and come closer to Allah by seeing His art and knowledge in everything.
Certainly what will be mentioned here covers only a very small part of a man's thinking capacity. Man has the ability to think every moment of his life. The scope of man's thought is so broad that it is almost impossible to put any constraints or limits on it. The purpose of the next section will be to open a door for people who do not make use of their faculty of thinking as is appropriate.
It should be borne in mind that only people who reflect can understand and assume a different position than others. The situation of those who cannot see the miraculous events around them and cannot reflect has been related in the verses of Allah:
The likeness of those who disbelieve is that of someone who yells out to something which cannot hear – it is nothing but a cry and a call. Deaf – dumb – blind. They do not use their intellects. (Surat al-Baqara: 171)
…They have hearts they do not understand with. They have eyes they do not see with. They have ears they do not hear with. Such people are like cattle. No, they are even further astray! They are the unaware. (Surat al-A'raf: 179)
Do you suppose that most of them hear or understand? They are just like cattle. Indeed they are even more astray! (Surat al-Furqan: 44)
Those who are able to see Allah's signs, the miraculous aspects of the beings and events He creates, and who, therefore, can understand, are people who reflect. Such people can derive conclusions from everything, big or small, they see around them.
When One Wakes up in the Morning…
There are no special conditions or preparation needed for someone to start thinking. From the moment we wake up in the morning, plenty of opportunities for thought lie before us.
A long day lies ahead of us when we wake up in the morning. Most of the time, we do not feel tired or sleepy; we are ready to start everything over again. Thinking this, one remembers a verse of Allah:
It is He Who made the night a cloak for you and sleep a rest, and He made the day a time for rising. (Surat al-Furqan: 47)
Washing the face and taking a shower, we pull ourselves together and come more fully to our senses. Now we are ready to think about many useful issues. There are many concerns much more important than what we will have for breakfast or what time we have to leave home, and we first have to think about them.
First of all, the fact that we are able to wake up in the morning is a great miracle. Despite having lost consciousness entirely during the night, in the morning we recover consciousness and our personalities. The heart beats, we are able to breathe, talk and see. In fact, when we go to sleep, there is no guarantee that these favors will be returned to us in the morning. Nor have we met any disasters during the night. For example, the absent-mindedness of a neighbor could have caused a gas leakage and a great explosion during the night could have woken us. A catastrophe could have occurred in our locality and we could have lost our lives.
We could have had other problems with our bodies; for example, we could have woken up with severe pains in the kidneys or with a headache. Yet, none of these things happened and we have woken up safe and sound. Thinking about all of this, we thank Allah for His mercy and protection.
Starting a new day in good health means Allah is giving us another opportunity to achieve more for the Hereafter.
Therefore, the best attitude to take is that we will spend our day in such a way as to please Allah. Man should, prior to everything else, make plans for this and keep his mind occupied with thoughts along these lines. One of the most important ways of pleasing Allah is to ask Him for help about this matter. The prayer of the Prophet Sulayman (as), peace be upon him, sets a good example for the believers:
…My Lord, keep me thankful for the blessing You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and keep me acting rightly, pleasing You, and admit me, by Your mercy, among Your righteous servants. …My Lord, keep me thankful for the blessing You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and keep me acting rightly, pleasing You, and admit me, by Your mercy, among Your righteous servants. (Surat an-Naml: 19)
What Our Weaknesses Make Us Think
Realising our incapacities as soon as we get out of bed, we start to think. Every morning we have to wash our faces and brush our teeth. Seeing these, we start to think of our other weaknesses. For instance, that we have to take a bath every day, that there is only a thin layer of skin holding our bodies together, that our bodies are vulnerable to infections, and cannot stand sleeplessness, hunger and thirst. These are all signs of our weakness.
If the person looking in the mirror in the morning is aged, some other thoughts may come to mind. The first signs of ageing start to appear on the face after the first two decades of life. In the thirties, wrinkles begin to appear beneath the eyes and around the mouth; the skin is no longer as ruddy as it used to be, and deterioration can be observed over a great part of the body. With age, the hair turns white and even the hands age.
For someone who thinks about these things, old age is one of the most powerful events displaying the temporary nature of the life of this world and it holds one back from being attached greedily to this world. Someone who starts to grow old understands that a countdown has started in his life in this world. In truth, that which ages and for which the countdown is now underway is the body. The body gradually declines but the soul does not grow old. Most people are strongly influenced by the outward appearance of a person – whether they are perceived to be attractive or otherwise. Perhaps a person with outward beauty is more confident and arrogant than someone who feels that they are unattractive. Ageing shows how temporary the outward façade of the body is, that the only thing that is acceptable before Allah and the only things of benefit to fellow man are right actions, good qualities of character along with commitment to Allah.
Each time we face our weaknesses, we realize that the only being that is Perfect and High Exalted above imperfections is Allah, and then we glorify the greatness of Allah. Allah has created every weakness man possesses with a purpose. Some of these purposes are to help people not be attached to the life of this world and not go astray with their possessions. Someone who grasps these by thinking, wants Allah to recreate him free from all these weaknesses in the Hereafter.
Our weaknesses remind us of another very important point. While a flower that grows from the soil of the earth smells and looks perfectly clean, we must take care of our bodies on a very regular basis, otherwise we begin to smell. This is something that arrogant and conceited people in particular have to think about and from which they should take warning.
What Some Features of the Human Body Make One Think About
Looking at the mirror in the morning, we may think about many things we have not thought about before. For example, our eyelashes, eyebrows, bones and teeth stop growing when they reach a certain length. If they grew more than this certain length then it would be painful and unsightly for us. There is perfect harmony and proportion in the growth of bones. For example the bones of the upper human limbs do not grow unnecessarily long leaving the body out of proportion. Their growth comes to a halt just in time as if each bone knows how long it should grow. On the other hand, our hair and nails continue to grow and this too has its purpose.
Certainly, the things mentioned here come about as a result of certain physical reactions that take place in the body. Yet someone who reflects also wonders: how do these reactions take place? Who placed just as much as is necessary of hormones and enzymes in the body thus determining the growth of everything? And who controls the amounts and secretions of these?
Doubtless, it is impossible to claim that all these have come into being by coincidence. It is impossible for the cells constituting man or the unconscious atoms constituting cells to take such decisions. It is evident that each one of these is the art of Allah Who creates us in the best form.
