Our Beacon Forum

The Purpose of Life and Accountability of actions
By:Ahmed Moosa, Cape Town
Date: Tuesday, 28 January 2020, 11:59 pm

The Purpose of Life and Accountability of our Actions.

It is important to know and understand the Qur'anic perspective of these two points.

Regarding the first point: The Purpose of Life: Allah SWT says:

Surah Al-Mulk, Verse 2:
الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ

He (Allah) Who created Death and Life, that He (Allah) may try which of you is best in deed: and He (Allah) is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving;-
(English - Yusuf Ali)

One may ask: what are the best deeds that one should do?

Allah SWT says:

Surah Al-Baqara, Verse 177:
لَّيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ وَلَٰكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةِ وَالْكِتَابِ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ وَآتَى الْمَالَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِ ذَوِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَالسَّائِلِينَ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَأَقَامَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَى الزَّكَاةَ وَالْمُوفُونَ بِعَهْدِهِمْ إِذَا عَاهَدُوا وَالصَّابِرِينَ فِي الْبَأْسَاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ وَحِينَ الْبَأْسِ أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُتَّقُونَ

It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the mala'ikah (angels) and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him (Allah), for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing.
(English - Yusuf Ali)

Accountability of actions by every individual is mentioned in numerous verses in The Divine Book. Here are just some of the verses. Keep in mind that when one studies AlQur'an one will come across hundreds more.

Surah Al-Zalzala, Verse 6:
يَوْمَئِذٍ يَصْدُرُ النَّاسُ أَشْتَاتًا لِّيُرَوْا أَعْمَالَهُمْ

On that Day will mankind proceed in companies sorted out, to be shown the deeds that they (had done).

Surah Al-Zalzala, Verse 7:
فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ
Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it!

Surah Al-Zalzala, Verse 8:
وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ

And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it.
(English - Yusuf Ali)

Surah An-Nisa, Verse 111:
وَمَن يَكْسِبْ إِثْمًا فَإِنَّمَا يَكْسِبُهُ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا

And if any one earns sin he / she earns it against one's own self: for Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.

Surah An-Nisa, Verse 112:
وَمَن يَكْسِبْ خَطِيئَةً أَوْ إِثْمًا ثُمَّ يَرْمِ بِهِ بَرِيئًا فَقَدِ احْتَمَلَ بُهْتَانًا وَإِثْمًا مُّبِينًا

But if any one earns a fault or a sin and throws it on to one that is innocent, one carries (on himself) (both) a falsehood and a flagrant sin.

Surah An-Nahl, Verse 111:
يَوْمَ تَأْتِي كُلُّ نَفْسٍ تُجَادِلُ عَن نَّفْسِهَا وَتُوَفَّىٰ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا عَمِلَتْ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ

One Day every soul will come up struggling for itself, and every soul will be recompensed (fully) for all its actions, and none will be unjustly dealt with.
(English - Yusuf Ali)

Surah An-Najm, Verse 38:
أَلَّا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَىٰ

Namely, that no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another;
(English - Yusuf Ali)

Surah An-Najm, Verse 39:
وَأَن لَّيْسَ لِلْإِنسَانِ إِلَّا مَا سَعَىٰ

That man can have nothing but what he strives for;
(English - Yusuf Ali)

Surah Fussilat, Verse 46:
مَّنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلِنَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ أَسَاءَ فَعَلَيْهَا وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ

Whoever works righteousness benefits his own self; whoever works evil, it is against his own self: nor is thy Lord ever unjust (in the least) to His Servants.
(English - Yusuf Ali)

Surah Al-Muddathir, Verse 38:
كُلُّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ رَهِينَةٌ

Every soul will be (held) in pledge for its deeds.
(English - Yusuf Ali)

Surah Fussilat, Verse 46:
مَّنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلِنَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ أَسَاءَ فَعَلَيْهَا وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ

Whoever works righteousness benefits his own soul; whoever works evil, it is against his own soul: nor is thy Lord ever unjust (in the least) to His Servants.
(English - Yusuf Ali)

