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When one takes a look at the articles of faith in the Islamic religion, he would discover that they are six; believe in One God, believe in His Prophets and Messengers (Muhammad peace be upon him being the last of them), believe in the divinely revealed holy scriptures (which the Qur'an is the last), believe in the Angels, believe in the Day of Judgment, and believe in predestination! The last two articles here mentioned are the scope of our topic today and discuss eternal salvation symbolized and embodied in attaining Paradise, and eternal doom embodied in Hell fire! The Qur'an teaches the necessity of both faith and good works to attain salvation and God's Garden of Eden. One must believe in the Oneness of God and then follow suit with good and righteous deeds as taught by His Prophets peace be upon them. Similarly, when one disbelieves in the One God, Allah or believes in Him but does not follow suit with good deeds and the obey His commandments , then he will be punished in Hell fire.




As Muslims, we believe in the existence of Allah's Gardens of Eden, His Paradise which He promised all believing servants who obeyed His commands in this world and abstained from evil deeds. Likewise, we do believe in the existence of the Hell fire which evil serve as the punishment ground for those who disbelieve in Allah and fight against His course which is an embodiment of righteousness, justice, kindness, peace and love.




The Holy Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said in one of his supplications and praises to Allah the One God, "You are the Lord of the heavens and earth and that which dwell in them, You are the Truth, and Your statement is the truth, and your promise is the truth, meeting You is true and real, the Paradise is true and real, the Hell is true and real, the Time (Day of Judgment) is true and real…" (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).




Allah says in the Qur'an, "It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards East or West; but it is righteousness to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and give zakat; to fulfill the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. (Q2:177).




Out of God's mercy and  benediction, He sent His Prophets and Messengers to guide mankind to attaining His Paradise, Allah says: ”He it is Who sends blessings on you, as do His angels, that He may bring you out from the depths of Darkness into Light: and He is Full of Mercy to the Believers." (Q33:43).




To further buttress the necessity of both faith and good works to attain salvation and God's Garden of Eden, Allah says: "In the case of those who say, "Our Lord is Allah," and, further, stand straight and steadfast, the angels descend on them (from time to time): "Fear ye not! " (they suggest), "Nor grieve! but receive the Glad Tidings of the Garden (of Bliss), that which ye were promised!" (Q41:30).




While encouraging mankind to work hard to attain Paradise, Allah admonishes them to fear the punishment of hell, and He says, "And fear the Fire, which is prepared for those who reject Faith." (Q3:131). He went further advising mankind to repent and seek His forgiveness so as to attain His Paradise,  abstain from His 'Donts' and limits while doing as much as possible of His 'Dos'; "You be foremost (in seeking) forgiveness from your Lord, and a Garden (of Bliss), the width whereof is as the width of heaven and earth, prepared for those who believe in Allah and His messengers: that is the Grace of Allah, which He bestows on whom He pleases: and Allah is the Lord of Grace abounding.” (Q57:21).




"Those are limits set by Allah. those who obey Allah and His Messenger will be admitted to Gardens with rivers flowing beneath, to abide therein (for ever) and that will be the supreme achievement. But those who disobey Allah and His Messenger and transgress His limits will be admitted to a Fire, to abide therein: And they shall have a humiliating punishment." (Q4:13-14).




"To those who believe and do deeds of righteousness hath Allah promised forgiveness and a great reward." (Q5:9).


But those who believe and work righteousness,- no burden do We place on any soul, but that which it can bear, they will be Companions of the Garden, therein to dwell (forever). (Q7:42).


"As to those who believe (in One God) and work righteousness, verily We shall not suffer to perish the reward of any who do a (single) righteous deed. (Q18:30).


The aforementioned verses and traditions of the Prophet peace be upon him shed light on the Islamic view point of the existence of eternal salvation and Hell! May Allah the Almighty count us among the righteous believers that will attain His forgiveness and eternal bliss on the Day of accountability. Ameen.


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