On the way…
After waking up and getting ready in the morning, most people set out on the way to their offices, schools or to do some other worldly work. For a believer this short trip is the beginning of doing good deeds that will please Allah. As we leave home and go outside, we readily come across many subjects on which we ought to reflect. There are thousands of people, cars, trees, big and small, and countless details all around us. Here, the outlook of a believer is very clear. We try to get the most from what we see around us. We think about the causes of events. The view we confront has come about within the knowledge of Allah and by His will. Therefore, there should certainly be causes behind it. Since Allah has set these images before us, there must be something to be seen in them and thought about. From the moment we wake up, we give thanks to Allah for having given us another day in this world to earn our reward with Him. Now, we have started a journey in which we can earn these rewards. Being aware of this, we think about the verse of Allah: "We made the day for earning a living." (Surat an-Naba': 11). In accordance with this verse, we make plans on how to spend the day in doing deeds that are useful to other people and with which Allah will be pleased.
When we reach our car or any other vehicle with these plans in mind, we again give thanks to Allah. No matter how far the destination, we have the means to get there. As a convenience, Allah has created many vehicles for people to use in travel. In particular, recent technological developments have introduced many new possibilities such as cars, trains, aeroplanes, ships, helicopters, buses, etc. Pondering this, one remembers one more issue: it is Allah Who puts this technology at the service of mankind.
Bilim adamları her geçen gün yeni buluşlar yapmakta, hayatımızı kolaylaştıracak yenilikler bulmaktadırlar. Ve bunların tümünü Allah'ın dünyada yarattığı imkanlarla gerçekleştirirler. İşte düşünen insan bunları kendi hizmetine verdiği için de Rabbimiz'e şükrederek yolculuğunu sürdürür.
In this world, Allah has created settings and sights on this earth through which we can begin to imagine what both Paradise and Hell could be like, or guess, through comparison, how they will be. Stacks of rubbish, foul odors, confined, dingy and dark places cause considerable distress to our souls. One never wants to be in such places. All these qualities remind one of Hell and anyone who encounters such scenes remembers the verses about Hell. Allah has depicted in many verses of the Qur'an the unpleasant sights, darkness, and filth of Jahannum:
And the Companions of the Left: what of the Companions of the Left? Amid searing blasts and scalding water, And the murk of thick black smoke, Providing no coolness and no pleasure. (Surat al-Waqi'a: 41-44)
When they are flung into a narrow place in it, shackled together in chains, they will cry out there for destruction. "Do not cry out today for just one destruction, cry out for many destructions!" (Surat al-Furqan: 13-14)
Remembering these ayat of the Qur'an, we pray to Allah for Him to protect us from the fury of hell and we ask forgiveness for our mistakes.
One who does not employ such modes of thought, on the other hand, spends his day grumbling, fussing, and looking for someone to blame in every incident. He will become angry at people who dump their rubbish and at the municipality that was late in collecting it. He will busy his mind with many subjects throughout the day such as the unjust scolding he receives from his boss or the negative comment from his work colleague. These vain thoughts, however, are of no use to him in his afterlife. One might stop to think whether he should push so many things aside. Indeed, many people claim the real reason that keeps them from thinking is the struggle they have to carry on in this world. They say that they cannot think because of problems such as food, accommodation and health. This, however, is nothing but an excuse and deceiving oneself. One's responsibilities and the state one is in have nothing to do with one's thinking. Someone who tries to think to gain the pleasure of Allah will find Allah's help beside him. He will see that the issues that seems to be a problem for him are solved one by one and every passing day he will be able to spare more and more time to think. This is something understood and experienced only by believers.
What A Multi-Colored World Makes One Think
Continuing on our journey, we try to see Allah's signs and creational miracles around us, and honor His glory by thinking about them. When we look around us, we see a multi-colored world. We then think: "What would everything be like if the world were not multi-colored?"
Have a look at the pictures below and think. Would we derive the same pleasure as we now do from a sea or mountain landscape or a flower without color? Would images of the sky, fruits, butterflies, clothes, and faces of people give us as much pleasure as they now do? It is a favor from our Lord that we live in a vibrant multi-colored world. Every color we see in nature, the perfect harmony of living beings' colors are all signs of the matchless art and unique creation of Allah.
The colors of a flower, or a bird and the harmony of these colors or the soft interplay between colors, the fact that nothing disturbs our eyes in nature, that, for instance, the colors of the seas, the sky, and the trees are in tones that give us peace and do not exhaust our eyes, show the perfection of Allah's creation. Reflecting on all these things, we come to understand that everything we see around us is a work of the infinite knowledge and omnipotence of Allah. In return for all these favors Allah has granted us, we fear Allah and seek His protection from being ungrateful. In the Qur'an, Allah reminds us of the presence of colors, and states that only those who have knowledge have fear of Allah. Elsewhere, Allah makes it clear that the believers continually reflect and use their intellects, explore by thinking and derive conclusions from their reflections:
Do you not see that Allah sends down water from the sky and by it We bring forth fruits of varying colors? And in the mountains there are streaks of white and red, or varying shades, and rocks of deep jet black. And mankind and beasts and livestock are likewise of varying colors. Only those of His servants with knowledge have fear of Allah. Allah is Almighty, Ever-Forgiving. (Surah Fatir: 27-28)
What A Passing Hearse Should Make One Think
One day while rushing to his destination, a person may see the sight of a funeral hearse. In fact, this is a very important opportunity for reflection. The sight he meets reminds him of death. One day, he, too, will be in that hearse. There is no doubt about it, no matter how much he evades it, death will sooner or later find him. Whether in his bed, or on his way, or on vacation, he will certainly leave this world, for death is an inescapable reality.
At that instant, a believer remembers the following verses of Allah:
Every self will taste death. Then you will be returned to Us. As for those who believe and do right actions, We will lodge them in lofty chambers in the Garden, with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, for ever. How excellent is the reward of those who act: those who are steadfast and put their trust in their Lord. (Surat al-'Ankabut: 57-59)
Certainly, the consideration that his own body will also be placed in a shroud, covered with soil by his kinsmen, his forename and surname carved on a gravestone, removes man's attachment to the world. Someone who sincerely and realistically thinks about this, sees how senseless it is to lay claim to a body which one day is to decay in the earth.
In the above verses of Surat al-'Ankabut, Allah gives the glad tidings of Paradise after death to those who are patient and put their trust in Allah. For this reason, believers, thinking that they will die one day, try to live sincerely directed towards Allah, living in right action and with the good character commanded by Allah to attain Paradise. Every time they think about the closeness of death, their determination grows and they try to adopt the highest values and increasingly develop them throughout their lives.
On the other hand, those who give precedence to other thoughts, and spend their lives in vain anxieties, do not think that the same will definitely befall them one day, even in the event that they come across a hearse and even though they pass by cemeteries every day, and even when some of their loved ones die beside them.
During the Day…
In the face of all events he comes across throughout the day, a believer always thinks of Allah's verses, and tries to have an understanding of the subtleties in events and the blessings and wisdom in Allah's creation.
He reacts to each event, which is a favor or which seems to be an untoward event with the good character of which Allah will approve. For a person who believes, the place he is in has little importance. Whether at school, at work, or shopping, by reflecting on the fact that Allah creates everything, he tries to see the hidden purpose in events and the beauties that He creates, and he leads a life abiding by the verses of Allah. This attitude of believers is related in the Qur'an as follows:
There are men who proclaim His glory morning and evening, not distracted by trade or commerce from the remembrance of Allah and the establishment of salat (regular Prayer) and the payment of zakat (regular Charity); fearing a day when all hearts and eyes will be in turmoil – so that Allah can reward them for the best of what they did and give them more from His unbounded favor. Allah provides for anyone He wills without reckoning. (Surat an-Nur: 37-38)
What Difficulties Someone Meets at Work Make Him Think
Man may encounter various difficulties throughout the day. However, whatever difficulty he encounters, he needs to put his trust in Allah and think: "Allah tests us with everything we do and we think about in the life of this world. This is a very important reality of which we should not lose sight even for a moment. Therefore, if we meet a difficulty in anything that we do or assume, from our point of view, that things do not proceed on the right track, we should never forget that all these events are set against us to test our conduct."
These thoughts which cross one's mind are true of all major or minor events one encounters during the day. For instance, we may lose money due to a misunderstanding or carelessness; we may lose a file on the computer on which we have worked for hours due to a technical reason; we may fail in an exam despite working very hard; we may misplace keys or documents that cause us to miss the train to work and we may end up being late for an important meeting. There are numerous such incidents which everyone may, and almost certainly will, come across in their lifetime and consider in their opinion to be a difficulty and "nuisance".
In all these incidents, a person with faith immediately thinks that Allah is testing his conduct and patience, and that it is senseless for a man who will die and give account in the Hereafter to be carried away by such incidents and lose time by worrying about them. He knows that there is good behind all these events. He never grieves over what has occurred, never says "Alas" to any happening and asks Allah to facilitate his work.
And when relief follows difficulty, we realize that this is an answer to our prayer to Allah; that Allah is the Hearer of prayers and He responds to them, and we give thanks to Allah.
Throughout the day thinking these thoughts, one never becomes hopeless, worries, feels sorry, or is left desperate, no matter what one encounters. We know that Allah has created all of these for some good and that there is a blessing in them. Moreover, we think like this not only in major events that may befall us but, as we have mentioned, also in all of the details, big or small, we meet in our daily life.
Think of a person who cannot settle an important matter as he wishes, and who encounters serious problems just when he is about to reach his goal. If this person does not possess the deep understanding brought by faith, he then suddenly becomes angry, frustrated and distressed and, in short, develops all sorts of negative feelings. However, someone who thinks that there is good in everything, tries to find the hidden purpose in this event which Allah shows him. He thinks that Allah may have brought to his attention that he must take more definite measures regarding this issue. He takes all the essential measures and gives thanks to Allah saying, "Maybe this helped to prevent more serious harm."
Someone who misses the bus while trying to reach an appointment may think, "Perhaps my being late and not being on this bus have saved me from an accident or another harm". These are only a few examples. One may also think, "There might be many other such hidden purposes". These kinds of examples can be multiplied within a person's life. The important thing is that our plans may not always be resolved according to our wishes. We may suddenly find ourselves in a completely different situation than we had planned. In such circumstances, someone who behaves resignedly and looks for good in the particular event he faces, prospers. Allah states:
It may be that you hate something when it is good for you and it may be that you love something when it is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not know. . (Surat al-Baqara: 216)
As Allah states in His verse, we cannot know but Allah knows. Therefore, it is Allah Who knows what is good and bad for us. What falls to man is merely to take Allah, Full of Kindness and Most Merciful, for a friend and submit to Allah with full submission.
Things that are Thought While Working at Something…
It is important that while working on something, we do not let our minds go blank and that we always think of the good. The human mind is capable of doing more than one thing at a time. A person driving a car, cleaning the house, working, walking on the street, can also think of acts of goodness at the same time.
While cleaning the house, a person can give thanks to Allah for having given him such everyday means as water and detergents. Knowing that Allah loves cleanliness and clean people, he sees the work he does as an act of worship and with it hopes to earn the good pleasure of Allah. In addition, he takes pleasure in offering a comfortable setting for other people by cleaning the place in which he resides.
Someone working at a job prays to Allah in secret constantly, asks Him to facilitate his work, and thinks that he cannot succeed in anything unless Allah wills. We see that in the Qur'an, the prophets, who set an example for us, constantly turn towards Allah in secret, and think of Allah while working. One of these blessed people is the Prophet Musa (as), peace be upon him. After helping two women he met on his way to water their flocks, he turned towards Allah:
When he arrived at the water of Madyan, he found a crowd of people drawing water there. Standing apart from them, he found two women, holding back their sheep. He said, "What are you two doing here?" They said, "We cannot draw water until the shepherds have driven off their sheep. You see our father is a very old man." So he drew water for them and then withdrew into the shade and said, "My Lord, I am truly in need of any good You have in store for me." (Surat al-Qasas: 23-24)
Another example we see in the Qur'an about this subject is that of the Prophets Ibrahim and Isma'il, peace be upon them. Allah says that these prophets thought of good things for other believers while working together, and they turned towards Him and prayed to Him about their work:
And when Ibrahim built the foundations of the House with Isma'il: "Our Lord, accept this from us! You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. Our Lord, make us both Muslims submitted to You, and our descendants a Muslim community submitted to You. Show us our rites of worship and turn towards us. You are the Ever-Returning, the Most Merciful. Our Lord, raise up among them a Messenger from them to recite Your Signs to them and teach them the Book and Wisdom and purify them. You are Almighty, the All-Wise." (Surat al-Baqara: 127-129)
What A Cobweb Makes One Think
There are many things for someone who spends his day at home to think about. For example, while doing cleaning, he might see a spider that has woven its web in a corner of the house. If he realizes that he ought to think about this creature which is normally of no importance to anyone, he will see new doors being opened for him. This tiny insect he sees before him is a miracle of Allah's supreme creation. There is perfect symmetry in the web the spider has woven. Furthermore, the spider weaves this web in a very high speed, and while doing this, does not, even for once go back and check whether it is symmetrical or not. But it sets off a structure with a perfect composition. If, a person wonders how a tiny spider could achieve such an astonishingly perfect symmetry and does a quick research he will encounter some rather extraordinary facts: the thread a spider uses is thirty percent more flexible than a rubber thread of the same thickness. The thread the spider produces is of such superior quality that men use it as a model for the manufacture of bullet-proof vests. Indeed, a substance, which many people consider a 'simple' spider's web, is in fact equivalent to one of the most ideal industrial materials in the world.
