The Belief in the Hereafter of Those of Perfected Truth
The severity of the pain and punishment experienced in hell is incomparable to any pain suffered in this world. the torment of fire is of various kinds. the people of hell constantly scream to be saved from fire, they are crammed into narrow places; their hands tied to their necks, they writhe in pain. They are whipped with iron whips. Their hunger and thirst become unbearable. Their pain never abates. This dire situation is exacerbated by profound regret, a feeling of desperation and hopelessness. They wish to disappear for all eternity but to no avail. They are addressed as follows:
Roast in it! And bear it patiently or do not bear it patiently. It makes no difference either way. You are simply being repaid for what you did. (Surat at-Tur, 16)
People of perfected faith continuously contemplate the torment of hell depicted in the Qur'an and turn towards Allah. One of perfected faith always keeps in mind that he can, at any moment, meet the angels of death and thus pass on to the hereafter. His decisions, attitudes, behaviour and the way he speaks reflect his commitment to being worthy of paradise and staying away from hellfire, because no one in this world can be exempt from divine retribution.
Aware that "scales of justice" (Surat al-Anbiya', 47) will be set up on the Day of Judgement, he does not want to miss an atom's weight of good. Allah has warned people on this subject as follows:
That Day people will emerge segregated to see the results of their actions. Whoever does an atom's weight of good will see it. Whoever does an atom's weight of evil will see it. (Surat az-Zilzal, 6-8)
Similarly, he strictly abstains from any act that would incur the disapproval of Allah, because each act he commits will draw him closer either to paradise or to hell. Nothing exists beyond these two places.
People of perfected faith who have a certain awareness of these facts feel constant "fear and hope" throughout their lives. They never forget the state of people awaiting to be taken either to paradise or to hell on the Day of Judgement.
How would someone behave if he were at the crossroads of paradise and hell right at this moment and realised that his eternal life would begin in earnest after his being judged?
Being right on the verge of hell, would he ever dare to display a displeasing attitude, which would immediately be taken into account?
Certainly not! on the contrary, anybody in such a dire situation would do anything to attain paradise and would draw on his wisdom and conscience to display the attitude most pleasing to Allah. Even a person who had never engaged in such a serious effort throughout his life, deeming the Day of Judgement distant from himself, would feel great panic and strive to make up for his misdeeds. But on that day, no time is granted to make amends. the time granted terminates with death and records are thereupon finalised. From that moment on, no one will be requited for anything other than what he has done.
Having an unshakable faith in the hereafter, paradise and hell, and keeping their minds occupied with the remembrance of death, account for the unflagging efforts of people of perfected faith. To avoid fear and regret in the hereafter, they consider themselves as if awaiting Allah's verdict on them on the Day of Judgement at every moment of their lives. They prepare themselves for the afterlife with clear consciousness and faith, in the manner of one who has seen the beauty of paradise and the horrors of hell with his own eyes and returned to this life. Therefore, in the face of each situation, they strive to display the best attitude, since they know that any minor heedlessness or unscrupulousness may set them on a course of regret for which there is no remedy.
To conclude, the utter conviction of those of perfected faith ensures an unswerving commitment to draw nearer to Allah and to stand in fear of Him. in the light of the verse, "So fear Allah, as much as you are able to…" (Surat at-Taghabun, 16) , people of perfected faith fear Allah as much as they can and hope to be worthy of paradise.