The straight Path of Faith and Good Deeds

Prof. Dr. Mahmoud Hamdy Zaqzouq- President of Al-Azhar Center for Dialogue

  • | Thursday, 12 July, 2018
The straight Path of Faith and Good Deeds

     If we return for a moment to the teachings of religion and thus to the origin of all human conceptions of happiness, morality, responsibility, and human fulfillment, we receive more detailed insight into how these ideas are to be understood and how they can be realized, and thus how we can reach the paths that lead us to paradise.

    The paradise described in the Islamic revelation marks the beginning and the end of human history. It is the vision of a perfectly happy life at the beginning of creation and then again its end, in eternity. The first paradise, a life of innocence and lasting bliss (At-Tawbah: 21), we can imagine in our desires, but we cannot imagine the coming paradise in eternity in the same sense, for we are not able to truly imagine eternity. The Quran teaches us, only faith imparts knowledge of the last things to us- meaning the Day of Judgment, the Hereafter, and eternity- and with it a life of constantly sought through voluntary good deeds. He who desires paradise, it says, strives for it with his actions. Man erroneously always thinks he knows what he is doing. Strictly speaking, however, this is a mistake. Only in the hereafter, as the Quran teaches us repeatedly, will the veils be taken from his eyes, and he will be told what he has done. “Unto Him shall you return,” the Quran warns repeatedly. “Then He tell you of what you have been doing” (Al-An`am :60, (see also Al-Mujadilah:7).

      The Quran encourages man to reflect on his destiny, as his own deeds determine his fate in this and the coming world. Thus, he should let himself be guided in his actions by reason. When man strays from the path destined for him, the straight path of Islam, the voluntary submission to God and His will, he will occupy “ the lowest of the low”(At-Tin: 4-6). However, when he realizes his destiny he will receive, as the Quran states, a reward that has no end: paradise. Moreover, he already receives rewards in this world. “We have certainly created man in the best of stature; then we return him to the lowest of the low, but those who believe and do righteous deeds will have an unfailing reward” (At-Tin: 4-6). The Quran stresses that no one is burdened with more than they can afford. (The Quran, 2:286, 7:42, 46:16). “Those who believe and do deeds of righteousness,”, the Quran promises: “unto them the All-merciful shall bestow love” (The Quran, 19:96).



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