As man witnesses the perfect order of the living things around him, if he keeps on thinking, he will come across even more astonishing facts. When he examines the fly, which he constantly meets, but to which he has never paid attention, and probably at which he has even become angry and tried to kill, he sees that it has a very meticulous and detailed habit of cleaning itself. The fly frequently alights on a spot and cleans its fore- and hind-limbs separately. Then it cleans the dust off its wings and head thoroughly with its fore- and hind-limbs. It continues cleaning until it is assured of its cleanliness. All other types of flies and insects clean themselves in a similar way, with the same attention to detail and meticulousness. This indicates that the Almighty Allah taught them how to clean themselves.
The same fly flaps it wings approximately five hundred times per second while flying. In fact, no man-made machine could operate at such a rate, but would shatter and burn because of friction. However, neither the wings, muscles, nor the joints of the fly are harmed. Taking into account the direction and speed of the wind, it can fly in any direction without being diverted. Even with our current technology, man is very far from producing a device with these extraordinary features and techniques of flight. Yet such an insignificant living being, which man usually brushes aside and pays no attention to, achieves something remarkable that man so far has been unable to achieve. Clearly, it is impossible to claim that a fly does this by merit of its own abilities and intelligence. Allah has given the fly all its outstanding characteristics and abilities.
There is both visible and invisible life everywhere around us we casually glance. There is not even a square centimeter on the earth where life does not exist. Humans, plants, and animals are creatures that man is able to see, yet there are also creatures that man cannot see but of whose existence he is aware. The houses we live in, for example, are full of microscopic creatures called mites. Similarly, in the air we breathe are countless viruses. The number of bacteria living in the soil of our gardens is astonishingly high.
The person who reflects on the incredibly diverse life on earth also remembers the perfect systems of these creatures. All the creatures we see are each a clear sign of Allah's art. In the same manner, great miracles are hidden in microscopic creatures as well. The virus, bacteria or mites which are all invisible to us, have their own bodily mechanisms. Allah created their habitats, feeding patterns, and reproductive and defense systems. Someone who reflects on these facts remembers Allah's verse:
How many creatures do not carry their provision with them! Allah provides for them and He will for you. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. . (Surat al-'Ankabut: 60)
What Illnesses Make One Think About
Man is a being who has many weaknesses and who has to make continual effort to deal with his incompleteness. Illnesses expose man's weakness most explicitly. Therefore, when a friend, or we ourselves, become sick, we have to think about the hidden purpose in it. When we think, we see that even the flu, which is considered a simple illness, offers lessons from which we can take warning. For example, it is amazing to think that the main cause of flu is a virus so tiny as to be invisible to the naked eye. However, such a tiny organism is enough to cause a grown adult to lose his strength, and make him so exhausted as to prevent him walking or talking. Most of the time, the pills we take or the meals we eat do not do any good. The only thing we can do is rest and wait. During a bout of the flu, a war is taking place in the body in which we cannot intervene. We are tied hand and foot by a tiny organism. In such a situation, what we should first remember is the following verse of Allah, in which Prophet Ibrahim (as), peace be upon him, says:
He Who created me and guides me;
He Who gives me food and gives me drink;
And when I am ill, it is He Who heals me;
He Who will cause my death, then give me life;
He Who I sincerely hope will forgive my mistakes on the Day of Reckoning.
My Lord, give me right judgment and unite me with the righteous. (Surat ash-Shu'ara': 79-83)
A person who catches any type of illness should compare his attitude in good health to his attitude during sickness and think about it. In times of good health, one should frequently remember periods of sickness; how strongly he felt in need of Allah at such times, and, for instance, on his way to an operation, how sincerely and fervently he prayed to Allah.
When we witness someone else's illness, we should immediately give thanks to Allah when we remember our own good health. When a believer sees a man with a crippled leg, he should think about what a major and important favor his own leg is to him. He understands that his being able to walk wherever he wants, as soon as he rises in the morning, and to run when necessary or take care of himself without being in need of anyone else, are each great favors of Allah. As he thinks and makes such comparisons, he grasps better the value of the blessings he has been granted.
What Does One Think upon Meeting an Arrogant,
During the day, in the office or at school, one comes across many different types of people. These people may not all be good-natured people who fear Allah. The believer who meets such people, is never influenced by them but keeps on behaving in the manner commanded by Allah. He knows that the reason for the bad character traits of these people is their lack of fear of Allah and their disbelief in the Hereafter, and the following thoughts flow through his mind: Allah warns people about the agony of Hell and asks them to think of the endless torment and amend their conduct in the life of this world, turn humbly towards Allah and live sincerely by the religion (deen). If one realizes that he is face to face with such a serious threat, he will certainly take precautions to avoid it. Yet, those who do not think about it and therefore do not comprehend its seriousness, act as if there is no place of fire and torment being prepared for them.
Someone who is aware of these facts, remembers some other very important matters. While waiting at the edge of the fire of Hell, the attitudes of each one of these people will be completely different. If someone, who does not hesitate to display spoiled, impudent and arrogant manners today, lacking all belief in Allah, is arrested on the Day of Reckoning and brought before the pit of Hell dragged on the ground and subjected to constant degradation, then the expression on his face, his attitude, the way he speaks or the words he uses will not be as they used to be.
If an aggressive disrespectful person inclined to commit crimes, stripped from any human aspect, is brought to the edge of the fire of Hell, he will feel eternal regret when he sees the punishment of Hell.
Someone who makes all kinds of excuses for not living by the religious morality and not worshipping Allah in the life of this world, will not be able to make the same excuses waiting in front of the gate of Hell. At that time, prostration will no longer be possible even though the disbeliever wants to perform it, and prayer will no longer be answered even though the disbeliever prays earnestly.
Someone who fears Allah never forgets these matters. He thinks about the fire of Hell and by virtue of it sees what right manners, right words, and good character are. Since he has a strong faith in the existence of Hell and constantly thinks about it, he always acts as if he is on the edge of the Hellfire, and always thinks about the fact that he will be called to account for everything he does.
