The Abode of Conscientious People in The World and Paradise
Most people hold the wrong belief that practising religious commandments, making sacrifices, being honest and following their conscience will cause them to lose certain benefits. This is a great misconception, since Allah has promised an endless life in paradise to those who observe His commands and live by them. This is the greatest of all gains. In addition to this magnificent life that will continue forever, Allah states that believers will also live a good life in the world:
Anyone who acts rightly, male or female, being a believer, We will give them a good life and We will recompense them according to the best of what they did. (Surat an-Nahl: 97)
When those who have taqwa of Allah are asked, 'What has your Lord sent down?' their reply is, 'Good!' There is good in the life of this world for those who do good, and the abode of the hereafter is even better. How wonderful is the abode of those who have taqwa. (Surat an-Nahl: 30)
Material and spiritual prosperity
In the world, Allah gives both material and spiritual prosperity to believers. There is a prevalent misconception that believers always live in poverty in the world. However, many verses of the Qur'an refer to the prosperity and power Allah has given to believers throughout history. For instance, He gave great kingdoms in this world to Prophet Sulayman, Prophet Dawud, Prophet Yusuf, Prophet Dhu'l-Qarnayn and Prophet Ibrahim, may peace be upon them all.
As for Allah's final messenger to mankind, the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), Allah says:
Did He not find you impoverished and enrich you? (Surat ad-Duha: 8)
However, enrichment is not necessarily material. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was the best of human beings in his devotion to Allah and zeal for Islam, and as such his prosperity was greater than any material wealth, for it was a spiritual wealth that made him grateful for Allah's blessings, hopeful for paradise and fearful of the punishment, to the exclusion of all other thoughts and considerations. In other words, his heart was so pure that he never felt the loss of worldly benefits or pined for them.
Prosperity, glory and beauty are characteristics of paradise. In order to remind them of paradise and to increase their desire for it, Allah gives people a certain amount of prosperity and splendour in the world. It is equally true that Allah may test others by withholding prosperity. True believers know that Allah gives as much favour as He wills to whom He wills, and they are pleased with what they have. Because they think of the hereafter, nothing makes them worried in the short life of this world. Under all circumstances, they thank Allah and are covetous of the hereafter. Allah says in the Qur'an:
Allah expands provision to anyone He wills and restricts it. They rejoice in the life of this world. Yet the life of this world, compared to the hereafter, is only fleeting enjoyment. (Surat ar-Ra'd: 26)
The most important blessing Allah bestows upon His true believers is spiritual well-being. In return for using their conscience and striving for Allah's good pleasure, these people feel no distress in their hearts. They feel the peaceful and secure aspects of honesty and sincerity. Since they fear and revere no one but Allah, they do not experience feelings such as distress, worry and fear. Their not having worldly ambitions, jealousies and selfish feelings, makes them happy, relaxed and joyful.
In many of His verses, Allah refers to those who are successful:
…It is the people who are safe-guarded from the avarice of their own selves who are successful. (Surat al-Hashr: 9)
He who has purified himself will have success, He who invokes the Name of his Lord and prays. (Surat al-A'la: 14-15)
Then when the prayer is finished spread through the earth and seek Allah's bounty and remember Allah much so that hopefully you will be successful. (Surat al-Jumu'a: 10)
Conscientious people can feel at ease only in the company of those with similar attitudes. In order for one to be friends with someone, one has to like his manners and character. Conscience takes pleasure only from conscientious acts. The decisions, manners and conversations of those who follow the desires and passions of their nafs are always removed from Allah. Someone who strives to draw near to Allah avoids such an atmosphere and wishes to be in such environments with which Allah will be pleased. This is the command of Allah:
Restrain yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, desiring His face. Do not turn your eyes from them, desiring the attractions of this world. And do not obey someone whose heart We have made neglectful of Our remembrance and who follows his own whims and desires and whose life has transgressed all bounds. (Surat al-Kahf: 28)
Since the conscientious person feels a great aspiration for paradise, he tries to establish a similar setting in the world to that in the paradise. He talks with the believers as he would talk with those in paradise; he looks at them as though looking at the blessings in paradise; he does not say something he would not say in paradise, nor does he think evil thoughts. And in the same way that paradise has a perfect cleanliness both materially and spiritually, he maintains the highest level of cleanliness possible in the world. He tries to eliminate all of the factors that would not exist in paradise – factors that are peculiar to hell.
By following his conscience, one is meant to prepare himself for his life in paradise and educate himself to be worthy of paradise. In a verse, Allah states that those who do right actions prepare their place in paradise:
Those who reject faith will find that their rejection was against themselves. Those who do right make the way easy for themselves (for heaven). (Surat ar-Rum: 44)
Allah gives to those conscientious people whom He has furnished with physical and spiritual beauties in the world, the good news of paradise, their real home after their death. Paradise is a place where those people with the highest level of conscience, who have always followed the voice that directed them to right throughout history come together. In paradise, no speech, look or manner contrary to conscience will take place. The atmosphere in paradise will be ruled by the joy and happiness of those who have been recompensed according to the best of what they did and this atmosphere will last forever. The beauty of paradise is recounted in Surah Ya Sin:
Today no self will be wronged in any way. You will only be repaid for what you did. The Companions of the Garden are busy enjoying themselves today, they and their wives reclining on couches in the shade. They will have fruits there and whatever they request. 'Peace!' A word from a Merciful Lord. (Surah Ya sin: 54-58)