Religions are often lumped together, especially the Abrahamic types. I can’t talk for others, but I can share what I know with regards to my own religion and how I’ve come to understand something through it. I’ve always been interested in creating posts going more into depth about my studies into Islam because the vast majority of my posts are inspired in some way by an attempt to understand and practice the stuff I’ll come across about it. It seems nice to get a feel for what it means to me when I say I believe in God and how that affects my perspective on life.
Belief in The Last Day
In Islam, faith comprises of more than a belief in God. I wanted to write about some of what I’ve come to know about believing in The Last Day, its significance to faith and life. (The Last Day is capitalised here to emphasise that it’s something proper, like the names we’re given. It’s not your normal day by any means.)
Belief in God is about recognising He is one and without partner, whether it be the idea of another god, someone or something elevated to be on equal terms with Him or link something to Him like having children. It’s about knowing His attributes and knowing there’s no comparing Him to anything. We create products, but God will literally create life. We choose to show mercy to our surroundings, whereas the mercy of God encompasses everything regardless, whether it be at the ends of space to a leaf on the ground. Sometimes a thought pops up and we wonder about stuff like, if God can do everything, then how can we make sense of the pain that comes to us or the significance of anything we do?
Its Link to a Belief in God
It helps to have some knowledge on what it means to believe in The Last Day. The idea is that everything someone does and everything that’s happened to them in this life will be accounted for by God Himself after we pass away. Like how a belief in God can mean being aware of His attributes, a belief in The Last Day involves recognising that no deed or condition escapes God. A belief in this concept means that our direction in life shifts more towards seeking to do good and ensuring that these deeds endure to reach this moment.
There’s this verse in the Quran I believe accurately portrays the dynamic between a belief in God and The Last Day well. When the people were instructed to more or less give in charity, an argument is put forward suggesting there’s no use in feeding the poor if God Himself could do so. Two verses later, God decides to say that when the Last Day comes, it’ll come whilst we’re arguing. It isn’t long before another verse appears telling us we’re going to be accounted for what we’ve acted on. Go a little further, we’re told that on this day, we don’t get to talk, but our hands and feet will, driving in the idea of being held accountable for what we’ve done.
When you piece this narrative together, you begin to get a feel for what it means to believe in both God and The Last Day. Someone believes in God, but doesn’t act on it when the knowledge comes to him. The person instead argues about right and wrong and never actually gets around acting on it until his life ends and he finds himself accounted for his deeds. You’ll find that God may be considering the conditions of the poor as a means to raise their rank or wipe their sins, but that guy from before didn’t take any steps to help them whatsoever using what God had given him, even though he was encouraged to. God goes to him and finds that he hasn’t brought anything lasting forward. He was a guy who’d spent his life using the privileges given to him by God to instead fulfil his desires to such an extent, it came at the expense of everything else. What I’m saying is that when God decides to assert absolute authority of everything, you want to be sure that He isn’t acting against you. A belief in The Last Day reminds us to draw our attention to what we can do with what we’ve got, rather than arguing about what someone else should or shouldn’t do.
Dynamics of Faith
When different pillars of faith come together, stuff tends to make more sense. Sometimes we ask questions we assume to be about God, when it’s instead a question best resolved through an understanding of The Last Day. In addition to developing an understanding of the significance of our deeds, it can help us to make sense of Heaven and Hell or the relationship between worship and good deeds. The reverse also applies in that we may ask a question on The Last Day, when it’s actually better suited to respond with the knowledge we have of God. We might look at our deeds and think that there’s no hope of recovery, but an understanding of God would’ve helped us to realise that mercy and forgiveness are attributes of His. Meanwhile, sometimes you want an understanding of another aspect of faith instead, like His messengers or on fate to be able to make sense of what’s happening. It doesn’t make much sense to seek God, whilst denying the messengers He inspired with His messages.
In Islam, faith involves different aspects of belief that are worth considering if you want to be able to make sense of some stuff. Here, a belief in God and The Last Day helps us to understand God’s relevance to what we do and what goes on in our lives, as well as how He has the final say. This is pretty much what I wanted to expand on.
 Sahih Muslim, 8a
 Quran, 36:47
 Quran, 36:49
 Quran, 36:54
 Quran, 36:65
[6} Sahih Muslim, 2572g
5 thoughts on “Aspects of Faith: The Last Day”
That idea of the Last Day and judgment based on what has done with one’s life makes more sense to me than the idea some Christian denominations have of salvation through faith alone.
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I wonder if the concept is similar to what I was hinting at when I touched on a relationship between worship and good deeds. Gross simplification, but the theory is faith should lead to lasting good. It isn’t always the case, i.e., hypocrisy. That’s a whole other mess.
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It should lead to lasting good, but then again, Calvin’s idea of total depravity suggested a pretty negative view of humankind. Calvinists and Lutherans have adopted the faith alone doctrine. Wikipedia says “The doctrine of sola fide asserts that God’s pardon for guilty sinners is granted to and received through faith alone, excluding all “works” (good deeds).” If faith doesn’t extend to works, that seems like it would be a pretty flimsy faith.
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Pretty much (as in the flimsy faith aspect). The concept of hypocrisy for Islam is that they traded their faith for error. There’s a bunch of verses indicating this, one cursing the people who pray to show off, but don’t bother with small acts of kindness.
The issue with deliberately doing bad stuff under the cover of faith is that you lost the plot and so the faith.
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