Allah calls people to think of Hell and the Day of Reckoning:
Allah has given people diverse, pure, delicious food and drink in the world. Certainly, all these are manifestations of Allah's endless grace and His mercy to people. People could well live their lives with only one kind of food and drink but Allah has bestowed upon them countless favors: fruits, vegetables and various kinds of meats…
A believer who knows that all these favors are from Allah, thinks about them and gives thanks to Allah every time he sits down to a meal.
In many verses of the Qur'an, Allah mentions that He blesses people with many kinds of food. These foods are there in front of anyone who sits down to a meal. The dining table is decked with various vegetables grown from the soil, and many animal products. Man, by nature, is created to find pleasure in these foods. These foods, each one more delicious than the next, are at the same time necessary for our survival. Let us think about what we would do if these nourishing foods, so necessary for our survival, had no taste, or if they tasted bad, or if they were harmful to us despite their pleasant taste, or if there were only a few kinds of food on which we fed, solely for survival. Allah's mercy to us is the only reason we are faced with such a picture as we see on the table. Even if one thinks only of fruit, one will recognize the tremendous favor shown us.
The conscientious person, who sees a large variety of fruit on the dining table, thinks:
- Out of the dark soil come fruits of diverse colors, a variety of fragrances, with extremely clean contents, each of which has a very pleasant taste.
- The banana, tangerine, orange, melon, and watermelon, in short all fruits, are created each with its own wrapping. Their peels protect the inner fruit from decay and ruin. Their fragrances are also preserved in these wrappings. Soon after their wrappings are removed, they begin to turn black and spoil.
- When examined one by one, the fruits are seen to have many delicate points of significance. The tangerine and orange, for example, are segmented. If they were a single piece, it would have been more difficult to eat such juicy fruits. Yet, Allah has fashioned them in slices for people's convenience. Unquestionably, this flawless, extremely aesthetic order, perfectly addressing our needs, is one of the signs of the creation of Allah, the Most Knowing.
- The strawberry, for example, is a very special fruit with its particular form and taste. The patterns on it seem as if they are meticulously designed. With its refreshing red form crowned with green leaves, it is one of the works of the matchless art of Allah. The sweetness in its fragrance and taste, and tiny seeds on the surface of the fruit, make it easy to eat thus reminding one of the fruits of Paradise. That a fruit, which almost entirely grows in the soil, has such a beautiful and striking color, is a very strong sign to us from Allah Who creates it and Who manifests His art, wisdom and knowledge in the things He creates.
- The presence of different fruits in each season is another subject to think about. It is a favor and grace of Allah to people that, for example, in winter, a period when people need vitamins most, such vitamin C-rich fruits as tangerines, oranges and grapefruits are available, while in summer, such fruits as cherries and thirst-quenching melons, watermelons and peaches are abundant.
- The charming picture of fruits on their branches or as they are planted is one which Allah presents us. The picture of hundreds of fruits on the apparently bone-dry branch, tightly fastened to it and juicy inside, some of them as if specially polished on the outside, is evidence that each one of them has been created by Allah. For instance, bunches of grapes look as if they have been placed on the branches of the grapevine one by one. Allah has created each one of them as a unique creation. Their appearance on their branches is fashioned in such a way as to appeal to people. For this reason, while depicting Paradise in the Qur'an, Allah states that its fruits are ready to be picked, in the verse,"Its shading branches will droop down over them, its ripe fruit hanging ready to be picked." (Surat al-Insan: 14).
Certainly, what are mentioned here are only a few limited examples. The blessings Allah creates are too diverse to be counted. He who realizes this at the dining table remembers another verse of Allah.
Continuing to think, we come to realize more the beauties and subtleties in the creation of Allah. While pondering all these, a conscientious person also thinks that it is a great favor of Allah that he is able to derive pleasure from the blessings that Allah offers. He remembers that the senses of taste and smell, in particular, help us perceive many of the world's beauties. And he goes on to think that if we did not have the sense of smell, we could not take as much pleasure as we now do from a rose, from the fruits we eat or even from a barbecue. If we did not have the sense of taste, we would not recognize the unique tastes of chocolate, sweets, meat, strawberries and other blessings.
We must not forget that we might well have been living in a colorless, tasteless and odorless world. And if Allah had not given us all these as blessings, we could by no means have acquired them. Yet, Allah has bestowed upon people His favor by creating tastes and smells as well as the sensory systems to perceive them.
He who believes in Allah praises Him for the beauties he sees in nature. He is aware that Allah has created all existing beauty. He knows that all these beauties belong to Allah and they are manifestations of His attribute of jamal – beauty.
While walking in nature, one encounters more beauty. From a single straw to the yellow daisy, from birds to ants, everything is full of details, which need reflection. As people reflect upon these, they come to understand the power and might of Allah.
Butterflies, for example, are very aesthetically pleasing creatures. With the symmetry and design of their lace-like wings – which are extremely precise as if drawn by hand – their harmonious, phosphorescent colors, butterflies are evidence of Allah's unequalled art and superior power of creation.
Similarly, innumerable plant and tree varieties on earth are among the beauties Allah creates. Flowers, all in different colors and trees of different forms, have been created, and among their purposes, is that they give great pleasure to people.
One who has faith thinks about how flowers such as the rose, violet, daisy, hyacinth, carnation, orchid and others have such smooth surfaces, and how they come out of their seed completely flat without any puckers as if ironed.
Other wonders Allah creates are the fragrances of these flowers. A rose, for instance, has a strong and constant ever-changing smell. Even with the latest technology, scientists cannot develop an exact match of the smell of the rose. Laboratory research to imitate this smell has not yielded satisfactory results. Smells produced based on the scent of the rose are generally heavy and disturbing. However, the original scent of the rose does not disturb.
Someone who has faith knows that each one of these is created for him to praise Allah, to present him the art and knowledge of Allah in the beauty He creates. For this reason, when someone sees this beauty while strolling in the garden, he glorifies Allah, saying, "It is as Allah wills, there is no strength but in Allah." (Surat al-Kahf: 39). He remembers that Allah has put all this beauty at the service of mankind and that He will give the believers incomparably excellent blessings in the Hereafter. And because of this, his love for Allah increases ever more.
Some people, in general, do not see any sense in thinking about the living things they see in their surroundings. They do not imagine that those living things they come across every day may have interesting features. For a person who has faith, on the other hand, every living thing Allah creates bears the traces of a perfect creation. Ants, too, are some of these creatures.
