UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Topic initiated on Wednesday, February 21, 2007 - 10:09 AM
|“What if I died right now? Am I ready or not?”|
QUESTIONER2: I was just curious how does a Muslim, how does he know that he has eternal life, what does a Muslim believe once he dies in sin?
DR MILLER: Well, as to exactly what happens to him, there are all kinds of stories about that, nobody really knows. MAYBE DEATH IS AS INTERESTING AS
LIFE. It’s like saying what’s going to happen to this baby now that it is born (referencing an infant screaming and crying out in the audience)? What going to happen now that this man has died may be a very complicated thing, too? The first part about what you are asking is how does he knows about where he stands? Look at it in this way, the Quran says that on the final judgment that record of each man will be put in his hand. He knows by that record what the decision is what the verdict is. There are no surprises. It is not going to be the case where someone looks over his record and is thinking,
“This looks pretty close, I hope the judge is in a good mood today.”
(Audience laughter) It’s going to be very clear by the record. So given that that is the case, anybody at any given moment should be able to stop and think, “What if I died right now? Am I ready or not?” The difference between that approach and the approach of some at least who would say, ”I KNOW that my well being is looked after,” is some of those who would say that, “I know that I am saved and a week from tomorrow I’ll still be saved.” Whereas the Muslim would say, “I am ready to die now, a week from tomorrow ask me a week from tomorrow.” That is he knows what the situation is to now.
There is a confidence there I guess which the Muslim doesn’t often talk about, there is the story of one of the men of 14 centuries ago, he was about to be executed, in fact crucified, by the people in Mecca, Hubaibe(a.s.), I am thinking of. The people who were about to kill him said, ”You can have a moment to make some prayers if your want.” So he prayed very quickly and then he came back, “I would have prayed longer but you would think that I was stalling and I was afraid, and I am not, let’s get on with it, I shortened my prayer.” So he was quite confident of what the situation was at that point. That is distinctly a possibility. It is just a matter of being honest with yourself, to say why have I done what it is that I’ve
done, what are my intentions, what brought me to here. Is it good or is it bad? That’s something you know from the inside.
QUESTIONER2: So how do you know the things that you’ve done throughout your life whether God thinks they’re good enough for Him? I’m saying you appear
before Him when you die, how do you know that it is good enough?
DR MILLER: It is not a question precisely of what is done, it is a question of intentions. That is, it is said that if a man made up his mind to a good thing and he got up to leave the house to go do it and fell and broke his neck and died, the credit is his as though he did it. Because what matters is that he was of that frame of mind that he was intending to do that. Whereas if a man made up his mind to do a bad thing, and he broke his neck on the way, he has committed no crime, too bad that he was in that state of mind -- but he has committed no crime. In the third case, if a man made up his mind to do a bad thing and then changes his mind he has credit for changing his mind.
You see it is a matter of the intention, what is the frame of mind that you are in, NOT NECESSARILY THE VALUE OF YOUR ACTS. The good things that people
do have a certain value but they really don’t add up to anything like the compensation that comes back. As the one verse says, The punishment that men receive is exactly equal to the wrong done but the reward they receive is 10 times greater than any good they’ve actually ever done. That using the figure 10 apparently figuratively, just to say penalties correspond with crimes, but rewards are much greater than any particular good thing that was