Surah Ghafir, Verse 40:
مَنْ عَمِلَ سَيِّئَةً فَلَا يُجْزَىٰ إِلَّا مِثْلَهَا وَمَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَأُولَٰئِكَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ يُرْزَقُونَ فِيهَا بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

"He that works evil will not be requited but by the like thereof: and he that works a righteous deed - whether man or woman - and is a Believer- such will enter the Garden (of Bliss): therein will they have abundance without measure.
(English - Yusuf Ali)

(Note: AlQur'an defined a Believer in chapter 2 verse 121. Refer to AlQur'an)

Surah Al-Jathiya, Verse 22:
وَخَلَقَ اللَّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ بِالْحَقِّ وَلِتُجْزَىٰ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ

Allah created the heavens and the earth for just ends, and in order that each soul may find the recompense of what it has earned, and none of them be wronged.
(English - Yusuf Ali)

The idea that the messenger Muhammad will intercede for anyone is debunked in the following verses.

Surah Az-Zumar, Verse 44:
قُل لِّلَّهِ الشَّفَاعَةُ جَمِيعًا لَّهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ

Say: "To Allah belongs exclusively (the right to grant) intercession: to Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth: in the end, it is to Him (Allah,) that ye shall be brought back."
(English - Yusuf Ali)

Surah Az-Zumar, Verse 19:
أَفَمَنْ حَقَّ عَلَيْهِ كَلِمَةُ الْعَذَابِ أَفَأَنتَ تُنقِذُ مَن فِي النَّارِ

Is, then, one against whom the decree of Punishment is justly due (equal to one who eschews Evil)? Wouldst thou (Muhammad), then, deliver one (who is) in the Fire?
(English - Yusuf Ali)

Surah Ash-Shura, Verse 48:
فَإِنْ أَعْرَضُوا فَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا إِنْ عَلَيْكَ إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ وَإِنَّا إِذَا أَذَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ مِنَّا رَحْمَةً فَرِحَ بِهَا وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ فَإِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ كَفُورٌ

If then they run away, We (Allah) have not sent thee (Muhammad) as a guard over them. Thy duty is but to convey (the Message). And truly, when We (Allah) give man a taste of a Mercy from Ourselves, he doth exult thereat, but when some ill happens to him, on account of the deeds which his hands have sent forth, truly then is man ungrateful!
(English - Yusuf Ali)

Surah Al-Anaam, Verse 66:
وَكَذَّبَ بِهِ قَوْمُكَ وَهُوَ الْحَقُّ قُل لَّسْتُ عَلَيْكُم بِوَكِيلٍ

But thy people reject this, though it is the truth.
(Allah commanded Muhammad) Say: "Not mine is the responsibility for arranging your affairs;
(English - Yusuf Ali)

Surah Al-Baqara, Verse 48:
وَاتَّقُوا يَوْمًا لَّا تَجْزِي نَفْسٌ عَن نَّفْسٍ شَيْئًا وَلَا يُقْبَلُ مِنْهَا شَفَاعَةٌ وَلَا يُؤْخَذُ مِنْهَا عَدْلٌ وَلَا هُمْ يُنصَرُونَ

Then guard yourselves against a day when one soul shall not avail another nor shall intercession be accepted for her, nor shall compensation be taken from her, nor shall anyone be helped (from outside).
(English - Yusuf Ali)

Surah Ash-Shura, Verse 48:
فَإِنْ أَعْرَضُوا فَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا إِنْ عَلَيْكَ إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ وَإِنَّا إِذَا أَذَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ مِنَّا رَحْمَةً فَرِحَ بِهَا وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ فَإِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ كَفُورٌ

If then they run away, We (Allah) have not sent thee (Muhammad,)as a guard over them. Thy duty is but to convey (the Message). And truly, when We (Allah) give man a taste of a Mercy from Ourselves, he doth exult thereat, but when some ill happens to him, on account of the deeds which his hands have sent forth, truly then is man ungrateful!
(English - Yusuf Ali)

On the Day of Judgment each person will be shown his / her own actions. No one will be able to deny the records.