Someone who believes does not turn a blind eye to the ants he sees while wandering in the garden. By seeing their astonishing features, he witnesses the perfect creation of Allah.
Even examining the movement of the ant is thought provoking. It moves its infinitesimal legs in a sequential and extremely organized manner knowing perfectly which leg should take the first step and which the next. It moves very rapidly without faltering.
This tiny insect lifts crumbs much bigger than its own body size. It carries them to its nest with heart and soul. It travels distances that are very long in comparison to its tiny body. On featureless land, with no guide at its service, it can easily find its nest. Despite the entrance of the nest being too small even for us to find, it is not confused and finds it no matter where it is.
When one sees in the garden those ants, lined up one after the other, ardently toiling to carry food to their nest, one cannot stop wondering what kind of purpose these tiny living beings might have in working so hard. Then one realizes that not only does the ant carry food for itself, but also for other members of its colony, for the queen ant and baby ants. How such a tiny ant, which does not even have a developed brain, knows diligence, discipline and self-sacrifice is a point on which one needs to reflect. After pondering these facts, one reaches the following conclusion: ants, like all other living beings, act by the inspiration of Allah and obey His commands alone.
A believer strolling in the garden also thinks about the ivy that he encounters, which is one of the beautiful things that Allah has created. For a man who reflects, there are signs to learn from every living thing.
For instance, the ivy's winding itself round a branch or any other object is an event about which one needs to think carefully. If the development of the ivy were recorded, and then the replay speeded up, it would be seen that the ivy moves as if it is a conscious being. Just as if it sees that there is a branch right before it, it extends itself toward that branch and it fastens itself to the branch as though lassoing it. Sometimes it winds around the branch several times to secure itself. It grows very rapidly in this fashion and it makes itself a new way, either returning or proceeding downwards, when its path comes to an end. A believer who witnesses all these once again sees that Allah has created all living beings with unique, flawless systems.
As one continues observing the movements of the ivy, one witnesses another important feature of the plant. One sees that the ivy attaches itself firmly to the surface on which it lies by stretching out arms to the sides. The viscous substance this 'unconscious' plant produces is so strong that when one tries to remove it, it may even strip paint off the wall.
The existence of such a plant reveals to the believer, who sees and reflects upon these, the omnipotence of Allah, the Creator of this plant.
We see trees everyday and everywhere; however, have you ever thought how water reaches the farthest leaf on the top branch of a lofty tree? We can have a better understanding of the extraordinary nature of this by way of a comparison. It is impossible for the water in a tank in the basement of your building to climb to higher floors without a hydraulic tank or some other powerful system. Therefore, there should also be in trees a pumping mechanism similar to the hydraulic pump, otherwise, since water would not be able to reach the trunk of the tree and the branches, the tree would soon die.
Allah has created each tree with all the necessary equipment. Moreover, the hydraulic system in many trees is too superior to be compared to the building in which one lives. That is one of the subjects someone, who looks at everything with "an eye which actually sees", thinks upon seeing these plants.
Another subject has to do with the leaves. Someone who reflects on the things he sees does not, upon looking at a tree, consider the leaves as common forms, which he is accustomed to see. He thinks of various things that do not occur to most people. Leaves, for example, are very delicate forms. Nonetheless, they do not dry out under the scorching heat. When a human stays out in a temperature of 40°C even for a short while, the color of his skin changes and he suffers from dehydration. Leaves, on the other hand, can remain green under the burning heat, without being scorched, for days, and even months, although very little water drains through their threadlike veins. That is a miracle of creation demonstrating that Allah creates everything with an unequalled knowledge. Thinking over this miracle of creation, someone who believes can once again see the might of Allah and remember Him.
People follow the daily papers and TV news either during the day or when they return home in the evening. In such reports, there are issues for a conscientious person to think over, take heed from, and in which to see the signs of Allah.
Everyday, on the local pages of the newspapers or on TV news, one comes across many reports of homicide, wounding, theft, robbery, swindle and suicide. The frequent occurrence of these events, and a large number of people's being so disposed to commit such crimes indicate the harm from which people who do not live by the religion of Allah suffer. Someone's kidnapping a small child for ransom, causing him great fear, and even killing him, another's pointing a gun at the face of a man and shooting him without hesitation, another's accepting a bribe, or committing suicide or swindling… all these are indications that these people do not fear Allah and do not believe in the Hereafter. Someone who fears Allah and knows that he will give account in the Hereafter would never do any of these things. Each of these are acts that will be recompensed with Hell in the Hereafter, if the perpetrator does not turn in repentance from them and if Allah does not forgive and show mercy.
Someone may say: "I am an atheist. I do not believe in Allah, yet I do not accept bribes". However, this statement of a person with no fear of Allah is not at all convincing. It is very likely that he would decline to keep this promise if the conditions change. For instance, if this person has to find money for a very urgent cause, and happens to be in a situation in which he has the opportunity to steal or accept a bribe, he might not hold his promise. Or such a person is not expected to keep his word when his own life is at stake. Although this person may avoid taking bribes in difficult situations, he may be apt to commit other forbidden acts. A person who believes, however, never does anything whatsoever for which he cannot give account in the Hereafter, no matter how extreme the circumstances.
So, the cause of the events that make us voice protests in the newspapers, on TV, in our social lives, and urge us to exclaim "What is happening to this society?" is, in truth, the lack of religion, prevailed in various countries all over the world. A believer who sees these reports does not turn a blind eye to them but thinks that the only solution is to tell people about the love and fear of Allah and to revive the values of the religion. In a society made up of people who fear Allah and who know that they will be accountable in the Hereafter, it is impossible for these kinds of events to occur to the extent they do now in our time. In such a society, peace and safety will be prevalent at the highest level.
For a person who continues to think over the things he sees around him, discussion programs broadcast on TV are also examples for him to think about.
These discussion programs include people who are most closely involved with the topic of the day and who are most knowledgeable about that subject. These people discuss a topic for hours, without being able to work out a solution or reach a conclusion. However, those who attend these discussion programs are people who are considered to be qualified to solve such issues.
Indeed, the solution to most of these issues is quite clear. However, some people's self-interests, their remaining under the influence of their immediate circle, their efforts to push themselves forward rather than sincerely seeking for solutions, almost bring them to deadlock and stalemate.
A conscientious person who witnesses all these, thinks that the reason for these events, too, lies in society's being distant from the religion of Allah. Someone who believes in Allah never displays an irresponsible, barren, and heedless attitude. He knows that there is good in every event to which Allah exposes him, that he is constantly being tested in this world, that he has to use his reason, strength and knowledge in such a way as to please Allah.
