The Qur'an says:
- O you who believe, save yourselves and your families from the Fire whose fuel will be men and rocks, over which will be appointed stern and severe angels as wardens who would never disobey what God would command them, and would do what they will be commanded. (66:6)
Any person who believes that a Day of Final Justice is bound to dawn would do everything possible within his means to save himself and his family from the Fire of Hell. Consequently, whenever he would find any of his close ones deviating from the right path, he would hurry to bring him back. His attempt would be at least equal in earnestness to that of someone attempting desperately to rescue a close one from the flames of a threatening fire. The fear that his attempt would earn for him the displeasure of others would not deter him from pursuing his objective. Indeed, a temporary unhappiness of some relatives and friends is far easier to face than the accountability in the Hereafter if this responsibility is avoided. The Prophet of Allah (sws) had warned thus:
- Each one of you is a shepherd, responsible [to the Almighty] for [the conduct of] his herd. (Muslim, Kitabu'l-Imarah)
Love and sympathy for others, if carried too far, make an individual lazy and unmindful about religious matters. Emotional attachment to the religion of Allah, as a result, gradually drops to a level where open violations of the Almighty's injunctions even by one's wife and children fail to move him to take corrective measures. He satisfies his feelings of religiosity by the deceiving thought that time itself would reform them gradually. There are many who instead of reforming their kin, spare no efforts to justify their faults. This highly unbecoming attitude is adopted even by those who have taken up the task of reforming the entire society.
The obvious reason why people do not take up the responsibility of reforming their near ones seriously is that they fail to realize that true love does not demand individuals to meekly overlook the irreligious conduct of their family and to allow them to be swallowed by the flames of Hell as a result; it requires, instead, that they should somehow be dragged away from it, even though the process might necessitate some discomfort to them. Remember, anyone who remains unconcerned at the un-Islamic behavior of his close ones is not loving them, but is, in reality, callously allowing them to move closer to the wrath of the Almighty.
The Holy Qur'an warns us that many people would find themselves along with their families in an unenviable fate on that Fateful Day. It says:
- You would see them brought before the fire, abject in disgrace, looking stealthily. And those who believe will say: 'Indeed losers are those who have failed themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection.' Be informed that these transgressors will suffer a lasting torment. They will have no protector to help them than God. He whom God allows to go astray has no way [to revert]. (42:45-6)
We, therefore, pray to the Almighty: 'O Lord, give us of good in the world, and give us of good in the life to come and save us from the torment of the Fire.' (2:201) Amen.