Surah Al-Isra, Verse 13:
وَكُلَّ إِنسَانٍ أَلْزَمْنَاهُ طَائِرَهُ فِي عُنُقِهِ وَنُخْرِجُ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كِتَابًا يَلْقَاهُ مَنشُورًا

Every man's fate We (Allah) have fastened on his own neck: On the Day of Judgment We (Allah) shall bring out for him a scroll, which he will see spread open.

Surah Al-Isra, Verse 14:
اقْرَأْ كِتَابَكَ كَفَىٰ بِنَفْسِكَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكَ حَسِيبًا

(It will be said to him:) "Read thine (own) record: Sufficient is thy soul this day to make out an account against thee."

Surah Al-Kahf, Verse 49:
وَوُضِعَ الْكِتَابُ فَتَرَى الْمُجْرِمِينَ مُشْفِقِينَ مِمَّا فِيهِ وَيَقُولُونَ يَا وَيْلَتَنَا مَالِ هَٰذَا الْكِتَابِ لَا يُغَادِرُ صَغِيرَةً وَلَا كَبِيرَةً إِلَّا أَحْصَاهَا وَوَجَدُوا مَا عَمِلُوا حَاضِرًا وَلَا يَظْلِمُ رَبُّكَ أَحَدًا

And the Book (of Deeds) will be placed (before you); and thou wilt see the sinful in great terror because of what is (recorded) therein; they will say, "Ah! woe to us! what a Book is this! It leaves out nothing small or great, but takes account thereof!" They will find all that they did, placed before them: And not one will thy Lord treat with injustice.
(English - Yusuf Ali)

Muhammad the messenger of Allah SWT will not be able to help anyone.

Surah Al-Ahqaf, Verse 9:
قُلْ مَا كُنتُ بِدْعًا مِّنَ الرُّسُلِ وَمَا أَدْرِي مَا يُفْعَلُ بِي وَلَا بِكُمْ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ وَمَا أَنَا إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ

Say: “I (Muhammad) am not the first of [God’s] apostles; and [like all of them,] I (Muhammad) do not know what will be done with me (Muhammad) or with you: for I (Muhammad) am nothing but a plain warner.”
(English - Mohd Asad)

The stories that are told time and again that Muhammad will intercede are not true as AlQur'an makes very clear. Even the other messengers cannot help their own people and even their own family members.

Surah At-Tahrim, Verse 10:
ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا امْرَأَتَ نُوحٍ وَامْرَأَتَ لُوطٍ كَانَتَا تَحْتَ عَبْدَيْنِ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا صَالِحَيْنِ فَخَانَتَاهُمَا فَلَمْ يُغْنِيَا عَنْهُمَا مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئًا وَقِيلَ ادْخُلَا النَّارَ مَعَ الدَّاخِلِينَ

Allah sets forth, for an example to the Unbelievers, the wife of Noah and the wife of Lut: they were (respectively) under two of our righteous servants, but they were false to their (husbands), and they profited nothing before Allah on their account, but were told: "Enter ye the Fire along with (others) that enter!"
(English - Yusuf Ali)

Surah Al-Mumtahina, Verse 4:
قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ إِذْ قَالُوا لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَآءُ مِنكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ كَفَرْنَا بِكُمْ وَبَدَا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةُ وَالْبَغْضَاءُ أَبَدًا حَتَّىٰ تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ إِلَّا قَوْلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ لِأَبِيهِ لَأَسْتَغْفِرَنَّ لَكَ وَمَا أَمْلِكُ لَكَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِن شَيْءٍ رَّبَّنَا عَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ

There is for you an excellent example (to follow) in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people: "we are clear of you and of whatever ye worship besides Allah: we have rejected you, and there has arisen, between us and you, enmity and hatred for ever,- unless ye believe in Allah and Him alone": But not when Abraham said to his father: "I (Abraham) will pray for forgiveness for thee, though I (Abraham) have no power (to get) aught on thy behalf from Allah." (They prayed): "Our Lord! in Thee (Allah) do we trust, and to Thee (Allah) do we turn in repentance: to Thee (Allah) is (our) Final Goal.
(English - Yusuf Ali)

(Ahmed Moosa)
(Cape Town)