Sunday, December 8, 2013
So Mandela is dead. The man who in the last few hours and days has been variously described as: "the nearest thing this world had to a saint";"one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth" and "the nearest thing we have to proof of God", has gone to meet his maker - or, as some Muslims have to believe, is quite possibly now starting an eternity of having the skin burned off his back by a merciful god.
"What?!", I hear you splutter in indignation and incredulity. "Old Spinoza's really lost it this time!".
But think again. For if you are a Muslim then, like my convert friend, you must believe that if Mandela "received the message of Islam in its correct form and rejected it, then things don’t look good for him."
Even allowing for the hyperbole of politicians falling over themselves to jump on the hagiography bandwagon, there is no denying that Mandela was a man who changed the world for the better and, if countless anecdotes are to be believed, a humble, generous and selfless figure to boot.
But that is not enough to escape eternal torture if you fail to believe in the God of Islam, apparently.
We can only hope for his sake that he wasn't visited by some Muslim keen to gain extra luxury or more houris in paradise by giving dawah to him and converting the "nearest thing this world has to a saint". Can you imagine (I'm sure some Muslims did..) the extras you'd accumulate if you had managed to convert a living saint. Remember, Muslims believe they benefit from the good works of those they convert by receiving rewards in paradise.
"Convert a living saint and see your stock go through the roof, brothers and sisters!"
Which in turn has got me to thinking about the inherent evil of dawah. Bear with me...
My convert friend has spent many a patient hour explaining how I will only go to hell as a non-believer if I have "received the message of Islam in its correct form and then reject it". Which then surely begs the question why would selfless and good Muslims risk putting the immortal souls of those to whom they give dawah in danger of eternal damnation by giving them the correct message of Islam?
Leave non-believers alone and there is a chance they can escape being tortured for an eternity by God, is there not? Tell them all about Islam and if they then reject it, having examined the "evidence", you've just condemned them for eternity.
Isn't giving dawah then the ultimate selfish action? You're willing to risk condemning the man or woman to whom you're talking to Hell because you want the rewards that a putative convert's good actions will earn for you. Sheesh!
So let us all hope that poor old Nelson didn't get a knock on the door from some zealous dawahist.
For as my convert friend says: It doesn't look good for him if he did...
(Still, chin up everybody. Remember, Allah is the most merciful of all who are merciful...)