Either faith is apparent to someone, whereby they live with the outlook it provides and are hence called the ‘fortunate’ or ‘happy’ ones, and their final destination will be paradise.
Or faith is not encoded in one’s creational program, and thus the person lives with the outlook provided by the lack of faith and is called ‘unfortunate’ or ‘unhappy’ – his final destination will be hell and his life will continue in suffering.
The faith that is inherent in one’s creation will sooner or later enable the person to realize that Allah is the creator of all events and actions, and will thus end the person’s suffering. Let’s remember the verse: “Let it be known with certainty that consciousness finds contentment in the remembrance of Allah (dhikrullah; to remember one’s essential reality or original self, i.e. Allah, as comprising the essence of all things with His Names)!”
Faith is based on how the brain has been wired; it has to do with whether a certain section of the brain has been activated or not. In fact, I even believe there is a gene related to faith!
If a brain interprets a situation in the light of faith, the evaluation will be dramatically different to one that makes its interpretations without faith!
No one can deduce from the onset whether a person carries the gene of faith; albeit, his behavior at any given time may give us a slight indication for that instance. Nevertheless, even if a certain action can be categorized as being the result of faith or lack thereof, no one can know in which state a person will change dimensions (experience death), and thus it is not possible to judge one as a believer or a non-believer.
Generally speaking, just as a life spent without faith does not promise a joyful future, one with faith does not always guarantee it either.
The Rasul of Allah (saw) gives us a number of examples worth noting.
A man who dies while fighting in battle for the sake of Allah is told he is not a martyr and his place is hell because he fought merely to display his might and strength.
Another man who is known to give a lot of charity is told his place is hell because he gave not for the sake of Allah, but to be reputable among the people.
And finally, a scholar is told his place is hell because he used his knowledge to gain the credit and respect of the people and to earn his livelihood.
So, when analyzed from this perspective…
A believer is one who acts only for the sake of Allah, without expecting anything in return. All excuses for the contrary are only the result of a dualistic perspective!
If we haven’t been subject to wrath and our conscience is still active, let us question our motives and intentions! Let us call ourselves to account today before we’re called to account tomorrow! Let us take a look in the mirror!
Let us take heed of the verse:
“Whether you show what is within your consciousness (your thoughts) or conceal it, Allah will bring you to account for it with the quality of the Name Hasib.”
Let us be honest for the sake of Allah and not sweep under the rug the wrongs that seemingly comfort us today! Let us not forget: whatever we possess today, we’re going to lose tomorrow. Is it worth chasing after small and temporary gains at the expense of eternal bliss?
Especially if we’re keeping silent about what we know to be true and choose to turn a blind eye to others’ mistakes out of our own vested interests…? Are we strong enough to face its consequences? How are we going to pay the price for allowing the gangrene to spread in our loved ones’ lives simply because we chose to be silent and blind to their blunders because of our own comfort and short-term benefits?
Indeed, the natural result of having faith is to live for the sake of Allah, even if it means losing the world! It will make one go against all odds to save his beloveds from the fire of hell.
If a person is deprived of the light of faith, he will live only for daily comforts, he won’t ponder on the conditions of life awaiting him in the hereafter. His only purpose will be to earn more and indulge more in worldly pleasures. He will give up everything and everyone for this cause, even his dearest ones.