Punishment: In the Hereafter

Q530 :Who will get more punishment in the hereafter: A person who has studied the Qur'an but does not follow its teachings or the one who is totally ignorant of it?

A530 : I simply do not know what answer to give you. It is not for me or any human being to decide what punishment is given by God to any person. What we should realize is that God is aware of even the most momentary thought that floats in a person's mind, whatever circumstances he may find himself in. He judges us not only on the basis of our actions, but He also takes into consideration our intentions and our motives behind what we do. The other thing is that we tend to emphasize punishment far too strongly in our thinking. This is not a proper Islamic attitude. What Islam teaches us is to always maintain a balance between the two possibilities of punishment for sin and earning God's forgiveness. God describes Himself as the most merciful and describes His punishment as severe. But He also tells us that His mercy may be bestowed on anyone who does not associate partners with Him. The more diligent we are in the fulfillment of the obligations He has imposed on us, the better our chances of receiving His mercy and His forgiveness of our sins. A Muslim must always try to make his behavior a credit to his faith. If his actions fall short of what Islam requires, he should be keen to make it known that Islam should not be blamed for his own actions. The fault is his, not that of his faith.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )