Iman and Action: The Law of Requital in Islam's Cosmic Balance

, The results of our actions will appear. If they do not appear here in this world, then this does not mean that they have disappeared. No, that is not the case. The results will appear definitely, if not here then they will appear in the Hereafter. The life is a continuous journey that continues in the Hereafter. Only the physical body disintegrates here but life moves on beyond this world.

Allah’s Law of Requital

This is the Iman in Allah’s Law of Requital. The entire chain of sending the divine revelation, and divine Books through the messengers, and divine protection of the last Book in the chain, the Quran (15:9), and the working of the universe – is for this purpose that Allah’s Law of Requital will make sure that no result of human action remains without producing its result.

The Quran says:

وَلِلَّـهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ لِيَجْزِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسَاءُوا بِمَا عَمِلُوا وَيَجْزِيَ الَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا بِالْحُسْنَى

(53:31) – Indeed, unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth: and so He will reward those who do evil in accordance with what they did, and will reward those who do good with ultimate good.

The results would be compiled according to the course a person takes. This is because everything in the heavens and on earth is continuously compiling the consequences of one’s deeds; producing negative results for those creating chaos and disorder; and producing positive and pleasant results for those who lead a righteous life (11:7; 45:22). The purpose of the universe and its function is that every human being is fully recompensed for what he has done; and no harm is done to anyone.

Limitation of human knowledge

This fact what the Quran has mentioned here has not yet come under the grip of knowledge. But there are many other facts that scientific advancement has made it possible to find circumstantial evidence of crime such as finger print identification, blood and DNA analysis, lie detector, etc.

And scientific research is continuing to reveal new aspects in this direction. But still the research is lacking about how the universe and its operating machinery produces results of human actions and that no human action remains without producing its result. All these will be recorded in the divine registry of deeds (36:12).

Further research may reveal what the Quran has said that even fleeting thoughts in the heart produce results (40:19) and will be recorded in divine registry of deeds. But this must be our Iman that what the Quran has said here is true. In fact, the entire superstructure of Islam erects on the foundation of Law of Requital – that every human action produces its result; that even every thought produces its result.

يَعْلَمُ خَائِنَةَ الْأَعْيُنِ وَمَا تُخْفِي الصُّدُورُ

(40:19) – He is aware of the [most] stealthy glance, and of all that the hearts would conceal.

The Islamic system

This is the Iman on which the foundation of Islamic system is established. It is established by those who have the unwavering Iman. That what the Book of Allah says good it is good and what it says evil it is evil. That our every action and even our thoughts will produce results according to the Book of Allah. If not here then definitely in the Hereafter. These are the people through whose hands when the Islamic system is established then it is good for humanity.

No human action escapes the Law of Requital without producing its result. The Universe and its machinery make sure of that, as the verses (45: 22) and (53:31) confirm. Does it mean that only those humans will go to Jannah who have not done any wrong deed? The Quran declares, that is not the case. Allah knows that humans are not angels; that human beings have weaknesses.

What it says is that on the scale of good and bad deeds if the side of good deeds is heavier than the side of bad deeds then that person will be promoted to heaven, otherwise not. Allah knows that human beings will commit errors and mistakes. He has created them, sent them His guidance. He wants them to follow his guidance. But He is merciful as well. He does not send one to hell for one mistake.

A Period of Respite

In fact, He gives them a period of respite that they can compensate the negative effects of their bad actions with positive effects of good actions. All He wants is that they should become conscious about their bad actions immediately; and then do good actions to compensate for their bad actions on the scale of the Law of the Requital. His period of respite is mercy from Him.

So, the Quran says:

الَّذِينَ يَجْتَنِبُونَ كَبَائِرَ الْإِثْمِ وَالْفَوَاحِشَ إِلَّا اللَّمَمَ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ وَاسِعُ الْمَغْفِرَةِ ۚ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِكُمْ إِذْ أَنشَأَكُم مِّنَ الْأَرْضِ وَإِذْ أَنتُمْ أَجِنَّةٌ فِي

بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ ۖ فَلَا تُزَكُّوا أَنفُسَكُمْ ۖ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنِ اتَّقَىٰ

(53:32) – As for those who avoid the [truly] grave sins and shameful deeds - even though they may some­times stumble behold, thy Sustainer is abounding in forgiveness. He is fully aware of you when He brings you into being out of dust, and when you are still hidden in your mothers’ wombs: do not, then, consider your­selves pure - [for] He knows best as to who is conscious of Him.

Compensating negative effects of bad actions by doing Tauba

These people, who lead righteous lives, avoid serious offenses that slow down the growth of human personality and they avoid those actions which spread abominations. However, in a situation when one realizes that this has happened and immediately corrects oneself (7:201), or even if he makes an unintentional mistake (and thereafter corrects himself) – then one is protected from the negative consequences of such actions.

In other words, this means that the weight of their good deeds is so heavy that it provides protection against the ill-effects of minor unintentional mistakes. This shows the abounding magnanimity of the Divine Law of Requital (4:31; 42:37).

This is the Law of the Almighty Who is fully aware of human weaknesses as well as their potential abilities. He knows the stages that life has gone through from being inanimate matter to becoming human beings; and how many formations the fetus attained in the mother's womb. He knows what hampers the development of human ‘self’ and what helps it grow. This is the very criterion for adjudging the depth of the divine injunctions in one's personality.

Importance of Tauba

The judgement should not be according to one's own devised standards. The one and the only touchstone is Allah’s Book and not any man-made standards (91:7-10)

In another verse the Quran says that when some untoward thing happens then they immediately turn to their Sustainer and admit their mistake and seek protection of Allah:

رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِي

(7:23) – 'O our Sustainer! We have sinned against ourselves -and unless Thou grant us forgiveness and bestow Thy mercy upon us, we shall most certainly be lost!

O Our Sustainer! We have indeed wronged ourselves and unless you provide protection and Grace for us, we will be ruined. This is called Tauba. It involves first to admit that I have done something wrong and then it further involves doing some good deeds which are heavier so that the scale of good deeds could compensate the bad deeds and then add some extra weight to the scale of good deeds.

Reciting the word “Tauba” on the beads of rosary is not the way to do Tauba. It requires performing some good action. Life becomes better by doing good action not by moving the beads of rosary. Only doing Hasnaat would compensate the action of Sayyiaat, not by reciting Tauba.

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