The atmosphere in these kinds of programs discloses the argumentative and disputatious nature of most people. Most of these people's failure most of the time even to understand the question, their being obsessed only with what they will say and trying to say it first, their interrupting one another, their easily raising their voices and losing their tempers in a flash, and their starting to hurl insults at each other, clearly reveal the negative aspects of apparently educated and sophisticated people who lack the religion of Allah.
In the company of one hundred percent sincere and honest people who fear Allah, such prolonged and fruitless scenes never take place. As the purpose is to find the solution that pleases Allah and is of maximum benefit to people, the most proper and conscientious method of reasoning is found and put into practice without losing any time. Since everybody's conscience will be contented with the final decision, no dispute takes place.
If anyone has an objection grounded on reasonable causes that shows a better way, then his suggestion is employed right away. Unlike others, those who fear Allah do not display an obstinate and arrogant attitude. Remembering what Allah says in the Qur'an; "… Over everyone with knowledge there is one more knowing." (Surah Yusuf: 76), they employ the best options that they can.
These discussions that last until the morning without reaching any solution, many examples of which are observed in most countries all over the world , are worth considering because they show what can happen in an environment where the values and high qualities of character of religion are not adhered to.
One of the issues frequently dealt with in the media is injustice among people.
While there are, on one side of the world, notably prosperous countries with very high levels of welfare, there are, on the other side, people who do not have anything to eat, medicines to treat even the simplest diseases, and who repeatedly die of neglect. The first thing that this situation reveals is the iniquitous system prevailing in the world. It would be very easy for a number of the wealthy countries to save those people. For instance, near the nations dying of hunger in Africa, there are communities who have accumulated wealth from diamond mines and hence developed much material wealth. Although it is quite easy to relocate those people who live in poverty, near to starvation and are abandoned to die, or to provide means to meet their needs in the areas where they live, for decades no fundamental solution has been sought for these people. However, helping these people is not a task that a few people can handle. In order to find fundamental solutions, many people need to make self-sacrifices. However, the number of people who lay claim to attempting to solve such a problem is quite few.
Trillions of dollars are being wasted in every part of the world for various reasons. On the one hand, that some people throw their meals away unsatisfied with the taste, and, on the other hand, that some die unable to find enough food to eat, is clear evidence against an iniquitous world order caused by not living by the values of Allah's religion on the earth.
Someone who sees all this thinks that the only thing that will eliminate this iniquity is the adoption of the values that Allah commands. People who fear Allah and act by their consciences would never allow such iniquity and injustice. They would help out needy people with quick, definite and long-lasting solutions not allowing any ostentation, and, if necessary, exploiting all the possibilities of the world. Allah tells us in the Qur'an that helping the poor and needy is a characteristic of people who fear Allah and the Day of Judgment:
They give food, despite their love for it, to the poor and orphans and captives: 'We feed you only out of desire for the Face of Allah. We do not want any repayment from you or any thanks. Truly we fear from our Lord a glowering, calamitous Day.' (Surat al-Insan: 8-10)
Not feeding the poor is a characteristic of irreligious people who have no fear of Allah:
Some of the reports people frequently come across on TV and in newspapers are of disasters. People may meet disaster at any time. A powerful earthquake may happen, a fire may start or flooding may occur. Someone who sees these reports remembers that Allah has power over all things, that He can raze a city to the ground if He so wills. Thinking of these, one sees that there is no one but Allah with whom one can take refuge and from whom one can ask help. Even the strongest buildings and cities equipped with the most advanced technology cannot stand against the power of Allah; they too can perish all of a sudden.
All these scenes are for men to think about and take lessons from.
Someone who hears about or reads these disaster reports also reflects that Allah has sent a disaster against this city for a purpose. In the Qur'an, Allah relates that He consigns the disobedient nations to penalty so that they might take heed or be repaid for their deeds. Hence, if a given community practices values with which Allah is displeased, Allah may have punished them for that reason. Or, it may be that Allah is testing these people with some hardships in the world.
Thinking about these possibilities, the believer fears that all these may also befall him, and asks forgiveness of Allah for his own conduct.
No person and no nation can prevent any disaster from occurring unless Allah so wills. It makes no difference whether it is the most wealthy and powerful country in the world or a place that ordinarily would be thought to be at little risk because of its geographical location. Allah says that no nation can prevent a disaster that will befall them.
Another topic frequently dealt with in the news is the decline of the economy. In particular, a number of negative news items are reported about usury each day. Someone who reads the reports mentioning that usury is out of control, and causes downturns in the economy realizes that in return for the wide adoption of such a deeply abhorrent and forbidden act, Allah depresses the productivity of people's earnings. As stated in the verse, "Allah obliterates usury but makes charitable deeds grow in value! Allah does not love any persistently ungrateful wrongdoer" (Surat al-Baqara: 276), Allah eliminates the profit earned through usury, and decreases its productivity. This fact is stated in another verse as follows:
For a man who reflects, reports about usury, too, are examples that Allah's verses are manifest among people.
It is also possible to see on TV programs, in newspapers and magazines the beauty Allah creates and to reflect on it. Looking at or visiting somewhere with a wonderful view, a beautiful house, garden or beach surely pleases everyone. These views, first of all, remind one of Paradise. A believing person remembers once more that Allah, Who gives such great blessings, and shows people such glorious beauty, will certainly create incomparable places in Paradise.
Someone who sees these also thinks the following: everything of beauty created in the world has a number of flaws and imperfections because the world is a place of testing. Someone who spends some time at a holiday resort, the images of which he has earlier seen on TV, notices these defects. The weather's extreme humidity, the sea's disturbing saline content, the blistering heat and flies; these are only a few examples. Many worldly difficulties can happen, such as sunburn, the travel agency's organizational problems, and the intolerable nature of the people with whom one shares accommodation.
In Paradise, there will be the originals of these beauties without any of the flaws that would disturb one, and not a single displeasing conversation will be held. In every beauty a believer confronts in the world, he longs for Paradise. He always gives thanks for the blessings Allah has given him in the world, and he takes pleasure from them thinking that all these are blessings Allah has given him out of His grace. Knowing, however, that the originals of these beautiful things exist in Paradise, he does not forget the Hereafter by being carried away by the beauty of the world. He leads a life by means of which he can come to possess eternal beauty and deserve to enter the Paradise of Allah.
