The way to Heaven

How can we humans, from the Islamic prospective, overcome "sin"? The Quran teaches that life is a test, that earthly life is temporary (67:2). Muslims believe that there is reward and punishment, that there is life hereafter and that reward or punishment don't necessarily wait until the Day of judgment. Muslims also believe in resurrection and accountability.

Islam teachings are always practical, it teaches that our way to heaven is by being humble and that we cannot achieve salvation by our own righteousness. The reconciliation of the "sinful" human with Allah is contingent on three elements; the most important is; The grace, the mercy and the generosity of God. Then there are good deeds and of course, the correct belief. Correct belief and good deeds are prerequisites for God's grace and forgiveness and for rising above our common shortcomings. Correct belief and good deeds are the proofs that we are turning -or walking- towards God, not holding the correct belief or choosing to do what is wrong means that we are walking away from Him.

To acquire good deeds one must do what is right and avoid what is wrong according to the teachings and the way shown to us by Muhammad (pbuh), whenever there is a choice. Allah tells us that there will be times when we will have no choice, He already knows that, because He is the All-Knowing. He gives us some examples:

"O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restrain. (Fasting) for a fixed number of days. But if any of you is ill or on a journey, the prescribed number (should be made up) from days later"(2-183,184).

And; "…But if one is forced by necessity, without willful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits. Then he is guiltless, for Allah is Oft-Forgiving most Merciful"(2-173).

 

How can sin be washed away? The Quran gives the prescription:

"If any one does evil or wrongs his own soul but afterwards seeks God's forgiveness, he will find God Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful"(4: 110). However, Islam does not teach that one can choose to do what is wrong and then go a head and ask for forgiveness later, for this would be hypocrisy. It teaches repentance, stopping evil ways, feeling sorry for what one has done and determining to follow the path of Allah as much as humanly possible.

 

"On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns. And it suffers every ill that it earns" (2:286)

 

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