people of rebellion and misguidance, as do all beings and creatures.
O wretched man, whose being is small but guilt great and sin grievous! If you want to be delivered from the wrath of the universe, the rage of beings, and the aversion of creatures, here is the means: enter the sacred bounds of the All-Wise Qur’an and follow the practices of God’s Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace), who was the herald of the Qur’an. So put yourself within its fold and adhere to the practices!
This consists of four questions and answers.
F i r s t Q u e s t i o n : How can infinite torment in an endless Hell in return for limited sins in a limited life be justice?
T h e A n s w e r : It was understood clearly in the above Indications, and particularly in the Eleventh, that unbelief and misguidance constitute an infinite crime and are transgression against innumerable rights.
S e c o n d Q u e s t i o n : It is said in the Shari‘a that Hell is punishment for actions, but Paradise is a divine favour.1 What is the reason for this?
T h e A n s w e r : It is clearly shown in the above Indications that with his faculty of will and trifling wishes, man causes awesome destruction and evils by giving form and reality to something non-existent or theoretical. Similarly, since his soul and appetites always incline towards evil and harm, he is responsible for the evils that occur as a result of his trivial wishes. For his soul wanted them and his desires gave rise to them. And since evil pertains to non-existence, the servant is the agent and Almighty God creates it. Being responsible for the infinite crime, he certainly deserves infinite punishment.
However, since good deeds and actions pertain to existence, man’s will and wishes cannot be the direct cause of their existence. Man cannot be the true agent in such acts. Also, his evil-commanding soul does not tend towards good deeds; it is divine mercy that requires them and dominical power that creates them. Man can only lay claim to them through belief, a wish, or an intention. And having claimed them, such good works consist of thanks for the infinite divine bounties received, such as the gifts of belief and existence. Such thanks looks to past bounties, while Paradise is a favour of the Most Merciful which since it as been promised by Him will be given. Apparently it is a reward, but in reality it is a favour.
See, Qur’an, 10:58. See also, Bukhari, Riqaq, 18; Marda, 19; Muslim, Sifat al-Munafiqin, 71-3, 75-6, 78.