Monday, November 26, 2007

Accountability- Woe that I were mere dust!


Before we were created we were dust. All around us is dust, dust, which did not have the opportunity to have a human existence. What if the dust were given a choice to be human or to remain dust?

Sura 78:40 ( Naba ) The good tidings.

Verily, We have warned you of a penalty near
The Day when man will see ( the Deeds) which
His hands have set forth, and the unbelievers will say,
“ Woe unto me! Would that I were (mere) dust!

If the dust knew what we know now, that our livelihood is guaranteed, that most of the pleasures in life are free, that pain suffering and sacrifice are doable and there is much satisfaction from sacrifice for others and that if we sin, we will have the opportunity to atone and to seek forgiveness. Would there not be a long dusty queue wishing for the opportunity? Would we not feel as if we were the chosen ones because we did get the opportunity?
As we smell the flowers and breathe the air and sip the water, do we not feel good to be alive and to be aware ?
Yet for many, the day of Judgment will be a day of regret because all of life comes with responsibility and they may have violated their responsibilities.

6:70 And leave to themselves all those who, beguiled by the life of this world, have made play and passing delights their religion;

[60] but remind [them] herewith that [in the life to come] every human being shall be held in pledge for whatever wrong he has done, and shall have none to protect him from God, and none to intercede for him; and though he offer any conceivable ransom,
[61] it shall not be accepted from him. It is [people such as] these that shall be held in pledge for the wrong they have done; for them there is [in the life to come] a draught of burning despair
[62] and grievous suffering awaits them because of their persistent refusal to acknowledge the truth.


This is not an onerous responsibility. What is onerous is the handicap that we develop every time we shirk this responsibility. Every time we do a good deed the next one becomes easier. Every time we do a bad deed, the next one becomes easier. It is a self regulating mechanism where you can play the game of life as an advanced player or as a handicapped player.

It is like walking on a treadmill, each time you do something wrong, the incline becomes steeper. Each time you do something good, the incline is reduced.

When you are on life’s journey, it is not the eyes that show you the path, but the heart. If the heart is not clean, you will not know if you are going on the right path.

6:82 Those who have attained to faith, and who have not obscured their faith by wrongdoing-it is they who shall be secure, since it is they who have found the right path!"

Allah sent this verse at a time when the Quraysh were questioning the Prophet, asking if there really is a judgment day.

[Naba 78:1] What are they questioning each other about?
[Naba 78:2] About the great tidings!
[Naba 78:3] Regarding which they hold different views.
[Naba 78:4] Surely yes, they will soon come to know!

According to Allah, this is the good news. Man was not created in a vacuum to do as he wills and not be answerable for it later on.

How ever there is a price to be paid for the opportunity of this life. That price is to do what is right and to avoid what is wrong. It is a small price for those who are able to discipline themselves but a big one for those who ultimately turn against their Creator and in acts of self indulgence and sometimes in defiance, commit themselves to most of the seven deadly sins.
There are those of us motivated by fear and those who are inclined to take risks. God does not wish for there to be any misunderstanding, the stakes for us are too high. We should not be in any doubt that the day will come when we will meet with our creator and be held accountable for what we did.

Our responsibilities

There should also be no doubt as to what code of conduct we are being asked to follow.

6:151 Say: "Come, let me convey unto you what God has [really] forbidden to you: "Do not ascribe divinity, in any way, to aught beside Him; and [do not offend against but, rather,] do good unto your parents;

[146] and do not kill your children for fear of poverty - [for] it is We who shall provide sustenance for you as well as for them;

[147] and do not commit any shameful deeds, be they open or secret; and do not take any human being's life-[the life] which God has declared to be sacred -otherwise than in [the pursuit of] justice: this has He enjoined upon you so that you might use your reason;

6:152 and do not touch the substance of an orphan - save to improve it-before he comes of age."

[149] And [in all your dealings] give full measure and weight,

[150] with equity: [however,] We do not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear;

[151] and when you voice an opinion, be just, even though it be [against] one near of kin.

[152] And [always] observe your bond with God:

[153] this has He enjoined upon you, so that you might keep it in mind.
6:153 And [know] that this is the way leading straight unto Me: follow it, then, and follow not other ways, lest they cause you to deviate

[154] from His way. [All] this has He enjoined upon you, so that you might remain conscious of Him.

The code of conduct is Summarised below under 10 points: Point # 10 covers 4 Pillars of Islam. It is not enough to observe the 5 pillars ( which is points 1 and 10). There are another 8 directives which are equally important to follow.

1. Belief in one God

2. Do good to your Parents

3. Be not afraid of having children. Do not kill children for any reason what so ever

4. Avoid shameful deeds, even in secret.

5. Do not take another Human life, other than in pursuit of justice.

6. Do not touch the property of an orphan except to fulfill your Fiduciary duties to him or her.

7. Do not cheat in the matter of giving account for measures and weights.

8. Do not demand of people more than they are able to bear.

9. Be just in expressing your opinion even if it goes against your next or near of kin.

10. Observe your duties to God.

Accountability and Punishment

There should also be no doubt about the punishment for falling prey to the temptations of this world.

[Naba 78:21] Indeed hell is lying in ambush.
[Naba 78:22] The destination of the rebellious.
[Naba 78:23] They will remain in it for ages.
[Naba 78:24] They will neither taste anything cool in it, nor anything to drink.
[Naba 78:25] Except hot boiling water and hot pus discharged from the people of hell.
[Naba 78:26] The reward to each is according to what he is.

The reckoning will be fair and every detail of our acts will be available.

[Zilzal 99:7] So whoever does a good deed equal to the weight of the minutest particle, will see it.
[Zilzal 99:8] And whoever does an evil deed equal to the weight of the minutest particle, will see it.

Self Accountability and Due Process

At the end of the game, there is no judge. The results can almost be automatically calculated. The system is very precise. Our deeds are all documented. Our bodies will bear testimony. In no other system is there a method of self accountability such as the one above.