It is reported that once a person went to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and said, “O Messenger of Allah (Subhaanahu Wata’aalaa), I have some slaves who sometimes disobey me, or they steal or tell me a lie. I sometimes scold them and, sometimes, I also punish them. How is it going to turn out for me on the Day of Requital?” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) observed, “Allah (Subhaanahu Wata’aalaa) will dispense justice correctly on the Day of Judgment. If the punishment you meted out to them is proportionate to their faults you will neither get nor have to give anything; you will be quits. If the punishment turn out to be of a lesser degree than what they merited you will be recompensed for it. If the punishment proves to be excessive you will have to recompense the slaves. “On hearing the Prophet’s reply the enquirer began to cry. He said, “Then, O Prophet of Allah (Subhaanahu Wata’aalaa), the best thing for me is to send them away.

I declare before you that I have set them free.” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) is also reported to have recited the following verse of the Quran to him:

We shall set up scales of justice for the Day of Judgment, so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least. And if there be (no more than) the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it (to account)! And enough are we to take account.

Heaven and hell

In the preceding chapter it has been said that the Last Day will be the Day of Judgment. On that Day the believers who will also have done good deeds in the world and on whom there will be no punishment will rejoice. During the entire proceedings of the Day they will rest secure under the shadow of Divine benevolence and gain immediate admission into the Paradise. Such of them as well be adjudged worthy of deliverance but only after they have undergone a spell of punishment will be forgiven and admitted into the Paradise after they have suffered some of the agonies of the Day of Reckoning, or, at the utmost, after they have spent some time in Hell. In any case, those possessing the least amount of faith will, sooner or later, find their place in Heaven. Only men who will have departed from the world in a state of infidelity or polytheism will be doomed to live permanently in Hell. In sum, Heaven is the reward for faith, fidelity and good doing and Hell for infidelity, polytheism and revolt against Allah (Subhaanahu Wata’aalaa) and transgression against His will.

The superlative, incomparable blissfulness of Heaven and the fearful, loathsome punishment and torture of Hell have been described in proper detail in the Quran:

“For righteous are Gardens in nearness to their Lord, with rivers flowing beneath; therein is their eternal home; with Companions pure (and holy); and the good pleasure of Allah (Subhaanahu Wata’aalaa). For in Allah (Subhaanahu Wata’aalaa)’s sight are (all) His servants.”

“Verily the companions of Garden shall that Day have joy in all that they do; they and their associates will be in grove of (cool) shade; reclining on Thrones (of dignity); every fruit (enjoyment) will be there for them; they shall have whatever they call for; “Peace!” a word (of salutation) from a Lord Most Merciful.”

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