Unless man thinks over the things he knows, he cannot grasp the subtleties in them and realize in what an extraordinary environment he lives. On that account, a person who believes continually thinks over the living beings and events Allah creates. These can sometimes be subjects known to many people, yet he is able to draw different conclusions from them than others do.
For example, it is a very well known fact that the basic component of every animate or inanimate being in the universe is the atom. That is, most people know that the books they read, the armchairs on which they sit, the water they drink and all the things they see around them are composed of atoms. Yet only conscientious people think beyond this and witness the exalted might of Allah.When such people see reports about this subject, they think that atoms are inanimate beings. How, then, can inanimate substances such as atoms come together and form animate human beings capable of seeing, hearing, interpreting what they hear, enjoying the music to which they listen, thinking, making decisions, being happy or miserable? How could man acquire such traits making him totally different from other conglomerates of atoms?
Certainly, inanimate and unconscious atoms cannot give human beings these human qualities. It is clear that Allah creates man with a spirit endowed with such characteristics. We are reminded of a verse of Allah:
When someone who believes in Allah investigates the systems and all the animate and inanimate beings present in the universe with an attentive eye, he sees that all are created for man. He understands that nothing has come into existence by coincidence but Allah creates everything in the most precise way for man's use.
Man, for example, can breathe effortlessly all the time. The air he inhales neither burns his nasal passages nor makes him dizzy nor causes headaches. The proportion of gases in the air is designed with the amounts that are most suitable for the human body. Someone who thinks of these remembers another very crucial point: if the oxygen concentration in the atmosphere were a little more or a little less than at present, in both cases life would vanish. He then remembers what a hard time he has breathing in airless places. As a believing person continues to think on this subject, he constantly gives thanks to Allah. This is because he sees that the atmosphere of the earth could well be designed, as it is on many other planets, so as to make it difficult to breathe. Yet, it is not so and the atmosphere of the earth is created in perfect balance and order in such a way as to enable billions of people to breathe effortlessly.
Someone who keeps thinking about the planet on which he lives, thinks how important water, which Allah creates, is for human life. The following comes to mind: people, in general, understand the importance of water only when they are deprived of it for a long time. Water, however, is a substance which we need every moment of our lives. For instance, a considerable portion of our body cells and of the blood that reaches every point in our body consists of water. Were it not so, the fluidity of blood would decrease and its flow in the veins would become very difficult. The fluidity of water is important not only for our bodies but also for plants. Thus, water reaches the furthest end of the leaf by passing through its thread-like vessels.
The great quantity of water in the seas makes our earth habitable. If the proportion of sea to land on the earth were smaller, then lands would turn into deserts and life would be impossible.
A conscientious person who thinks about these matters is completely convinced that the establishment of such a perfect balance on the earth is surely not a coincidence. Seeing and thinking about all these shows that Allah, Who is exalted and the owner of eternal power, created everything for a purpose.
Moreover, he also remembers that the examples on which he has been reflecting are very limited in number. Indeed, it is impossible to count the examples regarding the delicate balances on earth. Yet a man who reflects can readily see the order, perfection and balance that prevail in every corner of the universe, and thus reach the conclusion that Allah has created everything for man. Allah states this in the Qur'an thus:
Everyone is familiar with the concept of eternity, yet have you ever thought about eternity? This is one of the subjects upon which a person believing in Allah reflects.
Allah's creating of the eternal life of Paradise and Hell is a very important subject over which everyone needs to think. Someone who thinks it over poses the following questions: the eternal nature of Paradise is one of the greatest blessings and rewards bestowed in the life after death. The glorious life in Paradise will never end. Man may live in this world for at most a hundred years. Life in Paradise, however, is timeless, so that in comparison a quadrillion times quadrillion years is short.
Someone who remembers this will also soon realize that it is impossible for man to comprehend eternity. No matter what figure man comes up with, it would still be negligible in comparison to the number of years to be spent in the eternal life.
Someone who thinks on these matters reaches the following conclusion: Allah possesses such great knowledge that what is everlasting for man, in His sight has already ended. Every incident and every thought that has taken place from the first moment time began to its last moment are, with their times and forms, determined and come to an end within His knowledge.
One should, in the same way, think that hell is a place in which unbelievers will dwell forever. There are various kinds of torture, torments, and distresses in Hell. Unbelievers in Hell are subject to uninterrupted physical and spiritual torture, which never stops, nor is the sufferer spared any time for sleep or rest. If there were an end to the life in Hell, there would be hope for the companions of Hell even if that rest were many millions of years later. Yet, what they receive in return for their associating partners with Allah and their disbelief is eternal torment.
It is extremely important for each individual to try to comprehend eternity by reflecting on it. It increases man's endeavors for the Hereafter, and reinforces both his fears and his hopes. While he strongly fears eternal torment, he cherishes the hope of attaining eternal bliss.
There are important purposes in dreams for someone who reflects. Such a person thinks about how realistic the dreams are that he sees while asleep, which in that way are no different in their realism from the moment he awakes. For instance, despite being physically present in bed, a person's dreams take him on business trips around the world, to meet new people and encounter new situations that he would not dare to face in reality.
Despite lying still in bed with the eyes shut, a person sees images far different from those in his immediate surroundings. This means that what 'saw' was not the eyes. Despite being in a quiet room, a person may have heard voices. Thus what 'heard' was not the ears. Everything had taken place in his brain. Still, everything was very realistic as if every image had an original form. What is it, then, that although none of them has originals in the external world, forms such realistic images in the brain? Man cannot formulate these consciously and intentionally while asleep. Nor can the brain produce such images on its own. The brain is a bulk of meat made up of protein molecules. It would be extremely unreasonable to claim that such a substance forms images on its own, and that it even forms human faces, places and sounds never seen or heard before that day. Who is it, then, that shows these images in a dream while asleep? One who reflects upon such questions once again sees the obvious truth: it is Allah Who makes men sleep, takes back their souls while they are asleep, sends them back to them when they awake and shows them their dreams in sleep.
Someone who knows that Allah shows the dreams also reflects upon the dream's hidden purposes and the reasons for their creation. In one's dream, one is as sure of the people and events he experiences as when awake. We think that all of them really exist, that the lives we dream are uninterrupted and continuous. If somebody comes up to us and says, "You are having a dream now, wake up", we would not believe him. Someone who realizes this, on the other hand, thinks as follows: "Who can say that the life of this world is not also a temporary and dream-like life? Just as I wake up from a dream, one day I will also wake up from the life of this world and see totally different images, for instance, the images of the Hereafter…"