Throughout this book it has been discussed how believers eagerly live by the principles of the religion, how they derive pleasure from their struggle, and how they will be rewarded with great favors and honor in the sight of Allah. Attention was drawn to the intent, determination and courage that zeal grants to believers. Also dealt with is how the verse, "You will be superior if you are [true] believers"135 manifests itself in those who strive sincerely.
Similarly, the failure of those who do not strive sufficiently and lag behind, although they certainly acknowledge the existence of Allah and the Hereafter, was described. Also explained was the loss they will suffer and the great regret they will feel and their lament, "If only I had been among those who vigorously embraced the religion..." They were reminded that they might well be among those whose lives were in vain and invited to adopt faith wholeheartedly while they still have some time. Those who live among believers and read the Qur’an yet display a different kind of character from that of the believers have been summoned to sincere faith and to be among those who are "foremost" in good deeds.
The good news has been recalled of the mercy Allah grants to those who eagerly embrace Islam, while those who live among believers and observe at close range the perfection of Qur’anic values and of Allah’s religion yet do not respond to them as they should were cautioned that they might yet end up in great loss. As Allah advised in the Qur’an:
Once again, all people of intelligence are reminded to listen to the voice of their consciences and eagerly respond to Allah’s invitation. That is because man has the chance to live his life only once. Thus he is tested only once. By the time death comes upon him, there is no second chance.
The life of this world passes "in a blink of an eye." In the present life if one follows his conscience and exerts his willpower for a limited period of time, he will enjoy the bliss Allah grants for all eternity. But should he turn away from the true religion, saying, "I would rather follow my own desires," he will lose eternal bliss as the price for this short and imperfect life, which is both an unprofitable exchange and an unwise choice.
The only wise thing to do is to cease one’s obsession for the life of this world and seek the rewards of the Hereafter. For once a person meets the angel of death, he will have no time to think about the pleasures he enjoyed in worldly life or the things he deemed to be so important. Once the soul "reaches the collar bone," he will no longer recall any pleasure he experienced in the life of this world and will only face the terror of the Day of Judgement.
However, if a person devotes his life to Allah and zealously embraces Islam, he will have no reason to fear torment and will attain peace of heart and mind because his record is clean. Having no fear, he will joyfully say on that Day:
While there is still a chance to earn a blissful end, why would anyone choose instead to fear the exposure of his record and suffer eternal regret and torment? The only thing required for a happy ending is to follow one’s conscience and sincerely and enthusiastically live by the values of the Qur’an. The only way to feel peaceful and to derive pleasure from this world in its real sense is this way of life. If one would rather "make the most" of life in the material sense, he will soon realize that he has gained nothing from it.
That is why this book invites all people to make a judgement of conscience. They are encouraged not to consider whatever deeds they have done so far sufficient to procure the best of the Hereafter but rather to continue with the zeal, exuberance and effort of the prophets. They are invited to be of those who compete to become foremost in the race to Allah, to attain Paradise and everlasting mercy. Allah praises those who embrace Islam eagerly and promises them gardens in Paradise abounding with blessings: