How strong is our faith?
This particular question has often been the topic of numerous debates among people. Life on earth is temporary because whatever any of us achieves and no matter how much riches and successes we have, in the end, we will all die when our time comes. You can’t take it with you. No being has and never will escape death. This automatically defines that earthly life is impermanent, passing and will end one day. Heaven is never ending.
Heaven as defined in the Islamic faith is eternal life in Paradise; the infinity of Heaven’s rewards cannot be grasped by a human’s ‘earthly mind’. Eternal is the key word. Forever. As Allah said: ‘Wherein rivers flow underneath them; therein they will be adorned with bracelets of gold, and they will wear green garments of fine and thick silk. They will recline therein on raised thrones. How good is the reward, and what an excellent Murtafaq (dwelling, resting place.)! Surah Al-Kahf, Verse 31.’ So no matter how hard we might try to imagine what heaven will be like, our mind cannot visualise it in its true glory. In heaven, bad things will not exist such as suffering, ugliness, jealousy, pain, unhappiness. These feelings however are a part of our present lives. Also, we will never be old and sick in Heaven.
Since Heaven is eternity, one cannot strive for it on earth because it doesn’t exist. When we turn around and look at our life, we look at the past; things we did and lived through. They are gone just like we live each day for itself, we can’t bring back yesterday. And we overcome whatever things and situations we’ve gone through, they eventually end, as life itself will end for each living creature. Everything passes. No wonder there are so many sayings such as ‘live your day as if it were your last’- you won’t be able to make it up again.
Furthermore, about life on Earth Allah says the following: ‘Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children. (It is) as the likeness of vegetation after rain, thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller; afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it becomes straw And the life of this world is only deceiving enjoyment’ Surah Al-Hadid, Verse 20.
So whichever faith we believe in, we cannot deny the fact that eternity in this life does not exist. Hence, he who believes in the beauties of heaven and its eternity, will not strive for it here. He who doesn’t believe in heaven after death will continue to search for it on this earth and even if one achieves the imagined state of heaven, it will be short lived, since nothing lasts forever in this life. One should concentrate on doing good deeds and try to make his/her life, which is an interim dwelling, as best as possible in order to reach Heaven after one’s existence here ceases. Heaven, the state that we all, knowingly or not, strive for. If one will have earned it, that is.